A Laid-Back Trip to San Diego, No Sea World, World-Famous Zoo or Lego Land Included

By Erica Daniels

My son wanted to go to the beach for his January birthday. But after an exhausting holiday season, I was not up for a big trip to a beach destination with all the attractions. I was so burnt that I just wanted a mellow weekend so I had only one requirement—I wanted to walk out the door and be on the beach. Enter The Beach Cottages.


Located in the Pacific Beach neighborhood of San Diego, The Beach Cottages are in the heart of a bustling area filled with shops and restaurants.
Extra added bonus for The Beach Cottages: there is a shopping center directly across the street. Ocean on one side, groceries and Starbucks on the other—what more could a parent (or any sensible being) want?

We stayed in a quaint 1-bedroom cottage with a full kitchen and bathroom. Armed with a football and shovels, the boys hit the waves. Even in January, the beach was busy but not crowded. It was great to splash around, watch the surfers and dive into the sand to catch a long football pass. 

There is a shared courtyard outside each cottage with a dining table and lounge chair to dine al fresco, which we enjoyed. There are also grills which the family in the cottage next door used to grill steaks and pork chops. We ventured out for dinner to the California Kebab & Beer Garden (why are breweries and beer gardens so family friendly?!?!). The kebabs were a hit, as was the rice bowl and the Doner Fries. The Boardwalk is great for solo early morning runs or post-meal walks with the kids. With any beach town, the foot traffic is significant and there is a lot to distract little ones’ attention so you’ll need to keep them at close hand. We had such a great time, my son asked if we could return every month. I’m not sure what the summer months are like, but I would highly recommend this for anyone looking for a mellow beach vacation in the middle of winter.