Things To Do Outside in San Diego

Beach-goers enjoying the outdoors at the Oceanside Pier
Beach-goers enjoying the outdoors at the Oceanside Pier | © Alamy Stock Photo
With its year-long mild climate and location right on the beach, it is easy to go outdoors in San Diego. Our local insiders know their stuff: they’ve visited the breweries, walked along the beaches and kayaked the coast so they can recommend you all the best spots.

Oceanside Pier

Architectural Landmark

If you’re looking for an idyllic day out in San Diego, get yourself to Oceanside Pier. Take a romantic stroll along the wooden pier and watch the sunset. Dolphins and seals may poke their heads up to say hello. If you’re keen on a seafood supper, you can fish here without a license, and there’s a small bait shop where you can rent everything you need. Recommended by local insider Lauren Rogers

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Stone Brewing Escondido

Brewery

With a one-acre beer garden and an expansive outdoor patio, you can’t fail to catch some rays at Stone Brewing Escondido. They’re huge advocates of sustainability, so you can drink knowing the ingredients have been locally sourced. Take a brewery tour and learn all their inside secrets, or just kick back with a group of friends and sample their drinks. Recommended by local insider Lauren Rogers

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Buzz Buggy

Amusement Park

See all the sights of San Diego from a different viewpoint in an electric tuk-tuk from Buzz Buggy. Set your own itinerary or let the crew recommend a customized trip. Choose from a beer tour; a tequila and taco adventure; or an Instagrammable expedition around the best photo ops in town. It’s a sure-fire hit with groups and a guaranteed good time. Recommended by local insider Lauren Rogers

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Windansea Beach

Natural Feature

San Diego’s shores have been the local surfers’ playground for years and there’s no better place to watch them than Windansea Beach. The underwater reefs cause some very strong breaks, so please don’t consider taking out your board unless you are very experienced. Relish the peace here – it is much quieter than the rest of the beaches in the area. Walks along the beach are thoroughly recommended after dinner in La Jolla. Recommended by local insider Lauren Rogers

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La Jolla kayak and snorkel tour

Natural Feature

Take to the water on a brightly colored, plastic kayak with an expertly trained tour guide who will take you on a spectacular aquatic journey. There’s loads of safety gear and the trip is lots of fun. Visit the sea caves of La Jolla, make friends (from a distance) with sea lions, turtles, leopard sharks and marine fish when you snorkel the ecological reserve. Recommended by local insider Hebah Bukhari

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Ho Chi Minh (La Jolla) Trail

Hiking Trail

This recommendation comes with a very big, flashing neon sign that reads ‘Be Careful’. This hike isn’t for everyone as it’s sticky in places with drops down to the gorge and very little traction underfoot. You’ll have to have your wits about you. It is a beautiful trail though, and not too congested as it seems even the locals don’t know too much about it. The path leads down to Black Beach where, if you wish, you can remove all your clothes and jump straight in the sea – it is San Diego’s only clothing-optional beach. Recommended by local insider Hebah Bukhari

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These recommendations were updated on July 13, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.