Things to Do With Kids in San Diego

Things to Do With Kids in San Diego

1. Torrey Pines State Park

If you’ve been following Off the 56 for a while, you’ve probably seen Torrey Pines State Park come up over and over again. That’s because there’s tons of great stuff to do for kids and parents alike! Besides the beach, there are several great trails in the reserve that aren’t too difficult for young kids. A lot of it is pretty flat, plus you can choose how far you go. And, it has the best view of any hiking trail in San Diego.

Check out our first visit to Torrey Pines State Park on Off the 56 here.

2. Carlsbad Flower Fields

Located in North County San Diego, the Carlsbad Flower Fields are known for their gorgeous giant ranunculus flowers. While the exact dates the Flower Field is open changes every year depending on the flowers, usually you can see the blooms between March and May.

Aside from the flowers, they have tractor rides through the fields, a maze, food, and more. You do need tickets to get in, but tickets are relatively reasonable. Plus you’ll have the opportunity to take beautiful family photos amongst the flowers.

3. La Jolla Cove

While San Diego offers locals many great beaches with stunning views, La Jolla Cove makes our list of the best things to do with kids in San Diego in part because of the abundance of sea lions that hang out there! No matter when you go or what the weather, you’re sure to find several dozen sea lions sunning themselves on the rocks or splashing in the water. Kids absolutely love watching the animals and listening to them bark!

Insider Tip: when the tide is out, you can actually walk through the cave at the edge of the cove and explore the tide pools. Pretty neat!

4. Birch Aquarium

While you’re in La Jolla checking out the sea lions, make a stop at Birch Aquarium. Not only is it extremely affordable for families, they have lots of great exhibits without it being too overwhelming for your youngest kids. There are lots of hands-on activities and special events throughout the year like their Green Flash Concert Series.

When you’re done exploring the aquarium, head to the patio to check out one of the best views in all of San Diego! You’ll be able to look out over the pier and take in all of La Jolla.

5. San Diego Zoo and Safari Park

Of course the zoo made the list – it’s world famous after all!

At the San Diego Zoo, we particularly love taking the double decker bus through the park and spending time at the reptile house. But there’s something for everyone at a zoo this size – there’s even a petting zoo near the front! And if you come at different times of the day, you’ll see different animals as some are more active at dawn and dusk than during the day.

The San Diego Safari Park is a little smaller in size, but no less fun. Much like the zoo, you’ll find creatures living in different habitats up near the front. But you can take the tram around the whole thing and see some of the animals that are living out in the large group enclosure. If you have older kids, you may want to treat them to one of the “safaris” where you’ll actually be driven out into the herd to meet the animals. You may even get to feed some giraffes! Plus, you can even go zip lining at the Safari Park!

6. LEGOLAND

While LEGOLAND California isn’t as big as Disneyland or California Adventure, it’s much more manageable for kids and more affordable for parents. With its location in Carlsbad, it’s also much easier to get to.

Even if you’re not into LEGOs, there’s something for everything there. They have Star Wars, Ninjago, a water park, aquarium, live shows, and more. And if you’re looking for a staycation, you can stay at the LEGOLAND Hotel.

Insider tip: Visit Costco and buy their LEGOLAND pass for great savings!

7. San Diego Botanic Garden

One of San Diego’s best-kept secrets, the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas is a wonderland for families. It’s scenic, walkable, and full of activities for kids. They even have a giant tree house for the kids to go nuts with. Plus they have different events throughout the year, like their Holiday Garden of Lights.

8. Belmont Park

If you’ve never been to Belmont Park, it’s like taking a trip to an East Coast amusement park without hopping on a plane. Located right on the boardwalk in Mission Beach, they have a giant wooden roller coaster, a merry go round, pool, tons of fair games, food, and more.  

9. New Children’s Museum

If you have younger kids, you’ll definitely want to check out the New Children’s Museum in Downtown San Diego. This is a great museum for kids between ages one to eight. It’s a three-story hip and modern space with lots for kids to do. There’s plenty of things to climb on, crawl under, and experiment with. They have rotating exhibits as well so even if you’ve been before, you’ll want to come back again and check out what’s new. Our kids always have a blast at this museum!

10. Whale Watching

December through April is whale-watching season in San Diego as the whales migrate along the coast. It’s estimated that over 20,000 whales pass through the waters of San Diego each year! There are different boat companies that take you out to see the whales and you’ll usually spot at least one if you go during this prime season.

Insider Tip: Check Groupon for ticket deals to help you save some money on this family excursion.

11. Julian, CA

Last on our list is historic Julian, CA! A great daytrip from San Diego, you’ll step back in time as you visit this picturesque mining town. While Julian is known for their apple pie, you can also browse the antique shops, go hiking, take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, take a tour of the old mines, and even visit the local cemetery. In the fall, you can also go apple picking!

What’d you think of this list? Anything you’d add? Leave a comment below and maybe we’ll check it out soon on Off the 56!

Merge 56 Updated

Merge 56 Updated

The Merge 56 project will begin grading this upcoming January of 2020. After numerous delays, the project finally looks to be moving forward. I spoke with the developers this past week and they confirmed grading will begin in January before the start of the bird nesting season. There are a few approvals still needed to begin the actual building but if the city is allowing them to grade the project it would seem to be close.

The project will consist of a retail village-style shopping center with restaurants, movie theatre, & fitness center. It will also consist of some office space as well as residential units including Single Family homes, condos and townhomes. This project will also connect Torrey Highlands to the Park Village neighborhood by extending Camino Del Sur through the canyon.

The project has been met with mostly positive sentiment from the community, the detractors don’t want any more building into our beautiful preserve. If all goes well the project may open by the end of 2021 or early 2022. I will update again when I hear more information.

Top 10 Reasons to Live in San Diego

Top 10 Reasons to Live in San Diego

Today on Off The 56, Courtney Solis and I rank our top ten reasons to live in San Diego. We may be a little biased – we could go on and on about why it’s the best city! But we’ve narrowed it down to just the ten best reasons you should live in San Diego:

1. Weather

This might be the most obvious reason why people love San Diego- the weather. The weather here is very consistent, with the average temperature around 75 degrees year-round. The warmest months are September and October, where temperatures can increase about to the low 90’s. It is seldom humid, so it is never unbearably hot.

2. Family Friendly

San Diego County is very family friendly! In fact, we are located close to some of the top-rated family activities in the country. Including LEGOLAND, The San Diego Zoo, Belmont Park, The San Diego Safari Park, SeaWorld San Diego, Disneyland, and much more!

3. Schools

San Diego has some of the best public schools in California! We have eight school districts ranked in the top fifty in all of California, according to Niche.com! Although there are also charter schools and private schools, we have great public options to take advantage of no matter where you live in San Diego. In fact, the five best school districts are spread out across the county! They are San Dieguito Union, Poway Unified, Coronado Unified, Carlsbad Unified, and San Marcos Unified

4. Traffic

When compared to other areas of California such as Los Angeles, or even the East Coast as Courtney mentions, San Diego traffic is significantly less congested. Although we do have traffic, it is fairly predictable during morning and afternoon rush hour, so it is somewhat avoidable. Our roadways are also constantly being updated and widened to make the best use of the space we have.

5. Location

San Diego is in an ideal location! (And we aren’t just saying that!) If you are someone who likes to get out and about, this is the city for you! San Diego is about a thirty minute drive from Mexico, two hours from Los Angeles, two and a half hours from the desert, and only five hours from Las Vegas. You can hop in your car and go just about anywhere!

6. Outdoor Activities

If you’ve spent any time in San Diego already, you’ve probably noticed how active people are. Thanks to our awesome year-round weather, people are constantly outside doing something. There are numerous places to go hiking, biking, surfing, swimming, golfing, and even enjoy some Canicross! And the best part is, you’re not limited to doing these activities just during the summer months. You can enjoy them year round

7. Job Market

San Diego is home to several large companies that provide a lot of jobs for our community, including Qualcomm, Intuit, and HP. We are also a great city to launch your small business! According to the United States Chamber of Commerce, San Diego is the fourth best place to launch a startup in the U.S! How cool is that

8. Food

We have a lot of locally owned restaurants as well as some large restaurant groups that always seem to be opening the next best eatery. Mexican and seafood is probably what we’re known for in San Diego, but you can find almost any cuisine you like thanks to sites like Eater and Yelp. And we often get the trendy food concepts coming down from LA and San Francisco. You can see all the food and drink establishments we’ve checked out on Off the 56 by clicking here

9. Beaches

This one should just go without saying. Our beaches are some of the best in the country, and for good reason! There are beaches for every kind of beach-goer including surfing beaches, beaches with parks for kids, dog beaches, and even a nudist beach. Yes, we’re serious about that last one – it’s called Black’s Beach!

10. Breweries

San Diego has over one hundred craft breweries! This puts us in the top three of the United States! Breweries are very popular here with many offering food trucks, live music, and even kid-friendly areas for the whole family to enjoy (even the four-legged family members). Stay tuned for a San Diego Brewery Tour from Off The 56!

Did our top ten reasons to live in San Diego convince you to make the move? Give me a call at (858) 737-5255 to get started! I would love to help you find your new home here in sunny San Diego!

Harland Brewing Opens in Carmel Valley at One Paseo

Harland Brewing Opens in Carmel Valley at One Paseo

Today on Off The 56, I visited Harland Brewing at One Paseo in Carmel Valley. I met with co-founder Josh Landan, who was also the former owner and CEO of the popular brewing company, Saint Archer Brewing. Landan showed me around Harland Brewing and gave me the inside scoop on how business is booming at their newest Carmel Valley tasting room.

With his obvious knowledge and passion for the craft beer business, Landan co-founded Harland Brewing just a year ago. The original location is in Scripps Ranch San Diego. This spot in One Paseo is their second location. Opening a tasting room in a different neighborhood of San Diego left them unsure of what to expect, but they are loving their new neighborhood!

Their most popular beer right now is Harland Brewing’s Hazy IPA (no surprise there!) But what is surprising, even to Josh Landan himself, is the growing popularity of their special edition Blackberry Cobbler Beer. The unique beer has become so popular, it is now available for sale in a 4-pack of 12 oz. cans. You can pick yours up at either Harland Brewing location. But make sure you hurry – it’s only available for a limited time!

Although Harland Brewing only sells its craft beer, don’t worry about what you’ll do when the hunger strikes! One Paseo is full of tasty local restaurants with great eats you can enjoy with your delicious Harland brews. New neighbors, URBN Coal Fire Pizza, will deliver your order straight to Harland Brewing so you don’t even have to leave! There is also the popular barbeque restaurant International Smoke, Shake Shack, North Italia, and much more to choose from.

If you’re a craft beer fan, a visit to Harland Brewing is a must! Click here to check out more about what this up-and-coming establishment has to offer. And if you’re interested in learning more about the Carmel Valley community, check out my blog, Living in Carmel Valley San Diego, on Off The 56. We tour some of the best parks and schools, before making another stop at One Paseo.

And as always, if you’re looking to buy or sell your home in North County San Diego, give me a call! I would be happy to help. (858) 900-1797

The Florence in Sabre Springs

The Florence in Sabre Springs

Today on Off The 56, I met with Nick Sanderson who is one of the owners of The Florence in Sabre Springs. Not only did I tour the beautiful new restaurant, I learned about the distinctive history behind the property as well.

This unique restaurant takes its inspiration from a remarkable woman, Florence Chadwick. Chadwick was born in San Diego and actually owned the land that The Florence sits on today. In 1950, she became the first women to swim the English Channel both ways. And in 1952, she swam from the California Coast to Catalina Island. She was an inspiration then and continues to inspire today as her legacy lives on through her namesake restaurant. You’ll find her photographs, trophies, and even the swimsuit she swam the English Channel in throughout the restaurant!

The menu also takes inspiration from Florence Chadwick. Sanderson told me that the restaurant serves a nostalgic 1950’s inspired menu alongside a few dishes that draw culinary inspiration from her global travels during her lifetime. Chadwick spent time in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, England, and the California Coast. Sanderson said that one of the most popular dishes on the brunch menu is the Moroccan Baked Eggs! The Florence also has classic weeknight specials, including Beef Pot Pie, Gumbo, and Fried Chicken with all the fixins! Click here to browse all of their menu items.

The Florence also hosts weddings and other events! There is a regulation-size Bocce Ball court, boathouse seating, a lounge area with fire pits, and the dining area, which can accommodate up to 500 guests. Interested in hosting your next event at The Florence? Contact them here.

On the last Sunday of every month, The Florence hosts themed events that include special dishes, live music, games, and more! During our visit today, their Ohana Fest was in full swing! Nick tells us that Ohana, meaning family, is the basis of their mission at The Florence. I could sure feel the family vibe through the beautiful live music, delicious food, drinks, and all the special touches The Florence has to offer!

I hope you get the chance to check out The Florence soon! They are open for diner Monday through Saturday and brunch all week long. They also have a special happy hour menu!

And as always, if you or someone you know is looking to move to this area, give me a call. I would be happy to find you the perfect home in North County San Diego. (858) 900-1797

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