A Bayside Destination With An Antique Carousel
Spread over 14 acres in downtown San Diego and sitting against the beautiful San Diego bay, Seaport Village is a big tourist attraction. However, don’t let that keep you away. Local families also flock to Seaport Village during the week and on the weekends for the food, fun and stores. With over 50 unique shops, 13 casual eateries and 4 upscale restaurants (just in case your child is that well-behaved!), and tons of beautiful green grass for picnics and kite flying, Seaport Village is full of fun. Oh, and we haven’t even started talking about the free entertainment.
When to go. Seaport Village is open every day from 10:00 am – 9:00 pm. While the weekends are busier, that’s when you’ll find the most free entertainment. However, to avoid the crowds, swing by on a weekday. You’ll still find plenty to do, particularly if you pack a picnic lunch or bring a kite.
How to get there. Located in downtown San Diego at West Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway, Seaport Village is just a five minute drive from the I-5 (coming from either direction). The boardwalk that runs along the bay (and along Seaport Village) connects to the USS Midway Museum, so if you’re already out for a day of Midway fun, consider walking down to Seaport Village, as it’s just one-half mile away. It’s a beautiful and easy walk. As far as parking goes, Seaport Village has its own parking lot. If you make any purchase and have your parking ticket validated, parking is just $1 for the first two hours and $4 per hour for the remainder of your time. You’ll also find some nearby metered parking, but remember that downtown meters are $1.25 per hour with a two hour max.
What to do. Do not miss the antique carousel that dates back to 1895. It runs all day and costs just $2 per ride. The line is never too long and even when you see a large group of kids waiting for a turn, don’t leave! With 54 horses (and other animals), you’ll never wait longer than a few minutes.
Young kids love to stroll along the bay and look at the boats and birds. In addition, Seaport Village features over four miles of cobblestone walkways that are dotted with water features and lots of ducks. If you come at the right time of year, your’e sure to see baby ducks and really, who doesn’t love little chicks?
The huge spans of green grass are perfect for picnics and kite flying. Pack up a quick lunch for you and the kiddos, bring a blanket and enjoy. Even if you’re not the kite-flying type, you’re almost certain to see plenty of other people flying kites, so watch the show. On the weekends, many artists work at Seaport Village, including a face painter, a balloon artist and a caricature artist. Handfuls of unscheduled street performers also set up shop to entertain. Check out mimes, musicians, dancers and more.
Seaport Village keeps a monthly calendar, where you can find out what’s happening as far as special events. Additionally, several annual activities take place as Seaport Village, such as the Spring Busker Festival, Surfin’ Santa, the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights, the Halloween Bash and more. While the dates vary slightly each year, these are annual activities that you can always plan to attend.
Where to eat. If you’re not the picnicking type or don’t have time to pack a lunch, Seaport Village has plenty of places to eat that work for kids. For pizza lovers, try Assagio Pizza Pasta Plus. Or, if your kids prefer burgers, the San Diego Burger Company serves up fantastic burgers (including turkey burgers and veggie burgers) and fries. For healthier fare, the Seaport Village Deli offers sandwiches and a full salad bar. For a snack, grab a big soft pretzel to share at Wetzel’s Pretzels and for a sweet treat that will delight your little ones, Ben & Jerry’s has what they want!
Cost. Your trip to Seaport Village can cost as little as a few bucks if you score metered street parking or as much as the cost of lunch and a few balloon animals (or a ride on the carousel). If you plan on buying lunch, expect to spend at least $8 per person for the most part.
Tip. If you’re planning on a Ben & Jerry’s treat for the whole family, order the kids scoop. It’s almost the same size as the small but you’ll save a few bucks (and a few calories). For a low key day, come Monday through Thursday, but if you’re in it for the entertainment, stop by on a weekend.
849 West Harbor Drive
San Diego, Ca
– Laura Willard