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Plan Your Visit
Family on Midway

Five Cool Spots to Spend the Day with your Family

Looking for some new ways to spend time with your family? Come and explore San Diego Bay. We have a few family-friendly suggestions that provide activities and entertainment to fill the day, complete with cold sweet treats to cool the family down!


Maritime Museum Boat Tour

Take in some history with an outdoor tour of the USS Midway Museum or Maritime Museum. The Midway will have your family aboard the longest-serving American aircraft carrier of the 20th century, serving from 1945 (one week after the end of World War II) until 1992. Tour routes include the Hangar Deck and Flight Deck with the Midway’s exclusive collection of more than 30 restored Navy aircraft and incredible views of San Diego Bay. The Maritime Museum will have the family engaged by rich maritime heritage and historic connections during a new one-way tour on the upper decks on a selection of vessels starting with the Berkley steamboat ferry and ending with the famous Star of India. 

Enjoy a refreshing afternoon with a bay tour by boat capturing San Diego's scenic beauty while learning about its fascinating history. With a variety of tours from Flagship Cruises & Events and City Cruises by Hornblower, the family can pick from a harbor cruise along the water, a faster jet boat ride, or the chance to see dolphins, sea lions, and more. 

Portside Pier Gelato and Coffee on a table

After learning more about San Diego’s history and enjoying the warm fresh air, treat the family to gelato at Portside Coffee & Gelato. Grab a seat on the public viewing deck at the new Portside Pier or take a walk along the Embarcadero before heading home. As you stroll along the promenade, see if the kids can find the words ‘blue’, ‘star’, and ‘ladybug’ hidden in the building architecture created by artist Pae White. 

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Imperial Beach


Grab your towels and sandcastle toys and head down south for a relaxing day at the beach filled with art, food and fun. At 1,490 feet long, the Imperial Beach Pier is the ideal spot for walking, lounging, pierfishing, and watching local surfers ride the waves. Forgot the sunscreen or umbrella? Pop in to Sound of Beach, at the foot of the pier to grab those beach essentials, rent a boogie board or pick up a souvenir to remember the day. Nearing the end of the pier is the Tin Fish restaurant, serving fresh fish and good food with water views and, on some days, live music.


Imperial Beach and bench

For the perfect family photo ops, download a map of the Port’s Art Walking Tour of Imperial Beach and immerse yourself in the art of Imperial Beach. Over half-a-mile long, this art walk features six oceanfront public artworks, many of which were inspired by the city’s surfing culture.


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National City

Child Fishing at National City Pepper Park

Plan a day of activities in the National City Marina District. Whether it is a scenic bike ride along the Bayshore Bikeway, bringing your pup with you to enjoy the walkways, night fishing off the pier, or sitting down for a picnic in the grass, or on one of the whimsical benches by artist Doug Snider, Pepper Park provides a variety of things to do. The park also offers a public boat launch open from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. for all recreational users.

Adjacent to the park, the family can enjoy the adventures of the waterfront. Watch the boats go by or launch kayaks and paddle boards off the launch ramp and go through the Sweetwater Channel, situated next to the Paradise Creek Salt Marsh Education Park and the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. These stunning views will make it hard to get out of the water!

Family Dining at Pier 32

Sit down for brunch, lunch or your favorite draft beer at the Waterfront Grill located at Pier 32. Overlooking over 200 boats docked at Pier 32, the terraced waterfront seating offers a friendly outdoor dining experience to enjoy great food, warm hospitality and impressive marina views. 

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Chula Vista

Chula Vista RV Park Drone

Enjoy the RV life without the long drive, experience luxury RV camping at Sun Outdoors San Diego Bay. The family will have endless entertainment with an array of amenities including a swimming pool and spa area, clubhouse, picnic and pet-friendly areas, and more.

Chula Vista Bayfront Park green grass and trees




Grab the leash! The family and your favorite four-legged friend will love the Chula Vista Bayfront parks, marina activities, and art. With stunning views and sunshine all day long, this South Bay destination is an ideal spot to have a picnic, throw the frisbee around, or burn some energy. 

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Start the day at the Coronado Ferry Landing, a waterfront marketplace full of over 25 unique shops and restaurants, plus bicycle and kayak rentals to explore all that Coronado Island offers. 

Serving San Diego for over 100 years, the Flagship Ferry is a great option for an easy and scenic 15-minute boat ride to/from San Diego and back. At just $5 a ticket each way, and children three and under ride for free, you won’t want to pass up this activity. 



Walking distance and just minutes away is the idyllic Coronado Landing Park. The entire family will love the picture-perfect scene of San Diego’s glimmering skyline and dynamic waterfront as well as the sandy beach, bike paths and grassy area to play! A day here is truly picture perfect! 

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