Best places in San Diego for Kids to Hunt Pokémon

Ever since Pokémon Go launched in 2016, you’ll see groups of kids—and plenty of adults—gathered in large numbers in public places, trying to catch the elusive monsters. The game is a great excuse to spend time outside, and unlike other video games, this one actually gets kids moving.

So how do you find Pokémon? The important thing for successful hunting is to go to a place that has a lot of people, as the game uses high cell phone usage to trigger more points where a Pokémon appears. Tourist destinations and places with lots of shops, restaurants, and attractions are the best spots for rounding out a Pokémon collection.

Here are some of the most popular locations in San Diego for Pokémon hunting, with the added advantage of being places you’d probably want to take the kids anyway!

San Diego Zoo

Add to the fun of visiting the animals by making a game out of finding Pokémon at the zoo. You’ll find lots of pokestops and gyms, plus plenty of other people playing to team up with—or against! There’s often a special Pokémon of the day, and sometimes you can even catch them from the Skyfari or tour bus.

Balboa Park

Conveniently located next to the zoo, Balboa Park also contains a treasure-trove of pokestops and gyms, with throngs of people playing at any given time. The game periodically does a special event at Balboa Park called Community Day. On those days, one Pokémon is featured for a three-hour window. Depending on the kids’ bedtime, play in the park until dark to catch a ghost Pokémon!

Coronado Island

Coronado Island is great for chasing Pokémon, thanks to the high number of people visiting the beach, restaurants, and shops. Since everything is condensed on an island, it’s easy to find any new monsters that show up in the “nearby” section of your game. The amount of cell phone pings means that there will be a good variety of spawns, and you can also find rarer Pokémon on the island. Being near the ocean is good for finding water Pokémon such as Magikarp, Poliwag, Lapras, or Oshawott.

Liberty Station

There’s plenty of opportunity for catching Pokémon at Liberty Station. Whether you are keeping your little one engaged while you grocery shop, playing at NTC Park, or attending one of the many family-friendly events frequently held there, the crowds and proximity to both the water and the airport make this an excellent spot for finding unique Pokémon.

Find a Nest at a Community Park

A “nest” is a specific area that has a high number of a certain type of Pokémon. Nests change every two weeks, so you can visit your favorite local park and collect new creatures with little effort. Popular Poke-heavy community parks include Hourglass, Kit Carson, and Fiesta Island.

The motto of the game is “gotta catch ‘em all”, so get outside and vary your destinations. Since the game requires looking at your phone, keep basic public safety rules in mind: watch for traffic, be aware of each other and the people around you, and set up a meeting spot ahead of time in case you get separated. Before you know it, your kids will have a cool Pokémon collection, and you’ll have had a reason to explore new parts of America’s Finest City.

For more great family-friendly tips and activities, check out Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups’ articles.

Local Activities Parenting
Senior Wellness Society

Join our Senior Wellness Society for the latest news on Medicare and tips for healthy living in San Diego!

Sign up now ›

Are you looking for specialized medical care in San Diego?

Our directory has more than 850 doctors in San Diego County of various specialties who are available to help you.

Find a doctor
Buscar un médico