Family Staycation in Little Italy

Family Staycation in Little Italy

I’ve always been a fan of staycations, especially if you live in our lovely city of San Diego. Any big city really should have plenty of staycation options. A family staycation in Little Italy is a must if you’re a local or a great trip idea if you’re looking to visit. We’ve done staycations in Shelter Island, La Jolla and even a couples trip in Little Italy. I’ve always wanted to stay at La Pensione Hotel, the hotel in the heart of Little Italy, and was thrilled they offered to host our stay. This trip was especially fun because we got to explore family friendly activities together and do a few firsts with the kids. 

Family Staycation in Little Italy

The Location 

We stayed at La Pensione Hotel, located right across the street from the Piazza Della Famiglia, the center of Little Italy. We could literally look out our balcony and see all the action. The Little Italy Food Hall is located in the Piazza Della Famiglia which is where we went to dinner the first night. Afterwards we walked around the block to check out our surroundings and found the most giant red chair with a great view of our hotel. 

little italy with kids

The Food in Little Italy 

There are so many great food options in Little Italy. Some of my all time favorite restaurants like Monello, Prep Kitchen and Isola Pizza Bar are within walking distance. We decided to try a few new restaurants to get a feel for the area now. We went to Not Not Tacos by Sam The Cooking Guy, which I highly recommend. I’ve been following along his journey since he was on channel 4 and sharing awesome tips on his blog. I remember watching him talk about creating the recipe for their tortillas and how he wanted to get the recipe just right. Well, he nailed it. Those tortillas are some of the freshest I’ve ever had. The mac n cheese taco with smokey pork was my favorite. I couldn’t get enough of those tots either. We also had breakfast at the yummy new spot, Morning Glory. Read more about it at the link. We picked up some Napizza to-go on Saturday after spending a very full day exploring. It is located below the hotel making it an easy grab, and eat-in-the-room meal. 

little italy food

la pensione room

Exploring Little Italy

The kids were so excited to stay in a hotel room. La Pensione recently had a hotel refresh. It has a chic vibe with a cozy feel. I love that it sits right on top of Napizza and Caffe Italia. This is super helpful while traveling with kids. The hotel offers a coffee and pastry to each guest from Caffe Italia. We were sure to grab our coffee first thing before heading out for the day. I love that there are so many pretty views and spots to walk around and explore in Little Italy. 

Little Italy La Pensione

walking in little italy

The Little Italy Mercato

The Little Italy Mercato farmers market is held every Saturday from 8-2 and Wednesdays from 9-1. It is one of my favorite farmers markets in San Diego. They have fresh flowers, fruits, veggies, coffee, bread, and local tastes from different vendors. We strolled on over first thing Saturday morning as it’s located right in front of La Pensione on Date Street. We sampled fruit and the kids did a chocolate tasting. We got another coffee from Joes on the Nose and enjoyed our morning stroll. 

little italy mercato

Heading Downtown from Little Italy

We took the kids on a full day exploration from Little Italy to downtown. After the Little Italy Mercato, we took a short 5 minute walk to the trolley station for their first ride!  We purchased tickets on the Compass Card App. You can buy an all day pass for $5 per adult. Each child is free on the weekends with a paid adult pass. We took the trolley down to the convention center station and walked over to the New Children’s Museum. My daughter and I went to the New Children’s Museum on a field trip earlier this year and she has been asking to go back ever since. We didn’t tell them where we were going so the surprise for both of them was super exciting! We stayed there for a couple hours then went to lunch at La Puerta. Then we did some walking around downtown and saw Petco Park and did some bowling at East Village Tavern. After that we were headed back on the trolley to the hotel when we decided to stop at Seaport Village for some ice cream. This was the night we opted for pizza in the hotel room since we had a packed day. We got to see so much and everyone loved checking out the sights and riding on the trolley.  

trolly from little italy   

The next morning was Father’s Day so we ate breakfast at Morning Glory and headed home to spend time with the rest of the family. We had an adventure packed family staycation in Little Italy and got to see a ton! Have you been? What’s your favorite thing to do in Little Italy with the family? 

staycation in little italy

Our stay at La Pensione and our meal at Not Not Tacos was hosted. All opinions are my own. Thank you for reading along! xo, Bri 


I love sharing about family, food and fun in and around San Diego! Enjoy, Bri

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