San Diego Family Vacation – Must See

San Diego is a great city for a family vacation. Here are my top must sees and tips on how to cut your vacation costs in half!

Last week our family took a much need family vacation to San Diego. I’ve been to San Diego a few times with my sisters but my boys had never been. Seeing that San Diego is such a family friendly place with a gorgeous ocean, Chris and I knew it was perfect place to spend a week together. 

Travel Tip: If you can travel to San Diego in October, I highly recommend it. There are some unbelievable family savings with Kids Free San Diego—where kids eat, stay and play for free all October long. With more than 100 deals at popular attractions, hotels and restaurants, and special savings on awesome activities, it’s the perfect time to take a sunny getaway to San Diego and activate smile mode for the whole family.

First must see, the Zoo!

The San Diego Zoo is always fun. I visited here a few years ago when I was traveling with my older sister. She has always loved panda bears so it was a treat to be able to see them in person. Sadly on this trip we didn’t see the pandas because they’ve been returned to China. 🙁 

But there is still a ton to see and do at this fabulous zoo. And this was an attraction were the boys were FREE! So that was super nice as well. 

San Diego family vacation to the zoo

(Not sure why Chris has his hand over his heart? 😉 ) 

The size of this zoo is really impressive, I think it may even be bigger than the Denver zoo. We arrived around 10 and stayed til about 3:30 and I think we saw most of it. Britton, for some reason, was wanting to move fast from one exhibit to another. So we did boogie through a lot of the zoo.

San Diego Family vacation to the zoo

The Skyfari Ariel Tram was a big hit with the boys, especially Britton. We actually rode this twice! It basically takes you from the front entrance of the zoo to the far back. It’s like you get to ride a shortcut over the treetops!

San Diego family vacation to the zoo

Overall, a great place to take the family for a fun day of activities! 

San Diego family vacation to the zoo

San Deigo family vacation to the zoo

The next place we loved — the ocean and beaches! 

During our week stay, we actually visited three different San Diego beaches. The first one was Coronado Beach. This 1.5 mile beach is great for families because of the soft waves and it’s wide enough that you can find a place to spread out comfortably. 

San Diego family vacation to Coronado Beach

Of course, this beach has the famous Hotel del Coronado as well. And lots of sea gulls for Britton to chase! 😉 

San Diego family vacation to Coronado Beach

The sunsets are too shabby here either! Oh how I wish Colorado had an ocean. 

San Diego family vacation to Coronado Beach

On another day we visited the Jolla Cove. This is a beach stop that was high on my bucket list because of the sea lions. 

San Diego family vacation to Jolla Cove

And I am so happy to report, this cove did not disappoint. Check out all the sea lions we found just laying around sun bathing. 

San Diego Jolla Cove sea lions

They are so cute! I just wanted to reach down and pet them but of course, I didn’t. They actually have this area of the beach roped off so visitors keep their distance from the sea lions. 😉 

Another beach we visited was the Pacific beach. We had some family portraits taken there that I will be showing you soon! 

San Diego family vacation Pacific Beach

Another must-see in San Diego (especially if you have Lego lovers in the family is)…

California Legoland

This was actually our very first stop on our vacation. And again, the boys got in FREE! So how could we not go to Legoland?! 

San Diego family vacation Legoland

The boys had been begging to go here for months so we didn’t want to make them wait any longer. 😉

I’m not really a fan of Lego’s, especially when I step on one in the middle of the night. But I have to say — this place — was one of my favorites! We experienced several roller coasters together for the first time as a family. That made my heart so happy!

Watching Britton feel the ups and down twists and turns for the first time was unbelievable. He loved every minute and I was so happy for him!

San Diego family vacation Legoland

There’s lots of Legos to see and of course, several fun rides. Our son is around 45 inches tall and there were several rides that required an even shorter height. So I would say great for 4 years-old and up!

San Diego family vacation Legoland

Sea World was another place we had planned on visiting but the boys came down with colds on the last day. So we decided to skip going. But be sure to check them out as well because they also offer the Kids Free in October discount! 

We had such a great time all week long and were so grateful for our fabulous ride too. Our 2019 Mazda CX-5 took us all over San Diego in style. It’s so similar to our CX-9 back at home that we felt like we were rolling around in our own car! Isn’t that red color so gorgeous?!

Mazda cx-5 at Coronado Beach San Diego

There was plenty of room for all our luggage and it handled like a dream in San Diego traffic. Lots of traffic in this city but the CX-5 navigation helped us get from attraction to attraction with no problems!

Mazda cx-5

The boys loved the heated seat option in the second row. Although I kept telling them — it’s California and they butts can’t be cold! 😉 

Mazda cx-5

Having our own vehicle for the week was great and allowed us to go visit whatever we wanted whenever the mood struck. A big thank you to Mazda for such a great ride! 

Mazda cx-5 at Coronado Beach San Diego

I hope all these tips will help you plan a fun little San Diego family vacation of your own. If you have any questions about our trip or San Diego, let me know in the comments! I’m happy to answer them. 

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San Diego is a great city for a family vacation. Here are my top must sees and tips on how to cut your vacation costs in half!


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