Affordable San Diego with Children

July 28, 2011

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Early in the summer, our Man of Steel announced he had to travel to San Diego on business. I quickly volunteered the rest of the family to travel along to keep him company. So we used our FREE Southwest tickets and jumped on a plane headed to San Diego in June.

When we decided the entire family would tag along to San Diego, I began my family friendly research. Wow, I had no idea there is so much to do in San Diego. There is LEGOLAND, Sea World, The USS Midway, Balboa Park  with it’s numerous museums and of course the world famous San Diego Zoo. It was apparent that you can spend a bunch of money in San Diego! Lucky for me, I’m not an amusement park or zoo person. So I looked past all of that commercial “stuff” and sought out adventures in the good old outdoors. We experienced a fabulous trip and spent VERY LITTLE money. Funny, sometimes the best things in life really are FREE!

La Jolla Cove


We could have headed straight for LEGOLAND but then we would have missed La Jolla Cove . . .

Anyone who knows me, knows my research began with the beaches of San Diego. La Jolla shores and La Jolla Cove were at the top of the lists for family beach fun. Upon our arrival, we headed to La Jolla Cove to sneak a peek at Seal Rock , where California Grey Seals congregate when the tide is low and the surf is down. Miss Enigma named the big one, “The Guard.”

After a peek at the seals, we climbed down to the rocks and spent the afternoon running from the crashing waves and . . .

catching little ocean critters in the tide-pools.

Just above La Jolla Cove is Scripps Park, a grassy park perfect for picnicking and letting the kids play while you take in the beauty of the Pacific.

You can also pack your swimsuits as there is a small beach area for swimming at La Jolla Cove.

MacGyver bugged us the entire week to return to La Jolla and the tide-pools. So we ended our trip, the last evening, the same way we began, running from the crashing waves at sunset and catching little critters.

At sunset, families line the cliffs with their picnic dinners and watch the waves crash against the rocks. What a beautiful way to end the day!

You can grab a picnic in LaJolla Village.

  • Girad Gourmet: Great for packing a picnic for the sunset.
  • Rubio’s: I’m craving their fish tacos! Great kid’s meals.
  • Smashburger: Very close to La Jolla Cover.
  • Subway: Two locations in the La Jolla area.

La Jolla Shores

Just around the corner from La Jolla Cove is La Jolla Shores. I was told La Jolla Shores was “the beach” to take the kids.  However, I must tell you that finding parking was extremely difficult as there were soooooooooo many people at the beach. It was way too crowded for me on a Tuesday afternoon. But that’s just the way I am. I like peace and quiet at the beach.

We were only in San Diego for a week, but we had so many adventures, that I’ll leave you with La Jolla today and next week we’ll pick-up with Torrey Pines State Nature Preserve and Beach. Breathtaking!

Hassle Free Travel with Children: FREE printable packing list for children

Life with Jeannine

What is the best FREE vacation activity you’ve done with your children?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Merelyn - Real Kid Friendly August 1, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Looks like tons of fun! The pics are great – as always!

Free vacation activity? We’re lake vacationers and water play is always #1 on our son’s list. Chasing minnows brings on long naps and a good night sleep :-)

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