San Diego is the ideal Southern California vacation spot for families. The weather is nearly always warm and bright throughout the year, and there are many entertaining activities for kids, toddlers, and newborns. San Diego is home to world-class beaches, picturesque neighborhoods, delectable food, and a plethora of parks. From this article, we will share how to visit San Diego with a baby and the things available for you to try during your visit.
The Best Neighborhoods for Stroller Walks in San Diego
- Park North
Because of its prominent position in North Park, popular boutique Pigment is a fantastic spot to start a stroll. Pigment also provides fantastic shopping for the house, infants, and fun picture opportunities for moms. Outside pigment, there’s also a pretty adorable pink wall mural for photographs (scroll down to see our photos from Pigment). See my entire list of North Park eateries and stores.
- Little Italy
This picturesque area is ideal for a stroll and is stroller-friendly. Little Italy boasts the most restaurant selections of any San Diego neighborhood. There are a variety of cuisines and cafes to choose from, ranging from casual to romantic candlelight dining. The Crack Shack is hip and fun for adults, featuring big terrace dining with space for strollers. In Little Italy, my neighborhood guide lists 45 places to dine, drink, and have a good time.
- La Jolla
While strolling, this location provides the greatest ocean views. Puesto, one of my favorite taco spots, is situated on Wall Street’s main strip; they feature outside patio seating, which is ideal for dining out with a baby. My 48-hour La Jolla travel guide offers a variety of possibilities for creating your ideal plan.
- Old Town
In Old Town, there is plenty of open space for a peaceful family walk. There are numerous terrific alternatives if you’re looking for delicious Mexican cuisine in a fun ambiance. See my picture journal from our visit to Old Town on my blog.
- South Park
This is San Diego’s newest and most exciting neighborhood. We shot some adorable images at Communal Coffee’s South Park location, 2221 Fern St, San Diego. My favorite matcha lattes are made there! South Park’s main strip is modest, yet it’s peaceful and picturesque, with quaint stores and delicious eateries.
Peterson’s Donut Corner in Escondido is one of the best babies and kid-friendly places to visit in San Diego. Vintage vehicles at Cruisin’ Grand in Escondido are among the best baby and kid-friendly things to do in San Diego.
Read: Is Traveling A Hobby? The Ultimate Guide To An Exciting Way Of Life Learn about the Downsides Of Traveling As A Hobby
What can you do in San Diego with a baby?
- Safari Park & Zoo in San Diego
This zoo is one of the most well-known in the United States and seeing it in person is awe-inspiring. We’ve previously brought infants to the San Diego Zoo and had a nice time strolling around with the stroller and seeing the animals. My advice is to go on days when the weather is cooler and even gloomy, since the park has a lot of sun-exposed places. Here’s where you can get zoo tickets.
Safari Park, the San Diego Zoo’s sister park, provides a free-roaming environment for the animals and visitors, similar to that of a safari. Elephants, lions, tigers, giraffes, and a variety of other exotic species may all be found there.
I would also avoid this open park with a newborn on hot days, although it is ideal for cooler and shady days. My in-laws reside in Escondido, which is where Safari Park is situated. See my comprehensive Escondido travel guide here.
- Bay Mission Park
While Balboa Park is a popular destination in San Diego, it lacks green grounds for small children. The groomed green grass grounds are ideal for exploring if your child is walking. Simply lay out a picnic blanket and let your crawling baby to experience tummy time. Beautiful bay views with palm palms and picturesque San Diego landscape may be seen at Mission Bay.
- Balboa Park
This park is one of San Diego’s most valued beauties. Balboa Park is 1,200 acres in size, including several museums and park areas to enjoy. The majority of the park is paved, making it ideal for leisurely strolls. Outside and inside, the renowned Botanical Building and Lily Pond are breathtaking. For tourists to San Diego, this is a favorite picture souvenir location.
- The Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
The Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a terrific spot to visit if you’re visiting San Diego with somewhat older children who can participate in more strenuous outdoor activities like hiking. This 2,000-acre nature park is located on the picturesque seaside cliffs of La Jolla and has hiking paths and sandy beaches.
If you believe your kids might like seeing hang gliders fly into the sky, you may watch them take off from the top of the cliff at the Torrey Pines Gliderport.
- Cabrillo National Monument
Cabrillo National Monument is a historical site managed by the United States National Park Service. This site includes panoramic ocean views, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, and tidepools and is located exactly at the lower point of the Point Loma Peninsula. The tide pools are full of starfish, anemones, abalone, and other marine life at low tide.
- Scripps Beach
Scripps Beach, near La Jolla, boasts the most gorgeous pier, which offers shade as well as a spectacular background. We brought Scout to the beach when she was about 3 months old, and it was a wonderful family day. Because it is located distance from Downtown La Jolla and has no hotels nearby, this beach is less busy. You will need to drive since there is nothing within walking distance, unlike other beaches in La Jolla.
- Coronado Beach
Coronado Beach was named the greatest beach in America in 2012! This beach’s sand is very clean and white, making it ideal for spreading out a picnic blanket. Coronado Beach’s waves are usually always calm and safe for splashing about with infant.
- La Jolla Beach
La Jolla is a famous tourist attraction, and La Jolla Shores Beach is ideal for a traditional beach day. The beach is a mile long, with sandy shoreline and moderate, gentle waves for comfortable surfing. Scuba courses are very popular at this location.
- La Jolla Cove
The unusual rock formations and turquoise blue ocean on the coast are two of my favorite aspects of La Jolla Cove. This famous beach is conveniently located near downtown, where a variety of eateries and hotels can be found within walking distance. This beach is rather tiny, and it may become quite busy at times.
- La Jolla Children’s Pool
Children’s Pool La Jolla is located just down the shore from La Jolla Cove. This sheltered cove’s circular part is regularly occupied by seal families who are noisy and amusing. You may easily watch the seals from the top of the cliff’s walking route. It’s a lot of fun for children!
To protect the seals, the Children’s Pool is usually restricted to human visitors, however it is sometimes opened for swimming. The water has a dazzling crystal hue and is quite warm and shallow.
- Flower fields of Carlsbad
These blossoms are the most stunning sight to witness in the springtime, and they make for wonderful family portraits. Because the walkways surrounding the fields are not paved, expect to carry your kid. Because there isn’t much shade, I suggest visiting early in the morning, late in the afternoon, or on a cooler, shadier day.
- San Diego Murals
If you’re a shutterbug like me and like snapping photographs in front of bright murals, I’ve put up a comprehensive list of San Diego’s top murals. All of the addresses are included to make finding your favorites a breeze.
- Scripps Birch Aquarium
When my daughter was two years old and my son was just a few months old, we brought them to Birch Aquarium. The aquarium is situated in La Jolla, California, right next to the coast, with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. They have a fantastic collection of aquatic life, including tropical fish, jellyfish, octopus, sea horses, and more.
Children may touch miniature sharks, starfish, anemones, and sea sponges at the Birch Aquarium’s underwater touch and feel display.
- San Diego Sea World
Sea World is one of San Diego’s most traditional and unique theme parks. Dolphins, orcas, penguins, aquariums, rollercoaster rides, performances, games, and more can be found at this massive ocean-themed entertainment park. Sea World is situated near Mission Bay, which is in the heart of San Diego’s beach area.
Legoland is a new theme park that just opened in Carlsbad, California, about a 40-minute drive north of San Diego. While this is clearly a terrific spot for Lego aficionados, there are also a variety of entertaining activities for everyone. Rollercoasters, boat rides, games, climbing structures, driving small vehicles, aquariums, art activities, and more await you inside Legoland! Here you may purchase Legoland tickets.
- The Fleet Science Center
The Fleet Science Center, a contemporary science museum and planetarium for kids, is located inside Balboa Park. There are both visual exhibitions and hands-on activities. Exploration is encouraged, which makes learning and growth enjoyable!
- The Nat – San Diego Natural History Museum
The Nat – San Diego Natural History Museum is also situated inside Balboa Park. The Living Lab, which features real creatures and bugs such as lizards, spiders, frogs, scorpions, and more, is a popular display. Dinosaur fossils, animal skeletons, enormous shark models, and beautiful mineral rocks are among the other displays. There’s also The Backyard, which encourages youngsters to engage in hands-on play.
- Whale Watching
The pleasant weather in San Diego lends itself to a day spent on a boat watching whales. The ocean waters off the coast of Southern California are perfect for seeing migratory grey whales on their voyage from Alaska to Mexico. It’s also likely that you’ll witness dolphins and sea lions. Tickets for whale viewing may be purchased here.
- The San Diego Botanical Garden
The San Diego Botanical Garden in Encinitas is one of the best botanical gardens in the world. The botanical features on the 37-acre site include towering bamboo forests, arid cactus and succulents, a tropical rainforest, a fruit garden, and much more.
- The USS Midway Museum
The USS Midway Museum in Downtown San Diego is a must-see for history, aviation, and ocean liners. Flight Deck, Below Deck, Hanger Deck, Aircraft Gallery, Flight Simulators, and more are among the exhibits. If any of your family members are Top Gun enthusiasts, here is the spot for them! Get your ticket to avoid the queue here!
Now you know how to enjoy your stay in San Diego with the kid. Finding a tranquil and beautiful place is the name of the game when traveling with little children, as I’ve found on all of our trips with my toddler daughter Scout and infant son Beau.
Because babies and toddlers are so unpredictable, keeping things simple and living in the present is the best way to prevent a stressful family vacation. Maintain flexibility in your plans and always have a backup plan in case your youngster isn’t enjoying the present situation.