Planning that perfect San Diego Spring Break? Then you’re probably looking for a few ideas for places to take the whole group that truly take advantage of all the city has to offer.
After all, you only have so many days in town and you want to make sure you’re seeing the best attractions for your family.
So if you’re trying to piece together a great spring break trip to San Diego that combines local flavor with some great attractions, this post is for you!
Great attraction options include:
- Dream Big: Engineering Our World at Fleet Science Center
- The San Diego Zoo
- The Air & Space Museum
- LEGOLAND California
- USS Midway Museum
- Knotts Berry Farm
- Kayaking in La Jolla
- and more!
Choose as you go from dozens of top San Diego attractions and save up to 55% off combined admission vs. paying at the gate. Or, build your own pass and save up to 20% off.
See all available passes, attractions & prices – Learn more.
Dream Big: Engineering Our World at Fleet Science Center
This film opens to the public on Friday, March 10, 2017.
Narrated by Academy Award® winner Jeff Bridges, Dream Big: Engineering Our World will transform how you think about engineering.
From the Great Wall of China and the world’s tallest buildings to underwater robots and solar cars, Dream Big celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small, and shows how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways.
With its inspiring stories of human grit and aspiration and extraordinary visuals for the world’s largest screens, Dream Big reveals the compassion and creativity that drive engineers to create better lives for people and a more sustainable future for us all.
Getting In: Admission to the Fleet Science Center with IMAX Movie is included with the Go San Diego® Card.Note: the below ads are not affiliated with SmartDestinations.com
Explore Balboa Park
You’ll definitely want to spend a little time exploring Balboa Park with your family.
It’s the nation’s largest cultural park and it appeals to so many different interests that we’re sure you’ll find something cool to explore.
Love animals? Then a must-see is the world famous Zoo: lucky for you our pass includes San Diego Zoo tickets – one of the best zoos in the country and only one of four zoos with the adorable Giant Pandas.
You’ll need a few hours here, so if you do choose to go to the zoo plan on it being at least half of your day.
Insider Tip: go when it first opens to see the animals at their most active, or save it for the evening during feeding time when they’ll be lively again.
Getting In: Admission to the San Diego Zoo is included with the Go San Diego® Card.
Enjoy LEGOLAND California
What better place for the kids to explore and play than the delightful LEGOLAND California? It’s one of the most wonderful places in the region for their imaginations to soar to new heights.
They’ll be able to play with real LEGO blocks (whether in DUPLO varieties for the little ones or regular sizes for the older kids), but that’s just the beginning.
There are many top attractions at LEGOLAND, like the new and exciting NINJAGO exhibit! Plus, there are fun rides and slides like the Dragon Coaster, for those looking for a fun theme park excursion.
While this attraction is geared towards younger kids, it’s sure to be a charming experience for all involved.
Getting In: Admission to the LEGOLAND California is included with the Go San Diego® Card.
Visit World Class Museums
Dreamed of being an astronaut when you were a little kid? Head to the Air & Space Museum for some amazingly cool historic aircraft and a fascinating history of flight in San Diego.
An aspiring artist, or just a fan of art? Be sure to stop by the San Diego Museum of Art to see their awesome holdings, particularly featuring European paintings from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a fine collection of South Asian art, and some nineteenth and twentieth century American art.
Or perhaps your version of culture is a little bit more mainstream, and you’d love to check out some sports stats or retired jerseys. We’ve got you covered – the San Diego Sports Museum is your prime destination.
Choose two or three of these to visit your first day and you’ve got a full day of enjoyable explorations ahead of you.
Getting In: Admission to these and many other museums is included with the Go San Diego® Card.
Explore the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum
Another top historical attraction in San Diego is the USS Midway Museum — in fact, it’s one of the most popular attractions in the entire city and in the entire United States!
This massive retired aircraft carrier is both an engineering marvel and an impressive show of military might.
A visit here is an ideal opportunity to learn all about the history of San Diego’s extensive naval culture, and particularly the role that the USS Midway played across the many decades she was in active service.
The self-guided tours are accessible for all ages, and kids will love the chance to explore the ship’s living and working areas.
Getting In: Admission to the USS Midway Museum is included with the Go San Diego® Card.
Enjoy Lovely La Jolla
This stunning locale is the perfect setting for swimming, sunbathing, hiking, biking, kayaking, snorkeling…you name it, you can enjoy it in La Jolla.
Spend the morning sunbathing and watching the kids splash in the waves, then rent some kayaks or go snorkeling for a fun afternoon in the sun.
If you’d prefer something a little more off the beaten path, head to Mission Bay Park for some beautiful waterways and fewer crowds.
You can even take a quick drive down to Point Loma to see a cool historic lighthouse and some amazing ocean vistas.
Along the way, be sure to snap photos of the really neat tide pools in the area – they’re perfect for that charming Instagram, and there’s no filter required.
Or, if you’re looking for more wooded vistas Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a must-see. It’s a natural park with tons of trails for hiking or running and a vast swathe of the natural world to explore.
Getting In: Kayak rentals in La Jolla are included with the Go San Diego® Card.
Check Out the Theme Parks
If you’re looking for a great, classic theme park with some local color, then Knott’s Berry Farm (a great adventure park) and Knott’s Soak City (their sister water park) are ideal for you.
Filled with amazing rides, slides, and other great attractions, you can spend an entire day at one or both. Your kids will have an absolute blast, too!
Another fun option is the beachfront Belmont Park, which offers a more board walk-esque feel if you’re going for that real beach vacation vibe.
Take advantage of the unlimited ride wristband for some serious fun.
Hop Aboard a Whale Watch
A whale watch is a nice relaxing option to slow down a bit, which the whole family will enjoy after multiple theme parks.
It’s also the perfect opportunity to commune with nature, spend a little time appreciating the beauty of the ocean, and catch a few glimpses of some of the world’s most fascinating giant creatures.
Or, if you’re looking for something a little more historical, swing by Old Town San Diego to scope out beautiful old buildings and significant sites.
Getting In: San Diego Whale Watch tickets are included with the Go San Diego® Card.
Explore the City
If you’ve had your fill of fabulous activities and attractions, it’s time for some sightseeing. This will give everyone a chance to see new and interesting parts of the city that won’t cost a dime.
Try wandering around Seaport Village for some distracting window-shopping, tasty lunch options, and the chance to enjoy the city like the locals do.
Visit the Gaslamp Quarter to snap photos of the charming historic sites and beautifully preserved Victorian architecture.
If your last day falls on a Sunday, then head back to Balboa Park for a fun, free organ concert at Spreckels Organ Pavilion, featuring one of the world’s largest outdoor pipe organs (trust us, it’s really cool).
Save on Admission
Remember, a lot of the popular attractions listed here are included on the Go San Diego® Card.
It provides admission to tons of museums, amusement parks, cultural institutions, and more, plus it offers additional discounts on some dining and shopping options.