What are Some Outdoor Activities in San Diego, California?

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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 September 2019
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If you are visiting California and looking for some outdoor activities in San Diego, you should be happy to know that there are many things to do in the area. From surfing to camping to hiking, everybody who loves the outdoors can find something to do here. Outdoor activities in San Diego can be divided into two groups: water and land.

Water outdoor activities in San Diego are popular because of the city's ideal location over the San Diego Bay, a 12 mile (19km) long strip of white sand that is extremely popular with both locals and visitors. Torrey Pines State Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the San Diego area, surrounded by sandstone cliffs and popular with surfers. La Jolla Cove is another remarkable beach to explore when looking for outdoor activities in San Diego. Situated within the borders of the Underwater Park Ecological Reserve, and offering visitors a chance to scuba dive and snorkel near the cliffs, La Jolla is a remarkable oasis for visitors.


Land outdoor activities in San Diego are also extremely popular. At 5,800 acres (23 kmĀ²), Mission Trails Regional Park is one of the largest parks in the country. Popular with hikers and climbers, who come to take to the trails leading up Cowles Mountain, the park offers some of the best views of the area. Horse riding and biking trails are also open in the park, and visitors can choose from different difficult levels to find a trail that fits their fitness. Boating and camping is also possible within the park boundaries, and visitors can also choose to take park in many of the activities organized by the park staff throughout the year.

Outdoor activities in San Diego can qualify as a litte more unusual. The Torrey Pines State Reserve offers the chance to explore rugged terrains without the help of marked trails, and the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park offers a peek into what 19th century life was like. The Old Town Park is an outdoor recreation of a Californian Spanish settlement, complete with a schoolhouse, carriages, old shops, and a museum. The visitor center is the actual mansion of a local resident, which has been converted into a museum to showcase artifacts dating back to the 1820s.


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