Great Places for Families to Walk in San Diego

I’m so excited to tell you some of my favorite places to get my steps in San Diego but first I want to elaborate on my post from yesterday 5 Things To Do In San Diego.  One of the places I wrote about was The GliderPort.  Today, I ate lunch there for the first time ever so I want to add that experience.


(It’s hard to believe these two photos were taken just minutes apart – one up the coast and one down the coast. (That’s the weather we are having right now.)       

This was my view during lunch.  It’s not an actual restaurant per se but more of a window you walk up to order.  It’s a sandwich menu mostly.  Today was chilly so I ordered the soup of the day, Mexican Chicken Soup.  It was delicious.  I won’t go into detail because I don’t think that is always on the menu. There are outdoor picnic tables to sit, and a few tables on the roof deck.  That is where I sat and had the whole place to myself with the best views.  I don’t think people knew you could go up there to eat.


Now for a few of my  MANY walking suggestions.

Coast Blvd in La Jolla 

This is a beautiful  walk and I recommend walking the whole length of  the street.  Its a mile or so of some of the most beautiful coast you’ll ever see.  I will describe the journey from the south end to the north end, since that’s my usual route.  

Start at Whispering Sands beach.  You can’t walk the whole way on the beach because of the cliff type landscape but you can walk parts of it on the sand if you like.  There is a sidewalk approximately 30 feet from waters edge that you can follow the whole way.  

This is a few steps beyond Whispering Sands at Coast Blvd Park.

A few more  steps to South Casa Beach.  You won’t see all these small areas labeled with a sign, but if you take a picture with your phone it will  tell you where it is taken.

Keep going a little farther to Seal Beach/Children’s Pool

A wall was put up to protect children from the waves and give them a place to play and swim.


But the seals liked it and made it theirs.


So now it is a great place to view the seals and see the baby seals during pupping season in the winter months.

You will see plenty more seals a little farther up on your walk.  

Look for this mark on the sidewalk indicating the fault line. 

You will round a little corner and come to this path (which does have a little plaque saying its Shell Beach)  The big grassy area to your right is Ellen Browning Scripts Park.  Just past the grassy area you will start to see a lot of seals!  And smell them!

They don’t seem to mind posing for pictures but remember they are wild animals and so unpredictable.  Please don’t put your children close to them.

Keep going around the curve to La Jolla Cove.  Go down the steps and explore close up.

Now you can be done, but I like to continue on around the curves and up a slight hill to the Goldfish Cafe for a coffee.  If it’s ice cream you want, hey you worked off some calories,  The Brockton Villa has a s’mores ice cream that is served in a jar…ok I’m off the subject of walking…let me refocus!



I will try not to make this as long as the last one. I can sure ramble on!

The San Elijo Preserve has trails on both sides of the lagoon.  For the main one and easiest if you have little kids or a stroller to push, take the Manchester exit off of the 5 freeway.  Go west and watch for the entrance on the left.


Go inside the building there to see reptiles in aquariums and taxidermy of some local wildlife.  I could barely pull my grandkids away from the little table with books.  There are restrooms, snacks available and tables for eating up on the roof.

Outside there is a tortoise and this little hut…

The trail here is a large oval with a bridge-sidewalk through the center so you have options on how you approach your walk.  We usually do it in an 8 pattern going around one half, through the middle and then the other half.  Even my three year old grandson could walk the whole trail.

Get ready for a photo blast!

Dogs are allowed.

If you would like to try the other side of the lagoon, park on N Rios Ave.  The trails are not as even and level on that side;  good for older kids.


…and they went a little off the path to have a contest who could climb the highest.



I would call this more of a hike than a walk  just because it’s almost 8 miles round trip.  {I wonder what the difference is technically, between a walk and a hike.}  It’s not a difficult hike, fairly flat the whole way.  The 9-year-old boys I nanny showed me this one.  


We took the trail to the right (east).  These photos above were a slight detour off the main path.  There were a couple of detours you could take along the main path but this is the only one we took.  It was beautiful and very worth it.

The trail follows alongside a babbling brook.  Even if the trees are in the way of seeing it, you can hear it as you walk.

It was so refreshing to hear the brook and be in this environment.  Different scenery than I am used to.

At the end of the hike you come to this waterfall area.  It’s not a big tall waterfall like I was expecting but more water rushing over boulders and little waterfalls. But it was spectacular and worth the walk.


We had packed a snack so we stopped and ate.  The boys climbed across to the other side, which made me nervous.  I just watched them even though it looked fun but I didn’t know how I would get back to the car if I injured myself.  One of the boys fell in the water so I got to give him a ‘I told you so’.  It was pretty funny to see since he didn’t get hurt, just wet.

By time we returned to our car we were all three very ready to sit down.


That’s all for now, but I had fun sharing my walks with you and will definitely do another post about walking places in San Diego in the future.

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