Sunny San Diego is the perfect destination for a long weekend with the family. Parks, zoos, beaches, and eats abound! Check out our three-day itinerary for some Labor Day Weekend inspiration!
Day 01 (Sat)
San Diego Zoo → Balboa Park → Fashion Valley
The world-famous San Diego Zoo is a must-see! Plan to spend at least five hours in the Zoo if you want to see all of its most famous residents: Giant Pandas, Andean Bears, Amur Leopards, Arctic Foxes, elephants, giraffes, and many more. The free bus tour takes you to all of the park’s main attractions, but walking around is totally doable too.
I recommend the full-service eatery Albert’s Restaurant for a nice meal inside the park. Request outdoor seating by the waterfall and you’ll enjoy your meal all the more. Savory menu items include seafood stew, shrimp and artichoke penne, and pot roast with mashed potatoes.
Another great perk of visiting? The San Diego Zoo is non-profit organization, so every dime you spend goes toward caring for the animals and fighting extinction.
Balboa Park is just a 10-minute walk from the San Diego Zoo. The museums, gardens, historical monuments, and park trails are lovely for strolling and spending the afternoon. Top off your evening inside the park with dinner at The Prado. I strongly recommend getting the El Prado Tortilla Soup With Grilled Chicken or the Cilantro Rock Shrimp Chili Relleno. Both are to die for.
If you get your fill of the outdoors, you can always go to Fashion Valley for high-end shopping at Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, and Neiman Marcus.
Tip: Hot outside? Buy a soft drink for unlimited refills all day.
Day 02 (Sun)
Open Aire Farmer’s Market → Kellogg Park → Children’s Pool
La Jolla Open Aire Farmer’s Market is open every Sunday and it’s the best farmer’s market in town. After scoping out the fresh produce, handmade goods, and yummy food vendors at the market, head down to Kellogg Park. It’s the perfect spot to kick back with a picnic basket while the kids hit the playground. One of the awesome Sunday events is the Concert by the Sea from 2-4 p.m. Enjoy an ocean breeze and live music on the lawn, then discover sunbathing seals at the Children’s Pool and grab a fish taco and Asian marinated skirt steak at George’s at the Cove: Ocean Terrace.
Tip: There’s plenty of street parking within walking distance of the La Jolla Open Aire Farmer’s Market.
Day 03 (Mon)
Coronado Beach → Hotel Del Coronado → Ferrylanding Market Place → Little Italy
Crown Bistro is an adorable restaurant on Coronado Island and their Bananas Foster French toast is amazing! Bring a blanket and sunscreen and head to sandy white Coronado Beach, then stroll through the Victorian-era Hotel Del Coronado, built in 1887. After you’ve worked up a decent appetite, stop by Costa Azul for authentic Mexican food. If you need something sweet afterwards, I recommend grabbing an ice cream from Moo Time Creamery (Stracciatella is incredible!) and heading back to Coronado Beach for one of California’s most magical sunsets. Not in the mood? Head to Ferrylanding Market Place for shopping in unique boutiques. When you leave the island, be sure to pay a visit to Filippi’s Pizza Grotto in Little Italy. You won’t soon find Venetian Cookies like their elsewhere.
Tip: The ferry from Seaport Village is only $4.75 per person (free for kids three and under!)
What are your favorite spots in San Diego? Share with us in the comments!