Best Baby and Kid-Friendly Things to Do in San Diego

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In all our journeys with my baby daughter Scout, I’ve learned that finding a calm and scenic destination is the name of the game to actually enjoy your trip. Babies are incredibly unpredictable so keeping it simple and living in the moment is the best recipe to avoid hectic and stressful family travel. San Diego is a great vacation spot for parents with infants because of the pleasant weather temperatures, scenic neighborhoods, fresh and inventive cuisine and of course the world class beaches.

As general tips for visiting any warm and sunny destination with a baby, try to avoid being outside during peak heat and sunlight. We usually head out in the morning to enjoy a walk and brunch, spend the middle of the day indoors, and then head outside again in the late afternoon/early evening. Make sure to always carry a sun hat and umbrella to be able to create shade for baby. We have a colorful umbrella that we often use as a parasol on sunny days.

Best Neighborhoods for Stroller Walks

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North Park - Popular boutique Pigment is a great place to start for a walk. For those mommas, Pigment also has great shopping for the home, babies and fun photo opts. There are many breakable things around this store, so best for babies who haven’t developed the dexterity to pull products off the shelf yet (or hold on to your toddlers tightly!). See my complete guide to restaurants and shops in North Park.

Little Italy - This scenic neighborhood makes for a great walk and is stroller friendly. Of all the San Diego neighborhoods, Little Italy has the most restaurants options. There’s all kinds of cuisines and eateries range from casual atmosphere to romantic candlelight dining. The Crack Shack has spacious patio dinning with room for strollers and is trendy and enjoyable for adults. My neighborhood guide has 45 spots to eat, drink and be merry in Little Italy.

La Jolla - This locale offers the best ocean views while you stroll. One of my favorite tacos joints Puesto is located on the main strip at Wall Street, they have outdoor patio seating which works well when eating out with a baby. My travel guide to 48 hours in La Jolla has many options for a mix-n-match build your perfect itinerary.

Old Town - There’s tons of outdoor open space in Old Town, great for a relaxing family stroll. If you’re in the mood for tasty Mexican food with great atmosphere, there’s several great options. See my photo diary blog post from our visit to Old Town.

South Park - This area is the newest up-and-coming neighborhood in San Diego. We took all the photos in this blog post at the South Park location of Communal Coffee, located at 2221 Fern St, San Diego. They make my favorite matcha lattes! The main strip in South Park is on the smaller side, but it’s very calm and scenic with cute boutiques and yummy restaurants.

Family Friendly Attractions

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San Diego Zoo - This zoo is one of the most famous in the United States, and it’s very impressive when you see it in person. We’ve taken babies to the San Diego Zoo before and it’s a great time walking around with the stroller and visiting the animals. My recommendation is to visit on days that are cooler in temperature and even cloudy, there’s a lot of sun exposed areas of the park.

Balboa Park - This park is one of the most treasured gems of San Diego. Balboa Park spans 1,200 acres and has so many different areas of the park to explore. Most of the park is paved and very stroller friendly.

Safari Park - The sister park to the San Diego Zoo offers a free roaming type scene for the animals and guests, similar to a “Jurassic Park” type experience. I would also recommend avoiding this open park on hot days with a baby, it’s perfect for cooler and cloudy days.

Mission Bay Park - While Balboa Park is a San Diego favorite, it doesn’t have much in the way of grassy fields for young children. If your little one is walking, the manicured green grass lawns are perfect for exploring. For beginning crawling babies, just spread out a picnic blanket and let them practice tummy time.

San Diego Murals - If you’re a shutterbug like me and enjoy taking fun photos in front of colorful murals, I’ve got a complete guide to the best murals in San Diego. Includes all the addresses to make it super easy to find your favorites.

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Carlsbad Flower Fields - These blooms are the most beautiful springtime sight to see, and make for perfect family photos. The paths around the fields are not paved so be prepared to hold your baby. There’s isn’t much shade, so I recommend either going first thing in the morning, towards the end of the day, or on a cooler and shady day.

Baby Friendly Beaches

Mission to Pacific Beach - Oceansfront Boardwalk is a trail that runs the beautiful coastline from Mission Beach to Pacific Beach. It’s a great 3-mile walk on a well-paved path, perfect for sunset stroller walks.

Scripps Beach - Located in La Jolla, Scripps beach has the most beautiful pier which provides both shade and a memorable backdrop. We took baby Scout when she was about 3 months old and it was a great family beach day.

Coronado Beach - Voted the best beach in the United States in 2012! The sand at this beach is so clean and white, perfect for laying out a blanket for a picnic. The waves at Coronado Beach are almost aways calm and safe for some fun splashing with baby.

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Check out these stylish San Diego hotels:

Explore these San Diego tours and adventures:

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Explore some of the top highlights of San Diego with this one- or two-day pass for the city’s Hop-on, Hop-off Trolley Tour. Choose your own adventure as you get on and off the trolley at any of the 10 included stops, covering famous sights including the Gaslamp Quarter, the San Diego Zoo, Little Italy, and many more.

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Spend the day shopping for bargains and sightseeing south of the border during this 5-hour day trip to Tijuana from San Diego.

Check out some of the city’s top sights, including its Old Bullring, Plaza Rio, Avenue of the Heroes and Tijuana Cultural Center. Then enjoy a Mexican taco snack and bargain for some souvenirs along Revolution Avenue (Avenida Revolución).

Your Tijuana trip also includes round-trip air-conditioned transport from your San Diego hotel, guide and a snack.

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Add a little Mexican spice to your visit to California during this 9-hour San Diego to Baja day trip.

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Enjoy the sublime coastal scenery as you spot abundant marine life during this 2-hour trip kayaking in La Jolla’s sea caves.

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In just four hours, experience the scenic highlights of San Diego and its neighboring areas. Watch sea lions and pelicans on the beaches of La Jolla and capture fantastic views from the top of Mt Soledad.

Soak up the Old World elegance of the mansions and Hotel Del on Coronado Island, and find peace in the urban oasis of Balboa Park. Wind through downtown and Old Town San Diego, learning about the city’s history along the way.

Enjoy personalized attention on this small-group tour limited to just 14 people.

Best Baby and Kid-Friendly Things to Do in San Diego
Best Baby and Kid-Friendly Things to Do in San Diego
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