Del Mar
Powerhouse Park (Coast Blvd.) - This is surely one of the most idyllic playgrounds, situated right next to a sandy beach and sparkling ocean. Children can swing on swings to the tune of waves breaking. The park also has slides, picnic tables, and a grassy area (perfect for toddlers who want to eat their lunch anywhere except the picnic table). This is also a prime spot for kids to watch the Amtrak trains as they come by.
Del Mar City Beach - The beach at Del Mar is a classic southern California gem, a flat sand beach, warm water in summer (pretty cold in winter to go swimming without a wetsuit), lifeguard all year, and a feeling that summer never ends. A great place to play is where the shallow San Dieguito River runs into the ocean. If you're lucky, you might see horses from the Del Mar race track, exercising in the waves.
Del Mar Fairgrounds - There's always something going on at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, from the Del Mar National Horse Show, San Diego County Fair (carnival rides), or Holiday of Lights (Thanksgiving to Christmas). For the schedule of events, click here.
Torrey Pines State Reserve - One of the rarest pine trees, the Torrey Pines, grows on the cliffs above the ocean here. The reserve has miles of sandy trails that meander through the native coastal sage. In spring, the bushes are thick with yellow, red and blue wild flowers. For a view of the ocean and inland lagoon, take the very short High Point Trail. For a longer trail with pines and views of sandstone formations, take the Guy Fleming Trail. The Broken Hill Trail is a mile to the beach, but you can wander as far as you like, every point is interesting for kids along the way. These trails are fine for toddlers, but be careful around the cliffs near the beach.
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