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


Beautiful San Diego is a simple sell. The city has a lot to do, from art galleries, street art, and museums in Downtown San Diego to its outstanding portfolio of sandy beaches for the more laidback travelers. You can take areas for whale-watching cruises or white wine tasting– and if you are remaining for longer than a day or 2, you ought to absolutely prepare some excursion. San Diego is preferably situated on the southern California coast, suitable for venturing to a few of the state’s most beautiful locations and the majority of amazing destinations.

Best Day Trips from San Diego

fun day trips from san diego california

Whether you are a nature enthusiast or choose modern art, San Diego has a journey that will be up your street. In this guide, we’ll present you to the leading competitors, from hours invested in Los Angeles to afternoons white wine tasting in the middle of rolling hills. It is safe to state that there’s lots of range. Since San Diego’s day journeys do not dissatisfy, get a pen and paper.

Book your airport transfer to your downtown San Diego hotel ahead of time for a personal carefree journey.

1. Newport Beach

Newport beach shoreline California

Newport Beach is merely the location for a part-glitzy, part-cheesy seaside experience in California. As an outing from San Diego, it is a perfect beach day location. You can sit back on many sandy beaches, head browsing, or attempt some scrumptious ice cream. There are off-beach activities, too, like theme park activities on Balboa Pier and at Balboa Fun Zone.

This is a light-hearted field trip to pick from San Diego. It is a terrific bet if you desire an enjoyable day out or are taking a trip with young kids. Take a look at 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 quite unique. The uncommon natural lake is popular for its very high salt levels, home to just a handful of marine life types. Just the hardiest animals and plant life can hack a life in the Salton Sea. The white sands around the lake are visual adequate to draw professional photographers, not simply swimmers. In General, Salton Sea is simply the best uncommon field trip to contribute to your San Diego itinerary.

Once you’ve appreciated the lake, there is a historical town around its border to have a potter around. If you expensive a leisurely 2-mile walk with breathtaking lake views and possible bird seeing, there’s likewise Rock Hill Trail.

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

3. Tijuana

Tijuana Cultural Center, Baja California Peninsula

A Tijuana field trip is the supreme persuasion to go out of downtown San Diego for a day. The border city has a track record for having plenty of life and culture– the most available point of Mexico to reach on a day journey from San Diego. It is extremely popular for those wishing to squeeze a glance of Mexico into their San Diego schedule. Tijuana is perfect if you desire an enthusiastic day out. take a guided tour.

  • You can roam the old town, watch fumbling occasions, or check out the Tijuana Cultural. You can check out individually or
  • Distance from San Diego: 1 hour and 15 minutes or 35 minutes by cars and truck

How to arrive: Shuttle or cars and truck

Fun Day Trips from San Diego Borrego Springs

4. Borrego SpringsHollywood film.

  • Borrego Springs is among the outright finest locations to check out for stargazing– completely surrounded by the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and a designated International Dark Sky Community. This suggests that while we are including it as a ‘field trip’, you may wish to check out in the evening in a somewhat more non-traditional journey. If you arrive before night, however, you ought to take a look at a few of the tracks in the state park. The Slot Canyon Trail is especially popular. Clark Dry Lake is a cool area, too; it is a split lake that appears like something right out of a
  • Distance from San Diego: 2 hours

How to arrive: Car

palm springs california mountains

5. Palm Springs16 Best Cities in California

Chances are you’ve currently become aware of Palm Springs. This city is rested on– unsurprisingly– warm springs, implying you’ll discover lots of thermal swimming pools and rich plant life. As a city, it is likewise action-packed in a glamorous method, with tennis courts, golf courses, horseback riding, and night life galore. Palm Springs is basically a grownups’ play ground. It is the perfect location to let your hair down for a day. Find out more:

  • As a fast side note, Palm Springs is straight in between San Diego and Joshua Tree National Park. You can integrate the 2 with a fast stopover in Palm Springs en path to the national forest.
  • Distance from San Diego: 2.5 hours

How to arrive: Car

los angeles skyline at sunset

6. Los AngelesCalifornia’s best cities. We will not mince our words; preferably, you ‘d have more than a day in Los Angeles; it is quickly among invest in a guided day trip From amusement park to the Walk of Fame and Beverly Hills, Los Angeles is basically everyone’s dream location when it pertains to going to California. The mega-city got its track record from A-listers and Hollywood films, and it has a few of the very best destinations and trips the whole state deals. That stated, Los Angeles is workable on a day journey from San Diego. You’ll simply need to have a military-style schedule. You can likewise

best day trips from san diego los angeles venice beach

By doing this, the 2-hour drive each method will not tire you out excessive.this two-day private sightseeing tour You can likewise book 37 Best Things to Do in Los Angeles – By A Local

  • integrating Los Angeles and San Diego. Check out all the important things you can do in Los Angeles on your field trip or weekend vacation at
  • Distance from San Diego: 2 hours

How to arrive: Tour, train, or cars and truck

Catalina island overview in California

7. Catalina Island

Catalina Island is among the most daring locations you can check out from San Diego. The spectacular island has a natural rugged attraction, with shrub-covered mountain ridges and little towns hugging the beachfront at their base. Catalina Island is 22 miles off the coast of California, implying you’ll be capturing a ferryboat. The ferryboat leaves from Dana Point, roughly an hour’s drive north of San Diego.

  • Once you reach the island, you’ll have hiking, fresh seafood dining establishments, and wildlife seeing to captivate you. Catalina Island is popular for its appeal and terrific hospitality. And in a day, you’ll absolutely have the ability to get a genuine experience of the island.
  • Distance from San Diego: 2 hours

How to arrive: Ferry

Best day trips from San Diego Rosarito Beach

8. Rosarito BeachSan Diego beaches If you are searching for

, this sandy beach is even more than you may have at first believed to look. Throughout the Mexican border, Rosarito Beach is the perfect area for a peaceful walk on the sands. As an entire, the beach town of Rosarito is outstanding enjoyable– best understood for its footloose design of night life and enthusiastic browse culture. It does not take much to describe why Rosarito is a popular vacation among United States travelers. Even simply on a day journey, it is a terrific beach day location. It has great diving chances, too, with a synthetic reef lying simply offshore.

  • Less than a 50-minute drive from San Diego, what more could you desire? You’ll integrate 2 nations in one journey and get a rejuvenating dosage of Mexican culture.
  • Distance from San Diego: 50 minutes

How to arrive: Car

best day trips from san diego whale watching

9. Go Whale Watchingtour operators As far as animal encounters go, seeing a huge humpback whale surface area from the Pacific Ocean tops most experiences. For any wildlife fans, going whale watching is among the very best possible excursion from San Diego. And while you can get fortunate nearly all all year, the very best duration is winter season and early spring. A Lot Of

use a warranty, too, where if you do not see a whale on your trip, you get a complimentary trip the next day.This highly-rated tour Even if you do not find whales, there are guaranteed sweeteners. There are nearly ensured sightings of sea lions and dolphins, which will assist you split a smile.

  • is most likely to offer out.
  • Distance from San Diego: N/A

How to arrive: Tour

10. Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

  • Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is among the most stunning excursion from San Diego. If you wish to go treking for a couple of hours, the shaded oak forest at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is alluring, particularly in the early morning of a hot day. Lots of camp in this park and total over night walkings, however it’s similarly appropriate to day trippers. It isn’t simply beautiful; remain peaceful, and you can find anything from cougars to coyotes and mule deer. The park is a wonderful location for wildlife lovers.
  • Distance from San Diego: 1 hour

How to arrive: Car

Day Trips From San Diego Cleveland National Forest

11. Cleveland National Forest

Cleveland National Forest is a dream for hikers and mountain bicycle riders; it even has horseback riding tracks. This area is the southernmost national park in California and stretches over a decent 460,000 acres. Cleveland National Forest is likewise home to 3 range of mountains, consisting of Santa Ana, Palomar, and the Laguna Mountains– implying lots of top walkings and tough tracks to get your teeth into.15 Best Hikes in California – Inspiration to Get Outdoors

  • To leave Downtown San Diego for a day, you can’t beat the shaded tracks in Cleveland National Forest. The forest has all sorts of wildlife, too, consisting of mountain lions, coyotes, and mule deer. It’s an excellent concept to bring field glasses. Find out more:
  • Distance from San Diego: 1.5 hours

How to arrive: Car

Day Trips From San Diego San Clemente State Beach

12. San Clemente State Beach

  • San Clemente State Beach extends a mile long, with roomy sands and remarkable views that load a certain wow element. San Clemente State Beach has the area to beat the crowds on a hectic day if you desire a beach day. It is likewise simply an hour north of the city. It takes you on a rather beautiful mini journey through numerous Californian beach towns as the path hugs the coastline. At San Clemente State Beach, you can delight in several water sports, picnic, or unwind with a book. Keep in mind to check out the neighboring San Onofre State Beach also, which is a more rocky beach however backed by remarkable cliffs and a cherished browse area.
  • Distance from San Diego: 1 hour

How to arrive: Car

Lake Poway Recreational Area in California

13. Lake Poway Recreational Area

  • Lake Poway is where to head for an independent fishing expedition from San Diego. You might require to employ equipment in the city if you didn’t bring yours, however the tranquility when you show up will make it worth the additional arranging. The tank is set versus a beautiful background of numerous little hills. When you aren’t fishing, you can finish a simple border walking of under 3 miles. Lake Poway is a little piece of serenity just thirty minutes far from San Diego’s town hall by cars and truck. Plus, you’ll likely return with trout.
  • Distance from San Diego: 40 minutes

How to arrive: Car

Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve outside of San diego California

14. Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve

  • Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve is a spectacular 2,900 acres of conifer forest with a mountain peak. Volcan Mountain has terrific native significance, and it is rewarding finding out about the culture and history behind the mountain before going to simply to make your treking much more unique. The very best walking is a 5-mile big salami that takes you best to Volcan Mountain’s top. If that sounds a bit much, there’s likewise a 3.2-mile mid-summit walking you can choose for. Both have spectacular views over the protect and are fantastic for nature fans and those desiring a physical fitness obstacle with stunning views.
  • Distance from San Diego: 1.5 hours

How to arrive: Car

best day trips from san diego la jolla

15. La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove is sea lion paradise. This rocky outcrop is positioned simply north of the town hall, making La Jolla Cove among the quickest excursion from San Diego. La Jolla Cove is worth designating a couple of hours or more, as these animals can keep you amused for ages.

  • La Jolla Cove is a small stretch of beach that sunbathers show the big animals– sunbathing or walloping their method along the sands. You should not touch them, and the resident lifeguards are very stringent on imposing regard for the animals. At La Jolla Cove, sea lions rule supreme. What’s not to like about this very enjoyable setup?
  • Distance from San Diego: 20 minutes

How to arrive: Car

Julian Pie Company in California San Diego Day Trips

16. Julian Pie Company

  • This is among the whackiest excursion from San Diego. The Julian Pie Company is simply over an hour’s drive inland from the city and is most understood for its scrumptious apple pie. For great old-fashioned American food, this area deserves the mini journey. You’ll be enjoying your pie in a diner-style café. Seriously, if you are a food lover, it is well worth a check out. You might even stockpile on takeaway pies as mementos. On your method back, think about stopping at one of the beautiful areas you drive previous. These consist of the wineries in the San Diego Country Estate area and Cedar Creek Falls.
  • Distance from San Diego: 1 hour 15 minutes

How to arrive: cars and truck

best day trips from san diego wine tasting

17. White Wine Tasting Tour

Going white wine tasting is an interactive field trip option to enliven your San Diego schedule. You can really drive to many of the vineyards, which are situated simply a brief drive exterior of the city. For apparent factors, there are assisted trips that consist of shuttle bus services– a much better concept and reputable service in the San Diego tourist market.

This private wine tasting side car tour One of the leading white wine locations near San Diego is Temecula Valley. The valley has more than 45 various wineries to select in between, and it’s understood for its Rhone and cabernet sauvignons. Its warm environment needs these better-adapted grape ranges. Temecula Valley still has more than 24 grape ranges flourishing in its hills.

  • is a special method to check out San Diego while tasting red wines at various places.
  • Distance from San Diego: Approximately 1 hour

How to arrive: Tour

Day Trips from San Diego Disneyland Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

18. Disneyland

Are you all set for among the most enjoyable activities near San Diego? Disneyland is simply 1.5 hours north of San Diego and is a terrific field trip for the entire household.

Embarking on an outing from San Diego to Disneyland uses a wonderful escape into a world of marvel and enjoyment. Simply a brief drive north, Disneyland, referred to as “The Happiest Place on Earth,” is the best location for households, good friends, and Disney fanatics alike. From the thrilling experiences in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad to the whimsical trips in Fantasyland, there’s something for everybody.

  • Plus, with year-round sunlight and the benefit of distance, San Diego homeowners can spontaneously choose to check out the charming worlds of Disneyland for a day without the requirement for comprehensive preparation. It’s the perfect fast vacation that assures a life time of memories and a much-needed dosage of happiness and home entertainment.
  • Distance from San Diego: 1 hour 45 minutes

How to arrive: Car

best day trips from san diego laguna

19. Laguna Beach

  • Laguna Beach is among the most popular excursion from San Diego and– truthfully– anywhere else neighboring in California. Laguna Beach is renowned for its boho ambiance and stunning shoreline. For flashy individuals in a beautiful setting, Laguna Beach ticks every box. Going to is an experience in itself, even simply for a day. You can maximize terrific browse by leasing a board, investing a day on a gorgeous beach, or treking while appreciating Pacific Ocean views. Laguna Beach is among the most popular put on the California shoreline, which is an amazing accomplishment in itself. For a ‘taking place’ beach day, it is a best day out.
  • Distance from San Diego:

How to arrive:

20. Lake Mathews Estelle Mountain Reserve

  • Lake Mathews Estelle Mountain Reserve is a beautiful tank surrounded by roughly 13,000 acres of safeguarded land. Nature fans will love this reserve, particularly with all the bird-watching chances. In winter season, you can get fortunate and area golden and bald eagles. While, as a somewhat more uncommon animal encounter, you can likewise see kangaroo rats throughout the year if you look thoroughly enough. Kangaroo rats appear like little gerbils and are a few of the prettiest animals you can see. When it comes to observing could-be-predators close by, they are extremely smart and nighttime. If you hang around Lake Mathews Estelle Mountain Reserve a little later, you might get fortunate with sightings. Otherwise, simply lap up the waterside views and bring some bird-watching field glasses.
  • Distance from San Diego: 1 hour and 40 minutes

How to arrive: Car

best day trips from san diego mission san juan capistrano

21. Objective San Juan Capistrano

  • Mission San Juan Capistrano is a remarkable museum to check out and is embeded in an old Spanish chapel. The San Juan Capistrano ‘objective’ was established in 1776 as a method for Spanish inhabitants to connect to the neighborhood and preach about Catholicism. You can discover more about this early religious beliefs preaching through various displays, along with capture the bell ringing, which takes place every day in honor of Saint Junipero Serra. Objective San Juan Capistrano is best for anybody thinking about religious beliefs, the colonial effect in the United States, and the history around San Diego’s area.
  • Distance from San Diego: 1.5 hours

How to arrive: Car or train

best day trips from san diego joshua tree

22. Joshua Tree National Park

best day trips from san diego joshua tree Southern California

Joshua Tree National Park is among the most traditional excursion from San Diego. There is absolutely nothing incorrect with getting on the traveler path sometimes. When it comes to Joshua Tree National Park, and that is particularly the case. The park covers almost 800,000 acres and draws in over 3 million visitors annual, mainly thanks to its strange name trees. The Joshua Tree is a twisted, bristly tree with green spiky contends completion of its branches. It appears like an extra-large cactus, an outright novelty that draws in non-photographers and professional photographers alike to raise their video cameras.

  • Aside from its trees, the national forest has lots of terrific hiking tracks. Hidden Valley Nature Trail and Mastodon Peak are firm favorites.
  • Distance from San Diego: 3 hours and 15 minutes

How to arrive: Car

Best Day Trips San diego San Jacinto Mountains

23. San Jacinto Mountains

Do you like to mountain bicycle or go rock climbing? The San Jacinto Mountains are where to head on your selected one-day trip from San Diego. The range of mountains is simply east of Los Angeles– northeast of San Diego. A fast Google raises lots of bike tracks online, and you can either bring your own or employ one in San Diego. The mountains are likewise dreamy for climbers. The granite peaks neglect forested valleys and spectacular meadows. You’ll be well rewarded with any top climbs up, and there are lots of technical obstacles for more skilled climbers.

  • Of course, there is likewise San Jacinto State Park itself. This is the greatest peak in the range of mountains and sits at 10,834 feet. It is just appropriate for the most sophisticated hikers however a dazzling obstacle for those with appropriate experience.
  • Distance from San Diego: 3 hours

How to arrive: Car

best day trips from san diego faqs

Day Trips from San Diego: FAQs

Are you all set to evaluate the FAQs behind the best excursion from San Diego? That additional expert details can change your journey– so it’s well worth scanning over these leading 4 concerns. Who understands what might simply offer you that additional little motivation? Here are the leading FAQs for preparing excursion in San Diego.

Can you do an outing from San Diego to Mexico?

Yes, you definitely can. San Diego is positioned right on the US/Mexico border, near the border city of Tijuana. Tijuana is quickly available on a day journey from San Diego, implying you can nip throughout a various nation for a day. Tijuana is terrific for beaches, Mexican food, and cultural experiences like seeing fumbling.

Can you do an outing to Tijuana from San Diego?

Yes, you can quickly arrange an outing to Tijuana from San Diego. Numerous trips take travelers throughout the border for a day, or you might head on an independent field trip by leasing a vehicle. Tijuana is outstanding enjoyable and the best addition to a remain in San Diego. Speak about optimizing your time!

Can you do an outing from San Diego to Los Angeles?

Definitely, you can take an outing to Los Angeles from San Diego in simply 2 hours by cars and truck or 3 hours by train. You can likewise reserve arranged trips, which is outstanding if you wish to get taken around the primary sights with very little effort. Los Angeles is undoubtedly really renowned. If you desire a motivating vacation, it is one of the finest day journeys from San Diego.

What is the very best Mexican town near San Diego?

Tijuana is the most typically gone to Mexican location from San Diego. We recommend going to Rosarito. Rosarito is a warm resort town on the Baja Californian peninsula with a gorgeous beach and extreme adequate night life to draw routine United States visitors. It is a browsing hotspot and is likewise fantastic for diving, with a previous Navy ship developing an amazing synthetic reef simply offshore.

best day trips from san diego pier

Why We Love These Day Trips From San Diego

top day trips from san diego

As you can see, you are very ruined for option when it pertains to excursion from San Diego. The city is best for spreading your wings and experiencing more of California, and what much better method to maximize your vacation? San Diego excursion are a dazzling concept. And if you remain longer than 2 days, you absolutely have time for a minimum of among the journeys on this list.Where to stay in San Diego guide Are you searching for more San Diego motivation? You remain in the best location. Keep in mind to take a look at our ultimate California road trip and

schedule. San Diego has much to find out about and is a perfect launchpad for much more experiences. Maximize your journey.

Plan Your Next Trip To San Diego With These Resources(*)


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