12 SoCal Spots for Kids Who Love Animals

Coronado Beach Resort recently met kid blogger Gabriella and her mom Heather during their visit to our resort. Gabriella loves animals more than anything, and we were so inspired by her enthusiasm that we decided to do a round-up of all our favorite animal spots in Southern California.


San Diego Zoo

San Diego, CA


The San Diego Zoo turns 100 next year! The zoo includes 3,700 rare and endangered animals in 100 acres of naturalistic habitats. Give yourself at least three to four hours to visit.


Birch Aquarium

La Jolla, CA


Your kids will love the interactive tide pool and hands-on science center. Learn about starfish, sharks, whales, and more. You can even meet a sea turtle!


SEA LIFE Aquarium

Carlsbad, CA


Walk through a 35-foot-long underwater tunnel while sharks swim overhead. Then watch the mesmerizing moon jellies change color in the light.


Safari Park

Escondido, CA


This North County hot spot is an extension of the zoo in Balboa Park. Take a tram through the park’s African field exhibit, where you’ll see giraffes, rhinos, and more.


La Jolla Cove

La Jolla, CA

This is one of the best places in San Diego for kayaking and snorkeling. You’re likely to spot sea lions, bright orange Garibaldis, and even harmless leopard sharks!


Aquarium of the Pacific

Long Beach, CA


Located south of Los Angeles, the Long Beach aquarium includes 11,000 animal exhibits and lots of educational opportunities for kids.



San Juan Capistrano, CA


This petting zoo is home to pampered ponies, llamas, goats, and rabbits. There’s also Miner’s Gulch, where kids can pan for gemstones, fossils, and fool’s gold.



San Diego, CA


SeaWorld brings kids into the world of their favorite aquatic animals. Swim with dolphins or meet a penguin face-to-face!


Cabrillo National Monument

San Diego, CA


The tidepools at Cabrillo National Monument are home to starfish, anemones, and even octopi. Ranger walks are available during most low tides.


San Diego Natural History Museum

San Diego, CA


Kids can learn about contemporary and prehistoric ancestors and their natural habitats. The museum currently features a fossil exhibit and 200 animal skulls from its collection.


Living Coast Discovery Center

Chula Vista, CA


The small zoo and aquarium is located on the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, giving you a feel for Southern California’s coastal habitat.


Pacific Marine Mammal Center

Laguna Beach, CA


The center rescues sick and injured seals and sea lions, with the goal of releasing then back into the wild. There’s no charge for visiting, but donations are appreciated.



Due to our location in the heart of Coronado, please be aware that our resort experiences consistent noise from the local military base, nearby construction, and traffic along Orange Avenue.


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Please note that our neighboring hotel, Villa Capri, will be undergoing construction through the end of December. During this time you may notice increased noise levels associated with construction equipment. For more information, please visit our construction page.

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