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San Diego | the perfect family vacation

Escaping Oregon to get to sunshine and beaches just got a lot easier, with non-stop flights from the Eugene Airport. In just over two hours you can be in this world-class destination.

I’ve always loved San Diego and make it a point to visit as often as possible. Even if you have been before, there’s always a new area to explore including Coronado Island, Carlsbad, Mission Bay, Downtown, the Waterfront and La Jolla.


Easy flights from Eugene to San Diego

  • Alaska Airlines begins daily non-stop flights to San Diego from Eugene starting June 15.

  • Allegiant Airlines will fly between Eugene and San Diego on Sundays and Thursdays June 8 to Aug. 13.

  • Southwest Airlines has added once-a-week flights on Saturdays through September 2.

  • If those new flights are well received, Allegiant and Southwest may extend the new flights year-round. You can also take daily connecting flights with United, Delta and American Airlines.


Sunshine & beaches

San Diego has an average year-round daily temperature of 70 degrees and 300 days of sunshine a year. There are 70 miles of beaches to enjoy every type of water activity including surfing, boating, stand- up paddle boarding and kayaking. Be sure to allow time for your kids to dig in the sand and play on the beach. Renting bikes, skateboards or electric scooters to ride along the beach are fun activities.

Big name attractions

SeaWorld in Mission Bay is always a favorite, with plenty of new features and seasonal events to keep everyone entertained. The newly opened Sesame Place is great fun for younger kids with lots of water activities too.

If you love animals, San Diego is the place for you. The San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park is home to over 3,700 animals on 100 acres. The San Diego Safari Park (formerly called Wild Animal Park) is 35 miles north of San Diego. It is a wildlife sanctuary on 1800 acres with over 2600 animals. Both are wonderful places to learn about animals in natural surroundings. One of my all-time favorite experiences was taking an behind-the-scenes tour with a knowledgeable guide at the San Diego Zoo. This two-hour experience can be reserved for $90 per person (in addition to regular admission).

The additions at LEGOLAND have made it worthy of a two- to three-day visit. LEGOLAND is located in Carlsbad, about 30 miles north of San Diego. The parks are perfect for kids ages 2 to 13 and are well-planned and interactive, for both kids and adults. They also have the Sea Life Aquarium and a waterpark open from March to October. Check the website as the days that each park is open vary throughout the year. The best value is to get a multi-day ticket for all three parks.

And for almost everything in San Diego, you will need a rental car with navigation as things are spread out. Be aware that parking can be expensive as some theme parks charge $30 per day.

SeaWorld San Diego and Sesame Place are both Certified Autism Centers. All park employees have been trained and certified to support visitors on the autism spectrum.

Education & entertainment

One of the best things about visiting San Diego is you can learn so much while having fun. I suggest you spend at least one day at beautiful Balboa Park where you can choose from 16 museums to visit as well as numerous trails, gardens, playgrounds and sport venues. They offer passes if you want to get the most out of your visit. A Limited Explorer Pass allows you to visit up to four museums in one day for $56 for adults and $35 for ages 3 to 12. The Parkwide Pass offers admission to all of the Balboa Park museums over seven consecutive days for $67 for adults and $43 for ages 3 to 12.

The downtown waterfront area is a fun place to spend the day. You can start with the USS Midway Museum which is a giant aircraft carrier with over 25 restored aircraft onboard. If you want to learn more, the Maritime Museum is made up of two submarines, the Star of India sailing ship and six other vessels. You can take various boat rides and enjoy the street performers and vendors as you stroll down to Seaport Village which offers live music, shopping and lovely views. The Old Town Trolley is a hop-on, hop-off tour of San Diego with narration that brings history alive.


Whether you can only get away for a long weekend or if you have a whole week to spend, there’s something for everyone in San Diego. Contact your favorite travel agent to start planning today.


Meet Vacation MOM Vacation MOM is brought to you in partnership with Eugene Airport

Donnita Bassinger has been a travel agent for three decades and she enjoys sending families on vacations around the world. She is mom to three boys and has taken her family to San Diego numerous times. She is the owner of VIP Vacations, Inc. and she is happy to chat with you about your travel plans.

Contact Donnita at 541-913-5272 or on facebook @VacationMOM


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