Do your New Year’s resolutions include losing weight, getting fit, or simply spending more time outside? Luckily, San Diego offers tons of outdoor activities that will get you off the couch and help you work up a sweat. To inspire you, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite ways to stay active in North County San Diego!
Kayak or Snorkel in La Jolla
Kayaking is a great way to get outside and enjoy San Diego! There are seven caves you can kayak through in La Jolla. And if you’d rather get in the water, La Jolla Underwater Park is a great place to go snorkeling. There are lots of fish, leopard sharks, and other sea creatures living in and around the cove.
Hike Torrey Pines
Torrey Pines offers two different hikes that both offer stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. You can choose to hike The Razor Point trail (1.3 miles) or the Guy Fleming Trail (0.7). You can also just choose to walk the length of the beach if you’re in the mood for a beach stroll. This is a great hike to do with your out-of-town visitors because of the stunning ocean views!
Are you into surfing? Some of the best surfing in San Diego can be found in Encinitas at Swami’s, Moonlight, Beacons, or Grandview breaks. Enjoy the waves and then make your way into the heart of Encinitas for a tasty, healthy treat at Swami’s or Lotus Café.
Bike the Carlsbad Coastal Rail Trail
Part of a plan to connect 44 miles of trail along the coast from Oceanside to downtown San Diego, the 0.7 mile coastal rail trail segment in Carlsbad is a great option for walking or biking with your family. The wide, flat path runs parallel to the train tracks, but is fully fenced which makes it the ideal place for young children to learn to bike. Leashed dogs are also allowed on this trail.
Explore the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve
The San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve is a 979-acre reserve that offers visitors seven miles of hiking trails to explore. Most of the trails are moderately strenuous except for Annie’s Canyon Trail, which is more difficult than the other trails in the reserve. As you exercise, you’ll enjoy views of the lagoon, marsh, and ocean.
Stand Up Paddle Board in Oceanside Harbor
If you’re been wanting to give up Stand Up Paddle Boarding a try, Oceanside Harbor is the perfect spot for beginners. The water is normally calm and if you start early enough, you might not encounter many boats entering or leaving the harbor. SUP is a great workout and you can’t beat the views of the ocean, pier, and local wildlife!
Adventure at Lake Hodges
While most people know that you can boat and fish on Lake Hodges, you can also hike, bike, or horseback ride along the 65 miles of dirt trails! The North Shore and the Del Dios Gorge paths are part of the longer Coast to Crest trail which will encompass 70 miles from Del Mar to Volcan Mountain in Julian when complete.
Visit Blue Sky Ecological Reserve
Blue Sky is another fantastic ecological reserve in North County San Diego. Encompassing 700 acres, there’s plenty to see and explore inside the reserve. I wrote about the hikes inside the reserve on my blog about great San Diego hikes, but this is a wonderful place to go hiking, biking, or walking with friends or family. If you want a really tough workout, you can take the turnoff from the Green Valley Truck Trail for Mt Woodson!
Hike Iron Mountain
Located just east of Poway, Iron Mountain is a challenging hike that rewards you with panoramic views over San Diego County from the top! About 6 miles round-trip, the hike is tough enough for athletes to work up a sweat, but not so difficult that casual hikers can’t enjoy it. Just make sure to bring enough water as this hike can get hot! On your way back, stop for a coffee at Poway’s hidden gem, King’s Craft Coffee.
Bike the Bayshore Bikeway in San Diego
Willing to travel south for something a little more challenging? The Bayshore Bikeway is a 24-mile trail that takes you from the Coronado Ferry Landing to Imperial Beach and back to Downtown San Diego. This path also offers beautiful views as you pass by Hotel Del Coronado, Silver Strand State Beach, and the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
We truly live in one of the most beautiful cities in the country – it’s a shame not to take advantage of all San Diego has to offer! Yes, you can buy a gym membership to melt away the holiday pounds, but with so much to see and do, consider saving your money and opting outside!