When you say San Diego, people think about Sea World or the famous San Diego Zoo. Our family opted to be more riskier and felt to be on a full on tourist-mode for a day or two.
The best way you can enjoy and plan your trip to San Diego is to go to Old Town San Diego and do the Trolley Tours. We highly recommend this to anyone new in San Diego. It will give you a chance to hop on and hop off on sites where you would want to stay and explore.
While on this trip and if you have children, the best place to hang out would be: "The New Children's Museum" situated near one of the drop offs of the Trolley Tours. What we like about this museum is that the kids are allowed to tinker, play and paint all day long. It is an interactive museum that any kids from 9 months and up would totally enjoy. It is definitely kid-friendly place.
For historic landmark in San Diego, we picked the USS Midway museum, it is definitely a must see!! and you can truly appreciate the different war planes and somehow experience how it feels like to be in an aircraft carrier.
Lastly, both my kids love animals, and the best one so far that we were truly amazed by is the remarkable San Diego Zoo Safari Park. You can definitely ride on a safari ride and enjoy seeing animals run around the park. We recommend sleeping and camping in the park if you want to splurge a little, but that takes an extra night and a sleeping bag.
Here are the links to these great places:
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
USS MIDWAYUSS MIDWAY
Old Town San Diego Trolley Tours
The New Children's Museum
For lodging, we recommend the following:
Wyndham WorldMark Balboa Park San Diego, CA
For something in between Legoland and San Diego, we love the:
Grand Pacific Palisades