Where to stay and what to do in San Diego with an almost-toddler?
May 3, 2012 10:06 AM   Subscribe

Where to stay and what to do in San Diego with an almost-toddler?

My husband and I will be bringing our 15-month old to San Diego, and have no idea where to stay. Ideally, we'd be able to get a suite or adjoining rooms (Baby Snickerdoodle is a finicky sleeper), and we're looking for relaxation rather than adventuring. Would love babysitting services, playgrounds or other kid activities, and excellent soundproofing.

She's of the age where she needs to be amused, but isn't quite walking yet, and hates being in the car, so proximity to baby-friendly things is a must. Still taking two naps, so we have a 4-hour window at most for having fun.

Bonus question: Where should we take her? She loves animals, but doesn't like strollers, so we'll probably wear her most of the time.

posted by snickerdoodle to Travel & Transportation around San Diego, CA (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've heard the San Diego zoo is awesome. Not been there yet. She might be okay with Lego Land, seems to be more for the adults if sh'e only fifteen months and not going with older cousins - but if you want to go and she's not young enough to get in free, Nature's Own is having a promotion with free kid admission on their specially marked Honey Wheat bread wrappers.

The beaches are awesome if you don't get to go out to beaches, I liked Mission Beach. (Stayed in LA, only did day trips to SD).
posted by tilde at 10:08 AM on May 3, 2012

I love the San Diego Zoo! They have a neat zoo train that will take you around the Zoo, giving you a guided tour, which may be perfect for you.

With a toddler, I'd recommend the Homewood Suites on Laning Road. It's a good price, has a separate bedroom, and free breakfast everyday, and dinner in the evenings, free parking and a kitchenette. It's the 4th most recommended property on Trip Advisor.

Other than that, check out the beaches, lounge at the pool and use lots of sun screen.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:26 AM on May 3, 2012

Think about staying on Coronado. The beach is nice and family friendly. There's a playground in town, some good restaurants, a good book store, and a fun ice cream shop. Generally, the small size and walkability of the island makes the vacation seem more manageable, but San Diego is right there across the bridge.

Some activities that have worked for us with litle kids are visits to the beach (some kids love playing in the sand), taking the Coronado Ferry across the bay, and visiting the Zoo. The Wild Animal Park is also great, but is a bit of a drive.
posted by Area Man at 10:28 AM on May 3, 2012

I've stayed at the Pacific Terrace Hotel with my kids, and it's great (and pricey). It has a pool, it's right on the beach, you can walk on the boardwalk to restaurants and get takeout or groceries, they have kitchenettes, the staff are friendly, and we've been fine with the soundproofing. We've stayed in two different family suites, which were on the ground floor and had tiny private patios; not all of the patios are as private as ours were, but I bet you can request them. From there we could take day or half-day trips to Legoland, the maritime museum, the zoo, the great parks, etc.

I didn't look into babysitting or activities, so I can't speak to that.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:01 AM on May 3, 2012

Legoland is pretty much not a great idea -- there'd be some stuff for her to do in Duplo Village, but I'd say 2 and a half or 3 is probably the youngest age who'd get enough out of it to make it worthwhile. (Denny's has coupons right now for free kid admission with adult ticket, FYI.)
posted by incessant at 1:44 PM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

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