Fletcher Cove Park
The sun and surf are calling at Fletcher Cove Park in Solana Beach. Situated high above the Pacific, this park offers panoramic views for parents and a pretty sweet set up for kids. There is a playground area for all ages, a grassy area for kicking a ball around, a half basketball court for the older ones and a seating area perfect for conversation while supervising your pip squeaks. Bathroom breaks won’t be a problem with the ample restroom facilities and there is a free parking lot on site (open daily from 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.). There’s also plenty of street parking too.
Insider’s Tip: If you need refreshments, check out the Naked Cafe just across the street. They have great juices!
Fletcher Cove Park
111 South Sierra Ave.
Solana Beach, CA 92075
You’ll find this park in the heart of La Jolla Shores, a long stretch of land that hugs the coastline. The grassy area is perfect for picnics and holds one of the best outdoor playgrounds in the city. There are lots of swings and interesting structures to climb. Plus, the lifeguard tower has plenty of slides and poles to slip down. Make sure you check out the giant bronze whale on the northern end of the playground. It’s the perfect size for little explorers to climb. And ten points if you can find instructions on how to do the stingray shuffle within the junior lifeguard tower. The pro family space has plenty of bathrooms and showers if you fancy dipping your feet into the sea. There’s a large free parking lot and plenty of on street parking.
Insider’s Tip: This park does get busy on the weekends. If a coffee is calling, there are plenty of cafes and eating spots close by on Avenida De La Playa so you can easily pick something up en route.
8200 Camino Del Oro
La Jolla, CA 92037
Photo credit: Vacation rentals by Kimberly
Nestled amongst the picturesque pine trees and water of Del Mar is Seagrove Park. Take a walk to the southern end and you’ll find a sea-themed playground oasis. There are dedicated toddler and school kids areas complete with slides, swings, climbing bridges, a sand pit and bouncy sea creatures. While you’re at the park, take the red-brick pathway along the coastline for more stunning waterfront views and picnic areas. Or, walk a block up on 15th street to visit the many restaurants, cafes and local shops in the Del Mar Village. Facilities at the park are limited (there are water fountains but no restrooms) and the on street metered parking can be tight, especially on weekends, so come prepared.
Insider’s Tip: See if you can spot the Dolphins that regularly appear beyond the shore break at Seagrove.
15th Street and Coast Boulevard
Del Mar, CA 92014
Photo credit: Jackie A via Yelp
Head over the Coronado Bridge and you’ll find the bay inlet and aptly named Tidelands Park. With scenic views of San Diego Bay and the Coronado Bridge, this 22-acre park is full of amenities to burn up your little one’s energy. There is a playground, skate board park, four baseball fields, exercise stations, bike paths, a fishing pier and picnic areas. Plus, there is a small sandy beach if the urge to make sand castles is calling. Facilities are plenty at Tidelands, and there’s a large parking lot and plenty of bathrooms should nature call.
Insider’s TIp: Follow the park’s scenic bike path from Silver Strand to the Ferry Restaurants and Shopping marketplace. You can grab a bite, shop a little or even catch a ferry downtown.
2000 Mullinix Dr.
Coronado, CA 92118
Photo Credit: San Diego Coast Life
South Mission Beach Park
Follow the sound of crashing waves and you’ll hit South Mission Beach Park. With a wide-open space and easy access to Mission Beach, these grounds are the perfect spot for letting your little ones run wild. While there isn’t a playground there is plenty to keep the kids entertained – kick a ball around on the grass lawn, ride your bike on the board walk or build a sand castle on one of San Diego’s widest beaches. South Mission Beach Park has plenty of free parking as well as public restrooms and picnic tables so you can plan a stress free play date.
Insider’s Tip: If you’re feeling game, reserve one of the beach side volleyball or basketball courts for some high octane fun
South Mission Beach Park
N Jetty Rd.
San Diego, CA 92109
Do you have a favorite beach-side spot? Tell us in the Comments below!
— Lenya McGrath