6 Amazing One-Day Getaways Near San Diego

San Diego is a great destination for your summer getaway. With its wealth of attractions and sights to see, it’s no surprise that San Diego has been a popular vacation location for years.

From unique blend culture and nightlife found in San Diego night club of the Gaslamp Quarter to the miles upon miles of sandy beaches, San Diego has something to offer everyone. But the hustle and bustle of attractions is not the only way to enjoy your time in San Diego. There are a number of less traveled destinations where you can enjoy nature, wildlife, and all its splendor while also getting away from the crowd!

In this article we are going to tell you about some of the wonderful one day getaway destinations that you can take to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and enjoy some fresh air.

1. La Jolla

Situated about 30 minutes from downtown San Diego, La Jolla offers miles of beautiful white sand beaches. If you’re down for more than just a leisurely swim, La Jolla is home to some of the best surfing and diving in the state of California.

The beach at La Jolla Cove is part of the La Jolla Ecological Preserve and is home to coral reefs, kelp beds, and even mysterious caves, where you can snorkel or dive all year round. For the novice surfer, and for families alike La Jolla Shores is an ideal place to spend the day enjoying the warm waters and gentle surf of this splendid locale.

2. Mount Laguna

Located on the Eastern edge of San Diego County about 45 minutes from downtown, the Laguna Mountains are San Diego’s only alpine area, with peaks ranging from 4,000 to 6,400 feet. The Laguna Mountains are also part of the Cleveland National Forest, and at just over twenty miles in length, provide a number of excellent hiking and camping opportunities for visitors year-round.

One of the most beautiful viewpoints to be found in the Lagunas is Kwaaymaii Point. Located on the edge of the Laguna escarpment, this easily accessible vantage point provides stunning  views of the mountains, and the Anza-Borrego Desert below.

3. San Juan Capistrano

Situated about an hour north of San Diego is the city of San Juan Capistrano. This city located in Orange county offers a lot of rich history, as well as a deeply rooted Native American past. You can visit the historic Mission, hike the surrounding trails, or spend time in the rustic downtown.

San Juan Capistrano is also home to the Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park, an 8,000 acre wilderness preserve nestled among the rivers and canyons of the western Santa Ana Mountains. The park is complete with campgrounds, modern facilities, picnic areas, an equestrian campground, hiking and equestrian trails.

4.Mission San Luis Rey de Francia

Visitors are welcome to come and spend a day of tranquility exploring the extensive working mission complex of San Luis Rey de Francia. Located about 45 minutes from downtown in an unincorporated part of San Diego County, this peaceful complex features Spanish-style arched colonnades, ruins of soldier’s barracks, and the old friar’s living quarters which now house the museum. You can also see the oldest living pepper tree in California, which was planted way back in 1830.

The Mission San Luis is a great destination that is off the beaten path, excellent for the soul searcher who enjoys peaceful solitude.

5. Rosarito Beach

For a nice change of pace, take a quick jaunt over the Mexican border into Baja California. About an hour south of San Diego is Rosarito Beach. With miles and miles of sandy beaches, and waves that are perfect for surfing, windsurfing, kite-surfing, paddleboarding, scuba diving and snorkeling, Rosarito Beach is a great one tank trip. But don’t forget your passport!

Other attractions include hiking and trekking through the backcountry, camel and horseback riding, and so much more!

6. Tijuana

Another great southward destination that you can visit in a day is Tijuana, located about 30 minutes south. The largest city in baja california gets mixed reviews, but this town full of attractions offers so much appeal to tourists, foodies, collectors of folk art and more. Try some tasty street tacos from one of the many food vendors, find a great gift in one of the many shops, or even just people watch and take in the culture. Tijuana is a great place to enjoy the day and watch the sun set.

At night, Tijuana is transformed into a great nightlife, with many amazing bars and nightclubs, It’s definitely a good place to let loose and see where the evening might take you.

Final Thoughts

There is so much to do in the area surrounding San Diego, that no one article could sum it all up. Southern California and Northern Baja are  truly rich and unique places, full of attractions for people of from all walks of life.

What are some other great one day getaways near San Diego? Leave us a comment with your best recommendations in the section below.