Hitting the beaches should be your first order of business when you visit San Diego. Every popular beach in the city is known for something different, and frequent visitors and locals alike all have their favorites. Here are my top picks for families:
For lounging, swimming and sandcastle-building, this is the most kid-friendly beach in town. There’s plenty of parking (at least by beach lot standards) and the water temps and current are milder than those at other area beaches.
For a boardwalk feel and diversions, head to Mission Beach’s Belmont Park. If you’re a thrill-seeking crew, you can get a day pass for unlimited rides and attractions such as roller-coaster rides and carnival games; but I’d skip the passes and opt to splurge on bike rentals for a ride along the nearby bike path.
For a slower-paced beach excursion, head to Glorietta Bay, a small cove just off the bay of Coronado Island affording gorgeous views of the city. You can rent boats or bikes, dine outdoors, shop, or stay and play on the beach or at the nearby playground. Certain areas of the beach have designated fire-pit areas for enjoying evening bonfires.