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6 Days in San Diego with a 3 year old

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Johannesburg, South...
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6 Days in San Diego with a 3 year old

We will be visiting San Diego from South Africa for the first time on 2 November'13 staying at Carlsbad. We will be visiting all the usual big attractions for kids like Legoland, San Diego Zoo and Sea World but I would love to hear of any other not to be missed attractions in San Diego (not just for kids but kid friendly) that we should have on our bucketlist, including great spots for timeout from the parks.

Also where is the best place to park our car when we come to San Diego city centre and is the Gaslamp walking tour a worthwhile attraction to pay for (with a 3 year old in tow).

San Diego
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1. Re: 6 Days in San Diego with a 3 year old

Hi RachelN,

Welcome to the forums.

I always tell people that San Diego has a lot more to offer than just animal/theme parks!

You should take a ride along the coast from Carlsbad to our La Jolla neighborhood.

Visit the area of La Jolla Cove with its small rock enclosed(cove) beaches where you'll find seals and sea birds in their natural environment.

Take some time to explore Balboa Park:(where the zoo is also located) and wander in the gardens,take a look at the artisan shops , interesting architecture, maybe even some of the small museums like Natural History with dinosaurs or the Train museum. You can rent a 4 wheeled pedal vehicle to use to explore if you don't want to walk.

You can rent that same sort of vehicle to ride through Mission Bay Park or across the bay in Coronado along the bayfront.

I wouldn't take a walking tour of the gaslamp but your family might enjoy the Seal Tour which goes on land and then into the bay.


As you can see there is a lot to do and I haven't even mentioned everything!

Go to our downtown bayfront and walk past or visit some ships like the USS Midway aircraft carrier or the Maritime Museum with its old sailing ships and Russian sub.


Edited: 19 September 2013, 13:00
Dallas, Texas
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2. Re: 6 Days in San Diego with a 3 year old

Great advice from Riff M. I have 2 kids close to that age and here's a few things they like:

- Mission Point (bay side with playground) in South Mission Beach. Similarly, riding bikes along the extensive bike paths in Mission Bay Park.

- Liberty Station in Point Loma. There's a good playground and a new restaurant that opened I like a lot: Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens at Liberty Station. Very nice outdoor area, kid-friendly and you get to try local beers!

- San Diego Botanic Gardens in Encinitas -- Hamilton Children's Garden

We also love the various farmers' markets, La Jolla Open Aire Market (Sundays 9am-1pm) in particular. Right at a school so there are 2 playgrounds and usually musicians playing, etc.. Little Italy has another good one on Saturdays.

In mid-November the tidepools at Cabrillo National Monument will also be at their prime. My kids liked the lighthouse when we visited there.

- Birch Aquarium in La Jolla. It's not the best-ever aquarium but the staff are really engaged with the kids, there's an outdoor tidepool area and the ocean views are amazing.

What a fun trip!

Johannesburg, South...
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3. Re: 6 Days in San Diego with a 3 year old

Thanks so much for the advice. The seal tour looks awesome, I'm sure we will all love this and something I haven't come across in any of the guide books!

4. Re: 6 Days in San Diego with a 3 year old

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