Nothing But Nature

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San Diego is a beautiful city full of people and activities around every corner; however, it is easy to get lost in the concrete jungle. If you’re hoping to reconnect with nature while, here are a few places you might think of exploring!

Here’s a tip: before you head out on a hike or to the beach, find out the sunset time for that day by clicking here!

Waterfront Park

Photo Courtesy of Forms+Surfaces

Even in downtown, if you’re looking for somewhere to put your toes in the grass and kick back, swing by Waterfront Park! The area offers a variety of jungle gyms and climbing structures for kids, water fountains in the summer, plus a  waterfront view.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Photo Courtesy of San Diego Hikers

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is 2,000 acres of coastal state park located in the community of La Jolla, just off North Torrey Pines Road. Perfect for both hiking experts and those simply looking for a leisurely walk, the reserve has a wide variety of trails and scenic spots overlooking the blue San Diego waters. Make sure to bring a water bottle with you, as the warm San Diego weather can sneak up on you!

For more information, click here.

Torrey Pines Gliderport

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Located in La Jolla right across from UCSD, the Torrey Pines Gliderport overlooks the infamous Black’s Beach. Perfect for sunsets or simply to enjoy the breeze! Bring a chair or just sit on the ground and watch the hang gliders soar over your head and above the beautiful view.

San Diego Zoo

Photo Courtesy of CBS San Francisco

If you’d prefer to see your nature at a distance, check out the famous San Diego Zoo! Come see their habitats for over 3,700 animals, open year-round. If you would prefer to walk your way through the maze of exhibits or coast about in their gondolas, there is something for everyone.

For more information about the Zoo, click here.

Click to view the hours
Click here to view the Zoo’s hours.

Adult (Ages 12 & up): $54

Child (Ages 12 & under): $44

Balboa Park

Photo Courtesy of Omni Hotels

Home to more than 16 museums, multiple performing arts venues, lovely gardens, trails and many other creative and recreational attractions, Balboa Park is perfect mix of nature and culture. Walk through over 1,200 acres of beautiful gardens either on your own, or sign up for a tour to get the full experience.

To learn more about the park, click here.

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

Photo Courtesy of Ocean Beach San Diego

Explore your way through intricately carved coastal bluffs, arches and sea caves. You might even get lucky and see a California gray whale, which migrate annually from the Bering Sea to Baja California and back. Street parking is available at any of the entrances.

To learn more about Sunset Cliffs, click here.

If you’re looking for a bite to eat after, swing by Little Italy or grab some San Diego seafood!

Point Loma Tide Pools

Photo Courtesy of National Park Service

If you want something more hands-on, continue down Cabrillo Memorial Drive to the Point Loma tide pools!  The “intertidal” space, or the unique ecosystem that lies between the high and low tides along the shore, provides a home for a variety of wildlife native to San Diego. Explore, experience and learn about San Diego’s nature in action!

To find out more about the Point Loma tide pools, click here.

Potato Chip Rock

Photo Courtesy of Go Hike It

Despite the local nickname “Potato Chip,” this park is far from edible! Mt. Woodson is a 4-mile trek each way, amounting to a full day of hiking, but a must-see for locals and tourists alike. The line at the top for the iconic “Potato Chip” picture promises to be long, but bring a picnic and enjoy being surrounded by the miles of trees and nature around you under our favorite San Diego weather.

In order to get the full Mt. Woodson hike around the shimmering lake, start from the Poway Wilderness Picnic Area trail.

Parking inside the park is $8, but there’s no charge if you park outside and walk in.


Photo Courtesy of TripAdvisor

If you don’t have any luck finding whales off the coast of San Diego, swing by San Diego’s Sea World to see their variety of coastal animals for yourself. Witness dazzling performances and learn about the majestic wildlife. A portion of every visit goes to animal conservation and rescue efforts!

For more information about hours and ticket pricing, click here.

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