Hubby and I have always loved road trips, we love picking a flight, a start point and end point and then planning a rough route. Booking a first night or two in a hotel and leaving the rest to be as it is. If we find a fab hotel or apartment, we’ll stay longer, if we don’t like a place, or manage to see everything we want to see in one day instead of two, we’ll hit the road. We always find a nice hotel for the last couple of nights, though I think we’d extend this end location to closer to a week with travelling with the girls. We pick a start and end point we really want to visit and then figure out a route in-between. Our wishlist for our next road trip includes both San Diego, San Francisco and Route 1. After all the sightseeing and driving we’d love to end in sunny warm San Diego and taking advantage of the relaxing San Diego beach rentals would just be the icing on the cake. We like to end with a really relaxing place we can collapse in after being so active and San Diego would be perfect as on our last road trip we ended in Los Angeles and stayed in a suite, enjoying a rooftop pool to ourselves. Well, we were relaxing after driving over 2,000 miles from Chicago. We had actually wanted to reach San Diego for ending our Route 66 trip, but thought it was just a bit far and I have a feeling the flights were more expensive.
In the last ten years we’ve done rather a few road trips across America. From Route 66, New York, Washington, Niagara Falls, Los Angeles, the Grand Canyon, we’ve driven the width of the country, coast to coast, round in circles and from one extreme to the other. What we haven’t done together is theme parks, and that is something we cannot wait to do now we have the girls. I visited Florida and California theme parks growing up and we absolutely had a ball. They are the sort of memories I’d love Toddler H and Baby B to have. The idyllic, the fun, the craziness and the extremes. To me, Disney Land Paris just does not hold the same appeal, by flying across the pond we can visit all of the theme parks, Sea World, Universal Studios, MGM Studios, Knott’s Berry. On top of that we can also visit the awesome National Parks. Now, hubby and I have done some US National Parks, and would go back to them all. The Grand Canyon, Arches National Park, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon and Messa Verde National Park to name a few. I cannot wait to take the girls to see the geological extremes America has to offer, and particularly for us all to visit Yellowstone National Park – that extreme geology is something I’ve been eager for us all to see.
Given Yellowstone is sounding so appealing, and the fact that it’s closer to the California theme parks we’d probably opt for them in combination. We’d really love to drive Route 1, a stunning scenery-ridden trip down the coast of California. We plan to start in San Francisco, visiting Alcatraz, the Mrs Doubtfire house, the piers, perhaps Redwoods State Park, and then follow the sea to Los Angeles. Los Angeles could occupy us for a while – from checking out Beverly Hills, a bit of shopping, Santa Monica pier, Disney Land, Universal Studios, Knott’s Berry, and of course a studio tour – perhaps the the Warner Brother’s studio tour like we did last time. Then we’d continue to the relaxing beach front San Diego. Somewhere like this just looks perfect…
I have fond memories of San Diego from when we visited when I was a teenager, San Diego Zoo, Sea World, a lovely beach, a much more laid back feel than LA. It might also be the place where my sister burnt her feet on the beach and hobbled around Sea World. Oh they looked so painful. I’d love to go back and perhaps this time we’d spend longer. The USS Midway Museum and the San Diego Air and Space Museum would be a huge hit with all of us, well I can’t really speak for Baby B yet, but if she’s anything like the rest of us, it will.
So, here are my top 10 must haves on our list for visiting San Diego as a young family with a toddler
- Lovely relaxing accomodation
- Planned theme park days interspersed with relaxing days
- Visit to Sea World
- Visit to San Diego Zoo
- Visit the relaxing beaches
- Visit the harbour
- Visit the USS Midway Museum
- Visit the San Diego Air and Space Museum – who doesn’t love a spaceship?!
- Views of sunsets
- To eat lots of delicious Mexican food
And a few facts about why we want to visit and end our Route 1 roadtrip in San Diego
San Diego is…
Warm! We obviously don’t want to visit in the heat of the summer with young kids and burn their feet! I say that tongue in cheek as my parents we fastidious with sun cream and how her feet got burnt we don’t know – we were always the kids returning from 3 weeks away with next to no tan.
More relaxing than neighbouring busy non-stop LA
Convenient – its only around a 2 hour drive from LA (from Anaheim (Disney Land))
Fajitas – America is full of extremes, from geological tourist attractions to the mid-west, to huge cities to towns miles from any other, San Diego offers some Mexican charm being so close the border.
Places to visit – yes, we want to relax, but there is so much we’d visit too!
Beaches – well, we do love a good sunset to end a holiday,
Beach front accommodation – when I went with my parents we stayed across a road from the beach, I’d love to be that close or closer next time. Daily sandcastles are toddler’s dream!
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post