Surf Southern California’s celebrated waves, explore the underwater world, enjoy locally sourced seafood, and play in flower fields, jungle-like ropes, and high-tech labyrinths.
LA JOLLA SHORES (3mi/5km; 10min). Take that surf-fueled inspiration into the beginner-friendly shorebreak of La Jolla Shores; Menehune (Hawaiian for “little people”) Surf rents boogie boards and soft-top surfboards. Then learn about undersea life at Birch Aquarium (programs for all ages offered year-round). INFO San Diego Tourism Authority ; 619/232-3101
DEL MAR (8mi/13km; 18min). Play the ponies while your kids “hippity hop” race and run all day at Camp Del Mar . Or visit Powerhouse Park, right next to the beach, with a big lawn perfect for picnics. INFO Del Mar Chamber of Commerce ; 858/755-4844
CARLSBAD (10mi/16km; 15min). Take a docent-led walk around Batiquitos Lagoon , one of Southern California’s few remaining tidal wetlands. In spring, walk through beautiful blooms at The Flower Fields , an annual explosion of color at Carlsbad Ranch. INFO Visit Carlsbad ; 760/434-6093
CARLSBAD (2mi/3km; 7min). Turn the little ones loose at LEGOLAND California, with more than 60 rides, shows, and attractions including the LEGOLAND Water Park and SEA LIFE Aquarium. Have fun at Pirate's Reef—just be prepared to get soaked! Surround yourself with LEGO and spend the night at the LEGOLAND Hotel. INFO Visit Carlsbad ; 760/434-6093
ESCONDIDO (6mi/10km; 12min). Let the kids channel their inner monkeys in the new Jungle Ropes Safari at San Diego Zoo Safari Park , where African and other animals from around the world roam in huge enclosures. Then join a guided nature hike at Elfin Forest Recreational Area to learn about wild critters in this part of the world. INFO San Diego Tourism Authority ; 619/232-3101