Our Trip to San Diego
We had a BLAST on our family trip to San Diego! California has always been one of my favorite places to vacation and it was even better going with my two favorite people! :)
The first day, we went to Old Town State Park . It was so cool, I literally felt like I was in Mexico! They had mariachi music playing, there were street vendors, and the whole place smelled amazing because of all the authentic restaurants that are there. We ate at Miguel's (it had been recommended to us) and we were not disappointed! The food was yummy, the service was quick, and it was priced good. After lunch, we walked around to some of the shops they had. There were soap shops, pottery shops, candy shops, and lots of booths selling every souvenir you can think of. We walked around and discovered they have super cool museums that made it feel like you went back in time to a Spanish community from the 1800's. They had a native style home, barn, ranch, schoolhouse, jail, and courthouse. We learned a lot of history which was fun!
Tips & tricks for Old Town:
-Get a map! There is SO much to look at.
-Visit the Mormon Battalion Historic Site. It was super cool! They gave us a 40 minute interactive tour. At the end they give you a free appetizer coupon to Miguel's or other local restaurants :)
-There's bikes and scooters everywhere that you can rent and drive wherever you want.
-Just south of the Battalion Site, there's a Victorian neighborhood that is so cute and worth a visit!
-At night, they have all kinds of performers, music, and sell fresh tortillas for $1!
The next day we went to Sea World! We lucked out with the day because the weather was perfect and there was no one there! The shows were our favorite part but we got to see fun things like the walruses being fed, the belugas up close, and the penguins being active. Hadlie loved the animals if they were close enough for her to see.
Tips and tricks for Sea World:
-Check the hours they are open beforehand (it's different depending on the season and day of the week) and arrive 10-15 minutes before they open.
-A couples days before we went, I checked the show times online and planned our day around those. I looked at a map and wrote out an itinerary on which places to hit and when.
-You have to pay $22-$27 for parking (depending on where you park.)
-We bought and printed our tickets online and it was super quick getting through the gate.
-They check any bags at the gate because they don't allow you to bring any food or drinks in besides water bottles. They had water fountains all over the place with water bottle fill stations.
-If you are going with a baby, they don't allow strollers into any of the shows or exhibits. But they do have stroller parking outside of each place. We brought a carrier so when Hadlie fell asleep we could still go in.
-Bring sunscreen and/or hats for the shows because the stadiums aren't covered and get hot.
-We sat in aisle seats so as soon as the show was over we could beat the crowd out.
-If you sit at the very back of the "soak zone," you get a close seat but probably won't get wet. (We didn't get wet at all!)
-After the show, everyone goes to whatever the closest exhibits and restaurants are so we would go the opposite direction and visit the exhibits where it wasn't crowded.
-Eat at off hours. We ate around 1:30 or 2 pm instead of noon and there were super short lines.
-Go to the Arctic exhibit during the heat of the day. They keep it super cold so it's a nice way to cool off!
We went to a different beach every day. We really liked them all and there was close free parking but if it was full you can park on residential streets close enough that you can walk down to the beach. We didn't make it to Coronado Island but we've heard that one is awesome! It was pretty overcast and windy while we were there so we didn't get in the water but mostly went for walks.
La Jolla- Seals lay on the beach here year round but have their pups from December- mid May. There's also some cool tide pools.
Windandsea- We got family photos done at this beach, it was super pretty!
Mission Beach- There's a pier and a dog beach here.
Ocean Beach- There were outside stores and restaurants as well as a carnival (I don't know if the carnival is always there or if it was just there when we went.)
We checked out Balboa Park the third day and it was so cool! They had amazing architecture and so many flowers and plants. It was such a beautiful place! They don't charge to get in and most buildings were free but some of the museums charge. We could've spent all day there, there was so much to do! My favorite was the Rose Garden, they had a HUGE variety of roses that all had fun names.
It was an amazing week in San Diego and we were so sad to leave! We've totally been having California withdrawals and can't wait to go back :)