Our Favorite San Diego-Area Beaches

There are so many options for tide pools in/near San Diego but we decided to check out Cabrillo’s! We also wanted to see the Lighthouse, so it was win-win. As you can see, the entrance fee is $10 to enter and the pass is good for a full week.


Cabrilllo National Park


Path to Cabrillo Tide Pool path to tide pools at cabrillo

It was an overcast, semi foggy morning (as so many San Diego mornings are!) when we visiting in June. The guard at the entrance told us that was the best weather to visit the tide pools. The parking lot at the bottom is pretty small (maybe about 20 spots or less) so we drove to the upper parking lot. As you can see, the upper lots are definitely not stroller or wheelchair friendly, so just keep that in mind. Other than that it was less than a 10 minute walk down to the tides. Be sure to keep a close eye on little ones, though, as there were a couple steep 10-20 foot drop-offs.

cabrillo tide poolscabrillo tide pools

This was actually our family’s first time visiting a tide pool- we don’t exactly have these in the desert of Utah!  We weren’t sure exactly what to expect. But WOW! We found hundreds- thousands?-of tiny crabs ALL OVER! It was so fun to see these little creatures. We must of just sat on one rock for 20 minutes or so before we started to venture elsewhere.  They were fascinating. The water is pretty shallow, although the rocks can be slippery to walk on.

cabrillo tide pools  cabrillo  cabrillo tide pools

cabrillo cabrillo


cabrillo tide pools, san diego

cabrillo tide pools, san diego

Oh it was SO fun!! We can’t wait to visit more tide pools!

Lighthouse & Gift shop

Cabrillo Lighthouse   Cabrillo Lighthouse

A short drive up from the tide pools is the Cabrillo Lighthouse and Giftshop.

Cabrillo lighthouse stairs Cabrillo lighthouse

The kids really thought the spiral-and steep- staircase was cool!

Cabrillo Cabrillo lookout from museum

San Diego San Diego


And the views were gorgeous too!

Coronado Island

We spent an evening on Coronado and LOVED it! How can you not?! The first thing we did was rent a Surrey from Bikes and Beyond. There is a nice trail that goes along the ocean, past the shops and restaurants and even past a little park. We biked along that until we hit a major road, then turned around again. It took about an hour and was SO fun. The only funny thing (depending on who you ask- haha) was that on our way back I (Emily) commented how easy the Surrey was to pedal. Then I noticed poor Jeff was just sweating and huffing along. We looked down and noticed that my pedals weren’t connected at all. Jeff was hauling all five of us around by himself. Hahaha. Poor Jeff.

Surrey rental on Coronado Surrey fun on coronado Surrey rental on Coronado View of San Diego from Coronado

Hotel del Coronado Coronado at Sunset

We loved eating dinner at Lil Piggy’s Bar-B-Q and getting ice cream from  Moo Time Creamery at the Hotel Del Coronado.  Visit this link for more info. on our favorite family friendly eats in SD.  The beaches and powdery sand- heavenly! So fun to play in. Next time we’d love to stay on the Island. Where do you  like to stay when you visit Coronado?


Add the USS Midway to Your San Diego Trip

You may be wondering if the USS Midway is worth your time and money, especially if you have young children. We were to. Would they have fun? Get anything out of it?  Be bored out of their minds??  We decided to take a chance and check it out. We were SO glad we did. It was incredible. Our kids loved it. They really did. There were so many amazing planes to see- 29 restored aircraft to be exact,  60 exhibits- several that are hands-on…but more about that below 🙂

TICKETS are available at the main gate for $20 per adult and $10 for youth ages 6-12. 5 and under are free. There is a $2 discount available online if you buy in advance here.  The museum opens at 10 am daily and closes at 5 pm, although the last entrance is at 4 pm.  We would say to plan for about 2-3 hours in the museum, although you certainly could spend a lot more time inside this large ship. Parking is available adjacent to the museum for $5 per hour, $10 maximum.


Your first stop (after receiving your headset and earphones) should be to this information desk where the star is. It is right across from where you get your headphones. Here you can pick up a little map/booklet for each child that is filled with different clues/stops that will take you throughout the ship. There are about 60 stops on this family-friendly tour. Our kids loved it. Each stop will have a special code you put on your headset that will allow you listen to a small audio snip related to your exhibit. It is very engaging- we listened to it along with our kids and learned a lot in a fun, story format. Check out a sample of the tour here. 


The tour will take you on all levels of the ship! Our kids had fun climbing in the many different planes.


It was definitely easy to imagine what life on this ship must have been like.  Our appreciation for those who serve our Country has only doubled after this.


These are only pictures of the few of the stops on our tour. Not pictured are the Sick Bay, Chow Line, Post Office- all of which are located below deck and stops the kids thought were really interesting.

After you’ve completed the tour and filled out your brochure (they check!) stop back by the information desk and pick up a pair of  wings! Our kids proudly wore their wings the rest of the day.


We also had to check out the Unconditional Surrender Statue of the of the iconic photo taken of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square as they celebrated the end of World War II in 1945. We ABSOLUTELY had to make the kids blush (cue the eye rolls) by trying to recreate the pose ourselves. Have some fun with it 🙂 This is located just outside of the USS Midway.

That’s how we did the USS Midway?  How do you?