10 Amazing Day Trips You can Take from San Diego


San Diego is the perfect location for many day trips. Keep reading for 10 amazing day trips you can take from San Diego.


Sunny San Diego; it's nicknamed that for a reason!

With an average of 263 total days with sun, you'd have to be really unlucky to encounter gloomy days and rain. As you'd expect, this city is a popular destination for vacationers.

If you're planning on taking an extended trip out to San Diego, you'll be pleased to know it makes a great home base. Take a look below for 10 exciting day trips you can take from San Diego.

1. La Jolla Cove

This little piece of paradise has a great laid-back vibe. There's plenty to do for families and couples. Whether you want to take a stroll through the small town, have dinner, or sip on cocktails, there's something for everyone here.

Plus, there's plenty of sea lions to observe, especially at the children's pool. If you go at the right time, you'll be able to see mother sea lions with their young, basking in the sun.

2. Julian

This city is located in the Cuyamaca Mountains and is a quaint town. It had its days in the Gold Rush era, so you can take a tour at any mines to learn about its history.

Julian is also famous for its apple products, such as pie and cider. If you visit this city, you've got to try what their bakeries and restaurants have to offer. You'll want to leave with a few pies and jugs of cider in hand!

3. Borrego Springs

This one's for the art fans. In this desert landscape, there are tons of amazing sculptures scattered throughout. These make great photo opportunities!

But if you don't want to be in the scorching desert during the daytime, Borrego Springs has things to offer at night as well. When you go at night, you'll be treated to a clear sky full of stars.

4. Mount Palomar Observatory

This observatory has the world's largest working telescope. If you fancy a break from beaches, this observatory's visitors' gallery is a good place to take a leisurely stroll through.

If you want to learn more about the observatory, you can book a guided tour on the weekends.

5. Los Angeles

San Diego is just a 2-hour drive away from the City of Angels. Where do we even start with what attractions you should visit?

Here, you can find Rodeo Drive, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Griffith Park, Universal Studios, and plenty of shopping to do. If you can, consider spending a few days in LA, as a day trip will barely give you a glimpse of this wonderful city.

6. Tijuana

You'll be in close proximity to Mexico, so consider making a day trip there. You and your companions will need valid passports, as you're crossing borders, after all.

There's plenty of good, cheap food, bars, and sights to see, such as the Tijuana Cultural Centre and the Tijuana Wax Museum. If you want to be where the other tourists are, you'll want to make your way over to Avenida Revolucion.

7. Carlsbad

There are also nice beaches of Carlsbad, so if you're planning on beach hopping on your trip, here's another destination to put on your list. There's a state beach where you can enjoy a number of activities, such as surfing, scuba diving, and windsurfing.

If you're not a fan of the ocean, you can find an enhancing pool area to go to instead.

Carlsbad is also home to Legoland, so if you have little ones in tow, you'll want to make a stop at this theme park. It's best if you allocate a whole day to visiting Legoland, since there's so much to do there, plus it can be tiring for your kids.

8. Disneyland

If your family would rather go see Mickey Mouse (or if you have enough time to do both), you can also make a stop at Disneyland, in addition to Legoland. From San Diego, it's about a 2-hour drive up to Anaheim.

Whether you're a Disney fan or not, you can't miss out on this opportunity, especially if you don't live on the West Coast. There are two parks to visit: Disneyland Park and California Adventure Park.

They're both great for people of all ages, so spend 1 or 2 days at these parks if you can. It'll be a truly magical experience to remember!

9. Puerto Nuevo

Are you a fan of seafood? Lobster, in particular? Then go to Puerto Nuevo in Baja California for some fresh and affordable seafood.

Not only can you find tasty lobster, but you'll also get to enjoy a wide variety of delectable fish in the many restaurants you'll find in the area. Quench your thirst with tasty margaritas too!

Things to do in Puerto Nuevo include visiting the 75-foot tall statue of Christ the Sacred Heart and quad biking around the city, exploring the sights.

10. San Juan Capistrano

For the history buffs, you'll want to make the 1-hour trip up to San Juan Capistrano. This city is home to a breathtaking mission that's over 200 years old.

You can also find California's oldest neighborhood here in the Los Rios District. There are many original adobe homes you can gaze at.

If you go to San Juan Capistrano in the summer, there are also some free open-air concerts to catch in the History Town Center Park.

Day Trips You Can Take for an Incredible Time

With all these day trips you can take from San Diego, you can make it a vacation to remember for years to come. Explore all Southern California has to offer and make the most of your holiday by renting a car or taking the train to get to various places in the area.

If you're curious about what's going on when you make a trip to San Diego, check out our events section.