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The Best Outdoor Activities in San Diego

April 11, 2019

We know better than anyone: There’s no place like home when it’s warm outside. With a modern, well-running HVAC system, some thoughtfully placed houseplants, and your friends and family around you, it’s tempting to cozy up, settle in, and forget all about the great outdoors.

And yet that would be a huge missed opportunity — especially here in sunny San Diego, which ranked third in a recent study of US cities with the best weather. The benefits of fresh air, sunlight, and a brisk hike through nature are scientifically undeniable. Spending time outdoors is linked to increased happiness, mental and physical health, and even productivity!

We urge you to find ways to take advantage of the San Diego climate and awesome outdoor attractions. If you’re wondering where to start, you’re in luck: we’ve put together a round-up of ways to get moving outside in San Diego.

Here are just a few of the available options, based on what you’re interested in doing:


Whether you’re looking for a short jaunt or a long haul, San Diego has plenty of hiking options. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a local favorite — literally local, as it’s within city limits — for its miles of wild landscape just minutes from the city.

If you like waterfalls, there’s also Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail just outside of town, which is great for all ages and abilities. And if you’re looking for the best views, then Cowles Mountain Trail might be for you: It brings you to the highest point in San Diego and offers a stunning panorama of the area.

There are plenty more if you check these ones off your list and if you’re feeling ambitious and have some extra time on your hands, consider making the trek to Joshua Tree National Park.

Swimming & Surfing

Worked up a sweat from all that hiking? Then you might want to hit up a beach, of which there are plenty. Torrey Pines has beaches along with their trails, and La Jolla Shores is another popular option if you want to hike then swim. La Jolla is also swell for surfing and hanging out with seals and leopard sharks.

Coronado Island is another popular swimming destination with its calm waters and dog-friendly northern beaches. Aquatic park Mission Bay Park is one of the highest rated, though, thanks to its accessibility and 4,600 acres of space.

Thrill Seeking

If you’re looking for a thrill, you won’t have to look for long. San Diego has countless opportunities to get your adrenaline flowing. If you’ve made it to Mission Bay, consider giving their jet packs a shot — it’s a truly unique experience to blast through the air above the waves.

Nothing quite compares to the thrill of skydiving, and in San Diego you can jump from 12,000 feet above the sparkling blue Pacific. Finally, if you want to combine taking in the views with your adventure, consider paragliding: Torrey Pines has a spot to launch from with one of their experts, or alone.


Getting outdoors is also a great way to see some of San Diego’s most popular attractions. For a chance to learn a little history, consider the Cabrillo National Monument. While enjoying spectacular views of downtown San Diego, you can learn about the Portuguese explorer who sailed into port in 1542 and visit the museum while you’re there.

More of an animal lover than a historian? The San Diego Zoo will thrill everyone from the youngest of kids to the most grown up among us. The zoo is frequently touted as world-class and has over 4,000 animals and plenty of opportunities for education and entertainment.

These outdoor activities merely scratch the surface of what San Diego has to offer. In this city, your options are truly endless — you can even follow up a long day of adventuring with a dinner al fresco. When it’s time to return home, make sure you can trust your indoor air quality to be just as refreshing as your adventures outside.

Contact Bob Jenson for a consultation, and follow our blog to stay up to date with air quality tips and news.

About The Author

Bob Jenson

For over 45 years, Bob Jenson has been providing quality heating and air services to the San Diego community.

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