Kid’s City Guides

We are all about making budget travel with children manageable and fun.

San Diego With Kids: What To Know Before You Go

San Diego With Kids: What To Know Before You Go

San Diego With Kids

San Diego has the beauty of Northern California but the beaches of Southern California. There are tons of parks to explore and lots of pristine beachfront to check out. The main draw for many is The San Diego Zoo, but we also loved Legoland and The Safari Park

Stroller or Baby Backpack?

A stroller is perfect for all the amusement parks. There is some hiking (Potato Chip Rock is famous!), but it’s not the main focus of the area, so no need to bring a baby backpack unless you have hikes planned.

Where to Stay:

If you can, see if you can work out a home exchange. If not, here are some good places to stay that hopefully won’t break the bank! We enjoyed staying in Escondido, but the nicest neighborhood by far is Del Mar Mesa. You can stay downtown if you really want to, but staying in one of the family neighborhoods mentioned will give you more space (and views!) for your money.

Our Airbnb referral code to give you a discount on your first booking.

Our Home Exchange code to get you free points on your first exchange.

Book in Advance

No need to book anything in advance in San Diego. Just figure out which big parks you are going to do and try to fit them in on the days you have the San Diego GO Pass.

Movies / Books to Prep For Your Trip


  • Anchorman: Obviously not for young kids, but I can’t even say the name San Diego without thinking of this movie.

  • The LEGO Movie: I’ve only ever seen the first one, but it’s a must if you’re visiting Legoland.

  • Some Like It Hot: Marilyn Monroe classic that heavily features The Hotel Del Cornado.

  • Freaky Friday: The original, not the Lindsay Lohan version. It ends with a waterskiing competition in Mission Bay.

  • Top Gun: They filmed the motorcycle scene at the intersection of Union Street and W Laurel Street. Their training took place at the Miramar Naval Air Station.


To get yourself further organized, see our sample itinerary and tips for arrival for this gorgeous city.

Arrival in San Diego

Arrival in San Diego

Arrival in Los Angeles

Arrival in Los Angeles