Day Trips from San Diego

San Diego, California, lies in a mesmerizing terrestrial location because of the pristine and miraculous beaches on the east coast side and peaceful landscapes and greenery in other directions. Since you can cherish tons of day trips from San Diego, it acts as a frontier and home to fun and enjoyment. Many prime locations such as beaches, wilderness, forests, villages, etc., can be easily accessed by road within one day; therefore, people from all over the US consider it as a locus point for day-trippers. 

If you want to experience one of the US's best sites with your friends, family, or loved ones, we recommend the following most-popular day trips from San Diego.


Day trip from San Diego to Tijuana

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  • Distance: 16 miles
  • How to get there: Train, Bus, Car, Taxi
  • Must See: Tijuana Cultural Center, Avenida Revolucion, Albercas Water Park Vergel, The Trompo Interactive Museum, Wax Museum
  • Where to eat: Caesar's, Mision 19, Restaurant La Querencia, La Espada, Villa Saverios
  • Great for: Couples, Friends, Kids, Large Groups, Families

Tijuana is a small town located very close to the Mexican Border on the South of San Diego. If you want to experience the authentic Spanish culture and tradition and enjoy Mexican delights, we recommend visiting this place. This town also trails back to a lot of historical events; therefore, a lot of ancient and antique buildings and areas can be seen around, such as Cathedral De Nuestra, Plaza Santa Cecelia, Centro Cultural Tijuana, etc. Many day trips from San Diego visit this spot frequently to see the unique architectural and heritage sights. If you also want to participate in such an activity, make sure you head to Tijuana either solo or day trip tours.

Day trip from San Diego to Idyllwild

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  • Distance: 113 miles
  • How to get there: Train, Bus, Car, Taxi
  • Must See: Idyllwild Natural Center, Mount San Jacinto State Park, Lake Fulmor, Indian Vista Scenic Overlook, Town Gallery
  • Where to eat: Ferro, Restaurant Gastrognome, Tommy's Kitchen, La Casita
  • Great for: Couples, Friends, Kids, Large Groups, Families

If you like to hike around the mountains and want to see lush green valleys, we recommend visiting Idyllwild, a small village in between the San Jacinto Mountains. Since this place captures the pristine beauty of nature, it is a paradise for nature lovers. Fish and enjoy some quality time with your family or friends at Lake Fulmore and participate in the local cultural activities. You can also eat at the local restaurants and shop from the local vendors. This place is ideal for visiting during the summertime because a lot of festivals occur here, the most famous of which is Jazz in the Pines. Overall, it is a great place to relax and enjoy; therefore, it is added to day trips from the San Diego list.

Day trip from San Diego to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

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  • Distance: 73 miles
  • How to get there: Bus, Tram, Car, taxi
  • Must See: Volcan Mountain Wilderness, Goat Canyon Trestle, Desert View Tower, Ocotillo Wells State Recreation
  • Where to eat: El Borrego Restaurant, The Fox Bistro, Red Ocotillo
  • Great for: Couples, Friends, Kids, Large Groups, Families

In the northeast of San Diego lies the barren, deserted land called Anza-Borrego. If you want to experience the wildlife roaming around the cliffs and slopes, you can take a tour of this wilderness. Take the Anza-Borrego Desert Tour and enjoy the stunning scenery and skyline. This area is home to roadrunners, Bighorn Sheep, shrike birds, and many other creatures. The location is ideal to see in spring and summertime because of the frequent rain and wildflower blossom. Overall, if you are interested in seeing the uninhabited and natural side of California, we would recommend you to put this in your day trips from the San Diego list.

Day trip from San Diego to La Jolla

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  • Distance: 14 miles
  • How to get there: Line Bus, Taxi, Car
  • Must See: Camino De La Costa, Torrey Pines State Beach, Children's Pool La Jolla, Shell Beach, The Cave Story
  • Where to eat: Nautilus Tavern, True Food Kitchen, Duke's La Jolla
  • Great for: Couples, Friends, Kids, Large Groups, Families

La Jolla is just 22 miles away from San Diego, carrying breathtaking ocean views and remarkable beaches. This town is famous because of its turquoise shoreline and unspoiled nature. If you want to celebrate a family day by doing fun activities on the beach on a leisure day, it is the preferred location to have as many day trips from San Diego come here. Capture photographs during the golden hour and perceive the soothing surroundings and raw nature. You can visit the Museum of Contemporary Art and visit the fantastic restaurants at La Jolla Boulevard. If you still have time, you can see Pearl Street and Prospect Street shop around and eat. Because of the fun activities like swimming, surfing, diving, and other beach sports, it is included in the day trips from the San Diego list.

Day trip from San Diego to Carlsbad

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  • Distance: 35 miles
  • How to get there: Bus, Line Bus, Car, Taxi
  • Must See: Legoland California, The Flower Field, Oceanside Fishing Pier, South Carlsbad State Beach, San Diego Botanic Garden
  • Where to eat: Ocean Palms Beach Resort Carlsbad Beach, Canyon Restaurant at the Crossing at Carlsbad, Campfire, Paon Restaurant and Bar
  • Great for: Couples, Friends, Kids, Large Groups, Families

Although Carlsbad is popularly known for its Legoland California, there are many other enjoyment avenues in this town as well. Located only at a 45-minute drive to the North, this place is home to beaches, hiking trails, and flower fields. Enjoy some quality time at Tamarack Beach by playing beach sports and relax in the sunset for some calming and comforting time. Also, if you consider yourself an adventurous person and want to hike, get on the narrow trails on the hills to walk your way to the flower fields. In the spring seasons, you can see the flower festivals and tractor tours as well. Finally, if you are carrying kids with you on the trip, you can go to Legoland to enjoy numerous rides and adventures.