“Making time for new experiences is how I regained my joy and identity as a mother.”-Camille
We’re just obsessed with this perspective on finding joy and presence as a parent. We all know that the routines and responsibilities can easily consume our time and attention, but Camille’s insight into the value of new experiences is one that we are fully on board with. We have so enjoyed getting to know San Diego (and Camille!) through Camille’s eyes. Let’s dig into her advice!
Nell: You’ve said, “you don’t have to choose between having fun and having kids,” and many parents out there would probably readily disagree. Tell us how you’ve found fun with your kids!
Camille: It’s all about adjusting your expectations! No, you won’t get to have a leisurely meal, or be able to easily go places without a ton of stuff, but there’s so much joy to be had when you have kids around!
I love San Diego especially because we look for beachside playgrounds and theme parks that offer fun for adults as well as kids. Also seeing my kids enjoy something WITH me makes the experience so much more meaningful than if I were to have it on my own.
N: You never seem to run out of ideas for family adventures in San Diego. What do you love about San Diego? Why should it be a #1 destination for traveling families?
C: We love the variety of theme parks (LEGOLAND, SeaWorld, The San Diego Zoo, and The San Diego Safari Park) but we also love all the parks, hikes, and beaches. If you are coming here with your family make sure to spend time in both the theme parks and resetting and enjoying the amazing beauty that San Diego has!
N: Any fun facts about San Diego that most visitors wouldn’t know?
C: We have the best beachside playgrounds! All up and down the coast you’ll find fun play structures to add on to your beach day.
Now for all your tips. What is on your “Best of San Diego” list?
- We love The Sheraton in Carlsbad (Pro Tip: they have a secret entrance to LEGOLAND!),
- Paradise Point
- Town and Country in Mission Bay is also GORgeous!
If you’re looking to stay somewhere more residential, La Jolla is beautiful.
And for those on a budget staying inland in Rancho Bernardo or Poway is fun and safe. You can drive about 30 minutes to Carlsbad, Balboa Park, or the beach.
Places to Play:
Beach-front playgrounds are one of the many awesome things about San Diego. We’ve included a few of our favorites here!
- Beachfront Playgrounds not to miss: Bonita Cove, Fletcher Cove, La Jolla Shores (Kellogg Park), and Powerhouse Park.
- We also love exploring Balboa Park–including museums, trails and restaurants.
- Of course, you need to visit The San Diego Zoo and LEGOLAND
- Our favorite museums are The Fleet Science Center and The Natural History Museum.
Make sure to spend time just wandering though because there are a ton of hidden gems all over!
Best Places to Eat:
- Kaminski’s in Poway–drool-worthy bbq
- My Yard Live in San Marcos–beer, games, live music, and delicious food
- Monarch in Del Mar–sprawling open-air spot. Pro-tip: Get carryout and eat on the deck
- Beach House in Mission Bay (next to Belmont Park)--great with or without kids, beachfront tacos and tequila!
- Harumama–Instagram-worthy, cute and yummy Japanese (it’s a chain, there are locations all over San Diego).
Without kids: I have always wanted to eat at The Marine Room!
- Westfield UTC–There’s a great fish playground there!
- Del Mar Highlands –Don’t miss the mini trampoline
Best Grown-up time Entertainment:
We recently went country dancing at Main Street Bar and Grill in Poway.
Best hidden gems / Spots that locals love?
The best kid-friendly hike is Annie’s Canyon in Solana Beach. It’s this cool slot canyon and it’s so fun for kids to do multiple times!
And finally, what’s next on your travel bucket list!?
We are headed to Big Bear next! We just had our third baby so we aren’t doing any trips out of California in the near future. We feel very happy to be so close to so many things to do so we don’t feel like we have to go far to find fun.
Looking for more San Diego ideas? Check out Camille’s blog and follow her on IG for seemingly endless recommendations: