Lovely San Diego is a straightforward 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 if you’re 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, splendid for venturing to among the state’s prettiest locations and most fun points of interest.
Finest Day Journeys from San Diego
Whether or not you’re a nature lover or want up to date 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 protected 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.
E-book your airport switch to your downtown San Diego lodge prematurely 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 seaside day vacation spot. You’ll be able to sit back 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.
This can be a light-hearted day journey to select from San Diego. In order for you a enjoyable time out or are touring with younger youngsters, it’s a nice guess. Take a look at 28 Finest Seashores in California
Distance from San Diego: 1.5 hours Easy methods to get there: Automobile
2. Salton Sea
The Salton Sea is one thing fairly particular. The bizarre pure lake is known for its tremendous excessive salt ranges, residence 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 right 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 in the event you fancy a leisurely 2-mile stroll with panoramic lake views and potential chook watching.
Distance from San Diego: 2 hours 40 minutes Easy methods to 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 popularity for being lively and tradition – probably the most accessible level of Mexico to achieve on a day journey from San Diego. It’s vastly fashionable for these eager to squeeze a glimpse of Mexico into their San Diego itinerary. In order for you an formidable time out, Tijuana is right.
You’ll be able to wander the outdated city, watch wrestling occasions, or go to the Tijuana Cultural Middle. 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 Easy methods to get there: Shuttle or automobile
4. Borrego Springs
Borrego Springs is likely one of the very best locations to go to for stargazing – completely surrounded by the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and a chosen Worldwide Darkish Sky Group. Because of this whereas we’re including it as a ‘day journey’, you may wish to go to at evening in a barely extra unconventional journey. If you happen to get there earlier than evening, although, you must take a look at among the trails within the state park. The Slot Canyon Path is especially fashionable. 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 Easy methods to 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’s also action-packed in an opulent manner, with tennis courts, golf programs, horseback driving, and nightlife galore. Palm Springs is actually an adults’ playground. It’s the splendid place to let your hair down for a day. Learn extra: 16 Finest Cities in California
As a fast aspect notice, Palm Springs is immediately 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 Easy methods to 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 one among California’s finest cities. From theme parks to the Stroll of Fame and Beverly Hills, Los Angeles is just about everyone’s dream vacation spot on the subject of visiting California. The mega-city acquired its popularity from A-listers and Hollywood motion pictures, and it has among the finest points of interest and excursions the complete 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 even spend money on a guided day journey. This fashion, the 2-hour drive every manner received’t tire you out an excessive amount of.
You can even e book 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 Easy methods to get there: Automobile, prepare, or tour
7. Catalina Island
Catalina Island is likely one of the most adventurous locations you’ll be able to 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 mountain climbing, contemporary 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 of get an actual expertise of the island.
Distance from San Diego: 2 hours Easy methods to get there: Ferry
8. Rosarito Seaside
If you’re searching for San Diego seashores, this sandy seaside is additional than you may need initially thought to look. Throughout the Mexican border, Rosarito Seaside is the best spot for a serene stroll on the sands. As an entire, the seaside city of Rosarito is great enjoyable – finest recognized for its footloose type of nightlife and passionate surf tradition. It doesn’t take a lot to elucidate why Rosarito is a well-liked getaway amongst US vacationers. However even simply on a day journey, it’s a nice seaside 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 might you need? You’ll mix two international locations in a single journey and get a refreshing dose of Mexican tradition.
Distance from San Diego: 50 minutes Easy methods to get there: Automobile
9. Go Whale Watching
So far as animal encounters go, seeing a large humpback whale floor from the Pacific Ocean tops most experiences. For any wildlife lovers, going whale watching is likely one of the absolute best day journeys from San Diego. And whereas you may get fortunate nearly all yr spherical, the very best interval is winter and early spring. Most tour operators supply a assure, too, the place in the event you don’t see a whale in your tour, you get a free tour the subsequent day.
Even in the event you don’t spot whales, there are particular sweeteners. There are nearly assured sightings of sea lions and dolphins, which is able to assist you to crack a smile. This highly-rated tour is prone to promote out.
Distance from San Diego: N/A Easy methods to get there: Tour
10. Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is likely one of the most stunning day journeys from San Diego. If you wish to go mountain climbing for a couple of 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 fanatics.
Distance from San Diego: 1 hour Easy methods to get there: Automobile
11. Cleveland Nationwide Forest
Cleveland Nationwide Forest is a dream for hikers and mountain bikers; it even has horseback driving trails. This spot is the southernmost nationwide forest in California and sprawls over a good 460,000 acres. Cleveland Nationwide Forest can also be residence to 3 mountain ranges, together with Santa Ana, Palomar, and the Laguna Mountains – which means loads of summit hikes and difficult trails to get your tooth into.
To flee Downtown San Diego for a day, you’ll be able to’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 deliver binoculars. Learn extra: 15 Finest Hikes in California – Inspiration to Get Outside
Distance from San Diego: 1.5 hours Easy methods to 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. In order for you a seaside day, San Clemente State Seaside has the area to beat the crowds on a busy day. Additionally it is simply an hour north of town. It takes you on a fairly scenic miniature street journey by a number of Californian seaside cities because the route hugs the shoreline. At San Clemente State Seaside, you’ll be able to get pleasure from many various water sports activities, picnic, or chill out with a e book. Bear in mind to go to the close by San Onofre State Seaside as nicely, which is a extra rocky seaside however backed by dramatic cliffs and a beloved surf spot.
Distance from San Diego: 1 hour Easy methods to get there: Automobile
13. Lake Poway Leisure Space
Lake Poway is the place to go for an unbiased fishing journey from San Diego. It’s possible you’ll want to rent gear within the metropolis in the event you didn’t deliver yours, however the serenity whenever you arrive will make it price the additional organizing. The reservoir is ready in opposition to a scenic backdrop of a number of small hills. While you aren’t fishing, you’ll be able to full a straightforward perimeter hike of underneath 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 seemingly come again with trout.
Distance from San Diego: 40 minutes Easy methods to 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 mountain climbing 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’ll be able to 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 Easy methods to get there: Automobile
15. La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove is sea lion heaven. This rocky outcrop is located simply north of town middle, making La Jolla Cove one of many shortest day journeys from San Diego. Nonetheless, La Jolla Cove is price allocating a couple of hours or extra, as these animals can maintain you entertained for ages.
La Jolla Cove is a tiny stretch of seaside that sunbathers share with the large animals – sunbathing or walloping their manner 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 Easy methods to get there: Automobile
16. Julian Pie Firm
This is likely one of the whackiest day journeys from San Diego. The Julian Pie Firm is simply over an hour’s drive inland from town and is most recognized for its scrumptious apple pie. For good old style American delicacies, this spot is definitely worth the mini street journey. You’ll be having fun with your pie in a diner-style café. Severely, if you’re a foodie, it’s nicely price a go to. You would even top off on takeaway pies as souvenirs. In your manner 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 Easy methods to 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 really drive to many of the vineyards, that are situated only a brief drive outdoors of town middle. Nonetheless, for apparent causes, there are guided excursions that embrace shuttle companies – a a lot better concept 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. Nonetheless, Temecula Valley nonetheless has greater than 24 grape varieties thriving in its hills.
This non-public wine tasting aspect automobile tour is a singular approach to discover San Diego whereas tasting wines at totally different areas.
Distance from San Diego: Roughly 1 hour Easy methods to get there: Tour
Are you prepared for one of the crucial 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 surprise and pleasure. Only a brief drive north, Disneyland, generally known as “The Happiest Place on Earth,” is the right vacation spot for households, buddies, and Disney aficionados alike. From the thrilling adventures in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Massive 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 resolve to discover the enchanting realms of Disneyland for a day with out the necessity for intensive 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 Easy methods to get there: Automobile
19. Laguna Seaside
Laguna Seaside is likely one of the hottest day journeys from San Diego and – actually – wherever else close by in California. Laguna Seaside is famed for its boho vibe and exquisite shoreline. For glitzy individuals 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 benefit from nice surf by renting a board, spending a day on a gorgeous seaside, or mountain climbing whereas admiring Pacific Ocean views. Laguna Seaside is likely one of the most well-known locations on the California shoreline, which is an unimaginable feat in itself. For a ‘occurring’ seaside day, it’s a excellent time out.
Distance from San Diego: Easy methods to 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 can even see kangaroo rats all yr spherical in the event you look fastidiously sufficient. Kangaroo rats appear like little gerbils and are among the cutest animals you’ll be able to see. They’re nocturnal and extremely savvy on the subject of noticing could-be-predators close by. However in the event you cling round Lake Mathews Estelle Mountain Reserve a bit of later, you possibly can get fortunate with sightings. In any other case, simply lap up the waterfront views and convey some bird-watching binoculars.
Distance from San Diego: 1 hour and 40 minutes Easy methods to get there: Automobile
21. Mission San Juan Capistrano
Mission San Juan Capistrano is an interesting museum to go to and is ready in an outdated Spanish chapel. The San Juan Capistrano ‘mission’ was based in 1776 as a manner for Spanish settlers to achieve out to the neighborhood and preach about Catholicism. You’ll be able to study extra about this early faith preaching by 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 impression within the US, and the historical past round San Diego’s area.
Distance from San Diego: 1.5 hours Easy methods to get there: Automobile or prepare
22. Joshua Tree Nationwide Park
Joshua Tree Nationwide Park is likely one of the most traditional day journeys from San Diego. There may be nothing incorrect with leaping on the vacationer path sometimes. And that’s particularly the case on the subject of Joshua Tree Nationwide Park. The park covers almost 800,000 acres and attracts over 3 million guests yearly, principally because of its weird namesake timber. The Joshua Tree is a twisted, bristly tree with inexperienced spiky shoots on the finish of its branches. It appears like an outsized cactus, an absolute novelty that draws photographers and non-photographers alike to carry their cameras.
Other than its timber, the nationwide park has many nice mountain climbing trails. Hidden Valley Nature Path and Mastodon Peak are agency favorites.
Distance from San Diego: 3 hours and quarter-hour Easy methods to get there: Automobile
23. San Jacinto Mountains
Do you wish to mountain bike or go mountain climbing? 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 motorcycle trails on-line, and you’ll both deliver 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 nicely 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 very best peak within the mountain vary and sits at 10,834 toes. It is just appropriate for probably the most superior hikers however an excellent problem for these with enough expertise.
Distance from San Diego: 3 hours Easy methods to get there: Automobile
Day Journeys from San Diego: FAQs
Are you able to evaluate the FAQs behind the right day journeys from San Diego? That further insider data can rework your journey – so it’s nicely price scanning over these prime 4 questions. Who is aware of what may simply provide you with 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 well accessible on a day journey from San Diego, which means you’ll be able to nip throughout a distinct 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’ll be able to simply set up a day journey to Tijuana from San Diego. A number of excursions take vacationers throughout the border for a day, or you possibly can head on an unbiased day journey by renting a automobile. Tijuana is great enjoyable and the right addition to a keep in San Diego. Discuss maximizing your time!
Are you able to do a day journey from San Diego to Los Angeles?
Positively, you’ll be able to take a day journey to Los Angeles from San Diego in simply 2 hours by automobile or 3 hours by prepare. You can even e book organized excursions, which is great if you wish to get taken round the principle sights with minimal effort. Los Angeles is clearly very iconic. It is likely one of the finest day journeys from San Diego if you need an inspiring getaway.
What’s the finest Mexican city close to San Diego?
Tijuana is probably the most generally visited Mexican vacation spot from San Diego. Nonetheless, we propose visiting Rosarito. Rosarito is a sunny resort city on the Baja Californian peninsula with a gorgeous seaside and intense sufficient nightlife to attract common US guests. It’s a browsing hotspot and can also 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’ll be able to see, you’re tremendous spoiled for selection on the subject of day journeys from San Diego. Town is ideal for spreading your wings and experiencing extra of California, and what higher approach to benefit from your vacation? San Diego day journeys are an excellent concept. And in the event you keep longer than two days, you undoubtedly have time for at the least one of many journeys on this checklist.
Are you searching for extra San Diego inspiration? You might be in the fitting place. Bear in mind to take a look at our The place to remain in San Diego information and final California street journey itinerary. San Diego has a lot to find out about and is a perfect launchpad for much more adventures. Benefit from your journey.