San Diego Family Vacation


San Diego is a perfect family vacation. The weather is the best in the country, the beaches are great, the people are friendly, it is easy to get around and tons to do for kids of all ages.

Here are my travel tips and recommendations for a great family vacation in San Diego.

Where to go:

San Diego

La Jolla 

When to go:

Anytime of the year but I recommend going in October for some of the best weather and no crowds.

How long to go:

A week

Where to stay in San Diego:

Mission Bay Near Seaworld

Recommended: Stay at The Dana on Mission Bay. Request a Water’s Edge Room for extra space and wonderful view of the bay.

The rooms in the older building, poolside have a nice patio and easy access to the pool. Free shuttle to Seaworld and close enough to even walk there (15 minutes).

Paradise Point Resort & Spa

Bahia Resort Hotel


Pacific Beach Area

Crystal Pier Hotel & Cottages is very unique since all of the cottages are on the Pacific Beach Pier. The views are amazing and you could not be any closer to the beach plus you have your own kitchen.  Must stay here at least once! 

Best Western Plus Blue Sea Lodge 

Pacific Terrace Hotel 


La Jolla

The Lodge of Torrey Pines 

San Diego Marriott La Jolla 


Or check out a condo or house rental through VRBO or


Things to do in San Diego:

San Diego Zoo – start your day off with the guided bus tour to see 70% of the zoo in 35 minutes. 

San Diego Zoo Safari Park 

Seaworld – highly recommend the Breakfast with Shamu, perfect way to start your day and up close view of the whales and the breakfast is very good, nice variety.

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park 

Catch a ballgame at Petco Park 

Visit the USS Midway Museum and step onto a real naval aircraft carrier 

Balboa Park 

Mission Beach and Belmont Park is a very busy, fun place. Lots of restaurants, shops, people watching and even rides.  

Old Town is filled with history. Fun place to explore.

Gaslamp Quarter for dinner otherwise more for adults after dark. 

Pacific Beach or PB as they call it is great for sunsets, shopping and biking along the boardwalk. Very beautiful beach. 


Things to do in La Jolla:

Shell Beach Tide Pools 

Children’s Pool Beach is very scenic and home to hundreds of seals. It is also open to the public to swim. 

La Jolla Caves for access into the cave. You can rent snorkel gear during the summer months.

La Jolla Cove for the real life zoo. You can see dolphins, sea lions, seals and sharks. There is a strong smell but this is the natural smell of sea animals and birds. For a real up close adventure, try the kayak tour.  


Family Friendly Restaurants:

San Diego is full of family friendly restaurants so it shouldn’t be too hard to find one but here are some of the top, more unique options to check out:

Corvette Diner – fun waitstaff, an arcade, rock & roll, burger and shakes. Of course your kids will love it.

El Indio – Birthplace of the taquito and great authentic Mexican food.

Station Tavern – it may be a bar but there is an outdoor playground for the kids to play at while you enjoy a burger at the picnic benches.

In-N-Out Burger – you can’t enjoy these burgers everywhere.

Mamma Mia – In Pacific Beach, great Italian food.

Ghiradelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop or Heavenly Cupcake in the Gaslamp Quarter for a sweet treat.


Enjoy your family vacation to San Diego! Contact me for any help planning your trip.



California Travel Destinations

California travel destinations

Los Angeles and the California beaches

Do you have teenage kids and are looking for California travel destinations?

Take your kids to Los Angeles!

There is so much to do and it is like DisneyWorld for teenagers. They get to see all the famous landmarks on TV and in movies and hopefully see some real-life stars if they are lucky.

Here are my travel tips and suggestions for your California travel destinations to Los Angeles and nearby California beaches:

Where to Go:

Los Angeles or one of the many California beaches nearby

When to Go:

How long should you stay:

5-8 days depending on how much you want to fit in


Recommended places to stay if you are looking for the California beaches for your destination:

Venice Beach – we rented a vacation suite in Venice Beach – 15 Rose – Traveler’s House

It was a block off the beach so you couldn’t beat the location but it was a pretty busy area. If you are looking for peace and quiet I wouldn’t recommend this area. If you want action and an experience like nowhere else, then stay here.

A couple more great choices in Venice Beach:

Inn at Venice Beach or Hotel Erwin

Malibu – is a top destination and if you have aspiring surfers with you, check out Malibu Beach Inn

Santa Monica – is great for families. Check out The Embassy Hotel Apartments

Note: The Santa Monica Pier is so much fun for everyone! There is shopping, rides, places to eat, street performers right in Santa Monica. This location will keep you busy for days.

Long Beach – Stay on the The Queen Mary ship for a possible haunted experience with no sea sickness.

Manhattan Beach – Shade Hotel


If you are looking for a place near LA for your California vacation:

Magic Castle Hotel near Hollywood Blvd 

The Redbury is a great boutique hotel a perfect location at Hollywood and Vine.

Check the reviews for all of these recommendations on


What are the top things to do & travel tips for these California travel destinations:

Santa Monica Pier

Venice Beach Boardwalk

Hike to the Griffith Observatory

Visit Griffith Park with the LA Zoo, old trains, golf, tennis and much more.

Shopping at The Grove or Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills

Eat at the Farmer’s Market in the back of The Grove

Hike to the Hollywood Sign

See a sporting event at Staples Center or Dodger Stadium

Surfing in Malibu – Learn to Surf LA

Tour one of the studios like Paramount Studios or Universal Studios

Get tickets to see a live taping of your kids favorite shows

See a concert at the Hollywood Bowl

See a movie or maybe there is a movie premiere happening at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and find your favorite movie stars “Star” along the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Blvd

Top Tour = Another Side of Los Angeles Tours for a Segway Tour, many options to choose from.

Music lovers in your family – be sure to shop at Amoeba Music


Have a great California vacation in Los Angeles or the nearby California beaches!

Contact me if you have any questions or would like additional information. I am here to help plan your family California travel destinations.