A Kid’s Guide to San Diego

Are you considering a trip to San Diego, but want to know what your kids will REALLY like?  In this blog you hear a lot from me, but this is a family travel blog; isn’t it time you hear from my child?  I put some questions to my daughter, a budding writer, and asked her to tell you what she thinks are the best things to do in San Diego.  She took it seriously and after a lot of thought came up with some great suggestions.  Make sure to check out what makes the perfect, kid approved San Diego vacation. 

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that allows me to earn a small commission at no cost to you. I only link to products I would or have used myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. You can read the full disclaimer here.

The top 3 things kids must do in San Diego:

  • IFly Indoor Skydiving:  It is SO fun and very thrilling. It feels like you are flying, and you feel like you are weightless. Also, it is 100% not skydiving! It is just flying on a cushion of air, which is VASTLY different.
Young girl flying in a wind tunnel in a red flight suit
  • San Diego Zoo:  The San Diego Zoo has got EVERYTHING from snakes to pink butt baboons! And many shops so you can buy something to help you remember it forever.  (My daughter loves shopping…)
Entrance to the San Diego Zoo
  • Old Town Trolley City Lights Tour:  The city lights sparkle in the night as you go all around San Diego. Plus, it is a good 1 hour and 30-minute drive in a trolley to make you very sleepy.
A view of the San Diego Harbor from Coronado Island Ferry Landing

Where the kids will want to eat when they are in San Diego:

Breakfast: Breakfast Republic

3 pancakes of different flavors on a Breakfast Republic plate

They had really good and exotic stuff like peanut butter inside French toast, and a dish that lets you choose 3 different types of pancakes. 

Lunch: Duke’s La Jolla

A family toasting on the patio of Duke's La Jolla

They had really good fish and chips and a good kid’s menu

(Blogger’s Note: They also have amazing drinks, and tables out on a deck overlooking the ocean)


Samburger burger and tots in the to go box

They sold incredibly good tater tots with their meals, and the tater tots came with lots of different sauces.  I loved the garlic aioli.  

Snack/Dessert: Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop

A young girl eating ice cream at the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop

They do not just have chocolate there; they also have ice cream and sundaes.  If you are not a chocolate fan, you would still like going there because you can get non-chocolate ice cream.  

One thing I tried and did not like in San Diego:

One thing that I tried but did not like was Not Not Tacos. The tacos were too spicy and so were the tater tots. I am not a spicy person at all.

4 unique tacos from Not Not Tacos

(Blogger’s note:  She is the only one in the family who was not a fan.  My husband is a huge Sam the Cooking Guy fan and sought out this place.  We personally thought it was fantastic.  I also do not like spice, but I found a few tacos that were not spicy and fantastic, like Sam’s cheeseburger taco.  My son and husband loved all the spicy options.  If you are not a spice lover, you should still check it out, but maybe get something less spicy for the kiddos). 

The perfect day in San Diego from a kid’s point of view:

My perfect day in San Diego would be to go to IFly and get the 3 flights for 1 minute plus high fly. Then, I would get breakfast at Breakfast Republic and eat the French toast with peanut butter. Afterwards, I would go to San Diego Zoo and spend as much time as I would like.  Do not miss the Skyfari® Aerial Tram because it has beautiful views.  As you are leaving, look at the kid’s shop for souvenirs.   After lunch I would go to Balboa Park.  See the Spreckels Organ Pavilion and play by the Bea Evenson Fountain. I liked looking at the buildings as well.  After Balboa Park, I would go to my hotel until it is time for dinner. At dinner I would go to Samburgers and get the kids hot dog with tater tots.  After dinner, go to the Old Town Trolley City Lights Tour before going back to my hotel for some sleep.

Balboa Park at night, a young girl flying high in a wind tunnel, a attendent holding open the Skyfari Aerial Tram car

My advice for kids going to San Diego for the first time:

San Diego is an incredibly fun place with incredibly fun things to do. You cannot get enough of anything. Enjoy San Diego while you are there. You will be glad.

A Kid's Guide to San Diego

* Starred Photos taken by Atma Photography

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