Skip to Content

7 Off The Beaten Path Things To Do In San Diego California

This post may have affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) if you choose to purchase through them. Here's our Disclosure & Privacy Policy for more info.

Share The Article

Last Updated


One of the southernmost cities in the United States, San Diego California boasts year-round sunny weather and an endless variety of things to do. If you’re looking to add some off-the-beaten path adventure to your trip, here are 7 great options!

7 Off The Beaten Path Things To Do In San Diego, California

1. Visit Sunny Jim’s Sea Cave

Head over to the La Jolla area to see Sunny Jim’s Sea Cave. This area is actually home to several sea caves, but Sunny Jim’s is the only one accessible to the public by land (there are a few others accessible by kayak or snorkeling, which can also be a fun adventure). To get to the cave, you’ll head to The Cave Store. There is an entry fee, but it is worth it to get to experience the cave firsthand.

Visit Sunny Jim’s Sea Cave

2. Explore Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve

One of the best things that sets San Diego apart from many urban cities is the sheer amount of outdoor recreation you can enjoy without traveling far from the city itself. Whereas many cities may require you to travel a few hours away to really enjoy nature trails and hikes, nature is almost woven throughout the city of San Diego in many places. Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve is a great example of this. Located around 20 minutes from the heart of downtown San Diego, Los Penasquitos is home to a variety of trails. Trails range from short nature walks to longer day hikes and feature stunning elements such as a waterfall.

Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve

3. Stop By San Diego Botanical Garden

A visit to San Diego Botanic Garden is a great way to enjoy some fresh air and see some of the varied flora native to the San Diego area up close. In addition to featuring native plants, the gardens also host areas dedicated to a variety of other plants, including a rainforest section and an Australia section, making this a great educational experience as well as a fun outing. Reservations are generally recommended and can be made online.

4. View The Wreckage Of The SS Monte Carlo

Generally, if you want to see a sunken ship first hand you’ll have to embark on a snorkeling or scuba diving trip. The wreckage of the SS Monte Carlo is a rare exception to this. Located near Hotel Del Coronado, during low tide the wreckage is visible from the shore. On rare occasions – typically after larger storms – the water has even been low enough to let people walk around on it. It should be noted that the ship isn’t always visible. If you do head out to see it be sure to look into current conditions and tides.

View The Wreckage Of The SS Monte Carlo

5. Find The Secret Swings

If you’re up for a bit of an adventure, consider trying to find some of the secret swings that dot the hills of La Jolla. This can be a great way to spend an afternoon! While many attractions in San Diego have a definite location, the draw of the secret swings is that they do change location, and finding them can be half the fun. Social media is a great way to track down their most recent location. Check out the #secretswings to find quite a few posts referencing the La Jolla swings, and a great place to start this quirky scavenger hunt.

Find The Secret Swings

6. Visit Harper’s Topiary

Head over to Mission Hills to see the unique art project that is Harper’s Topiary. Started by a couple who wished to create artwork in their front yard that could be seen and enjoyed by the public, Harper’s Topiary consists of over 50 hand-trimmed bushes in the shapes of various animals.

Harper’s Topiary

7. Relax At Swami’s Beach

A final fun, off the beaten path thing to do in San Diego is relaxing at one of the more secluded beaches! Swami’s Beach is most popular for surfing, but still a bit more secluded than beaches such as Coronado Beach or Mission Beach. Enjoy a stroll along the gorgeous coast, or spend an afternoon relaxing on the sands. And if you do enjoy surfing – or watching surfing – you definitely won’t want to miss stopping by here.

Relax At Swami's Beach

Read More:

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19

Top 10 Beginner Friendly Hikes Near San Diego

The Top 10 U.S. Cities To Visit In 2022

This article originally appeared on Travel Off Path. For the latest breaking news that will affect your next trip, please visit: Traveloffpath.com

↓ Join the community ↓

The Travel Off Path Community FB group has all the latest reopening news, conversations, and Q&A’s happening daily! 

Travel-off-Path-group-1-1
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST POSTS

Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path’s latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox

Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


New High-Speed Train Will Connect Paris to Berlin in 7 hours
Previous
New High Speed Train Will Connect Paris To Berlin In 7 Hours
Next
Hyatt Hotels To Open New Grand Hyatt Beach Resort In Cancun