One day, we jumped in the rental car and drove North to Carlsbad, where turned inland on Highway 78 towards the San Diego Wild Animal Park and Ramona. We turned off at a couple of sideroads, and ended up on a beautiful road which ran up the side of the valley. On the way, we passed lemon, lime, orange and avocado groves, as well as several vinyards. On 1 particular road, we passed the most beautiful homes, nestled into the hills, each with a fantastic view.
From 78, we turned south on Highway 67, a busier highway, but still very hilly with nice views. We stopped for a snack at Burger King in Lakeside, then onto 8 & 94, back to the city.
This is one of our favourite things to do on vacation. Just grab a map, a tank of gas, and drive! You never know what you'll find.
I enjoyed cycling in S.D. very much. They have excellent biking tracks, and ride by the ocean is a great feeling. Make sure you don't cycle through the city if you are not in the outstanding physical condition though. My friend lived in La Jolla area, which is kind of north of the city on the hill. One day I borrowed her bike and went down to the Mission Beach. Just to make it clear - from La Jolla to Mission Beach is all the way down hill (maybe hour and a half ride). But you have to return of course pretty much the same way. Hmmmm, it was painful. It actually also started pouring big time when I was half way back. I don't remember how long it took me to get back - definitely more than one hour ... quite an experience...
Drive east on Interstate 8 to California Highway 79, head north to Julian, the take California Highway 78 west back towards the coast. There will be several tempting turnoffs and trails along the way, so get out and hike a little. Especially pretty in November.
This is the closest place to San Diego that offers real alpine scenery. The view is awesome. It's a pretty good long drive up here from the city. It's near the famous Mt. Palomar Obsevatory. There are hiking trails, campsites, picnic grounds, and trout fishing at Doane Pond.
From I-15, take Highway 76, then go up Highway S6. Turn left on Highway S7, at the junction near the mountaintop. It's at least a two-hour journey from downtown San Diego.
Hike Cedar Falls to enjoy a romantic hike through the hills of Eastern San Diego. Be rewarded with waterfalls cascading into a pool below. Swim in the pool beneath the falls. The 100 foot high Cedar Falls is located southwest of Julian. You can make a day of it and stop for apple pie in Julian after your hike.
The best time to hike to Cedar Falls is in the spring when the falls will be at their peak and wildflowers are blooming. There is a swimming hole at the bottom of the falls where you can enjoy a swim.
Blue Sky reserve is a great place to hike. Get there in the morning and enjoy San Diego "wilderness" near the city. The live Oaks follow the creek beds and then you can Climb to the high reservoir or over to Poway Lake. Poway lake has paddleboats and row boats for rent and is one of north county's best places for a picnic. Bring a bike if you like.
The trip back from the golf club in El Cajon to the flat was one I shall remember if I live to be 50. One reason Sean brought the Wrangler was so he could drive up Mt. San Miguel. I thought that was a project planned for the following week, month, or year, not the next 5 minutes. It was a very bumpy ride. Once, on hitting a big rock, it almost knocked my glasses off my face and into the brush. I took them off and shut them up in the glove box. About 1/3 of the way up the mountain, the Wrangler met its match. Sand and stones impeded the path up for the 4x4. I was for giving up, but Sean wasn't ready to give up the ghost just yet. The way the Jeep listed to one side on questionable terrain left me with visions of being stranded way up the mountain and hurt. Sean finally gave into futility and came back to conquer it another day. I had a feeling it wouldn't be long until he was successful. I knew Sean didn't want to see that mountain from the back porch too long without having conquered it.
Get out and take a walk on the coast, there are stretches where few people go and the sun and surf are great. Just sit on the beach or rock and listen to the waves come in.
This picture was taken in the LaJolla area.
I'm Roger, i lead walks for Walkabout http://www.sandiego-online.com/forums/walk/
Every walk is different, the route varies, I do requests, rain cancels, this my sched the 1st week of January:
MONDAY 10:30 am
NORTH PARK Contrast the 1912 "West End Tract" Dryden historic district California bungalows vs the 1920-30's Spanish Revival homes overlooking Morley Field,. Meet at the NE comer of North Park Community Park, on Idaho St., near the water tower.
TUESDAY 1:00 pm.
PILL HILL/BALBOA PARK. One of the most scenic walks in San Diego. See the history of Pill [not Banker's] Hill, the architecture of Requa, the Gills, Alen, Winslow and Hebbard and/or Balboa Park, visit the Natural History and Fleet museums that have free admission today. Meet at the tram stop near the corner of 6th & Laurel.
THURSDAY 10:30 am
SWITZER CANYON Thru the east canyon to Burlingame, the neighborhood of 35 historic 1912 homes and pink sidewalks. Meet at 2412 30th St, between Laurel & Kalmia Sts., south of the buss stops.
Walk and Talk thru Balboa Park, one of the most scenic walks in San Diego. The terrain is hilly / flat, paved / dirt depending on the route. Meet Roger and Tim at the fountain in front of the Reuben Fleet Science Center.
Ray (St.) at Night! Cap the day with a visit to Ray at Night, 6 to 9 p.m. in North Park’s arts and entertainment district, Ray St, between University and North Park Way. Contemporary Art and Installations by Emerging and Mid-Career Artists, meet Guest Artists and Authors. Meet at 'Lost Your Marbles Too' 3819 Ray St.
Tread (LIGHTLY) along the rocky cliffs in proximity to the beaches. When most people think of California, the image of broad, flat, sandy beaches sardine-packed with people generally comes to mind. That may be true for LA, but when it comes to San Diego, there are many rocky, unspoilt beaches where you can walk for miles and not run into any other souls. Now THAT is my type of beach.
This is great place to go hiking that is only about 20 minutes from downtown SD. Another name for this canyon is Marion Bear Memeorial Park, it runs paralell to the 52 freeway, directly south of it, between the 5 and 805 freeways. At the east end of the park, by the 805, there is a trail that leads up to a plateau where there are fabulous views of the surrounding areas. On the west side, there are more trails that run north along the 5. You will come across an old cement man made river that is dry. Above that are train tracks which are very much in use by amtrack, so carefull when crossing. You will see tons of lizards and birds. There are rattle snakes in this area, but i never saw one, just heard them. As long as you stay on the trail and are alert, you'll be fine! Enjoy!!
There is one particular beach in San Diego which is really off the beaten path. You have to work your way down the canyon but the scenery is magnificent.