We asked our readers for their favorite spots for outdoor dining and drinks in San Diego... head to our website for the full list:
The Meditation Gardens in coastal Encinitas is the perfect place to get a little peace and quiet while soaking up San Diego beauty. It’s perched right on the bluffs in Encinitas – so you can take a walk through the gardens and then find your spot to look out onto the Pacific Ocean.
To find more of the 9 best views in San Diego, head to our website:
You didn’t grow up in Encinitas without meeting up at VG’s for a donut! They have some of the best donuts and pastries and also specialize in cakes.
To find more of the best doughnut shops in San Diego, head to our website: https://theresandiego.com/san-diegos-best-damn-doughnut-shops-by-neighborhood/
4. San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve and Nature Center
Stonebridge Trail, Encinitas, CA 92024, USA
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11 Can’t-Miss San Diego Hikes…Most Within 15 Minutes Of Your Door!
Active Life From mild to heart-pumping, these hikes will fulfill your outdoor adventure dreams!
by Abby Walker
Mix San Diego’s ample supply of sunshine with the gorgeous ocean, desert and mountain views and you have the recipe for nearly perfect hiking conditions year-round.
While there are great places to hike within an hour or two drive of the city, from the wilderness of the Cleveland National Forest to the rocky terrain of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, there are several incredible hikes right in San Diego, too.
Grab your hiking boots, plenty of water and don’t forget the sunscreen; these hikes will fulfill your outdoor adventure dreams!
These hikes are more closely aligned with rugged walks through nature than a true hike up the side of a mountain. If you’re looking for some fresh air without having to climb a mountainside, these are the hikes for you!
1. Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve Trail
For a beginner hike, try the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve Trail. Stretching seven miles between Sorrento Valley, Mira Mesa and Rancho Penasquitos, the trail highlights an assortment of spectacular scenery in a lush environment that you don’t often see in San Diego. You can discover a waterfall, stream, groves of oak and sycamore trees and a freshwater marsh. Keep an eye out for wildlife who call the preserve home, such as great blue herons, mule deer, bobcats and coyotes, and be sure to avoid the poison oak!
2. Florida Canyon
Balboa Park is the place to be for museums and cultural activities but it’s also home to the Florida Canyon trails. You can access these interconnecting trails near Morley Field and can mix and match to create your own route. Whether you bike or hike, it’s a fairly easy, dog-friendly hike with clearly marked trails that shouldn’t pose a problem for any hikers.
3. Gonzales Canyon
Gonzales Canyon sits on the very northern edge of San Diego, in the Carmel Valley neighborhood. There are a number of different ways to enter the trail system and quite a variety of terrain and things to see. If you want a more leisurely hike, stay on the main trails in the valley; if you’d like a seriously heart-pumping workout, choose one of the several steep climbs out of the valley up to the neighborhoods surrounding the canyon and pick up the pace a bit – you’ll feel it!
4. East Shepherd Canyon
Shade can be difficult to come by on most hikes in San Diego but East Shepherd Canyon in Tierrasanta has many tall eucalyptus trees to provide some relief from the sun. At just 2.5 miles round trip, this is a relatively quick hike with little elevation gain, making it perfect for hikers, and dogs, of any skill level.
5. Tecolote Canyon
Tucked into a narrow valley just east of Mission Bay between Linda Vista and Clairemont, Tecolote Canyon is a peaceful oasis within the city. With 6.5 miles of easily accessible trails, you can leisurely explore the area at your own pace. The relatively flat terrain makes it great for beginner hikers, joggers and bikers. Dogs are allowed on leash.
6. San Elijo Lagoon and Annie’s Canyon Solana Beach
The majority of the seven miles of trails that pass through the San Elijo Lagoon in Solana Beach are an easy walk for even a novice hiker but the narrow paths through Annie’s Canyon can be a bit trickier to navigate. The coastal wetlands setting provides a great backdrop for bird watching. If you’re looking for more of an adventure, take the 1.5-mile trail to explore the towering sandstone walls that line Annie’s Canyon. Bring your dog along if you plan to stick to the simple walk through the lagoon but leave the pup at home if you want to check out Annie’s Canyon as some of the areas would be a difficult climb for your four-legged friend.
San Diego has some great Can't Miss Hikes that are just 15 minutes away from your door! Find the full list here: https://theresandiego.com/11-cant-miss-san-diego-hikes-most-within-15-minutes-of-your-door/
Known as the cotixan fries, these babies have guacamole, carne asada, sour cream and shredded cheese. There’s a simplicity to them that people love. A heaping plate for $8.40 in combination with the fact that Cotixan is known as a just-before-midnight option makes this the perfect fry stop with friends.
Venture to their salsa bar if you’re in the mood for hot, mild or green sauce to top your night off.
Whilst in San Diego, the eating of carne asada fries is somewhat of a religious ritual. We've rounded our top places to get wildly tasty carne asada fries here: https://theresandiego.com/7-places-to-get-wildly-tasty-carne-asada-fries-in-san-diego/
The name says it all! Visit Death by Tequila at their original location in Encinitas or their second location in Carmel Valley – either way you’ll find the tequila-loving crowd you’re looking for to make a perfect National Tequila Day!
To discover more of San Diego's best tequila havens, head to our website: https://theresandiego.com/national-tequila-day-san-diego-2021/