Attractions & Things to Do in San Diego

Attractions & Things to Do in San Diego
Sunny San Diego, with its nearly year-round sunshine and mild temperatures, is an outdoor enthusiast's heaven. Classic California pastimes like surfing and beach-going are available in spades, as are hiking, biking, other water sports like snorkeling, and wildlife viewing, both in the wild and at the incredible zoo.

Pacific Beach

Do as the Southern Californians do with a surf session at San Diego's Pacific Beach, just north of the Mission Beach and Mission Bay area. Pacific Beach Surf School gives lessons and offers wetsuit rental and both foam and fiberglass board rental. If you're not into riding the waves, Pacific Beach's soft sand and boardwalk lined with shops and eateries are great places to people-watch in the fresh air.

Pacific Beach Surf Shop
4150 Mission Blvd., Suite 161
San Diego, CA 92109
Tel: (858) 373-1138

REI store

Stock up on everything from backpacks and shoes to water bottles and guidebooks at the San Diego outpost of REI, the national outdoor-gear retailer that is a mecca for nature-lovers and adventure-seekers. You'll find it in the northern part of the city, just south of the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station.

REI San Diego
5556 Copley Drive
San Diego, CA 92111
Tel: (858) 279-4400

San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park

Balboa Park, in central San Diego, is home to the San Diego Zoo and its 100 acres of giant panda bears, elephants, hippos and more than 4,000 other animals. You'll get your daily dose of exercise just walking around the zoo, but if you're looking for additional outdoor activity in Balboa Park, there are hiking and biking trails through much of the park's 1,200 acres. Trail Nos. 3, 4 and 5, which start at the northwest corner of the park, go through or around Florida Canyon and many native flora species.

San Diego Zoo
Balboa Park
2920 Zoo Drive
San Diego, CA 92101
Tel: (619) 231-1515

Balboa Park
1549 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101
Tel: (619) 239-0512

Torrey Pines State Reserve

For short wilderness hikes with ocean views, head to the 2,000 acres of coastal cliffs, beaches, hiking trails and bike paths that make up Torrey Pines State Reserve. The reserve is only 16 miles north of downtown, in between La Jolla and Del Mar, and offers eight miles of trails. For both beach access and a scenic view, take the Broken Hill trail via the South Fork to the Broken Hill overlook and then down to the beach.

Torrey Pines State Reserve
12600 N. Torrey Pines Road
San Diego, CA 92037
Tel: (858) 755-2063

La Jolla Cove

The chic enclave of La Jolla, about 12 miles north of downtown San Diego, is more than just upscale boutiques and restaurants--you'll find opportunities for snorkeling and kayaking as well as potential spying on the beloved harbor seals (while they're still there--their future presence is up for debate), at La Jolla Cove. If you have your own gear, snorkeling is easily accessed from the La Jolla Cove beach. For snorkel or kayak tours that include rental equipment, check out San Diego Bike & Kayak Tours. Garibaldi and leopard shark sightings are common on these tours (you can even snorkel with them) that go through the underwater ecological reserve.

San Diego Bike & Kayak Tours
San Diego, CA
Tel: (858) 454-1010

Article Written By Leah Still

Leah Still has written about travel, fashion and home design since 2003. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including "SKI" magazine, and She has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and broadens her education with both domestic and international travel.

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