Over the last year, we’ve spent much more time in San Diego’s Pacific Beach neighborhood. It’s adjacent to La Jolla and a part of town that’s young at heart. Its casual vibe and beachside location is loved by college kids and young professionals but there is tons of room for daytime family fun, too. My 9-year-old daughter and her friends love it.

PB, as it’s affectionately called by locals, has definitely grown on me over the years. I’ll give you some ideas for things to do in Pacific Beach in partnership with Gold Peak Brewed Tea, which you can find at Five Guys in PB.

Go to a Pacific Beach Park

We take morning walks with the dog at Kate Sessions Park which has a beautiful view over Mission Bay. Walkers and joggers exercise along the park’s walking loop, while dogs play in the grass and kids enjoy the playground. It’s so peaceful that people park in the lot, stay in their cars and gaze out over the bay while killing time in the neighborhood or during lunch breaks.

Fanuel Park right on Mission Bay is a great bay beach for kids as there is no surf. People launch kayaks, sail and stand-up-paddleboard on the calm waters here, too. Bring a picnic, beach gear and, of course, a tasty iced tea.

One of San Diego's most family-friendly beaches is the bayfront beach at Fanuel Park.

Volleyball players can use the nets here while young kids will enjoy the bayside playground. You could also walk, bike or scooter around the bay boardwalk.

Rent a Bike

Speaking of bikes, Pacific Beach is full of them. Ride between restaurants and shops as well as along the beach boardwalk down to Mission Beach and back. You can rent adult and kids’ bikes at several shops on Garnet Avenue and Mission Blvd as well as at Belmont Park, our beachfront amusement park. Kids love biking the boardwalk, especially. It’s a quintessential SoCal experience that I’d highly recommend.

Eat a Casual Lunch

There are a number of casual, kid-friendly Pacific Beach restaurants including Five Guys. I’d forgotten how big their regular burgers are! The fact that they’re made-to-order is good for kids who only want certain toppings. Located only a few blocks from the beach, this is a good to-go option for lunch on the sand.

Post-burger, I poured myself a refill of Gold Peak Brewed Tea, and headed off to tackle the rest of the day. I will say that iced tea is so refreshing when out in San Diego sunshine for long periods of time. This tea tastes home-brewed so it’s like bringing the comforts of home out on the road with you.

Eat Dessert

Soft serve ice cream at Mr. Frosty in Pacific Beach

It dawned on me the other day that Pacific Beach does dessert well. In addition to soft-serve ice cream from Mr. Frosty (pictured above), open since 1949, one could inhale donut ice cream sandwiches, cupcakes, boba, a flight of ice cream cones, cookies and even sweet fresh-pressed juices. Since they’re all in close proximity to one another, multiple desserts is totally doable.

Lounge on San Diego’s Best Beaches

Pacific Beach is home to San Diego’s best beaches starting at Tourmaline Surfing Park to the north which is dedicated to, you guessed it, surfing. North Pacific Beach stretches from Tourmaline to Crystal Pier as seen here.

Have a day to spend in Pacific Beach? Try these fun things to do.

The most family-friendly spot is at the Law Street entrance. Lifeguards keep an eye on swimmers, there are new bathrooms, it’s right where the city has divided swimming and surfing (for family members who want to do both), little shells wash up on the sand and we just love it.

Over the last few days, we’ve come to the beach here in the late afternoon and stayed past sunset. Bring boogie boards, sand toys, a chilled iced tea, snacks, chairs, sunscreen (umbrellas are hand) and a plan to relax.

Go to Surf Camp

Popular San Diego surf camps happen here in Pacific Beach

Want to learn how to surf? Pick up a foam (or regular) surfboard at San Diego Surf School or sign up to join one of the group lessons here. This is the spot they usually surf. My daughter loves the instructors and they get kids riding waves often in one lesson.

And one way to fill a fantastic day out in Pacific Beach.

A fun family itinerary for a day in San Diego's casual Pacific Beach neighborhood.

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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One Comment

  1. Also check out Quicksand Escape Games in Pacific Beach! Highly rated on TripAdvisor and so much fun for all ages! Best escape rooms in San Diego.