Lovely San Diego is a simple promote. Town has a lot to do, from artwork galleries, avenue artwork, and museums in Downtown San Diego to its spectacular portfolio of sandy seashores for the extra laidback vacationers. You’ll be able to carve out spots for whale-watching cruises or wine tasting – and in case you are staying for longer than a day or two, you must undoubtedly plan some day journeys. San Diego is ideally situated on the southern California coast, superb for venturing to a few of the state’s prettiest locations and most fun sights.
Finest Day Journeys from San Diego
Whether or not you’re a nature lover or choose modern artwork, San Diego has a visit that will probably be up your alley. On this information, we’ll introduce you to the highest contenders, from hours spent in Los Angeles to afternoons wine tasting amidst rolling hills. It’s secure to say that there’s loads of selection. Seize a pen and paper as a result of San Diego’s day journeys don’t disappoint.
Guide your airport switch to your downtown San Diego lodge upfront for a personal worry-free journey.
1. Newport Seaside
Newport Seaside is just the place for a part-glitzy, part-cheesy seaside expertise in California. As a day journey from San Diego, it is a perfect seashore day vacation spot. You’ll be able to chill on quite a few sandy seashores, head browsing, or strive some scrumptious ice cream. There are off-beach actions, too, like amusement park actions on Balboa Pier and at Balboa Enjoyable Zone.
It is a light-hearted day journey to select from San Diego. If you’d like a enjoyable time out or are touring with younger kids, it’s a nice guess. Take a look at 28 Finest Seashores in California
Distance from San Diego: 1.5 hours How one can get there: Automobile
2. Salton Sea
The Salton Sea is one thing fairly particular. The weird pure lake is known for its tremendous excessive salt ranges, house to solely a handful of marine life species. Solely the hardiest creatures and vegetation can hack a life within the Salton Sea. The white sands across the lake are aesthetic sufficient to attract photographers, not simply swimmers. Total, Salton Sea is simply the proper uncommon day journey so as to add to your San Diego itinerary.
When you’ve admired the lake, there’s a historic city round its perimeter to have a potter round. There’s additionally Rock Hill Path when you fancy a leisurely 2-mile stroll with panoramic lake views and potential chicken watching.
Distance from San Diego: 2 hours 40 minutes How one can get there: Automobile
A Tijuana day journey is the final word persuasion to go out of downtown San Diego for a day. The border metropolis has a fame for being energetic and tradition – essentially the most accessible level of Mexico to succeed in on a day journey from San Diego. It’s massively widespread for these desirous to squeeze a glimpse of Mexico into their San Diego itinerary. If you’d like an bold time out, Tijuana is right.
You’ll be able to wander the outdated city, watch wrestling occasions, or go to the Tijuana Cultural Heart. You’ll be able to go to independently or take a guided tour.
Distance from San Diego: 1 hour and quarter-hour or 35 minutes by automobile How one can get there: Shuttle or automobile
4. Borrego Springs
Borrego Springs is among the best possible locations to go to for stargazing – fully surrounded by the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and a chosen Worldwide Darkish Sky Neighborhood. Which means whereas we’re including it as a ‘day journey’, you would possibly wish to go to at evening in a barely extra unconventional journey. In case you get there earlier than evening, although, you must take a look at a few of the trails within the state park. The Slot Canyon Path is especially widespread. Clark Dry Lake is a cool spot, too; it’s a cracked lake that appears like one thing straight out of a Hollywood movie.
Distance from San Diego: 2 hours How one can get there: Automobile
5. Palm Springs
Chances are high you’ve already heard of Palm Springs. This metropolis is sat on – unsurprisingly – scorching springs, which means you’ll discover tons of thermal swimming pools and plush vegetation. As a metropolis, it is usually action-packed in an opulent approach, with tennis courts, golf programs, horseback using, and nightlife galore. Palm Springs is actually an adults’ playground. It’s the superb place to let your hair down for a day. Learn extra: 16 Finest Cities in California
As a fast facet be aware, Palm Springs is straight between San Diego and Joshua Tree Nationwide Park. You’ll be able to mix the 2 with a fast stopover in Palm Springs en path to the nationwide park.
Distance from San Diego: 2.5 hours How one can get there: Automobile
6. Los Angeles
We received’t mince our phrases; ideally, you’d have greater than a day in Los Angeles; it’s simply considered one of California’s greatest cities. From theme parks to the Stroll of Fame and Beverly Hills, Los Angeles is just about everyone’s dream vacation spot in terms of visiting California. The mega-city obtained its fame from A-listers and Hollywood motion pictures, and it has a few of the greatest sights and excursions your entire state gives. That mentioned, Los Angeles is doable on a day journey from San Diego. You’ll simply should have a military-style itinerary. You can too spend money on a guided day journey. This manner, the 2-hour drive every approach received’t tire you out an excessive amount of.
You can too ebook this two-day non-public sightseeing tour combining Los Angeles and San Diego. Learn all of the issues you are able to do in Los Angeles in your day journey or weekend getaway at 37 Finest Issues to Do in Los Angeles – By A Native
Distance from San Diego: 2 hours How one can get there: Automobile, practice, or tour
7. Catalina Island
Catalina Island is among the most adventurous locations you possibly can go to from San Diego. The beautiful island has a pure rugged attract, with shrub-covered mountain ridges and small villages hugging the beachfront at their base. Catalina Island is 22 miles off the coast of California, which means you’ll be catching a ferry. The ferry leaves from Dana Level, roughly an hour’s drive north of San Diego.
When you attain the island, you’ll have mountaineering, recent seafood eating places, and wildlife watching to entertain you. Catalina Island is known for its magnificence and nice hospitality. And in a day, you’ll undoubtedly be capable to get an actual expertise of the island.
Distance from San Diego: 2 hours How one can get there: Ferry
8. Rosarito Seaside
If you’re in search of San Diego seashores, this sandy seashore is additional than you might need initially thought to look. Throughout the Mexican border, Rosarito Seaside is the best spot for a serene stroll on the sands. As a complete, the seashore city of Rosarito is great enjoyable – greatest recognized for its footloose fashion of nightlife and passionate surf tradition. It doesn’t take a lot to clarify why Rosarito is a well-liked getaway amongst US vacationers. However even simply on a day journey, it’s a nice seashore day vacation spot. It has implausible scuba diving alternatives, too, with a synthetic reef mendacity simply offshore.
Lower than a 50-minute drive from San Diego, what extra may you need? You’ll mix two nations in a single journey and get a refreshing dose of Mexican tradition.
Distance from San Diego: 50 minutes How one can get there: Automobile
9. Go Whale Watching
So far as animal encounters go, seeing an enormous humpback whale floor from the Pacific Ocean tops most experiences. For any wildlife lovers, going whale watching is among the very best day journeys from San Diego. And whereas you may get fortunate virtually all yr spherical, the most effective interval is winter and early spring. Most tour operators supply a assure, too, the place when you don’t see a whale in your tour, you get a free tour the following day.
Even when you don’t spot whales, there are particular sweeteners. There are virtually assured sightings of sea lions and dolphins, which is able to assist you crack a smile. This highly-rated tour is prone to promote out.
Distance from San Diego: N/A How one can get there: Tour
10. Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is among the most stunning day journeys from San Diego. If you wish to go mountaineering for just a few hours, the shaded oak woodland at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is irresistible, particularly within the morning of a scorching day. Many camp on this park and full in a single day hikes, but it surely’s equally well-suited to day trippers. It isn’t simply scenic; keep quiet, and you’ll spot something from cougars to coyotes and mule deer. The park is a magical place for wildlife lovers.
Distance from San Diego: 1 hour How one can get there: Automobile
11. Cleveland Nationwide Forest
Cleveland Nationwide Forest is a dream for hikers and mountain bikers; it even has horseback using trails. This spot is the southernmost nationwide forest in California and sprawls over a good 460,000 acres. Cleveland Nationwide Forest can be house to a few mountain ranges, together with Santa Ana, Palomar, and the Laguna Mountains – which means loads of summit hikes and difficult trails to get your enamel into.
To flee Downtown San Diego for a day, you possibly can’t beat the shaded trails in Cleveland Nationwide Forest. The forest has all kinds of wildlife, too, together with mountain lions, coyotes, and mule deer. It’s a good suggestion to convey binoculars. Learn extra: 15 Finest Hikes in California – Inspiration to Get Outside
Distance from San Diego: 1.5 hours How one can get there: Automobile
12. San Clemente State Seaside
San Clemente State Seaside stretches a mile lengthy, with spacious sands and dramatic views that pack a particular wow issue. If you’d like a seashore day, San Clemente State Seaside has the area to beat the crowds on a busy day. It’s also simply an hour north of the town. It takes you on a somewhat scenic miniature highway journey by means of a number of Californian seashore cities because the route hugs the shoreline. At San Clemente State Seaside, you possibly can get pleasure from many various water sports activities, picnic, or loosen up with a ebook. Bear in mind to go to the close by San Onofre State Seaside as effectively, which is a extra rocky seashore however backed by dramatic cliffs and a beloved surf spot.
Distance from San Diego: 1 hour How one can get there: Automobile
13. Lake Poway Leisure Space
Lake Poway is the place to go for an impartial fishing journey from San Diego. You might want to rent gear within the metropolis when you didn’t convey yours, however the serenity if you arrive will make it price the additional organizing. The reservoir is about in opposition to a scenic backdrop of a number of small hills. If you aren’t fishing, you possibly can full a simple perimeter hike of below 3 miles. Lake Poway is a small slice of peacefulness solely half-hour away from San Diego’s metropolis middle by automobile. Plus, you’ll very doubtless come again with trout.
Distance from San Diego: 40 minutes How one can get there: Automobile
14. Volcan Mountain Wilderness Protect
Volcan Mountain Wilderness Protect is a surprising 2,900 acres of conifer woodland with a mountain peak. Volcan Mountain has nice indigenous significance, and it’s worthwhile studying concerning the tradition and historical past behind the mountain earlier than visiting simply to make your mountaineering much more particular. The very best hike is a 5-mile spherical journey that takes you proper to Volcan Mountain’s summit. But when that sounds a bit a lot, there’s additionally a 3.2-mile mid-summit hike you possibly can go for. Each have beautiful views over the protect and are sensible for nature lovers and people wanting a health problem with stunning views.
Distance from San Diego: 1.5 hours How one can get there: Automobile
15. La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove is sea lion heaven. This rocky outcrop is located simply north of the town middle, making La Jolla Cove one of many shortest day journeys from San Diego. Nevertheless, La Jolla Cove is price allocating just a few hours or extra, as these animals can maintain you entertained for ages.
La Jolla Cove is a tiny stretch of seashore that sunbathers share with the massive animals – sunbathing or walloping their approach alongside the sands. You mustn’t contact them, and the resident lifeguards are tremendous strict on implementing respect for the animals. At La Jolla Cove, sea lions reign supreme. What’s to not love about this tremendous enjoyable setup?
Distance from San Diego: 20 minutes How one can get there: Automobile
16. Julian Pie Firm
This is among the whackiest day journeys from San Diego. The Julian Pie Firm is simply over an hour’s drive inland from the town and is most recognized for its scrumptious apple pie. For good old style American delicacies, this spot is definitely worth the mini highway journey. You’ll be having fun with your pie in a diner-style café. Significantly, in case you are a foodie, it’s effectively price a go to. You could possibly even refill on takeaway pies as souvenirs. In your approach again, think about stopping at one of many scenic spots you drive previous. These embrace the wineries within the San Diego Nation Property area and Cedar Creek Falls.
Distance from San Diego: 1 hour quarter-hour How one can get there: automobile
17. Wine Tasting Tour
Going wine tasting is an interactive day journey selection to boost your San Diego itinerary. You’ll be able to truly drive to a lot of the vineyards, that are situated only a quick drive outdoors of the town middle. Nevertheless, for apparent causes, there are guided excursions that embrace shuttle companies – a a lot better thought and well-established service within the San Diego tourism trade.
One of many main wine locations close to San Diego is Temecula Valley. The valley has greater than 45 totally different wineries to decide on between, and it’s recognized for its Rhone and cabernet sauvignons. Its heat local weather calls for these better-adapted grape varieties. Nevertheless, Temecula Valley nonetheless has greater than 24 grape varieties thriving in its hills.
This non-public wine tasting facet automobile tour is a singular strategy to discover San Diego whereas tasting wines at totally different areas.
Distance from San Diego: Roughly 1 hour How one can get there: Tour
Are you prepared for one of the vital enjoyable actions close to San Diego? Disneyland is simply 1.5 hours north of San Diego and is a good day journey for the entire household.
Embarking on a day journey from San Diego to Disneyland gives a magical escape right into a world of marvel and pleasure. Only a quick drive north, Disneyland, often called “The Happiest Place on Earth,” is the proper vacation spot for households, associates, and Disney aficionados alike. From the thrilling adventures in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Large Thunder Mountain Railroad to the whimsical rides in Fantasyland, there’s one thing for everybody.
Plus, with year-round sunshine and the comfort of proximity, San Diego residents can spontaneously determine to discover the enchanting realms of Disneyland for a day with out the necessity for in depth planning. It’s the best fast getaway that guarantees a lifetime of reminiscences and a much-needed dose of pleasure and leisure.
Distance from San Diego: 1 hour 45 minutes How one can get there: Automobile
19. Laguna Seaside
Laguna Seaside is among the hottest day journeys from San Diego and – truthfully – wherever else close by in California. Laguna Seaside is famed for its boho vibe and delightful shoreline. For glitzy folks in a scenic setting, Laguna Seaside ticks each field. Visiting is an expertise in itself, even only for a day. You’ll be able to profit from nice surf by renting a board, spending a day on a gorgeous seashore, or mountaineering whereas admiring Pacific Ocean views. Laguna Seaside is among the most well-known locations on the California shoreline, which is an unimaginable feat in itself. For a ‘occurring’ seashore day, it’s a good time out.
Distance from San Diego: How one can get there:
20. Lake Mathews Estelle Mountain Reserve
Lake Mathews Estelle Mountain Reserve is a scenic reservoir surrounded by roughly 13,000 acres of protected land. Nature lovers will adore this reserve, particularly with all of the bird-watching alternatives. In winter, you may get fortunate and spot bald and golden eagles. Whereas, as a barely extra uncommon animal encounter, you may also see kangaroo rats all yr spherical when you look fastidiously sufficient. Kangaroo rats seem like little gerbils and are a few of the cutest animals you possibly can see. They’re nocturnal and extremely savvy in terms of noticing could-be-predators close by. However when you dangle round Lake Mathews Estelle Mountain Reserve just a little later, you might get fortunate with sightings. In any other case, simply lap up the waterfront views and produce some bird-watching binoculars.
Distance from San Diego: 1 hour and 40 minutes How one can get there: Automobile
21. Mission San Juan Capistrano
Mission San Juan Capistrano is a captivating museum to go to and is about in an outdated Spanish chapel. The San Juan Capistrano ‘mission’ was based in 1776 as a approach for Spanish settlers to succeed in out to the group and preach about Catholicism. You’ll be able to be taught extra about this early faith preaching by means of totally different displays, in addition to catch the bell ringing, which happens every day in honor of Saint Junipero Serra. Mission San Juan Capistrano is ideal for anybody interested by faith, the colonial affect within the US, and the historical past round San Diego’s area.
Distance from San Diego: 1.5 hours How one can get there: Automobile or practice
22. Joshua Tree Nationwide Park
Joshua Tree Nationwide Park is among the most traditional day journeys from San Diego. There’s nothing improper with leaping on the vacationer path often. And that’s particularly the case in terms of Joshua Tree Nationwide Park. The park covers practically 800,000 acres and attracts over 3 million guests yearly, largely due to its weird namesake timber. The Joshua Tree is a twisted, bristly tree with inexperienced spiky shoots on the finish of its branches. It seems to be like an outsized cactus, an absolute novelty that pulls photographers and non-photographers alike to elevate their cameras.
Except for its timber, the nationwide park has many nice mountaineering trails. Hidden Valley Nature Path and Mastodon Peak are agency favorites.
Distance from San Diego: 3 hours and quarter-hour How one can get there: Automobile
23. San Jacinto Mountains
Do you wish to mountain bike or go mountaineering? The San Jacinto Mountains are the place to go in your chosen one-day tour from San Diego. The mountain vary is simply east of Los Angeles – northeast of San Diego. A fast Google brings up dozens of motorbike trails on-line, and you’ll both convey your individual or rent one in San Diego. The mountains are additionally dreamy for climbers. The granite peaks overlook beautiful meadows and forested valleys. You’ll be effectively rewarded with any summit climbs, and there are many technical challenges for extra skilled climbers.
In fact, there’s additionally San Jacinto State Park itself. That is the best peak within the mountain vary and sits at 10,834 toes. It is just appropriate for essentially the most superior hikers however an excellent problem for these with satisfactory expertise.
Distance from San Diego: 3 hours How one can get there: Automobile
Day Journeys from San Diego: FAQs
Are you able to evaluate the FAQs behind the proper day journeys from San Diego? That further insider data can remodel your journey – so it’s effectively price scanning over these prime 4 questions. Who is aware of what would possibly simply offer you that further little bit of inspiration? Listed here are the highest FAQs for planning day journeys in San Diego.
Are you able to do a day journey from San Diego to Mexico?
Sure, you completely can. San Diego is located proper on the US/Mexico border, close to the border metropolis of Tijuana. Tijuana is definitely accessible on a day journey from San Diego, which means you possibly can nip throughout a unique nation for a day. Tijuana is nice for seashores, Mexican delicacies, and cultural experiences like watching wrestling.
Are you able to do a day journey to Tijuana from San Diego?
Sure, you possibly can simply manage a day journey to Tijuana from San Diego. A number of excursions take vacationers throughout the border for a day, or you might head on an impartial day journey by renting a automobile. Tijuana is great enjoyable and the proper addition to a keep in San Diego. Speak about maximizing your time!
Are you able to do a day journey from San Diego to Los Angeles?
Positively, you possibly can take a day journey to Los Angeles from San Diego in simply 2 hours by automobile or 3 hours by practice. You can too ebook organized excursions, which is great if you wish to get taken round the primary sights with minimal effort. Los Angeles is clearly very iconic. It is among the greatest day journeys from San Diego if you need an inspiring getaway.
What’s the greatest Mexican city close to San Diego?
Tijuana is essentially the most generally visited Mexican vacation spot from San Diego. Nevertheless, we advise visiting Rosarito. Rosarito is a sunny resort city on the Baja Californian peninsula with a gorgeous seashore and intense sufficient nightlife to attract common US guests. It’s a browsing hotspot and can be sensible for scuba diving, with a former Navy ship creating an unimaginable synthetic reef simply offshore.
Why We Love These Day Journeys From San Diego
As you possibly can see, you might be tremendous spoiled for selection in terms of day journeys from San Diego. Town is ideal for spreading your wings and experiencing extra of California, and what higher strategy to profit from your vacation? San Diego day journeys are an excellent thought. And when you keep longer than two days, you undoubtedly have time for not less than one of many journeys on this record.
Are you in search of extra San Diego inspiration? You might be in the appropriate place. Bear in mind to take a look at our The place to remain in San Diego information and final California highway journey itinerary. San Diego has a lot to find out about and is a perfect launchpad for much more adventures. Profit from your journey.