One of the first questions most of us have when we hear about the San Diego hotel that received TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards in “Best Hotels for families U.S.” and “Best Hotels for Families in the World” categories is: Where IS the Homewood Suites Liberty Station?
View Homewood Suites San Diego-airport/liberty Station, Ca in a larger map
When you put the hotel on the map, smack dab between Sea World and Coronado, right on an esplanade at the water’s edge, it’s easy to see how location alone makes this an interesting stretch to see. History also has a hand in this, as the construction of Liberty Station began in 1921 and it served for years as the “Naval Training Center” or NTC. I, myself, enjoyed just driving around the beautiful 1920’s and 1930’s Spanish Mediterranean neighborhood along the NTC area (learn more here).
Near the water however, there are three good reasons to stop with the kids as you cruise between San Diego attractions:
1. The real-life navy ship parked by the esplanade is fun to see and, although I’m not aware that you can tour the ship, our kids and those from another visiting family proved you can run yourselves silly chasing around and exploring the perimeter of the (surprisingly narrow) ship. Pick up frozen yogurts from TCBY on your way in, and if you’re like the lucky parents we met from Virginia, your kids will have so much fun here you’ll get to finish their treats for them.
2. The esplanade and walking trail are a lovely area to explore by foot, stroller, or bicycle. When the NTC Park project is finished, this area will be the largest waterfront park in San Diego since the Mission Beach area, complete with golf course, ball fields, and more. It’s a popular spot for locals to get a little exercise, especially with the jogging stroller or dog.
3. This great playground and one other like it have great equipment suited for tots on up through tweens (note the climbing wall), and it makes a nice stop for lunch with your take-out or picnic. This one is just a 10-15 minute walk (with kids) from the navy ship.
Need a fourth reason?
Tomorrow I’ll be announcing one lucky family who will be visiting Liberty Station some time in the next year with 2 nights’ free accommodations in a 1-bedroom suite at the Homewood Suites Liberty Station—with full kitchen, complimentary grocery shopping, free hot breakfasts and possibly dinners.
Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning guidebook Travels with Baby