If there is one thing us San Diegans love more than food, it’s the outdoors. From the beach to the mountains, there are lots of places in between for great hiking and outstanding views. So where are the best places to bring your little one with for adventure and exploring? We’ve got our favorites to share with you.
1. Torrey Pines to Del Mar
Most people know about the views from the gorgeous bluffs in Torrey Pines State Reserve overlooking the ocean with fresh sea breezes keeping you cool on even the warmest days. One of our favorite hikes is a little beyond the bluffs. You can either start at the bottom of the Torrey Pines State Reserve and head north or you can stop on the top of the bluffs, pick your favorite trail to the beach and head north from there. Either way, about 1.7 miles from the bottom of the State Reserve are beach front restaurants in Del Mar. As long as the tides aren’t too high, you can hike, grab some brunch and then head back making for quite a memorable morning.
Distance 1.7 - 3.0 miles
Terrain: Mostly flat
2. Cabrillo National Monument
Photo: Cabrillo National Monument California
This hike at the southern most tip of Point Loma looks over Coronado on one side and the open Pacific on the other. You may even spot some whales during the right season. The area has a gift shop, museum-like lighthouse and lots of educational signs along the way. There is also a trail that takes you down closer to the water and allows access to tide pools during low tide Or you can take the 0.7 Bayside trail getting closer to the water on the other side of the peninsula. The hike on the way back up the hill has some steep parts but is very doable with little ones.
Distance: 0.2-0.7 miles
Terrain: Switch-backs, Moderate
3. San Elijo Lagoon Nature Trail
Photo: Trip Advisor
This trail is known for its blend of lagoon, forest, and lots of birds and other wildlife to explore. The trail is quite flat, ADA accessible, dog friendly and about a mile long double loop that is both relaxing and fun at the same time.
Distance: 1.0 miles
4. Annie's Canyon Trail
Located just a few miles south from the San Elijo Lagoon Trail, this short but bouldering trail is fun for any explorer at heart. Whether you hike through the steep switchbacks, or choose the winding path to the overlook, the views of the ocean and lagoon are panoramic. Be prepared to get a little dirty if you choose the winding path, there are narrow trails between natural sandstone walls stepping up the side of the rock.
Distance: 0.8 miles
Terrain: Moderate to Strenuous
5. Mission Bay to Mission Beach
This trail is a busy one but with it being flat and running through parks, you will find yourself stopping at playgrounds, playing in the sand and stroller-friendly. Starting at Crown Point Park you can find plenty of parking and take a three mile walk or bike ride to the ocean where you can find restaurants for refreshments either at Mission Beach or the Catamaran Hotel on Mission Bay. Plus there is a great playground on the way!
Distance: 3.0 miles
Terrain: Easy to Moderate (depending on distance)
Hope you enjoy these and if you know of some other great hikes, please share with us in the comments below!