There could be many books written on all that you can do outside in San Diego and, in fact, people have done just that! But let’s try to do an overview here. Keep in mind that it is by no means all inclusive.
Head to Balboa Park to explore 1,200 glorious acres of land punctuated by lush flower beds, carefully maintained landscaping and walking trails to keep you busy for hours, if not days. It’s a local’s favorite for recreating, especially on the weekends when some folks even partake in lawn bowling. Put a little inside in all this outside by taking in at least a couple of the seventeen museums located within the park. (Or just look in the windows.) You can actually buy a stay-for-the-day pass from Balboa Park that allows you to enjoy any five museums for one low price. The Botanical Building, an historic beauty, is a must and even better, when you’re inside surrounded by their thousands of plants, you’ll feel as though you’re outside. The San Diego Automotive Museum, also within the park, is a favorite as well.
Of course you’ve heard of the San Diego Zoo. It’s one of the best in the world. Well, guess what? That’s also in Balboa Park. Psyche yourself up for your visit there by checking out their zoo cams before you go. Bet you’ll watch them when you return home, too.
Enjoy the waterfront scene in the Seaport District where you can also take the kiddies for a whirl on the historic carousel. It’s a gem. Venture off from here to the Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego, a fun-filled visit that delights parents and kids alike.
Take in some nice sites using your own pedal power on the Bayshore Bikeway, a twenty-four-mile bike path that wends its way through Coronado, then along the Silver Strand State Beach, traversing communities such as Imperial Vista and Chula Beach as well as the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, an immense wetland, home to many birds and other critters. It’s fun to take Flagship’s Coronado Ferry across San Diego Bay to start your ride at the Coronado Ferry Landing.
For this and all kinds of other cycling excursions in the area–self-guided or not–contact Pedego Coronado where you can even line up an electric bike. Nice! You can rent more fun–perhaps a surrey with a fringe on top–at Wheel Fun Rentals. They also offer Segway tours, for the stand-up fun seekers looking to conserve calories.
Not far from here, the San Diego Symphony hosts summer pops concerts, memorable musical happenings loved by locals and visitors (in the know).
Try to carve out some water time when in San Diego. San Diego Sailing Tours and Hornblower Cruises and Events offer diverse excursions for people in search of varying levels of adventure. Good news is that it’s sunny most everyday here, so foul weather is rarely a factor. Either way, when you’re over at this part of the harbor, check out the Maritime Museum of San Diego and/or the USS Midway Museum, both topnotch museums that will provide you with an appreciation of the importance of San Diego and its relationship with the US Navy. And don’t worry, you’re safe around here because San Diego is home to the largest naval fleet in the world. Or at least safe out on the water.
Scale it down some with a little kayaking in Coronado and nearby lovely and oh-so picturesque La Jolla. You can take a kayak tour or even rent a bike with Bike & Kayak Tours. Aqua Adventures Kayak & Paddleboards also rent kayaks, SUPs and canoes. They organize tours on Mission Bay, a tranquil place to try out or refine your paddling.
The West Coast means sunsets, right? Go to Sunset Cliffs Boulevard for one of the best vantage points. Wear sporty footwear, so that you can venture out on the trails along the cliffs and find a good place to sit, stare and contemplate. Or just be lost in the majesty of it all. Watch out though because the ocean plummets to near-frightening depths below. No doubt, however, that it’s a great place to get all zen, just like the locals.