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23 Best Day Trips From San Diego You Don't Want to Miss

23 Best Day Trips From San Diego You Don’t Want to Miss

Beautiful San Diego is a very easy sell. The city has a lot to do, from art galleries, road art, and galleries in Downtown San Diego to its remarkable profile of sandy coastlines for the extra laidback travelers. You can take places for whale-watching cruise ships or red wine sampling – and if you are remaining for longer than a day or 2, you must certainly intend some field trip. San Diego is preferably situated on the southerly California coastline, suitable for venturing to a few of the state’s most beautiful locations and the majority of interesting tourist attractions.

Best Day Trips from San Diego

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Whether you are a nature fan or choose modern art, San Diego has a journey that will certainly be up your street. In this overview, we’ll present you to the leading challengers, from hours invested in Los Angeles to mid-days red wine sampling in the middle of rolling hillsides. It is secure to state that there’s lots of range. Grab a pen and paper since San Diego’s field trip do not dissatisfy.

Book your flight terminal transfer to your midtown San Diego resort ahead of time for a personal carefree trip.

1. Newport Beach

Newport beach shoreline California

Newport Beach is just the location for a part-glitzy, part-cheesy seaside experience in California. As a field trip from San Diego, it is an optimal coastline day location. You can unwind on countless sandy coastlines, head browsing, or attempt some tasty gelato. There are off-beach tasks, as well, like theme park tasks on Balboa Pier and at Balboa Fun Zone.

This is a light-hearted outing to select from San Diego. If you desire an enjoyable day out or are taking a trip with kids, it is an excellent wager. Check out 28 Best Beaches in California

Distance from San Diego: 1.5 hours How to arrive: Car

2. Salton Sea

Salton Sea ar sunset

The Salton Sea is something rather unique. The uncommon all-natural lake is popular for its extremely high salt degrees, home to just a handful of aquatic life types. Only the hardiest animals and plant can hack a life in the Salton Sea. The white sands around the lake are visual adequate to attract professional photographers, not simply swimmers. Overall, Salton Sea is simply the ideal uncommon outing to include in your San Diego schedule.

Once you’ve appreciated the lake, there is a historical community around its boundary to have a potter around. There’s additionally Rock Hill Trail if you expensive a leisurely 2-mile walk with breathtaking lake sights and possible bird enjoying.

Distance from San Diego: 2 hours 40 mins How to arrive: Car

3. Tijuana

Tijuana Cultural Center, Baja California Peninsula

A Tijuana outing is the utmost persuasion to go out of midtown San Diego for a day. The boundary city has an online reputation for having lots of life and society – one of the most obtainable factor of Mexico to get to on a day journey from San Diego. It is widely prominent for those wishing to press a look of Mexico right into their San Diego schedule. If you desire an enthusiastic day out, Tijuana is excellent.

You can stray the old community, watch fumbling occasions, or go to the Tijuana Cultural Center. You can go to separately or take an assisted scenic tour.

Distance from San Diego: 1 hour and 15 mins or 35 mins by auto How to arrive: Shuttle or auto

4. Borrego Springs

Fun Day Trips from San Diego Borrego Springs

Borrego Springs is just one of the outright finest areas to go to for daydreaming – totally bordered by the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and an assigned International Dark Sky Community. This indicates that while we are including it as a ‘day trip’, you may wish to go to in the evening in a somewhat extra unique journey. If you arrive prior to evening, however, you must have a look at a few of the tracks in the state park. The Slot Canyon Trail is specifically prominent. Clark Dry Lake is a trendy place, as well; it is a broken lake that resembles something right out of a Hollywood movie.

Distance from San Diego: 2 hours How to arrive: Car

5. Palm Springs

palm springs california mountains

Chances are you’ve currently come across Palm Springs. This city is rested on – unsurprisingly – warm springs, implying you’ll discover lots of thermal swimming pools and lavish plant. As a city, it is additionally action-packed in an extravagant means, with tennis courts, golf links, horseback riding, and night life galore. Palm Springs is basically a grownups’ play ground. It is the dreamland to allow your hair down for a day. Read extra: 16 Best Cities in California

As a fast side note, Palm Springs is straight in between San Diego and Joshua Tree National Park. You can integrate both with a fast stop in Palm Springs en path to the national forest.

Distance from San Diego: 2.5 hours How to arrive: Car

6. Los Angeles

los angeles skyline at sunset

We won’t dice our words; preferably, you’d have greater than a day in Los Angeles; it is quickly among California’s finest cities. From amusement park to the Walk of Fame and Beverly Hills, Los Angeles is basically everyone’s desire location when it involves checking out California. The mega-city obtained its online reputation from A-listers and Hollywood flicks, and it has a few of the very best tourist attractions and scenic tours the whole state deals. That stated, Los Angeles is manageable on a day journey from San Diego. You’ll simply need to have a military-style schedule. You can additionally purchase an assisted outing. This means, the 2-hour drive each means won’t tire you out excessive.

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You can additionally reserve this two-day exclusive sightseeing excursion integrating Los Angeles and San Diego. Read all things you can do in Los Angeles on your outing or weekend break trip at 37 Best Things to Do in Los Angeles – By A Local

Distance from San Diego: 2 hours How to arrive: Car, train, or scenic tour

7. Catalina Island

Catalina island overview in California

Catalina Island is just one of one of the most daring areas you can go to from San Diego. The spectacular island has an all-natural tough appeal, with shrub-covered hill ridges and tiny towns embracing the beachfront at their base. Catalina Island is 22 miles off the coastline of California, implying you’ll be capturing a ferryboat. The ferryboat leaves from Dana Point, about an hour’s drive north of San Diego.

Once you get to the island, you’ll have walking, fresh fish and shellfish dining establishments, and wild animals enjoying to delight you. Catalina Island is popular for its charm and excellent friendliness. And in a day, you’ll certainly have the ability to obtain an actual experience of the island.

Distance from San Diego: 2 hours How to arrive: Ferry

8. Rosarito Beach

Best day trips from San Diego Rosarito Beach

If you are trying to find San Diego coastlines, this sandy coastline is better than you may have originally believed to look. Across the Mexican boundary, Rosarito Beach is the excellent place for a peaceful stroll on the sands. As an entire, the coastline community of Rosarito is exceptional enjoyable – best understood for its footloose design of night life and enthusiastic browse society. It doesn’t take much to discuss why Rosarito is a prominent trip among United States travelers. But also simply on a day journey, it is an excellent coastline day location. It has superb diving chances, as well, with a synthetic coral reef existing simply offshore.

Less than a 50-minute drive from San Diego, what extra could you desire? You’ll integrate 2 nations in one journey and obtain a revitalizing dosage of Mexican society.

Distance from San Diego: 50 mins How to arrive: Car

9. Go Whale Watching

best day trips from san diego whale watching

As much as pet experiences go, seeing a large humpback whale surface area from the Pacific Ocean tops most experiences. For any kind of wild animals enthusiasts, going whale viewing is just one of the very best feasible field trip from San Diego. And while you can obtain fortunate nearly all all year, the very best duration is wintertime and very early springtime. Most scenic tour drivers supply an assurance, as well, where if you don’t see a whale on your scenic tour, you obtain a cost-free scenic tour the following day.

Even if you don’t identify whales, there are guaranteed sugar. There are practically assured discoveries of sea lions and dolphins, which will certainly assist you break a smile. This highly-rated scenic tour is most likely to market out.

Distance from San Diego: N/A How to arrive: Tour

10. Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is just one of one of the most stunning field trip from San Diego. If you wish to go treking for a couple of hours, the shaded oak timberland at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is alluring, specifically in the early morning of a warm day. Many camp in this park and full over night walks, yet it’s similarly fit to day trippers. It isn’t simply beautiful; remain peaceful, and you can identify anything from cougars to prairie wolves and mule deer. The park is an enchanting location for wild animals lovers.

Distance from San Diego: 1 hour How to arrive: Car

11. Cleveland National Forest

Day Trips From San Diego Cleveland National Forest

Cleveland National Forest is a desire for walkers and hill cyclists; it also has horseback riding tracks. This place is the most southern national park in California and stretches over a commendable 460,000 acres. Cleveland National Forest is additionally home to 3 chain of mountains, consisting of Santa Ana, Palomar, and the Laguna Mountains – implying lots of top walks and tough tracks to obtain your teeth right into.

To retreat Downtown San Diego for a day, you can’t defeat the shaded tracks in Cleveland National Forest. The woodland has all type of wild animals, as well, consisting of hill lions, prairie wolves, and mule deer. It’s an excellent concept to bring field glasses. Read extra: 15 Best Hikes in California – Inspiration to Get Outdoors

Distance from San Diego: 1.5 hours How to arrive: Car

12. San Clemente State Beach

Day Trips From San Diego San Clemente State Beach

San Clemente State Beach extends a mile long, with sizable sands and remarkable sights that load a guaranteed wow variable. If you desire a coastline day, San Clemente State Beach has the room to defeat the groups on a hectic day. It is additionally simply an hour north of the city. It takes you on an instead beautiful mini trip with several Californian coastline communities as the path hugs the coastline. At San Clemente State Beach, you can appreciate various water sporting activities, barbecue, or loosen up with a publication. Remember to go to the neighboring San Onofre State Beach also, which is a much more rough coastline yet backed by remarkable high cliffs and a precious browse place.

Distance from San Diego: 1 hour How to arrive: Car

13. Lake Poway Recreational Area

Lake Poway Recreational Area in California

Lake Poway is where to go to an independent fishing expedition from San Diego. You might require to employ equipment in the city if you didn’t bring your own, yet the calmness when you get here will certainly make it worth the added arranging. The tank is established versus a beautiful background of several tiny hillsides. When you aren’t angling, you can finish a very easy boundary walk of under 3 miles. Lake Poway is a little piece of serenity just thirty minutes far from San Diego’s town hall by auto. Plus, you’ll most likely return with trout.

Distance from San Diego: 40 mins How to arrive: Car

14. Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve

Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve outside of San diego California

Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve is a spectacular 2,900 acres of conifer timberland with a hill optimal. Volcan Mountain has excellent aboriginal relevance, and it is beneficial discovering the society and background behind the hill prior to checking out simply to make your treking much more unique. The finest walk is a 5-mile big salami that takes you best to Volcan Mountain’s top. But if that appears a bit much, there’s additionally a 3.2-mile mid-summit walk you can choose. Both have spectacular sights over the maintain and are great for nature enthusiasts and those desiring a health and fitness obstacle with stunning sights.

Distance from San Diego: 1.5 hours How to arrive: Car

15. La Jolla Cove

best day trips from san diego la jolla

La Jolla Cove is sea lion paradise. This rough outcrop is located simply north of the town hall, making La Jolla Cove among the quickest field trip from San Diego. However, La Jolla Cove deserves designating a couple of hours or even more, as these pets can maintain you amused for ages.

La Jolla Cove is a small stretch of coastline that sunbathers show the substantial pets – sunbathing or walloping their means along the sands. You mustn’t touch them, and the resident lifeguards are extremely rigorous on implementing regard for the pets. At La Jolla Cove, sea lions preponderate. What’s not to like regarding this extremely enjoyable arrangement?

Distance from San Diego: 20 mins How to arrive: Car

16. Julian Pie Company

Julian Pie Company in California San Diego Day Trips

This is just one of the whackiest field trip from San Diego. The Julian Pie Company is simply over an hour’s drive inland from the city and is most understood for its tasty apple pie. For great antique American food, this place deserves the mini trip. You’ll be appreciating your pie in a diner-style coffee shop. Seriously, if you are a food lover, it is well worth a go to. You can also stockpile on takeaway pies as mementos. On your back, think about quiting at one of the beautiful places you drive previous. These consist of the vineyards in the San Diego Country Estate area and Cedar Creek Falls.

Distance from San Diego: 1 hour 15 mins How to arrive: auto

17. Wine Tasting Tour

best day trips from san diego wine tasting

Going red wine sampling is an interactive outing option to enliven your San Diego schedule. You can really drive to the majority of the wineries, which lie simply a brief drive beyond the town hall. However, for evident factors, there are assisted scenic tours that consist of shuttle bus solutions – a better concept and reputable solution in the San Diego tourist market.

One of the leading red wine locations near San Diego is Temecula Valley. The valley has greater than 45 various vineyards to pick in between, and it’s understood for its Rhone and cabernet sauvignons. Its cozy environment needs these better-adapted grape selections. However, Temecula Valley still has greater than 24 grape selections prospering in its hillsides.

This exclusive red wine sampling side auto scenic tour is a unique means to check out San Diego while sampling glass of wines at various areas.

Distance from San Diego: Approximately 1 hour How to arrive: Tour

18. Disneyland

Day Trips from San Diego Disneyland Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Are you prepared for among one of the most enjoyable tasks near San Diego? Disneyland is simply 1.5 hours north of San Diego and is an excellent outing for the entire household.

Embarking on a day journey from San Diego to Disneyland uses an enchanting retreat right into a globe of marvel and exhilaration. Just a brief drive north, Disneyland, called “The Happiest Place on Earth,” is the ideal location for family members, close friends, and Disney connoisseurs alike. From the thrilling experiences in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad to the wayward experiences in Fantasyland, there’s something for everybody.

Plus, with year-round sunlight and the ease of closeness, San Diego citizens can automatically determine to check out the captivating worlds of Disneyland for a day without the requirement for substantial preparation. It’s the excellent fast trip that assures a life time of memories and a much-needed dosage of happiness and enjoyment.

Distance from San Diego: 1 hour 45 mins How to arrive: Car

19. Laguna Beach

best day trips from san diego laguna

Laguna Beach is just one of one of the most prominent field trip from San Diego and – truthfully – anywhere else neighboring in California. Laguna Beach is well known for its boho ambiance and stunning coast. For flashy individuals in a beautiful setup, Laguna Beach ticks every box. Visiting is an experience by itself, also simply for a day. You can maximize excellent browse by renting out a board, investing a day on a gorgeous coastline, or treking while admiring Pacific Ocean sights. Laguna Beach is just one of one of the most popular put on the California coast, which is an amazing accomplishment by itself. For a ‘happening’ coastline day, it is an excellent day out.

Distance from San Diego: How to arrive:

20. Lake Mathews Estelle Mountain Reserve

Lake Mathews Estelle Mountain Reserve is a beautiful tank bordered by about 13,000 acres of secured land. Nature enthusiasts will certainly love this get, specifically with all the bird-watching chances. In wintertime, you can obtain fortunate and place hairless and gold eagles. While, as a somewhat even more uncommon pet experience, you can additionally see kangaroo rats all the time if you look thoroughly sufficient. Kangaroo rats appear like little gerbils and are a few of the prettiest pets you can see. They are nighttime and extremely wise when it involves seeing could-be-predators close by. But if you spend time Lake Mathews Estelle Mountain Reserve a little later, you can obtain fortunate with discoveries. Otherwise, simply believe the beachfront sights and bring some bird-watching field glasses.

Distance from San Diego: 1 hour and 40 mins How to arrive: Car

21. Mission San Juan Capistrano

best day trips from san diego mission san juan capistrano

Mission San Juan Capistrano is an interesting gallery to go to and is embeded in an old Spanish church. The San Juan Capistrano ‘mission’ was established in 1776 as a method for Spanish inhabitants to connect to the area and teach regarding Catholicism. You can find out more regarding this very early religious beliefs teaching with various exhibitions, along with capture the bell buzzing, which happens every day in honor of Saint Junipero Serra. Mission San Juan Capistrano is ideal for any individual thinking about religious beliefs, the early american influence in the United States, and the background around San Diego’s area.

Distance from San Diego: 1.5 hours How to arrive: Car or train

22. Joshua Tree National Park

best day trips from san diego joshua tree

Joshua Tree National Park is just one of one of the most traditional field trip from San Diego. There is absolutely nothing incorrect with getting on the traveler path sometimes. And that is specifically the instance when it involves Joshua Tree National Park. The park covers virtually 800,000 acres and draws in over 3 million site visitors annual, mainly many thanks to its strange name trees. The Joshua Tree is a twisted, bristly tree with environment-friendly spiky contends completion of its branches. It resembles a large cactus, an outright uniqueness that draws in professional photographers and non-photographers alike to raise their video cameras.

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Aside from its trees, the national forest has lots of excellent hiking tracks. Hidden Valley Nature Trail and Mastodon Peak are solid faves.

Distance from San Diego: 3 hours and 15 mins How to arrive: Car

23. San Jacinto Mountains

Best Day Trips San diego San Jacinto Mountains

Do you such as to mountain bicycle or go rock climbing? The San Jacinto Mountains are where to directly your selected one-day trip from San Diego. The chain of mountains is simply eastern of Los Angeles – northeast of San Diego. A fast Google raises lots of bike tracks online, and you can either bring your very own or employ one in San Diego. The hills are additionally wonderful for mountain climbers. The granite comes to a head forget spectacular fields and forested valleys. You’ll be well compensated with any kind of top climbs up, and there are lots of technological difficulties for even more skilled mountain climbers.

Of program, there is additionally San Jacinto State Park itself. This is the greatest optimal in the chain of mountains and rests at 10,834 feet. It is just ideal for the most sophisticated walkers yet a dazzling obstacle for those with appropriate experience.

Distance from San Diego: 3 hours How to arrive: Car

Day Trips from San Diego: Frequently Asked Questions

best day trips from san diego faqs

Are you prepared to evaluate the Frequently asked questions behind the ideal field trip from San Diego? That added expert info can change your journey – so it’s well worth scanning over these leading 4 concerns. Who understands what might simply offer you that added little motivation? Here are the leading Frequently asked questions for intending field trip in San Diego.

Can you do a field trip from San Diego to Mexico?

Yes, you definitely can. San Diego is located exactly on the United States/Mexico boundary, near the boundary city of Tijuana. Tijuana is quickly obtainable on a day journey from San Diego, implying you can nip throughout a various nation for a day. Tijuana is excellent for coastlines, Mexican food, and social experiences like enjoying fumbling.

Can you do a field trip to Tijuana from San Diego?

Yes, you can quickly arrange a field trip to Tijuana from San Diego. Multiple scenic tours take travelers throughout the boundary for a day, or you can directly an independent outing by renting out an auto. Tijuana is exceptional enjoyable and the ideal enhancement to a remain in San Diego. Talk regarding optimizing your time!

Can you do a field trip from San Diego to Los Angeles?

Definitely, you can take a field trip to Los Angeles from San Diego in simply 2 hours by auto or 3 hours by train. You can additionally reserve arranged scenic tours, which is exceptional if you wish to obtain taken around the major views with marginal initiative. Los Angeles is clearly really renowned. It is just one of the very best field trip from San Diego if you desire a motivating trip.

What is the very best Mexican community near San Diego?

Tijuana is one of the most typically gone to Mexican location from San Diego. However, we recommend checking out Rosarito. Rosarito is a warm hotel community on the Baja Californian peninsula with a gorgeous coastline and extreme adequate night life to attract normal United States site visitors. It is a searching hotspot and is additionally great for diving, with a previous Navy ship producing an amazing fabricated coral reef simply offshore.

Why We Love These Day Trips From San Diego

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As you can see, you are extremely ruined for option when it involves field trip from San Diego. The city is ideal for spreading your wings and experiencing even more of California, and what much better means to maximize your vacation? San Diego field trip are a dazzling concept. And if you remain longer than 2 days, you certainly have time for at the very least among the journeys on this checklist.

top day trips from san diego

Are you trying to find even more San Diego motivation? You remain in the best location. Remember to take a look at our Where to remain in San Diego overview and utmost California trip schedule. San Diego has much to learn more about and is an optimal launch pad for much more experiences. Make one of the most of your journey.

Plan Your Next Trip To San Diego With These Resources

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