San Diego Vacation Advice - OT

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TiggersMommy's picture
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San Diego Vacation Advice - OT

Eh hem ... Joy Blum 3

We're heading to San Diego next week! Teagan and I will need to occupy ourselves while DH is in a conference two of the days and we'll be doing family stuff the other two days. We're staying downtown in the gaslamp district. What's a Mom to do? We'll be hitting up the zoo one day and the beach another. Is there a beach that's great? Is there a place right on the beach to rent umbrellas and beach chairs? Are there family friendly restaurants down town?

alwayssmile's picture
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I love Coronado Island! Very close to downtown. Beautiful beaches. The kind you can lay out on and play in the sand. Don't know about renting anything. We just laid out on beach towels there for a few hours and then went to explore the town. Always a great breeze and never very hot.
There is also a lot going on at Balboa Park. Garden trails, museums, etc. DH and I spent a couple of days enjoying it last summer and still didn't see everything by any stretch of the imagination.
We enjoyed going up to La Jolla and gawking at the expensive cars and houses. There's a cove there where you can go to see seals.
You will have no issue finding family friendly places considering you're not going to let Teagan run wild. Wink We never had issues finding a new unique place to eat (very easy to avoid chains in San Diego which I love!), and I know I saw kids out and about during the dinner time hours there. There were a couple of places that were very calm during dinner time and then turned into a bar/club scene a few hours later! Considering we were used to Vegas, we found it all very calm overall though. lol.

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Yes, do Coronado! Still miss living there.

Anyway, Jackie is right, beaches there are the best for kids with low waves and awesome sand that gets combed all the time. Odin did his first beach time there this summer and the water was even warm enough for him to go in. The Hotel Del Coronado has chairs and stuff that you can rent but it is $$$. Hotel itself is fun to walk around in has a great place to get ice cream. There is also a really good beach access area right next to that hotel if you drive (south) to the set of tall buildings (Coronado Shores). One entrance is a dead end with curb parking and the 2nd entrance has a guard gate but also a couple dozen public parking spots just past the guards. Both areas are very close to the beach and the distance from car, sand, to water is very do-able with LO in tow. The further north you go from the hotel the longer distance across the sand it is to water with LO. Also there are places in town to rent beach gear if you do the public access areas.

There is a public pool in Coronado as well that is great for LO's. They just rebuild it a few years back and its part of the community/rec. center. It is also off of Orange Ave across the street and a block down from the Hotel Del. They made it a walk in pool with loads of little kid features (spray stuff) and its perfect for crawling/walking LOs. I think they have free swim for everyday from at least noon till 3 for a few bucks. Check the city of Coronado website for details. The Coronado library has a wonderful toddler story time on Tue. & Fri. starting at 10:10 with great songs, puppets, and stories. The children's portion of the library is a great hang out itself with puppets, book nooks, a train, and puzzles. We spent many of hours there when DS1 was very little. Across the street from the park is a great park as well that was recently redone with more little kid things. On the East side of the island there is the ferry landing. You can actually get to this landing by taking the ferry across from downtown. Riding the ferry itself is a lot of fun and takes about 30min. Loads of little shops and places to eat. Plus an awesome cupcake shop with yummy things to try. All the resturaunts in Coronado are very kid friendly with some of our favorites being Tartine (Orange Ave & 1st), Stretches (Orange Ave, maybe new management?), Coronado Brewery (Orange Ave), Village Pizza. Its hard to go wrong anywhere really. There is also a Boneys Bayside market near the ferry landing (on Orange Ave though) that is an awesome place to find organic foods and health food type stuff.

Balbo park is also a must do! The zoo of course is awesome for all ages. There is an art guild that is amazing to walk through, glass blowers area being my favorite. Near the zoo there is a little train that you can ride with T as well as a merry-go-round. More gardens and museums than you can do in a day. All very wonderful. Also an outdoor organ that is fun to experience. The best kid friendly museum is the Ruben H. Fleet Center ( http://www.rhfleet.org/exhibits.html ) with their Kid City. I started taking Ryland there when he could crawl and it was a hit. So much hands on, building & hands on play things. Plus the rest of the museum has great science stuff that you might enjoy. There is also a cool puppet theater ( http://www.balboaparkpuppets.com/ ) in Balboa Park that has some fun shows little guys. Just have to make sure to check times and get tickets early. Between the Ruben H. Fleet & Puppet Theater area is a big big playground with things for LOs to enjoy.

Mission Bay, off Hwy. 5 is fun for jogging/biking and there are a few playgrounds as well. If your bringing bikes (and have a way to bike with T) this would be a fun place. Old Town, just North of downtown, has some great places to eat and historic places to visit. Little Italy, downtown, has some great fun food places (dessert!) as well.

I racked my brain for places in the gaslamp that we used to take DS1 but am coming up blank. I think we used to go out places there when my IL's would babysit. Also some places come and go every few years. Dicks Last Resort is fun and loud so kids aren't an issue but its kinda rough around the edges so I'm not sure if it would 100% fly with a LO in tow. The Field ( http://www.thefield.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/events.woa ) is a fun Irish pub that we visited a lot when DH's uncle played music there. They have fun Irish dishes and, um, beer! There are loads of other fun places to try and almost all are kid friendly.

Oh, if you go just out of the gaslamp, past seaport village, right on the water downtown, there is Anthonys Fish Grotto. ( http://www.gofishanthonys.com/grotto.html ) Great seafood and best chowder ever. They are kinda busy inside but also have an outside walk up window with booths. Right on the water and just next to the ferry that goes over to Coronado. I don't know if you guys eat fish but if so then this place is great. Also next to that is the USS Midway Museum ( http://www.midway.org/ ), big aircraft carrier that you can walk around on. I've never been but some people really enjoy it.

Petco park in gaslamp (yay Padres!) has a family grass area that you can watch a game from. I don't even know if there will be a game going on but if so that area is a lot of fun. You might be able to bring dinner along but I don't know. Bring a blanket and enjoy.

La Jolla Cove, yes fun. More to watch seals but the kids pool is closed so beach with LO isn't such an option there as far as I know. The town is fun to walk around in. Hit and miss with places to eat that are kid friendly. If you go up toward the Scripps area in La Jolla there are more family friendly hangout type beaches. Also there is the Birch Aquarium that is very small (yes spoiled Monterey Bay Aquarium brat here) but fun. ( http://aquarium.ucsd.edu/ )

I'll leave you with that for now and add more as I think of it. I'm sure its more than enough to keep you busy for days. Now I wanna go to SD too! Did I mention I miss living there A LOT!

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You make me want to go back Joy! lol. There are bunch of pictures on my FB of those areas (I've done two trips there, one last year in May and then the previous year in August). You used to live on Coronado? That's my husband's dream place to retire for now!

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"alwayssmile" wrote:

You used to live on Coronado? That's my husband's dream place to retire for now!

Yep, I lived there for about 6 years with DH starting before we got married. We were married there and lived there when Ryland was born. We moved to Norther Ca about 4 years ago right after DS1 turned 2, for my job. Boo. DH grew up in Coronado and his family and relatives all still live there so we get to go visit at least twice a year. He hopes we can live there again when the kids get older or we retire.

TiggersMommy's picture
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Thank you SO much ladies! I'm going to reference this thread about a million times on our trip! I'm so excited to take Teagan to the beach for the first time. I grew up around water so having a baby who's never seen the ocean weirds me out.

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My husband is going to be so jealous Joy. ROFL