5 Awesome Things to do in San Diego

I enjoy visiting San Diego in the winter or spring when it is cold at home and I make sure to spend as much time outside as possible taking advantage of the warm weather. I usually spend the majority of my time in San Diego at one of the many beaches, so I have yet to explore a lot of the awesome things there are to do outside in San Diego.  Here is my list of the top 5 San Diego outdoor activities I want to experience:

1) Hike to Potato Chip Rock

awesome things to do in san diego bucket list
Image Credit: kirybabe

There are many great hikes in San Diego, but at the top of my list is the hike up Mt. Woodson to the Potato Chip Rock. This hike is one of the most popular hikes in San Diego because of the fun photos you can take standing on Potato Chip Rock.

Potato Chip Rock is located at the peak of Mount Woodson in Poway. The hike is almost 7 miles roundtrip and takes several hours to complete. The uphill hike is steep in some spots and has been described as a moderate to difficult hike.

There is usually a line of people waiting to take their picture on Potato Rock, so it is best to do the hike on a weekday when it is less crowded. It can also get very hot and there is very little shade during the hike, so my plan is to start the hike right after sun rise.

2) Paragliding

fun things to do in san diego bucket list
Image Credit: Marcin Wichary

I have spotted hang gliders and paragliders jumping off the ocean cliffs at Torrey Pines and plan to join them.

You don’t need any experience to paraglide or hand glide – Torrey Pines Gliderport offers tandem paragliding and tandem hand gliding flights.

Even for those that don’t want to go gliding, Torrey Pines State Reserve is worth visiting as it is one of the best places to take photos in San Diego.

3) Kayaking the Sea Caves in La Jolla

Image courtesy of Maria Abroad

My favorite beach in San Diego is La Jolla so I would love to enjoy it from a different vantage point.  One of the fun things to do in San Diego, is to explore the seven sea caves in La Jolla.  Except for one, all caves are only accessible by kayak.

4) Whale Watching

Fun Stuff to do in San Diego Bucket List
Image courtesy of Maria Abroad

Spotting wildlife is always a highlight during my travels so I would love to do a whale watching tour in San Diego to view whales up close. From what I read, I will likely see more dolphins than whales- a nice bonus since I love dolphins. There is no guarantee that I will actually see whales, but at the very least I can spend a nice day at sea.

Whale watching tours in San Diego are somewhat of a seasonal activity: Gray whales are best spotted from mid-December through April and blue whales are best sighted from mid-June through September.

5) Take a Surf Lesson

Fun Things to do in San Diego Outdoors

Of course surfing is on this list as it is an iconic Southern California experience. I think it would be fun to take a surfing lesson on my next trip to San Diego. I am not sure that I would be very good at surfing but it would be cool if I could at least learn how to stand on a surfboard.

These are my top active things to do in San Diego (here are some additional ideas of things to do in San Diego and things to do with kids). Are there are other fun San Diego outdoor activities I should add to my list?

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5 Awesome Things to do in San Diego



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