More Affordable San Diego with Children

August 2, 2011

Post image for More Affordable San Diego with Children

Last week I began our tour of affordable San Diego with a visit to La Jolla Cove. The seals, waves and adventures at La Jolla Cove received a big thumbs up from the entire family! Join us for more affordable outdoor adventures in San Diego . . .

Torrey Pines Beach

Some people go to California to pan for gold . . .

MacGyver goes to California to pan for “sand crabs.” He and Miss Enigma were trying to break the world record for the most sand crabs caught in one afternoon!

On the weekend, Torrey Pines Beach, north of San Diego, was crowded but during the week it was nice and quiet. I preferred the less populated Torrey Pines Beach to the beach at  La Jolla Shores. (La Jolla Shores and La Jolla Cove are two different adventures!)

Torrey Pines State Reserve is an amazingly picturesque beach location.

Parking: You can find FREE parking along the road; however, the $10.00 parking close to the restrooms and showers are certainly worth the fee. An important detail is that you will need exactly $10.00 cash (no change made onsite)! I had to make change for other visitors in the parking lot. We got lucky and had $10.00 cash ourselves.

Torrey Pines State Reserve

Hiking Trails

Another day we returned to Torrey Pines State Reserve to hike the trails. The trails are easy for a family with children. While tennis shoes are helpful, hiking boots are certainly not needed. (Like usual, I was in flip-flops! This, I don’t necessarily recommend. )

The hike to the cliffs along the coast line pays-off with huge, gorgeous views!

The children were thrilled to observe this hawk on his majestic perch.

This hike made me think skipping Sea World was a good choice.

Parking: After you pay your $10.00 for parking, head straight up to the parking at the top of the hill. Do not park in the lot at the bottom of the hill. If you begin your hike from the lower parking lot, your little ones will actually be worn-out before you ever get to the hiking trails. (Okay, I’ll admit it. I personally would have been exhausted if we had hiked from the lower parking lot.)

Cabrillo National Monument – Tidepools

Out of all of our adventures while in San Diego the Tidepools at Cabrillo National Monument were our favorite!

We couldn’t pull ourselves away from these tidepools. A picture is worth a thousand words so here are about a million words (just joking I wouldn’t do that to you) . . .

History lesson: As the park’s namesake, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo led the first European expedition to explore what is now the west coast of the United States.  Cabrillo departed from the port of Navidad, Mexico, on June 27, 1542.  Three months later he arrived at “a very good enclosed port,” which is known today as San Diego Bay.

Visitor Center and Museum: Sorry, we couldn’t pull ourselves away from the tidepools. We didn’t make it to the Visitor Center.

Location: The location is a bit out of the way. Don’t let the drive through the neighborhood confuse you. You’re heading in the right direction. Do not miss this adventure while in San Diego. We weren’t even there during low tide and we still made an abundance of sea life observations. During low tide the tidepools are known to be spectacular! You can check the website or call to check on low tide.

Fee: $5.00 per car. ONLY $5.00 per car!

Again, we didn’t visit during low tide and Cabrillo National Monument still gets our family vote for the best activity to do with children in San Diego. If we lived in San Diego, MacGyver would beg to visit daily!

Next time, we’ll actually stay in town. See you there . . .

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Alice August 2, 2011 at 5:53 pm

We stayed in Oceanside 2 years ago for a family vacation and it was so wonderful! We keep hoping to go back there and if we do I’m definitely going to schedule in some of your suggestions.

devorah kaufmann July 22, 2013 at 10:13 pm

just came across your website and fell in love with your love for nature! we are planning on going to San Diego for a week in August. We live in Albany, NY and will be visiting with family from Los Angeles…going together to S.D. I love nature, hikes, etc. My kids love animals, my husband loves happy kids. Can you suggest a place for all of us and my M.I.L and F.I.L. to go for the week? thank you!
Devorah kaufmann

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: