Families looking for summertime fun don't have to spend a lot of money to get out of town! Only a quick jaunt away, San Diego offers 70 miles of coastline.

Bike paths

The 3-mile stretch between Pacific and Mission beaches is the most popular. There you can explore the boardwalk by foot or on the 20 miles of bike paths.

Coronado Beach

If biking isn't your thing, Coronado Beach on Coronado Island is set against the backdrop of the iconic Hotel del Coronado. Here you can swim, sunbathe or skim board. And there's plenty of amenities like picnic tables and public restrooms.



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Nature lovers will love the tidepools at the Cabrillo National Monument.

"When I was a kid my parents used to take me to the tidepools," said Robert Arends, San Diego Tourism. "You see starfish, shellfish, it's a lot of fun."

La Jolla sealife

And if you've been just north of the city to La Jolla, you've probably heard the sounds of the famous seals who call it home.

"That is a great photo opp," Arends said.

And while you're there, catch the underwater sea life snorkeling in La Jolla Cove.

"It's the first underwater park on the West coast," Arends said. "The waters are super clear, you can see lobsters scurrying across the bottom."

America's top surf dogs

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If four-legged friends are more your thing, plan your trip just in time to see America's top dogs compete for best surf dog! More than 60 dogs enter the Imperial Beach Surf Dog competition on July 28, which raises money for the Humane Society.

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"It's the cutest thing on Earth you've ever seen," Arends said.

Sunset at the beach

Stay at the beach for sunset and stick around for a bonfire. You don't need a permit and the city has designated fire pits ready for you at several of the beaches.

"Just bring your own wood or pallets, you can cook s'mores," Arends said. "It's a great way to end the day."

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[SLIDESHOW: Arizona's Family Adventures: San Diego]


And for all you land lovers, this city has you covered there too. The Embarcadero has a big waterfront park with places for kids to play.

Little Italy

Wander through Little Italy and enjoy one of the hottest neighborhoods right now. The new European-style Piazza della Famiglia just opened its first business this month.

Balboa Park

There's also Balboa Park, affectionately known as the crown jewel of San Diego.

"Balboa Park is full of surprises," Arends said. "There are 17 museums, including the Timken Museum of Art which is always free, along with the botanical gardens, nature walks and the San Diego Zoo."

Free outdoor movies

You can also catch a free flick at the Liberty Station outdoor movie series, running now through October.

For more information on things to do in San Diego, visit SanDiego.org.

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