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San Diego’s Top 12 Best Outdoor Activities (for locals & tourists!)

May 27, 2017
Best San Diego Outdoor Activities

San Diego is the place to enjoy all of the best outdoor activities. With sunny skies and temperate climates almost all year round, you’ll be itching to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. Whether you’re a local or tourist, this list applies to you! I’ve put together a list of all of San Diego’s best outdoor activities, so what are you waiting for, get outside and enjoy. 🙂


San Diego’s Top 12 Best Outdoor Activities


1. Hiking

There are so many great hikes around the San Diego area. If you don’t have all day to devote to a hike, I would definitely recommend the trails at the Torrey Pines State Park to be at the top of your list.


Great San Diego hikes:


Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Hiking Three Sisters Falls


Torrey Pines State Park - San Diego's Best Outdoor Activities


2. Paddleboarding

There are many locations to paddle board, but I would recommend Mission Bay as a favorite. If you don’t have your own paddleboard, renting and lessons are available through companies such as The SUP Connection and OEX Point Loma.


Paddleboarding - San Diego's Best Outdoor Activities


3. Surfing

It seems like just about everyone surfs in San Diego. The surf school, PB Surf Shop, along Mission Beach and Pacific Beach is great for lessons and rentals. Just be sure to wear a wetsuit, the water’s freezing!


Surfing - San Diego's Best Outdoor Activities


PB Surf Shop - San Diego's Best Outdoor Activities


4. Free Outdoor Yoga

I love doing outdoor yoga! Especially when it’s overlooking San Diego’s gorgeous beaches.


There are 2 free yoga classes you can join:

  • Pacific Beach Yoga – This class meets at Palisades Park every Saturday and Sunday at 10am. The yoga class is “free”, however I’d recommend making a $5 donation.


Pacific Beach Yoga - San Diego's Best Outdoor Activities


  • Sunset Cliffs Yoga – is also amazing! This class meets every Wednesday at 5:30pm and Friday at 11am. It’s a great workout with a spectacular view!


Sunset Cliffs Yoga - San Diego's Best Outdoor Activities

5. Bike the Pacific Beach Boardwalk

Head to Pacific Beach for a beautiful coastal bike ride! Between Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, there are 3 miles of lively boardwalk available to go bike riding.


Bike the Pacific Beach Boardwalk - San Diego's Best Outdoor Activities



6. Harbor Cruise

Take a tour of San Diego’s waterfront and bay aboard the popular Hornblower or Flagship cruises. You can do anything from one-hour harbor cruises, to dining cruises, or even whale watching cruises.


Harbor Cruise - San Diego's Best Outdoor Activities


Harbor Cruise - San Diego's Best Outdoor Activities


7. Trail Running

Forget about the treadmill, in San Diego there’s no excuse not to enjoy the scenic trails. San Diego has temperate climates nearly all year round and breathtaking running trails. Going for an afternoon jog has never been easier. 🙂


Some of my favorite trail running spots in San Diego are: 


Penasquitos Canyon Trail - Trail running in San Diego - Best San Diego Outdoor Activities


Sunset cliffs - Trail running in San Diego - Best San Diego Outdoor Activities


8. Hang Gliding/ Paragliding

At the Torrey Pines Gliderport, paragliding and hang gliding has never been more scenic. You can fly tandem, or even earn your wings and get certified.


Torrey Pines Gliderport - Paragliding - Best San Diego Outdoor Activities


9. Sea Kayaking

At La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaks you can take a tour around the beautiful La Jolla Shores. You’re likely to see the sea lions, leopard sharks, and of course, the caves!


Sea Kayaking - Best San Diego Outdoor Activities


10. Sailing

Sun, sea, and sailing. I ask you, is there anything better? Set sail on the Pacific Ocean with the many sailing tours available. The options are endless! You can book a full day, half day, 2 hour, sunset, private or group tour. If you get seasick, its best to bring some ginger pills along for the ride. 🙂


Sailing Companies:


Sailing - Best San Diego Outdoor Activities

11. Temecula Hot Air Balloon Ride

Who wouldn’t want a hot air balloon ride over Temecula wine country? I would highly recommend California Dreamin’ as a great company to go with. I tried to go a few times, but unfortunately wasn’t able to set sail with them due to weather. But if you do go, just remember to bundle up; those sunrise tours can be chilly!


California Dreamin' - Temecula Hot Air Balloon Ride - Best San Diego Outdoor Activities



12. The Parks

There are so many beautiful parks in San Diego! Come to relax and enjoy a lazy afternoon in the sun. 🙂


My favorite San Diego Parks:

  • Mission Bay Park is one of the most popular spots to just be outside and enjoy the gorgeous San Diego sun. The options are endless here! What do you want to do? Have a picnic, create a bonfire, bike along the pathway, go paddle boarding, play volleyball, or you can even sail. Mission Bay Park has it all!
  • Balboa Park is another gorgeous area to explore! Here there are a plethora of museums, parks, gardens, and beautiful Spanish architecture.
  • La Jolla Cove parks also can’t go without mentioning. There’s a large park for picnicking and here you can get up close and personal to the seals and sea lions that sunbath on the rocky shores.


Balboa Park - Best San Diego Outdoor Activities


La Jolla Cove Seals - Best San Diego Outdoor Activities


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Best San Diego Outdoor Activities

What do you think are San Diego’s best outdoor activities? Love to know below!



Tiffany created Lavender Vines as a place to share her love for Jesus and adventures from around the world. She has a slight obsession with salted caramel lattes, Japanese kimonos, and an ongoing love affair with NYC and Paris.


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Welcome to Lavender Vines! 
Hi I’m Tiffany, a Jesus loving free spirit who can’t get enough of adventure, salted caramel lattes, & farmers markets. At Lavender Vines my mission is to help you grow in your faith, travel the world, and live life to the absolute fullest.

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With Thanksgiving around the corner, I want to talk about being grateful and thankful. I believe that we are called to be thankful in all circumstances, even if sometimes all you can come up with is "thank you Jesus for my cat" (no joke, I've done that!)⠀
Even if your path is harder (and longer) then someone else's, don't envy your neighbor. Be thankful, for what you've been given. In school I always had to study harder than my peers to get A's. I hated it, and life seemed unfair. But because of my work ethic, I actually ended up doing better in school. I believe God didn't call me to be jealous of others, but instead to instill work ethic and discipline, which has helped me in all aspects of life. ⠀
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What's your favorite thing to do in New Orleans? For me it's all about the food. I go a little crazy in NOLA. I make a beeline for my favorites; Drago's for charbroiled oysters, Cafe du Monde for beignets, and Willa Jean for all the yummy baked goods. 🙌⠀
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