We got invited to San Diego for the exclusive preview of Sesame Placeca before it officially opened doors to public on Saturday 3/25 (now open!) so we decided to make a whole trip out of it!
The drive from LA is 2.5h so we left at nap time (1pm) which is also a not-so-bad traffic time, and this way both kids fell asleep the whole ride there pretty much. Sofia never naps, unless it's in the car.
We arrived to San Diego on Thursday at 3pm and directly checked-in the Grand Hyatt conveniently located in the heart of downtown, it's the West Coasts' tallest waterfront hotel, boasting panoramic views of the San Diego Bay and beyond. Simply breathtaking & relaxing without even leaving the room. We got two connecting rooms, one double queen and one king, and it was just perfect for our family of 4, as the kids can now both sleep in the beds, but the hotel also provides cribs if needed.
One of the things I loved the most from staying here is the location, it's walking distance to Seaport Village which is the PERFECT spot to walk around as a family and find so many cute and casual spots to eat. But also located near other San Diego hotspots like Gaslamp Quarter, so many trendy and more nightlife venues, if you are visiting kid-free.
As soon as we checked-in, we freshened up, rested and it was time for early dinner. It was our wedding anniversary, so we decided to do a sunset dinner by the harbor at Sally's Fish House, which has the best views and is perfect for the whole family, it offers a costal-inspired menu, we ordered the crab cakes, octopus and sea bass and YUM! So good.
On Friday, we got a quick (but delicious) grab-and-go breakfast from MARKET ONE which is located at the main floor by the lobby of the hotel and also offers Starbucks drinks. And the drive t Sesame Place is only 20min, so it was smooth and easy!
We got to Sesame Place and we were ready for a fun day, it was so exciting to be able to get a preview of this park exclusively before it opened, this all-new theme park is the first Sesame Place on the West Coast, the second in the country & it’s packed with rides, water slides, theatre, characters, parades and so much more! The park is ideal for families with kids of all ages. Beckham (21 months) could ride a majority of the rides and sofia (4) all of them. When it comes to the water park, there are many that are for big kids and adults (48”+) however there’s still plenty of water play for toddlers & preschoolers. Yes, it’s an amusement park and water park two in one. You can hop from wet to dry rides. Super fun especially on warm days like the one we got. The park has a 500,000-gallon wave pool – one of the largest in Southern California. It’s gorgeous too. It also features an engaging musical play area, an interactive Sesame Street Neighborhood complete with the iconic 123 Stoop, daily live character shows, an award-winning parade that’s like a dance party, one-of-a-kind photo opportunities and of course, the characters. There’s plenty of food options including vegetarian and gluten free, but you can bring your own food. And I love the picnic areas. And although the park is big, strollers are less necessary because things are closer to each other. However, I’d still bring one to carry the bags and towels, which you need to bring. And for overall convenience. They do rent strollers too. They also rent lockers, which are essential to store valuable items when riding water rides. And there are big & spacious private changing rooms, outdoor showers and life vests for all sizes.
Sesame Place San Diego is a Certified Autism Center (CAC) as designated by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). We were there all day and were exhausted, so we went directly back to the hotel to do bath time, order room service and go to sleep.
On Saturday we woke up and had breakfast at Spill The Beans by the hotel, and then drove just 10min to Sea World! Did you know that it offers a LOT of amusement park rides? It was so fun we basically just did all the big rides (and almost no lines even on a weekend day), the kid rides, we let the kids play in the kids play area and watched the Hawaiian Fire Show and Fireworks at night. Again, another super late night we went straight to bath, room service and bed!
On Sunday, we had a slower day, which we were excited about. We had breakfast from Market One, in the room, and then we started the day. The Grand Hyatt offers 1h bike & paddle board rental per day to all of their guests, so we decided to do a bike ride along the harbor after breakfast, and then we went on the 1h harbor boat tour that is also included with the hotel stay! We booked the north tour, and it was gorgeous, such a fun activity for the whole family, they have chairs and tables and it's very comfortable (with indoor and outdoor seating although outdoor is more beautiful, so bring a jacket).
Once we got back from the 1h boat tour, we enjoyed the hotel pool and jacuzzi for a while, it's such a gorgeous location too with views of both the city and the harbor. And perfect for kids. The pool area (on the 4th floor) also offers lunch, and a cute grass area with games where we let the kids run wild before getting in the car to drive back!
Other things to keep in mind, especially kid-free:
The Landing is the hotel's signature lobby bar and lounge, we didn’t try it, but it was definitely a hot spot.
You can also grab cocktails 40 stories above at Top of the Hyatt.
The hotel also offers a Rooftop Cinema Club, the ultimate open-air film experience where guests will find a one-of-a-kind movie theater setting atop the hotel and underneath the stars.
Overall, I think the Grand Hyatt was the perfect spot to stay at no matter what type of visit you may have, with or without kids, and for your next trip to San Diego with littles, DEFINITLEY include Sesame Place, it's so much fun!