20 Best Outdoor Destinations in San Diego

Google Map - Photo by Manuel S. Velasco

San Diego is a city in the USA of California on the coast of the pacific ocean and adjacent to the United States-Mexico border.

If you have a plan to go on vacation in San Diego, then you are on the right track.

Because, Tripboba will share with you the 20 top and best outdoor destinations to visit in San Diego.

This city is filled with plenty of beautiful beaches such as La Jolla Cove, Windansea Beach, Pacific Beach, Tourmaline Beach, Mushroom Beach House, Dog Beach, and more.

You can also find other outdoor destinations including Belmont Park, SeaWorld San Diego, and San Diego Zoo.



La Jolla Cove is the first outdoor destination on this list and a very recommended place to visit in San Diego. Tourists will be pampered by a lot of good things at this beach and one of the reasons why you have to visit this place is to see the sea lions.

There are a lot of tourists who come to this beach to see the legendary sea lions or seals. All the guests also can visit the caves, enjoy the breathtaking sunset views, and see some pelicans walk through the path, even though the parking is a little bit difficult here. So, if you want to see some beautiful sea lions and incredible sunset views, you have to visit La Jolla Cove.

La Jolla Cove

Popular with divers, this quaint beach houses permanent lifeguard stations, picnic tables & showers.

Excellent place to view seabird roost and picnic area.

Address : La Jolla Cove, San Diego, CA 92037, USA


The San Diego Zoo is one of the largest zoos in San Diego which is a great place to visit with your family. You can find many animals inside the zoo such as giraffes, koalas, monkeys, bird species, or even polar bears here. Located in Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and if you want to browse the official website, you can visit https://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/ for details.

The San Diego Zoo has so many species to see, and the parks are huge too, but if you want to tour the entire park, the zoo has bus tours that can help you explore all the things in the zoo. However, walking shoes are the best option for exploring the San Diego Zoo to enjoy the incredible animal sights.

San Diego Zoo

a little disapointed have seen many zoou00b4s around the world and SD is big and have many animals. But I felt the cages was a little small and some animals did not thrives in the not climate

Definitely worth the hype Very beautiful and so much to see. As hyped up, it is one of the best zoos in the world! Something for everyone in the family.

Favorite place Absolutely love the zoo . Beautiful , fun , amazing variety of animals and foliage . Very well landscaped ten out of ten would recommend ud83dude0dud83dude0d

Address : 2929 Zoo Drive Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101


The La Jolla Children's Pool is the perfect outdoor destination to visit for seal viewing, and it's also open for swimming in the summer. The main reason why you should go to La Jolla Children's Pool is to see harbor seals and their babies, you can also get the best views and be up close with them. Easy access and a great place for the kids means the La Jolla Children's Pool should be on your wish list when you come to San Diego.

Children's Pool La Jolla

Protected sandy cove home to many adult harbor seals & their pups, open for swimming in summer.

Really Amazing view just sit and enjoy the waves.

Address : Children's Pool La Jolla, 834 Coast Blvd S, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA


Windansea Beach is a popular beach in San Diego for surfers with its iconic palm tree-covered surf hut. Why Windansea Beach is becoming so popular is because most people say this beach is the best place to enjoy beautiful sunsets in La Jolla/San Diego and it's true. You can easily find a parking space here and it's not crowded. However, this beach is not recommended for swimming for small children or inexperienced people because the waves are slightly big, but a perfect place for surfers.

Windansea Beach

Best La Jolla beach this is an off the beaten path ocean delight. Not a tourist destination,. This is the place to go if enjoy quiet ocean with waves pounding the rocks. Bring your lunch and spend hours here.

A beautiful beach in a nice neighborhood and varied coastline We stayed near the beach for 4 nights over New Year's and our family loved it. Each late afternoon, we would talk down to the beach to play and watch the sunset. Each...

Nice beach Surround was great and quiet. I like this view when you come by the street and you see, the sea in blackground.

Address : 6800 Neptune Place, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92083


Torrey Pines State Reserve has located at 12600 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037, the United States, and is open daily from 7:15 AM to 8 PM. The starting point to the Torrey Pines State Preserve is the beach, they are very nice and clean, also great for walking and running.

Sunset here is enchanting which means you can enjoy your afternoon by seeing the incredible sunset with your boyfriend/girlfriend. The hiking trails are also great with amazing ocean views and sky views. A very family-friendly beach to visit in San Diego, be sure to add Torrey Pines State Reserve to your bucket list.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Nice nature hike Since we were early for a meeting at Scripps, we followed the sidewalk to Torrey Pines State Park. It is a nice respite from the cars along Torrey Pines Road. It is near the golf course and the contrast between the...

Great Hike for Young Families Our group of 4 adults and 4 children aged 8 and under had a wonderful time at this beautiful seaside park, with the "beach" trail leading to the ocean below. The hike was reasonable for kids of all...

Enjoy the view and sun on this easy hike An easy hike in the cliffs of Torrey Pines and along the beach. A little tricky coming down the trail to the beach... just take your time. NIce hike so close to a large city. Be prepared...

Address : 12600 N Torrey Pines Rd, San Diego, CA 92037


Another beautiful beach that you have to visit while coming to San Diego, it's called Pacific Beach. Pacific Beach is a relaxed beach popular with sunbathers and surfers, and close to some great hotels. Enjoy every second of this by lovely walking exploring the beach alongside breathtaking ocean views and gorgeous sunset scenery.

Besides it's located near the hotels, This laid-back beach is also close to many good restaurants, so you can enjoy some tasty dishes and drinks after getting exhausted and starving by walking around the beach. For the things to do, you can do a lot of things like fishing, surfing, sunbathing, jogging, swimming, and walking around on the beach.

Pacific Beach

Nice beach walkway; beautiful beach Because we were there in January, it wasn't too crowded, thankfully. The walkway allows great views of the beach and pier, as well as the many surfers who were trying to catch a wave.

Noce chill day in Pacific Beach I loved it here...but I am all about being seaside, waterfront...anything that gets me near the water. A great long stretch of boardwalk (a sunny, busy day over Christmas break) which was perfectly...

So nice here. We want to stay here next visit. Awesome visit here and so much to see. Have a few free parking spaces for you parking. Easy in easy out.

Address : Grand Avenue, San Diego, CA


San Diego is filled with many great beaches and Tourmaline Beach is one of them. Tourmaline Beach is a "paradise" for some surfers because the beach situation is fully supportive for surfing. Why it is popular among surfers because it has great waves and very sweet vibes.

And also a perfect destination for enjoying your summer vacation with the family. You can also find bathrooms and showers here, and you can sit on a bench to watch the waves from the cliffs. Tourmaline Beach is a great place to learn to surf, the cool crowds and a cozy atmosphere with great sunsets.

Tourmaline Beach

If you wanna surf, this is the best place.

There is a car park on the tourmaline Street entrance.

Address : Tourmaline Beach, 601 Tourmaline St, San Diego, CA 92109, USA


Black's Beach is a 2-mile long, sandy strip situated at the base of incredible 300-foot cliffs. You have to prepare some energy and drinks to reach this beach because you need to hike up and down, and you can also reach the top of the cliff to get the best view of this place. Access to Black's Beach is very difficult due to the high cliffs and the safest access is from adjacent beaches to the north and south, but this access may be obstructed by high tides or surf.

Black's Beach

Is the beach open Does anybody know if the beach is open for lounging and the parking lot available to the public or has covid shut it all down?

#NoTanLines2020 With having to cancel our International travels due to COVID-19, we decided to stay at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines hotel where we would visit Black’s Beach. Black’s Beach is our new favorite Beach in San...

Wow- Spectacular It appears that most of the people here are gay men. That's nice since I imagine they need an outlet or meeting place. If you are gay then this is the place for you. -

Address : 2800 Torrey Pines Scenic Dr, San Diego, CA 92037-1004


Cabrillo National Monument is a historic lighthouse and national monument that offers historical stories on it and views of Mexico. Cabrillo National Monument is another outdoor destination to visit besides all the beaches above on this list and you can go to Cabrillo National Monument with your friends or family.

The weather is beautiful, the tide pools were cool, and a great place to enjoy both incredible views of San Diego and a breathtaking view of the ocean. Cabrillo National Monument also has a magnificent historic lighthouse and some WWII buildings which are interesting to explore more.

Cabrillo National Monument

This iconic national monument is a lighthouse that tells the history of San Diego and Mexico. This place is also the best view point to see the beautiful sea views all the way to Mexico.

Address : 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr, San Diego, CA 92106, USA


Torrey Pines State Beach is one of the best beaches in San Diego and a lovely place to visit on weekends. Torrey Pines State Beach could be a hidden gem that you can find in this city since it has beautiful views of the beach, incredible ocean views, and a beautiful spot to enjoy the sunset. The favorite things to do in Torrey Pines State Beach are walking around the beaches, sunset-gazing at the end of the day, and hiking the cliffs to enjoy the best views in Torrey Pines State Beach.

Torrey Pines State Beach

Go Take a Hike Beautiful nature trails overlooking the ocean. Easy effort for whole family. Native pines and plants.

Wet & Wild (almost) For a safe taste of nature (June 2020) head out early to Torrey Pines State Beach. You'll share the space with fishermen, sometimes surfers, birds, and an occasional boater. While walking along the beach you...

Nice half day in the park Wonderful hike in the park. Despite my knee surgeries over the last year we were able to pace ourselves and hike about 4 miles in the park including down to the beach. Very nice! And wonderful views. Spent...

Address : 12600 N Torrey Pines Rd, San Diego, CA


La Jolla Tide Pools is a great beach with a long coastline of rocks all the way to the water's edge. Almost everyone comes to this beach to enjoy the beautiful scenery of this beach, all sides are photogenic. Many things you can do here such as enjoying a walk with the family or watching the waves, picnicking, swimming, or relaxing to see the seals. La Jolla Tide Pools is close to the city center and has showers, dressing rooms, and bathrooms nearby.

La Jolla Tide Pools

At low tide, this scenic, rocky beach features pools of water with sea life such as crabs & fish.

Address : La Jolla Tide Pools, 303 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA


Balboa Park is an incredible wide park with a lot of destination choices. For example, there are San Diego Zoo, Japanese Friendship Garden, Botanical Building, San Diego Natural History Museum, Fleet Science Center, and Prado.

Balboa Park is a spectacular and amazing place to visit with your family on the weekends in San Diego. Besides the museums, the park also has beautiful architecture, buildings, and fun walkways to enjoy nature experiences. So, if you and your family have free time on the weekends, Balboa Park should be on your number one bucket list.

Balboa Park

Sprawling outdoor destination is home to the city's renowned zoo, 17 museums, gardens & more


If you want to refresh your mind and want to find a gate in San Diego, then you must visit the San Diego Botanic Garden. Your eyes will be refreshed by the many green things here with the cozy atmosphere around.

The garden has some amazing plants and flowers, they even have carrion flowers in them. The staff here are also friendly to all guests and knowledgeable. Then, make sure you bring drinking water, snacks, sunscreen, and wear comfortable shoes before stepping out to explore the San Diego Botanic Garden because the gardens are rather large.

San Diego Botanic Garden

Not even in San Diego First off its about half hour out of town. Seniors over 60 here. Nice map but could have done with a few more signs on way round. Not overly impressed by planting but did like the living sculptures in Mexican...

Worth the time A beautiful collection of desert and Southern California costal trees and plants. The cacti are beautifully arranged. The cacti topiaries ae spectacular.

Wonderful Garden Wonderful variety of flowers plants and trees! Fun art interspersed throughout the garden. Great to see so many volunteers in one garden.

Address : 230 Quail Gardens Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024-2707


Belmont Park is one of the best parks that you can visit while coming to San Diego. All the guests can enjoy some destinations in Belmont Park such as Giant Dipper Roller Coaster, Tiki Town Adventure Golf, Escapology San Diego, Wings Beachwear, Lazerblast Arcade, Mission Beach Rentals, and many more.

Belmont Park is a great spot for fun with the family, you can enjoy arcade games, bumper cars, a roller coaster, and other games like a ropes course, climbing wall, a zipline, etc. You can also enjoy the breathtaking sunset views and walking the beach's shoreline. So, make sure to bring your family here to enjoy the fun weekend together.

Belmont Park

fun especially for children this place is a competetion to santa monica pier and santa cruize boardwalk. very crowded in afternoon and evening summer.

New attractions Belmont Park has added new and better attractions. The rollercoaster is still there and they upgraded the plunge. You really need to check it out.

Baca in San Diego This is a great place to take your kids and spend the day. Fun, food, shops, and all on the beach. Parking was a little difficult but what a great attraction. Was well worth the trip.

Address : 3146 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109-7767


You can call this place a hidden gem because few people know about it. Mushroom Beach House is located at 9036 La Jolla Shores Ln, La Jolla, CA 92037, the United States, and offers many interesting things to enjoy. It's a cool little place to walk down the paved fire path from La Jolla Farms Road, parking is easy, and you can explore the pool at low tide. Mushroom Beach House could be the best place to visit with family or friends in San Diego.

Mushroom Beach House

A cool little spot for taking pictures of its unique unusual architecture.

Mushroom beach is right there to explore the pools during low tide.

Address : 9036 La Jolla Shores Ln, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA


Just like the name, Dog Beach is an incredible beach that is dog-friendly and it's just like a dog paradise. Dog Beach has tricky parking but it's free. You can leash your dog here and running together on the shorelines, and let your dog run off energy playing on the beach and playing with other dogs. If you are a beach and dog lover, then Dog Beach is a must-visit destination that you have to explore more.

Dog Beach, San Diego

1 of the country's 1st, this famed beach park allows dogs to run free off-leash & swim in the water.

Ocean area with waves as well as Bay Area with no waves.

Address : Dog Beach, San Diego, CA 92109, USA


Harbor Island is a perfect place to go if you are a boat lover because you'll see tons of boats available here. Harbor Island offers plenty of positive vibes such as beautiful views, clean and safe place, public restrooms, and a cozy atmosphere. There are also several activities that you can do here like fishing, picnics, jet ski, ski rentals, sailboats, and windsurfing.

Harbor Island, San Diego

Perfect spot for a Freedom Boat Club.

There is a little party store with a deli which has awesome food.

Address : Harbor Island, San Diego, CA 92101, USA


If you guys looking for a cozy place with a calm atmosphere surrounding and really can make your heart in peace, Miramar Reservoir should be on the top one of your list.

Miramar Reservoir is located in Scripps Miramar Ranch Community of San Diego and the parking is pretty full but there are many parking spots on the road too. Miramar Reservoir offers you amazing views throughout the entire walk, wildflowers everywhere, and there is a paved walkway the whole way so you can easily ride a bike or rollerblade or even drive a car and enjoy the amazing views of Miramar Reservoir.

Miramar Reservoir

Hiking around the lake it is very relaxing to hear the birds and watching the blue jays. Also, you can enjoy seeing different colored docks swimming in the lake.

Peaceful and Picturesque This beautiful Reservoir is conveniently located on Mira Mesa Boulevard right off Freeway 15. It is fed from water flowing from the Colorado River Aqueduct and the California Aqueduct, and serves half a...

5 miles of scenic fun and fitness Came here to hike the circumference of this beautiful lake which is about 5 miles of paved road and we got quite a workout. A brisk walk took about an hour and a half to cover the entire distant....

Address : 10710 Scripps Lake Dr, San Diego, CA 92131-1237


Ocean Beach Pier is a long pacific ocean fishing pier with a café, shop known for sunset views, and sea lion sightings. Ocean Beach Pier is a perfect place to watch surfers enjoying the waves, a majestic view of the pacific, and a place to take a walkout to the end of the day with incredible sunset views. Bring your family to enjoy fishing and walking the pier and beach alongside the amazing weather there.

Ocean Beach Pier

Long Pacific Ocean fishing pier with a café, shop known for sunset views & sea lion sightings.

There are almost always great waves here.

Address : 1850 Ocean Front St, San Diego, CA 92107, USA


SeaWorld San Diego is the last outdoor destination on this list and a very recommended place to visit in San Diego. Seaworld is always a fun place, you can find a lot of interesting and amazing things in Seaworld.

SeaWorld San Diego has rides and roller coasters which is you can do some games like electric eel, shipwreck rapids, Elmo's flying fish for kids, bayside Skyride, tentacle twirl, sea dragon drop, sky tower, and tidal twister.

You can also see some animals in SeaWorld San Diego such as Beluga Whales, Walruses, Penguins, Sharks, Flamingos, Harbor Seals, Orcas, Dolphins, Bat Rays, Sea Lions, Moray Eels, Macaws, Curl-Crested Aracaris, and many more.

SeaWorld San Diego

Marine life shows, thrill rides, aquariums & up-close encounters with dolphins, penguins & more.

If you are looking for a fun time, this is the place to be.

Address : 500 Sea World Dr., San Diego, CA 92109, USA