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As San Diego’s nearly idyllic summer weather approaches, San Diego’s great outdoors provide numerous opportunities for fun and healthy activities that meet with today’s social distancing guidelines. Whether you’re a local resident or planning a future visit, families, friends and individuals can experience the region’s natural beauty, relaxed lifestyle and abundant recreational offerings, while keeping themselves and others around them safe and healthy.
From energetic water sports on scenic coastlines and bays to more relaxed activities in tranquil inland settings, here are 7 popular ways to enjoy social distancing outdoors in San Diego.
Bask in the sunshine and take a breath of fresh air while exploring the various parks and reserves spread throughout the region. Serious hikers and casual walkers enjoy the scenic trails of the 5,800-acre Mission Trails Regional Park, located within minutes of downtown. Tranquil and protected, Cabrillo National Monument on the tip of Point Loma peninsula is among the rarest habitats in the world and offers scenic trails ranging from easy to moderate. Hikers can enjoy beautiful coastal views and over 200 species of birds and marine plants. Just below the monument, the stretch of coast has some of the best tide pools on the west coast to discover.
Exploring on two wheels can be enjoyed via bike paths throughout San Diego’s diverse neighborhoods and popular locations. Skilled bikers cycle along historic Highway 101 stretching up the scenic San Diego North County coastline alongside the Pacific Ocean and passing through some of the area’s most beautiful beach towns like Del Mar, Leucadia and Encinitas. The Bayshore Bikeway is a 25-mile ride along San Diego Bay. Along the route is the Silver Strand bike path, an easy 10-mile ride between Coronado and Imperial Beach.
You can kayak virtually any place along the San Diego coastline including the protected waters of San Diego Bay and Mission Bay as well as numerous inland freshwater lakes and reservoirs, many of them suitable for kayaking and kayak fishing. Off the coast of La Jolla Shores and La Jolla Cove, kayakers glide over the clear blue waters of the Pacific, paddling up to tidal caves and small inlets, as curious sea lions swim alongside and bright orange Garibaldi fish dart in and out of the kelp beds below. The calm waters of the vast 4,235-acre Mission Bay Aquatic Park are also a favorite for kayakers; on the west end of the bay is a network of channels and islands where you can find private and sheltered escapes from others.
The county’s golf courses are open to the public and provide duffers the opportunity to get back on the greens. Famed golf course architects like Tom Fazio, Rees Jones and Ted Robinson contributed to many of the region's courses, and they offer exceptional value with outstanding offerings in every price range. Most notable is Torrey Pines Golf Course, which will host the 2021 U.S. Open. Towering above the Pacific Ocean just north of La Jolla, the course is long recognized as one of the nation's best municipal golf facilities.
There are no shortages of open spaces to for surfers of all skills levels to hang 10 along San Diego’s 33 beaches. For novice surfers, La Jolla Shores' family friendly strip of beach features a sandy bottom and gentle waves. Coronado Beach, often rated one of the best family beaches in the nation, is another great spot for beginners who want to build skill and confidence. Seasoned surfers head to Swami’s Beach in Encinitas, one of San Diego’s prime surf spots made famous by the Beach Boys’ hit song “Surfin’ U.S.A.”. La Jolla’s Windansea Beach features a challenging surfing area where hard surf breaks are created by underwater reefs common in the area.
What better place to distance oneself from others than under water? Divers love La Jolla Cove, a popular snorkeling and scuba site located in the La Jolla Ecological Preserve where marine life flourishes, and underwater explorers are guaranteed to see an array of colorful crustaceans and fish throughout the year. Nearby, La Jolla Shores is another favorite site, home of the La Jolla Submarine Canyon, one of the deepest places in the world, located just offshore. Truly adventurous divers head to Wreck Alley, named for the sunken boat wrecks found below, like the HCMS Yukon, a 366-foot Canadian destroyer ship, Coast Guard cutter, barge, sports fishing boat and more.
Whether you want to de-stress during stressful times, relax mind and spirit, or just practice warrior poses, outdoor yoga offers a gratifying way to enjoy San Diego’s wide-open spaces. Reflecting San Diego’s lifestyle and mantra of healthy living, love of the great outdoors and strive for a balance between work and play, yoga practitioners can be seen on the serene grassy lawns of Balboa Park, the wide sandy beaches of Mission Beach and La Jolla Shores, and on picturesque Sunset Cliffs overlooking the vast Pacific. Namaste.
With a county that spans miles, these aren't the only ways to enjoy social distancing outdoors. Visit SanDiego.org for many more ideas on the best ways to enjoy San Diego's vast and diverse landscape.
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