10 Things to Do with Kids on San Diego Beaches

Great year-around weather, tons of family activities, and clean ocean water made this town one of Parents' best beach picks.

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1. Walk The Beach

Brett Shoaf

1. Walk The Beach

Just over the bridge from San Diego, Coronado's 7 miles of coastline encompass five main beaches. All beaches have lifeguards and, except for South Beach, restrooms. The most popular choice: Central Beach in the heart of town, just a short stroll to restaurants and ice-cream shops.

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2. Earn A Junior Ranger Badge

Courtesy San Diego Tourism

2. Earn A Junior Ranger Badge

For something more serene, head to the 4½-mile Silver Strand State Beach. The ocean side of the strand is strewn with shells, while the bay side has warmer water, gentler waves, and a nature preserve. Kids ages 7 to 12 can earn a Junior Ranger badge at Silver Strand on Saturdays.

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3. Grab A Cone

3. Grab A Cone

Stop by MooTime Creamery for a treat -- the ice-cream is made fresh daily. Fro yo and sorbet are on the menu too.

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4. Walk to Oz

Courtesy San Diego Tourism

4. Walk to Oz

Check out the whimsical Wizard of Oz exhibit at the Coronado Children's Library. (L. Frank Baum wrote some of the story in Coronado.)

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5. Have Dinner & A Movie

Paul Burkhart

5. Have Dinner & A Movie

Catch a flick at the old-timey Coronado Village Theatre and then take your kids to Delux Gourmet Hot Dogs, a new restaurant serving up franks (plain or with all sorts of zany toppings, like Thai peanut spread and carrots) plus salads and organic ice-cream sandwiches.

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6. Go Shopping

Seaside Papery

6. Go Shopping

The town has tons of great stores, especially on Orange Avenue, the island's main street. Seaside Papery is a must-stop for any Etsy fan.

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7. Take A Spin

7. Take A Spin

Since there aren't a lot of hills, bicycling on the island is a breeze. Rent one of the following popular bike shops: Cruiser King on Orange Avenue, Bikes & Beyond at Coronado Ferry Landing, Ray's Rentals at Coronado Island Marriott Resort or PeDels at Hotel del Coronado.

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8. Visit the Zoo

Courtesy San Diego Zoo

8. Visit the Zoo

If you want a break from the beach, drive about 20 minutes to San Diego Zoo--one of the country's best zoos for kids because it offers a lot of interaction with the animals.

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9. Relax at a Resort

Courtesy Loews Coronado Bay Resort

9. Relax at a Resort

The Loews Coronado Bay Resort is just a ten-minute walk or short shuttle ride to Silver Strand State Beach; in fact, the hotel has raised more than $1 million to help its nature preserves. On the property, Loews hosts outdoor kids' yoga, pool games, and marshmallow roasts; kids 4 to 12 can participate in the children's club, which entertains them with magic tricks, GPS-led scavenger hunts, and sand castle-building while you get a treatment at Sea Spa or take a fitness class. (Rooms with two queen beds start at $189 per night. Get a 20 percent discount when staying three or more nights; loewshotels.com.)

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10. Sleep in a Castle

Courtesy San Diego Tourism

10. Sleep in a Castle

The Hotel del Coronado, a 125-year-old Victorian-style resort, is on Central Beach. Its Kidtopia program offers one-hour drop-off craft activities (like making a birdhouse) and three-hour camps for kids 4 to 12. (Rooms with two queen beds start at $289 per night; hoteldel.com.)

This piece was accurate at publication time, but all prices, offerings and availabilities are subject to change. Please contact each hotel and attraction for up-to-date rates and information before taking your trip.