San Diego’s wide-open spaces, outdoor adventures, and creative activities make it the perfect place to vacation this spring. After all, a getaway this year requires some coastal distancing, and sunny San Diego offers an array of opportunities. Just what is “coastal” distancing? It’s giving yourself and others some space near our beautiful coastline!
Get away from it all by going up, up in the air. Take a hot air balloon ride with Grape Escape Adventure or California Dreamin’ Hot Air Balloons. Both offer a wonderfully serene way to view Temecula Valley. Drift over vineyards, olive trees, citrus grove, and mountain ranges with experienced pilots. Purchase discount tickets for Grape Escape and California Dreamin’ through Bluewater Vacation Homes.
Watch a movie at the beach with Seaside Cinema. This company creates cozy and stylish outdoor cinematic experiences for you and your family. Watch your favorite shows, movies, or sports events while enjoying an ocean breeze. Seaside Cinema sets up a 100-inch viewing screen, suctioned seating, blankets, and throws, and a low-table. You download your viewing content on a phone or tablet, then sit back and enjoy. Forego the film with a classic beach picnic, which can also be booked through Seaside Cinema.
Pick up craft cocktails to go, then head back to your rental to enjoy. The Tribute Pizza North Park menu includes their Clearly Colado made with Real McCoy three-year white rum infused with fresh pineapple, more fresh pineapple juice, John D Taylor Velvet Falernum, fresh lime juice, and coconut water. Or order an aperitif mixed with 5 ounces of their house-made limoncello, organic Meyer lemon zest, St. George vodka, and cane sugar. Pacific Beach Ale House also offers to-go growlers and cocktails like strawberry kiwi fields, made with Ketel One, strawberry kiwi puree and lemon juice, and the Alehouse margarita with Don Julio Blanco, triple sec, lemon, lime, and agave.
Sightsee on two wheels along the Bayshore Bikeway, a 24-mile route that includes 13 miles of car-free paths. The Bikeway starts at the Coronado Ferry Landing, runs south to Imperial Beach, then loops back up to downtown San Diego. The ride is mostly flat but lengthy, so bring water and snacks. There are plenty of spots to picnic along the way.
View the coast from Cabrillo National Monument, which commemorates the shoreline where Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo became the first European to set foot on the West Coast in 1542. Take the 2.5-mile Bayside Trail near the old lighthouse (the indoor museum there is currently closed), with views of the Pacific Ocean, Ballast Point, downtown, Tijuana, and sandstone cliffs. Rest on one of the benches along the way. The Coastal Trail is a shorter one-mile trail through moderate-level terrain. This trail starts at Lot 1 or Lot 2 and also offers fantastic views of the coast.
Play a round of golf on spectacular courses. The Tecolate Canyon Course is the only Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Sam Snead-designed golf course in San Diego. The course sits in beautiful Tecolote Canyon, less than five miles from Pacific Beach. Then there is the night-lit Mission Bay Golf Course and Practice Center, a public course located in Pacific Beach. The Mission Bay Golf Course offers 18 holes, including four par-four holes and 14 par-three holes.
Hike Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, more than 1,500 acres located within the San Diego city limits, but seems a world away. Check out the stunning views from the overlooks while hiking a peaceful trail. While the Visitor Center is closed, there are miles of trails and unspoiled beaches to discover. Avoid the bottom of cliffs, and take your beach walk 2-3 hours before or after high tides.
Walk around Balboa Park. Located in the center of San Diego, Balboa Park offers 1,200 acres to explore. While many of the museums are closed, the grounds are open, as are the Japanese Friendship Garden and San Diego Zoo. Enjoy the lush grounds, fountains, playgrounds, and sweeping architecture of this cultural site.
Visit the colorful The Flower Field at Carlsbad by booking an online reservation required for entry. Spring brings the blooming of a world-renowned experience that visitors have enjoyed for 40 years. About 30 miles north of San Diego, the Flower Field features bright, picturesque floral bands of ranunculus flowers. The attraction reopened on March 1 with touch-less tickets and other safety protocols. Cost is $20 for adults, $10 for children 3-10, and $18 for seniors 60 and older.
Relax at your vacation rental. What better way to achieve coastal distancing than from a luxury vacation rental with an awesome view? Sandbar A & B in Mission Beach is two rentals combined into three bedrooms and two full baths, one block from the beach and boardwalk. Enjoy the spectacular scenery from a distance. Bayfront View offers two bedrooms with a gorgeous view of Mission Bay from the private balcony. Walk to the Pacific Ocean from this rental.