San Diego is a beautiful city, but sometimes you just need to get out and explore the surrounding areas. The San Diego area has many great places to visit, with plenty of day trips from San Diego.
A city is full of sunshine and adventure! The perfect destination for a relaxing weekend getaway or to explore the many unique attractions this beautiful city has to offer.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your passport and pack your bags!
TRAVEL TIP: You need a place to store your stuff while you leave San Diego for a day vacation. Thanks to mindmybag‘s simple, affordable, and safe luggage storage, you can travel to San Diego without worrying about your things.
- La Jolla Shores
- La Jolla Coast Trail
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Temecula Valley
- Borrego Springs
- Solana Beach
- Balboa Park
- Cabrillo Monument
- Catalina Island
- Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
- La Jolla Shores and La Jolla Cove
- SeaWorld San Diego
- Mount Palomar Observatory
- Mission San Juan Capistrano
- Old Town Temecula
- Lake Poway
- Rosarito Beach
- San Juan Capistrano
- Laguna Beach
- Mount Laguna
- San Clemente
- Los Angeles
- Valle de Guadalupe
- Salton Sea State Recreation Area
La Jolla Shores
There are plenty of day trips from San Diego to La Jolla, but why go there? This picturesque beach is also home to the San Diego – La Jolla Underwater Park, a six-square-mile underwater habitat with four distinct zones and artificial reefs. You’ll probably want to spend at least half of your day here. You’ll want to come early, though, because the beach can get crowded in the afternoon.
The coastline of La Jolla is about twenty miles north of San Diego. Windansea Beach is an idyllic surfing spot with strong waves and beautiful sunsets. La Jolla Cove is a deep bay that is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. There are several restaurants with ocean views, gazebos, and restrooms. Visitors can also take part in a host of other activities, including playing golf and watching the sunset.
It’s a great way to explore the city while enjoying a beach vacation. If you have more time, you can take a guided tour of the area. This tour is a great way to learn about the city’s history and fun facts. But if you’d rather explore on your own, you’ll find plenty of activities to keep you busy.
The best place to swim in the San Diego area is at La Jolla Shores Park. There is a great place to play frisbee in the park, and there are several lifeguard towers to keep an eye on family members who are swimming. The beach is sandy, beautiful, and a great place for kids to build sand castles.
La Jolla Coast Trail
There are plenty of activities and sights to see in San Diego, but if you are looking for something a little more unique, consider a day trip to La Jolla.
The bluffs are beautiful, and you can even kayak into the caves beneath the ocean cliffs! The area also has hiking trails and a cafe where you can eat lunch or a snack.
If you are looking for a family-friendly activity, La Jolla is one of the best places to visit. The city sits on the coast, just north of Pacific Beach and south of Del Mar. It is known for its beaches, laid-back atmosphere, and picturesque views. The coastline is 70 miles long, and numerous beaches and resorts are worth visiting. And if you’re visiting San Diego, don’t forget to check out the quaint and charming downtown area, which features many fine dining options.
Joshua Tree National Park
There are many day trips from San Diego to Joshua Tree National Park, which are a perfect way to see this popular California park. This 1.4-mile nature trail is easily accessible from the Twin Tanks campground. Follow the signs that lead to Arch Rock to get started. You will soon come across the elephant’s head arch rock. Climbers will love this area, which has miles of climbing trails. The trip will take you about 3 hours.
If you want to see the sunrise and the sunset, you will want to leave early so the sky is clear. You’ll need to take a slow drive, as the road winds through a mountain pass. This road is also very dangerous and can flip cars over as drivers attempt to speed around the curves. In the worst-case scenario, you may spend hours in traffic waiting for a broken-down car.
There are three entrance stations for Joshua Tree National Park. If you’re traveling by car, make sure to plan for your trip as parking is limited and the park can become quite busy during the holidays and weekends.
Bring snacks and a water bottle per person to make your trip enjoyable. If you want to see more of the park, you can spend a long day. This trip is an excellent destination day trip from San Diego.
March through May and October and November are the best and most popular times to visit Joshua Tree National Park. This is because it can get hot in the park. During the summer, temperatures can reach over 100°F. The heat is very dry and desert-like, and there isn’t much shade.
If you want a taste of Tuscany without leaving Southern California, try Temecula’s wine country. The valley boasts more than 40 wineries with beautiful tasting rooms and a climate that resembles a Mediterranean climate. You can even choose from sparkling or organic wines. You’ll find more than 50 varieties of wine, which makes it an ideal destination for a wine lover’s vacation.
Visitors can experience the history of the area through its wineries, which offer tours and tastings. In addition, wineries in Temecula offer full-service dining. The region is also home to several wineries that sell their products locally.
Guests can choose between historic estates and newer, contemporary wineries for their wine-tasting experiences. Despite the diversity of tasting rooms, the majority of these are family-run and offer a unique experience.
Visitors can also sample wines at Hart Winery, one of the oldest and most recognizable in the Valley. This family-run vineyard produces award-winning reds and a flagship Sauvignon Blanc.
Guests are allowed to bring snacks when they come to taste their wines. The winery’s patio has a scenic view of the Temecula Valley. This is the perfect place for a picnic or an afternoon of wine tasting.
A day trip from San Diego to Temecula valley is a fun and relaxing excursion. The area is known for its wineries, which boast nearly 50 different varieties. Visitors can enjoy wine tastings and other activities like hiking, hot air balloon flights, golfing, and a mechanical bull. No matter what your interests are, you will surely find something to interest you in Temecula.
You can also try horseback riding. It is a unique way to experience Temecula, and you don’t have to be an experienced rider to enjoy the scenic beauty. Wine Country Trails by Horseback offers 90-minute rides near the Maurice Carrie Vineyard. If you don’t have any horseback riding experience, you can try out a sunset ride.
There’s a lot to do and see in Southern California’s wine country, so it’s a great place for a day trip or weekend getaway. Temecula Valley is known for its wine, craft beers, and horseback riding. There are also many different kinds of local olive oil and honey to choose from.
If you want to enjoy the desert without sacrificing the amenities of a city, then you should take a day trip from San Diego to Borrego Springs.
Located in the Mount Laguna area, Borrego Springs has something for everyone. This strange city is a unique mix of relaxation and exploration.
The town is located in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. You can hike for miles and explore the desert trails in four-wheel-drive vehicles. It’s also a good destination if you love stargazing, as the dark sky is spectacular all year round. The best time to visit is between October and early April, as the temperature is cooler during this time. The summer months, from May to September, are a little hotter than those of October-April.
Anza-Borrego is the largest state park in California. It spans over 600 square miles and is a must-visit for nature lovers. You can take an off-roading tour through the desert badlands and visit the Clark Homestead site, which is located near the Santa Rosa Mountains. You can hike for miles along the rocky outcroppings and take in the starry skies.
The park is best to visit from January to March. From October to May, the weather is good for hiking, but the best time to see wildflowers is usually between late January and early March, depending on when it rains.
Solana Beach is a small coastal town in San Diego County. Its name translates to “warm wind,” or “sunny place” in the sand.
There is an abundance of beach activities available in Solana Beach, including surfing and snorkeling at fletcher cove beach park, fishing trips to the pacific ocean, and the famed fish market.
For those who enjoy hiking, the area has several hiking trails including Annie’s Canyon and the Coastal Rails Trail.
One way to get to Solana Beach is to take the train. You can take Amtrak from San Diego to Solana Beach via the Pacific Surfliner train. There are trains from San Diego, Fullerton, and Santa Ana to Solana Beach. Another option is to take the Coaster. The train departs from Cedros Avenue in downtown Solana Beach. A train to Solana Beach is a great way to see this picturesque coastal town.
Another popular day trip from San Diego to Solana Beach is a drive through Joshua Tree National Park. This national park is full of wildlife sculptures. You can drive along dirt roads to see them. You can also gaze into the night sky from the park. The area is home to the only official night sky community in California.
Regardless of whether you’re visiting in the summer or the colder months, you’ll want to bring a jacket or a sweater, as the temperatures can vary greatly between inland and coastal areas.
You may relax in comfort on the sands of Solana Beach. You can go surfing, swimming, and exploring the tidal pools on a day at the beach.
With a diverse array of cultural offerings, Encinitas is an ideal destination for day trips from San Diego. The town’s charming downtown offers shopping for beach-themed apparel and home goods. Visitors can also enjoy local arts and crafts, jewelry, incense, and accessories.
Encinitas is also home to two major shopping centers and a theater. Aside from the theater, there are many places to dine and shop. A public beach, Moonlight Beach, is a great spot to swim and watch summer concerts.
The pristine beaches, beautiful architecture, and a variety of outdoor activities make this a popular destination for day trips from San Diego. You can drive south or west depending on your preference. Drive times are comparable, though they differ based on the sights and hikes you plan to do. You can also drive slowly through the park, so make sure to do some research before you make your trip.
Yes, you should go to Encinitas. This laid-back surf town is a quieter alternative to San Diego, but you can still get to the big city if you want to see it. It feels more like a local spot and is great if you want to surf or enjoy the many beaches and gardens.
When planning your trip to San Diego, don’t forget to include a trip to Balboa Park on your itinerary. This beautiful park is free to visit, and you’ll find plenty of attractions to enjoy. You can spend the entire day wandering the park, exploring free gardens, or taking in the museums. But if you’d rather take a bike, San Diego’s Wheel Fun Rentals are located on the southern end of the Embarcadero. Hourly rates range from $12 to $40 per hour.
If you’re traveling with children, plan on spending some time exploring Balboa Park, a beautiful area to stroll in. You can also visit the Spanish Village Art Center, where you’ll find a variety of studios where local artists often display their work. It’s well worth the trip to see the beautiful art in this park. It’s the perfect place to see art, whether it’s traditional paintings or modern works.
A day trip to the park can also include an outing to the Fleet Science Center. Developed in partnership with NASA, this museum offers hands-on science experiments for kids. The “Sun, Earth, Universe Exhibit” exhibit has a virtual reality transporter and time travel. You can even participate in a scavenger hunt while you’re in the park. The park is one big board, and there are plenty of activities to keep you busy.
On its over a thousand acres, Balboa Park is home to the San Diego Zoo, in addition to its 15 museums, gardens, arts, international culture organizations, and other attractions. As a result, there is something there for everyone interested in history, gardening, learning, and enjoyment.
On a sunny day, you can visit Cabrillo National Monument. The monument is located on the southward jutting finger of Point Loma. This spot honors the Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who first landed in San Diego Bay in 1542. The statue is 14 feet tall and donated by the Portuguese government. While on a trip to the Monument, you can see the tide pools, tidepool mudflats, and even whale poop.
Visitors to the monument can watch whale migration during the winter months. During the summer, these whales spend their lives in the Arctic but migrate to southern California in the winter months. These magnificent creatures travel around 12,000 miles to reach their southernmost point, the Baja Peninsula.
You can best view these whales in mid-January when the whale migration is at its greatest. Visitors can also view these whales in the Old Point Loma Lighthouse area. The Visitors Center provides limited binoculars for visitors who wish to observe whale migration.
Hiking trails are available at the monument. Some of them are 2.5 miles long and offer spectacular views of the bay and downtown San Diego. Another 2.5-mile hiking trail provides amazing views of Tijuana and Coronado Island. The hikes are perfect for people of all ages, so make sure to bring the whole family. The park has something for everyone. A visit to the Cabrillo Monument is a wonderful experience for the whole family!
Visit the Historic Fort Cabrillo and the Cabrillo National Monument It costs $10 per person for an individual permit (U.S. Dollars) and Allows one pedestrian or bicyclist entry. The maximum cost for a group of up to four people entering on foot or with bicycles is $20. Children and teenagers (those under the age of 15) go in for free.
While a day trip to Catalina Island may seem a little complicated, it’s not. There are many ferry options, countless activities, and plenty of places to eat. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, Catalina Island is one of Southern California’s most unique and fun destinations.
Ferry service to Catalina Island is available from Long Beach, LA, and Two Harbors. There are also several direct ferries from San Diego. The Catalina Express has more departures than the Catalina Flyer, which only leaves from Newport Beach. If you choose the latter option, you should plan on spending at least one night on the island. Otherwise, you’ll be rushed and miss out on the island’s beauty.
A visit to Catalina island is a unique experience for nature lovers. There are beautiful beaches, interesting ecosystems, and plenty of fun outdoor activities to keep you busy. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day at the beach or a little adventure, Catalina Island is sure to please you. If you’re a first-time visitor to the island, make sure to check their hours and contact them ahead of time to ensure your reservation.
Santa Catalina Island, which most people just call Catalina Island, is best known for its wildlife, scuba diving, cute coastal towns, and Mt. Orizaba, its highest point.
The enticing aroma of fresh bread entices passersby to the charming Hogaza bakery. The bakery’s picture-perfect pastries are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee. Other must-tries include a sourdough loaf studded with briny olives and a multi-layered mint cake. And when you’re craving a snack for dinner, head to one of the many local restaurants.
If you’re arriving by cruise ship, make sure to explore the harbor area. Start your day by sipping on a coffee and wandering around. You can also grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants or take advantage of the all-day Mexican breakfast joints. Guests can also check out the Bodegas de Santo Tomas winery for a taste of local artisanal brews.
For wine lovers, you can visit the birthplace of the margarita. You can enjoy a sip of this famous drink at Hussong’s Cantina, which is located inside the former Hotel Playa y Casino. Another famous spot is Bar Al Andaluz, where the Margarita King was born. Hussong’s Cantina also has an outpost in Las Vegas.
If you’re looking for a great family vacation, consider Carlsbad, California. This beach town is anchored by historic Highway 101 and offers great surfing, laid-back SoCal vibes, and plenty of dining options. You can choose from top-tier dining at Addison’s and Michelin-starred seafood at Tamarack. There are also several local boutiques and unique shops, as well as a wine bar and craft brewery.
The town has a charming downtown commercial district, where many hotels and vacation rentals are located. In addition to a multitude of restaurants, there are many shopping options, boutiques, and real estate offices. There are even several hotels and vacation rentals in Carlsbad.
You can explore the many attractions nearby, such as Legoland, with your family. This beach town is also home to the largest one-day street fair in the nation, which takes place in early spring.
For families with young kids, South Carlsbad State Beach is a great place to visit. You can enjoy the beach’s amenities, including picnic tables and lifeguard towers. The town’s scenic coastline offers several beaches, including South Carlsbad State Beach, which is located just east of Highway 101. Although the beach is not as well-developed as other beaches in the city, it is still a fantastic place to visit for an unforgettable family vacation.
One of the most underrated cities in Southern California is Carlsbad. Carlsbad, in North County San Diego, has some of the best weather in the country, stunning beaches, and exciting attractions, making it one of the top places to live in the United States.
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park encompasses almost 600,000 acres in the far eastern corner of Southern California, making it one of the largest state parks in the United States. This massive wilderness preserve is home to wildlife, including golden eagles, bighorn sheep, and iguanas. The park is also home to several hundred miles of hiking trails and is almost two-thirds wilderness.
The best time to visit is between October and May when temperatures are cool enough to hike without the risk of a heat stroke. To maximize your time hiking in this unique park, be sure to leave early in the morning.
The park features oases and is home to the California fan palm, the state’s only native palm tree. Hikers can look out for wildlife in these oases, including mountain lions, mule deer, and golden eagles. You can even see greater roadrunners. There are several miles of hiking trails in the area, and a California state park pass can cover entry fees to most spots.
If you want to enjoy the scenery, consider hiking the Wind Caves Trail. This one-mile loop trail concludes at a unique eroded sandstone formation, which features pockets of caves, crawl spaces, and tunnels. There are also spur trails in the area that will lead you to expansive views of the badlands. You may even want to take a 4-wheel drive to reach the point.
Day usage fees are collected by California State Parks at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center, in constructed campgrounds, and in The Slot, Hellhole Canyon, Mountain Palm Springs, Bow Willow, and Horse Camp, and cost $10 per vehicle, per day.
La Jolla Shores and La Jolla Cove
While it’s difficult to beat San Diego’s beaches, Lajolla is a posh, coastal neighborhood that offers a laid-back vibe, luxurious lifestyle, and upscale shopping. La Jolla Shores and La Jolla Cove are perfect spots for a relaxing day trip from San Diego, and the beaches are prime places to go surfing and kayaking.
If you’re traveling with kids, don’t leave the beach until the last minute. La Jolla Shores and La Jolla Cove are family-friendly, with safe water for swimming and snorkeling. You’ll also be able to see some sea lions in action – you’ll likely see them playing in the waves. The beaches are also great for sightseeing and are perfect for families, as well as people who like to be outdoors.
If you’re interested in snorkeling, be sure to bring a qualified guide along. If you’re a nature lover, explore the area on foot or by bicycle. There are lots of great day tours to explore the sights and sounds of La Jolla, with plenty to keep you busy for the day. If you want to experience more of this coastal village, consider taking a guided tour.
A hike along the cliffs will allow you to observe seals, sea lions, and other marine life. You can also stroll along the concrete stairs and admire the beautiful vista. The area is also home to small sea caves that make great photo ops.
Whether you want to watch the sunrise or sunset, La Jolla Shores and La Jolla Cove are great places to spend the day.
SeaWorld San Diego
The world’s top marine theme park is just a day trip away from San Diego, and SeaWorld is no exception. Admission to SeaWorld San Diego is included in the price of your ticket, and transportation is a hassle-free round-trip ride.
The park features fun rides, animal shows, and up-close encounters with sea creatures. There are two different meet-up options, allowing you to get up close to these creatures.
If you’re visiting with the family, consider a SeaWorld San Diego day trip. This fun, educational, and unforgettable day trip from San Diego is sure to please the whole family. Seaworld San Diego offers up-close animal encounters, hands-on exhibits, and a delicious selection of restaurants and shopping. Whether you’re looking for something a little more exotic or something a bit more traditional, there’s something for everyone.
Themed exhibits allow you to see the animals up-close and personal. You can even get close to Shamu, the famous killer whale. You can even touch the animals with your hands! There are dozens of interactive exhibits for kids to enjoy, as well as 16 rides to enjoy.
If you’re a big fan of wildlife and marine life, you’ll be thrilled with the Dolphin Encounter at SeaWorld San Diego. The show educates visitors about orcas and endangered species. Although most people visit SeaWorld San Diego during the summer months, the park opens later in the year when the weather is nice.
Mount Palomar Observatory
For an impressive view of the San Diego sky, head up to Mount Palomar Observatory. The astronomical observatory is home to the world’s largest working telescope.
The observatory is open for public tours, with guided tours available on weekends. You can even spend the night at the Observatory Campground. Day trips from San Diego to Mount Palomar Observatory are fun ways to spend a day out of the city.
Located about 60 minutes from downtown San Diego, Mount Laguna offers miles of hiking trails. Beginners can try the Wooded Hill Nature Trail, while more experienced hikers can try Foster Point. The area is also great for sledding and skiing in the winter. There are plenty of outdoor activities to choose from in Mount Laguna. There is something for everyone, so it’s a perfect destination for a day out of San Diego.
If you’re traveling with kids, consider taking them to an archery range instead of the beach. This area has plenty of open space and picnic areas. While you’re there, don’t forget to bring a compass and a paper map. The park is a popular day trip destination from San Diego, but it’s best to visit during the week when the weather is warm enough for the sun.
Besides Mount Palomar Observatory, the city offers many other activities for those who are interested in space. One great option is the La Jolla zoo, which translates to “the jewel.” While you’re there, you can go kayaking in the caves below the cliffs, or simply enjoy the beach and local restaurants. Either way, you’re sure to be impressed with the breathtaking views of the San Diego sky.
Mission San Juan Capistrano
A Day trip from San Diego to Mission Santa Juan Capistrano is the perfect way to enjoy the history and beauty of Southern California’s oldest Mission. Founded in 1776, the Mission is known as the “Jewel of the Missions”. You can take a self-guided audio tour or explore the beautiful grounds yourself. You can also visit the Mission museum and the Capistrano Depot railway station.
Taking the train from San Diego to San Juan Capistrano is a great way to avoid the traffic that clogs the highways. You can even avoid traffic by taking the train, which is an economical way to visit San Juan. If you are traveling with children, you can choose to ride the train to avoid the hassle of parking and navigating traffic. The train is also very kid-friendly and offers plenty of amenities.
You can also explore the city’s historic district and see the adobe buildings. San Juan Capistrano was originally a Spanish colonial settlement but became a city in Mexico and Spain before joining the United States in 1848. Today, the city is a popular destination south of San Diego and is a backdrop for many Hollywood movies. The trip is worth it for the history buff in you.
If you’d like to learn more about California’s history and culture, a day trip from San Diego to Mission Santa Juan Capistrano is an excellent choice. You’ll be surrounded by picturesque gardens and will have plenty of time to explore the historic site. The historic Mission Santa Juan Capistrano is a beautiful place to visit with family or friends. You’ll find plenty to do in this town, including visiting Mission Santa Clara.
Old Town Temecula
If you want a relaxing getaway, plan a day trip from San Diego to Old Town Temecula. This charming town is home to many historic buildings from the 1800s, including a candy shop, an old-fashioned root beer fountain, and an ice cream cafe.
Old Town is also home to an array of specialty shops and restaurants, including the Temecula Olive Oil Company and the Temecula Lavender Company. If you enjoy live music, you can visit a country music dance hall and a farmers market. The California-certified farmers market is held every Saturday morning in Old Town, and the weekly farmers market is held at the Vail Ranch Headquarters on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
While visiting Old Town Temecula, visitors may want to hire a bike to explore the wineries and town. The town is flat, and there are many bike rentals available, including electric bikes. You can rent electric bikes and pedal around the town, or you can take a self-guided tour.
A children’s museum and antique stores are other attractions worth seeing. In addition to the wineries, Temecula is home to a variety of activities, including golfing and gambling.
The wineries in Temecula are not world-famous, but it’s still a popular destination for day trips from San Diego. Small family-owned wineries make delicious, award-winning wines, and many of them are located just off Rancho California Road. If you’re planning a trip to Temecula, the drive time from San Diego is less than an hour.
This small, tree-covered mountain town is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Coastal San Diego. Julian is well-known for its apples and apple pie, and you can get a taste of them in its local stores. It is also a great place to visit during apple season. The Historic Spanish Missions in San Clemente are worth a visit.
If you’re planning a Julian day trip from San Diego, you should consider visiting this beautiful area at any time of year. The climate is generally mild, but Julian has a hint of four seasons. Although Julian has a mild climate, temperatures can be quite high even during the summer. The town is higher than San Diego County, and in winter, it snows lightly. You may want to bring some warm clothes and plenty of water.
While in Julian, you should check out the numerous specialty shops and cafes. The Old Well, housed in a historic 100-year-old livery, is full of cool finds. You can buy handmade aromatherapy products at Crow & Lilac, and order a proper English tea set at the Julian Tea & Cottage Arts.
You can also pick up a picnic lunch at the Julian Market and Deli, or enjoy a half sandwich and soup combo for lunch.
For a scenic and relaxing day trip from San Diego, consider taking a trip to Lake Poway. Located just half an hour from the city, the lake is a great destination for a day trip.
You can rent rowboats, kayaks, and powerboats and enjoy the water, hiking trails, and even an archery range. The closest nature reserve to San Diego, Lake Poway is the perfect place for a day trip from San Diego.
For families with young children, consider visiting the Toy Museum of San Diego, which features an interactive Lego room and a gift shop. While the lake itself is not the most exciting place to visit, there are many family-friendly attractions in Poway. While it might seem like a small town, it’s home to a thriving community. Whether you’re on a budget or on a big trip, Poway is a wonderful day trip destination.
While you’re there, be sure to take in the scenic Twin Peaks Trail, which provides a challenging yet rewarding experience. The 3.1-kilometer loop trail offers beautiful scenery and a variety of experiences, including steep fire roads and single-track trails. At the foot of Twin Peaks, you’ll find a plethora of activities for the entire family. And if you want a more active day trip, try the Twin Peaks Trail, a mountain bike path that runs alongside the lake.
A day trip to Disneyland can be a great way to spend your day in California. It is approximately 95 miles away, but you may find it difficult to fit everything in during the day.
Disneyland is the perfect destination for families; there are plenty of rides and entertainment options for kids, along with plenty of food and drink to keep everyone happy.
There are many things to consider before planning your trips, such as time, weather, and California traffic. However, these considerations will make your day trip to Disneyland the best experience possible. Here are some tips for planning a day trip to Disneyland from San Diego.
To get to Disneyland from San Diego, you can take the Amtrak train to Anaheim. This train leaves every hour from downtown San Diego, making it convenient for families. The train cost approximately $28 for an adult ticket and $14 for a child ticket. You may want to rent a car or take the shuttle from Anaheim station to Disneyland. However, if you are trying to save money, the bus may be the best option. Tickets for the Anaheim Resort Transit Route 15 will cost you about $16 each.
A Day trip from San Diego to Rosarito Beach can include a visit to this sunny resort town in Baja, Mexico. The scenic Highway 1 and Interstate 5 provide a beautiful route to the border.
The quaint town offers a wide variety of activities, including world-class surfing, jet skiing, authentic Baja cuisine, and a hopping nightlife. Here, you can spend your entire day and even return to the same hotel.
In Rosarito Beach, you’ll find a lively artist community. You’ll find art galleries and museums that feature quality art pieces and works by local artists. You’ll find unique shops that offer handmade woodwork and furniture, and colorful markets selling crafts and trinkets. Depending on the time of day, you can spend a full day exploring the town’s many attractions. Day trips from San Diego to Rosarito Beach can be fun for the whole family.
While you’re in the area, don’t forget to take advantage of whale-watching cruises. During whale migration season, you can spot humpback, finback, and sperm whales. During this time, you can even watch a breaching whale – when it releases water from its blowhole. A whale-watching cruise can be a memorable experience, and there’s a wide variety of options.
San Juan Capistrano
For a day trip from San Diego, consider taking the train to San Juan Capistrano. Train schedules vary according to the day, but you’ll generally arrive at about 10 a.m. While in the area, you can enjoy the ZooZoo animal park, the Los Rios district, Mission San Juan Capistrano, and shopping. To add to your trip, you can take a tour of the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano.
You can also stop at the Mission Basilica, a church with art and architectural treasures. The Los Rios Historic District, considered the oldest in California, contains forty historic buildings that were once home to ranchers and builders. These structures have been converted into private homes, but they remain architecturally impressive. After you’ve taken in the history of the area, don’t miss the O’Neill Museum, located right outside the mission.
If you’d like to spend the day in a smaller town, you can check out the nearby coastal community of La Jolla. This charming coastal village is only 20 minutes away from the city and offers a completely different vibe than San Diego. It combines upscale village life with easygoing beach culture. This is a popular day trip from San Diego. The town is filled with shops and restaurants catering to locals as well as tourists.
If you love the ocean and the laid-back California lifestyle, a day trip from San Diego to Laguna Beach is perfect.
Just an hour and a half away, Laguna Beach is home to 7 miles of golden sand. You can enjoy the pristine waters and surf while enjoying the scenery and sand dunes. Located in Orange County, Laguna Beach also hosts numerous art events, including the Sawdust Art Festival and Pageant of the Masters.
There are also many other things to do in Laguna Beach, including a trip to the 1930s lifeguard tower. The Pacific Ocean laps against the seven-mile-long beach. Visitors can enjoy swimming, bodyboarding, snorkeling, and a range of other water activities. For those who love the outdoors, you can visit Heisler Park, a park just north of Main Beach. There’s a 3/4-mile trail, gazebo, public art, and benches that will give you a great view of the ocean.
Alternatively, you can drive out to Laguna Coast Wilderness Park to get some natural exercise. If you don’t like hiking, consider a gentle stroll on the Wooded Hill Nature Trail. For more difficult terrain, try Foster Point, which offers great views. You can even go sledding if you’re feeling adventurous. While you’re in Laguna, you can also visit Lake Poway, which is San Diego’s nearest nature reserve.
Located just an hour east of San Diego, Mount Laguna offers breathtaking views and endless hiking trails. Whether you are seeking solitude or challenging yourself, mount laguna is a great day trip destination.
The surrounding landscape is a natural paradise, and you can hike in the woods, mountain bike, or hike up steep cliffs. Afterward, you can stay overnight at a campground. It’s the perfect way to unwind after a long day at work.
From San Diego, you can drive to either the east or west entrances of Mount Laguna National Park. The drive time is similar but depends on how much hiking and sightseeing you want to do. If you’re going to drive in and out of the park, take note that the drive times can be slow.
Make sure to research which entrance is best for your needs. The drive to Mount Laguna can take several hours, and the park is large, so you may want to take it in stages.
San Clemente is a picturesque beach community located along the California coast between San Diego and Los Angeles. The iconic San Clemente Pier is surrounded by kilometers of beach, restaurants, and cafes, making it possible to spend an entire day there. If you’re visiting San Clemente, California, known for its world-famous surfing, head to San Onofre State Beach, a popular site for both beginner and experienced surfers, to rent a board and catch some waves.
Everyone should take some time to visit Casa Romantica, which is home to a cultural center and gorgeous gardens, and the San Clemente Beach Trail, a beautiful place for runners, bicyclists, and walkers. The San Clemente Outlets and the Avenida Del Mar Downtown are great places to indulge in some retail therapy. Attractions in San Clemente
Idyllwild, located in the San Jacinto Mountains just two hours from the hustle and bustle of San Diego, offers the best of both worlds: the tranquility of a tiny town and the excitement of several outdoor activities. You can enjoy a picnic, go on a guided hike, and find out about the local ecosystem at the Idyllwild Nature Center. Trails for biking and equestrian use (bridle trail) are also available.
In addition to the difficult rock climbing at Suicide Rock and Tahquitz Peak, there are several great mountain biking paths. The city of Idyllwild, California, is home to a thriving arts scene because of the efforts of the Art Alliance Idyllwild, which has opened various locations for artists to create and display their work.
The City of Angels in California has been luring tourists with its abundance of exciting activities for decades. The good news is that the route to Los Angeles follows the Pacific coast through quiet beach settlements, each of which presents breathtaking views of the coast. When you get to Los Angeles, you’ll have to make some tough decisions because there are so many exciting places to see.
People-watching while drinking coffee or a beverage on Venice Beach, strolling the historic Santa Monica Pier, window-shopping on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, or paying a visit to a Taoist Temple in Chinatown are just a few of the many things to do in Los Angeles. You may find the bustling Arts District on the eastern border of downtown.
Valle de Guadalupe
Driving time from San Diego to the center of Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe wine-growing region is about two hours. Gourmands have long been drawn to this corner of Baja California, but the area didn’t truly take off until an influx of innovative chefs and wineries arrived.
Get your hands on some of the best limited-release wines and continental cheeses. Delicious food with a subtle blend of Mexican, Mediterranean, and Oriental flavors can be found at some of the greatest restaurants in the neighborhood. As a bonus, you’ll be within driving distance of some of the world’s finest beaches and golf courses.
Pasadena is a popular destination for day-trippers and tourists because of its proximity to downtown Los Angeles (just 10 miles away) and its abundance of cultural, historical, and recreational attractions. The Norton Simon Art Museum features the works of such illustrious artists as Picasso, Van Gogh, Cezanne, and Warhol, and the Armory Center for the Arts and other theaters provide even more opportunities to appreciate the performing arts.
Recreational Bicycling and Hiking at Eaton Canyon and Descanso Botanical Gardens are two of the best places to enjoy the outdoors near Los Angeles. Enthusiasts of science fiction might visit the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, while fans of history should check out the Historic San Gabriel Mission District.
Salton Sea State Recreation Area
The Salton Sea, a huge inland saline lake in the Salton Basin of the Sonora Desert in southeastern California, is surrounded by Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge. Huge flocks of migrating shore and waterfowl use the 35-mile sea as a resting site, and the area has been identified as home to over 375 species of birds.
Hikers who make it to the top of the observation tower at the end of the Rock Hill Trail are rewarded with panoramic vistas of the ocean and a close-up look at the park’s avian residents. In addition to boating, picnicking, fishing, swimming, windsurfing, and ranger-led excursions, this park features 1600 camping sites suitable for tents and RVs. Those looking to avoid the summer’s high temperatures can visit between October and May.
Take a day trip to one of these beautiful destinations. It’s a great way to get out of San Diego and see some other parts of California. You can also combine several different trips into one long weekend or even a weeklong vacation!