We were provided complimentary tickets to attend a Padres game and a discounted hotel stay. All opinions are my own.
A few years ago we took a bucket list Midwest baseball #RoadTripOfDreams. It was such an epic trip that we decided to do another baseball road trip this summer – this time out west for a Southwest baseball road trip to see the Dodgers, Angels, Padres, and Diamondbacks. Last week I shared my tips for a trip to Anaheim for an Angels game, and today I’m sharing the next stop of our journey: a Padres game at Petco Park in San Diego. If I’m being honest, this was the game I was the most excited about on this trip. The Padres were my favorite baseball team growing up in Southern California, and the team that made me fall in love with the game. I was a Junior Padres member, and my family went to games together all the time. One of my most cherished baseball memories is from my 10th birthday. My birthday wish was for Field Level seats and a day at the ballpark. That day I had the chance to get onto the field with some other kids to meet the great Tony Gwynn, who gave me not one, but two autographs (one on my Tony Gwynn baseball card and another on a ball) since it was my birthday. I’ll never forget it, or any of the other special memories I’ve had from Padres games. Now I get to add another special memory of taking my own kids to a Padres game and watching them experience the fun for themselves. It was everything I hoped it would be and then some! If you’re wondering what to do with kids in San Diego, seeing a Padres game is an absolute must. I’m sharing all the details for you today, including what you need to know for attending a Padres game at Petco Park, Petco Park food recommendations, family activities in San Diego, and our recommendation for the best hotels by Petco Park (hint: it’s the perfectly located Hilton San Diego Bayfront – be sure to check out their Park & Stay offer that includes nightly self-parking). Stay tuned next week for reviews of the Arizona Diamondbacks game, followed by the full Southwest baseball road trip itinerary in the weeks ahead.
Family activities in San Diego – Take them out to the ballgame
Wondering what to do with kids in San Diego? Of all the family things to do in San Diego, I can hardly think of a more kid-friendly (and even dog-friendly… more on that below) experience than taking in a Padres game at Petco Park.
How to get to Petco Park
If you’re wondering how to get to Petco Park, walking is the easiest option if you are staying in our around the Gaslamp Quarter. We just had to cross the pedestrian walkway from the Hilton San Diego Bayfront since the park is so walkable (see the Downtown Map here). Click here for everything you need to know about getting to Petco Park (including driving directions) and click here for more on parking at Petco Park specifically.
Petco Park bag policy
According to the stadium’s webpage, “Petco Park will prohibit bags with the exception for single compartment bags measuring 7″ x 10″ or smaller, infant and medical bags.” This sizing includes clear bags, so it is important to note that standard stadium-size clear bags are too big for Petco Park. Click here for the latest Petco Park bag policy information so you can know before you go.
Is Petco Park dog-friendly? Check out the Petco Park Barkyard seating area!
One of the coolest things at Petco Park is the Barkyard, a dog-friendly viewing area at the game. Yes – you can watch the game with your furbabies through a special ticket option that allows for up to four people and two dogs. It’s important to note that these tickets are limited and very popular. Get all the details on the Petco Park Barkyard and ticketing options here.
Petco Park food
We live for ballpark food, and it’s one of our favorite things to experience at a baseball game. The food at Petco Park is some of the best ballpark food around. In our opinion, the best food at Petco Park is the Tri-Tip Nachos. Our whole family (even my born-and-bred Texan husband) approved of the tri-tip, which says a lot. I also recommend getting popcorn in a souvenir Padres bucket, and grabbing a classis Friar Dog. You can find more information on Petco Park food here, including a break-down of kid-friendly options, and options for those following vegetarian and gluten-free diets.
Other Petco Park highlights
The stadium itself has some of the best sightlines of all the MLB stadiums, so there’s really not a bad seat in the house. If you’re visiting San Diego during the hotter summer months, be sure to check out the Petco Park shade map here when picking your seats. When you’re not in your seats, visitors to Petco Park can explore several beautiful sections for hanging out, including Gallagher Square (an on-site park), Tony Gwynn Plaza (a lovely grassy and tree-lined hill), and more. Those that love baseball history will also love Petco Park for their Padres Hall of Fame and the many statues and displays celebrating the Padres greats.
The San Diego Padres Hall of Fame at Petco Park is free for visitors and a must-visit when seeing a game. Lots of history and nostalgia, and I loved getting immersed into memories of seeing my favorite Padres (Tony Gwynn and Benito Santiago) play when I was a kid.
Hotels by Petco Park
Hilton San Diego Bayfront. If you’re searching for San Diego hotels near Petco Park, the Hilton San Diego Bayfront is the PERFECT place to stay, not just for a Padres game, but for a great time in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. Check out their Park & Stay offer that includes nightly self-parking for one vehicle along with the guest room. Of all the hotels by Petco Park, Hilton San Diego Bayfront can’t be beaten for the quality of hotel and the location, as it’s just over the pedestrian bridge from the stadium. The ideal location also comes with gorgeous views of the bay. We wholeheartedly recommend this hotel. Between the prime location, the stunning views from our room, the fun pool that overlooks the bay, the great service (as we can always expect from Hilton Hotels and Resorts), and the delicious food at Odysea Restaurant, our days in San Diego were some of the best on our trip. Another nice touch that we loved is the hotel’s complimentary Family Leisure Activity Guide, which is updated weekly with activities and recommendations in and around the hotel geared specifically for families. It made it even easier for us to figure out what to do with kids in San Diego, and we had a blast trying to check off items on the Bayfront Bucket List.
The pool at Hilton San Diego Bayfront is right on the bay, and includes a waterslide.
Even if you don’t get in the water, the pool area at Hilton San Diego Bayfront is fun. Grab a drink at the Pool Club and enjoy the view.
All the rooms in the 30-story hotel offer views of the bay and downtown skyline.
If you’re staying at Hilton San Diego Bayfront, you have to take in a meal at Odysea Restaurant. In addition to delicious food, I got a kick out of the accuracy of the names of the items on the kid’s menu.
Whether you’re specifically looking for hotels by Petco Park, or you just want to stay in the perfect location for shopping and dining in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, Hilton San Diego Bayfront is the perfect choice.
We had a magical few days in San Diego for the Padres game with our stay at Hilton San Diego Bayfront, and hope to do it again someday! Stay tuned for our experience in Phoenix for a Diamondbacks game next week, and the whole Southwest baseball road trip itinerary shortly after. For now, keep the Hilton San Diego Bayfront (and their Park & Stay offer) in mind for your next visit to San Diego, and be sure to head out to a Padres game if you’re planning family activities in San Diego.