San Diego
Day Trips

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Our most recommended San Diego Day Trips

La Jolla: 90-Minute Sea Cave Kayaking Tour with Guide

1. La Jolla: 90-Minute Sea Cave Kayaking Tour with Guide

Discover San Diego's Marine Protected Area, home to a variety of fish, birds, dolphins, turtles, sea-lions, and whales. With the help of an experienced guide, explore the famous Sea Caves of La Jolla and kayak inside Emerald Cave. Watch sea lions sunbathing on the rocks and swimming in the sanctuary. Marvel at the bright orange garibaldi as they stand out among the vibrant green sea grass and numerous other fish swimming around and delighting the eye. In the summer and fall months, tour groups will often see harmless leopard sharks, and you may also find grey whales in their migration during the winter. You might even see dolphins cruising alongside your kayak before you make your way back and prepare to surf your kayak back to shore.

La Jolla Underwater Park: Kayak and Snorkel Tour

2. La Jolla Underwater Park: Kayak and Snorkel Tour

Kayak out into the reserve with your guides, who will lead the group to the best snorkeling spot on that day. One of your guides will drop anchor, secure your kayaks, and lead you snorkeling in the reserve, pointing out the marine life as you go.  Explore the area around the Seven Caves, set within a sea cliff, six of them only being accessible by kayak. Here, have the chance to swim with La Jolla’s best such as sea lions, garibaldi, bat rays, shovel nose guitar fish, and even dolphins and sea turtles, if you’re lucky.

La Jolla: 2-Hour Kayak Tour of the 7 Caves

3. La Jolla: 2-Hour Kayak Tour of the 7 Caves

Take a lesson before the tour begins and grab all the necessary kayak equipment. The tour takes place in the La Jolla Ecological Reserve. There are 3 different habitats in the reserve, and on your tour you will have the chance paddle to all three - the rocky reefs, sandy flats, and kelp beds. Paddle to the seven caves of La Jolla and go into the Clam’s cave, which is the largest cave on the tour. See the local marine life on the tour including sea lions, harbor seals, Garibaldi, leopard sharks, and the occasional dolphin.

San Diego's Balboa Park: 3-Hour Scavenger Hunt Adventure

4. San Diego's Balboa Park: 3-Hour Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Turn Balboa Park into a giant game board on a small-group, interactive scavenger hunt. Combine the thrill of the race with a sightseeing tour of this popular San Diego destination. Guided by any smartphone, you and your group will make your way to well-known and some overlooked gems of the city, solving clues and completing challenges while learning about local history. Begin at the Veterans Museum, and take in the iconic art and impressive architecture, and admire historical theaters and hidden gardens. The activity involves around 2 miles of walking and generally takes between 2-3 hours to complete.

San Diego: Patriot Jet Boat Thrill Ride

5. San Diego: Patriot Jet Boat Thrill Ride

Embark on a thrilling adventure on the San Diego bay as you zip and zoom past military ships, along the downtown skyline, and under the iconic Coronado Bridge. With rock music pumping, feel the wind and the refreshing spray of the San Diego bay as the Patriot carves 360-degree turns and reaches speeds upwards of 50 miles per hour. There's no experience like it. Enjoy gorgeous views on a 30-minute tour on an open-air jet boat. No two Patriot trips are the same, but this is not just a random joy ride through the bay. You will be taken past San Diego's most beautiful waterfront sights including: USS Midway Aircraft Carrier, North Island Naval Air Station, Coronado Bridge, Star of India and the iconic ships of the Maritime Museum, as well as the San Diego skyline. You may get wet, but ponchos are provided.

San Diego: 3-Hour Sunset Sail

6. San Diego: 3-Hour Sunset Sail

Enjoy an awe-inspiring sunset as you discover the beauty of San Diego Bay with a U.S. Coast Guard-certified captain. In 3 hours, you will be able to visit the most memorable landmarks in San Diego Bay. Sail through the Maritime Museum, the Midway Museum, Downtown San Diego, and other exciting spots, or head out to the Pacific Ocean. If you're lucky, you may even see a host of wildlife along the way such as sea lions, seals, dolphins, and whales. With multiple departures daily, you'll be sure to find a tour to fit perfectly into your schedule. All beer, white wine, non-alcoholic drinks and snacks are complimentary and unlimited. Just in case it gets a bit chilly on the bay, jackets, hats, and blankets are provided. And to protect yourself from the hot California sun, sunscreen and sunglasses are also provided.

La Jolla: 1.5-Hour Surfing Lesson

7. La Jolla: 1.5-Hour Surfing Lesson

Has learning to surf been your dream? Your dream can become a reality on the calm waters of La Jolla Shores, the best spot to learn. Your experienced instructors are eager to share their passion for surfing with beginners and intermediates alike: no experience necessary, all equipment provided. Your instructors respect each student’s choice regarding his or her level of participation in the lesson, and comfort in the water. You’ll have fun learning how to surf in a safe environment. Your experienced instructor will teach you the fundamentals of surfing and ocean safety on land, before heading into the water to catch some waves with your group. Continually voted one of the best spots for beginner and intermediate surfers in San Diego, the calm waters of La Jolla Shores are an ideal place to learn how to surf in a fun, yet safe environment. Public and private options are available.

From San Diego: Private Puerto Nuevo Tour with Lobster Lunch

8. From San Diego: Private Puerto Nuevo Tour with Lobster Lunch

This private tour from San Diego explores Puerto Nuevo, the lobster village of Baja California. Located only minutes from Rosarito Beach, the town claims to have some of the best lobster in the world. Find out while listening to live mariachi music and drinking margaritas. This tour also allows for plenty of free time for shopping and craft beer tastings at Rosarito Beach. At 9:30 AM aboard a luxury 6-14 passenger van with air conditioning and reclining seats. Relax with plenty of legroom and enjoy complimentary bottles of drinking water. At 10:00 AM arrive at the Tijuana Cultural Center (CECUT) and the Botanical Garden. Afterward spending time there, at approximately 11:00 AM visit to the infamous border wall at the USA/Mexican border. Then at 11:30 AM spend time at Rosarito Beach to enjoy craft beer tastings. By 2:30 PM have a lobster lunch at Puerto Nuevo with tequila margaritas and live mariachi music included. For those unfamiliar with Baja lobster, it’s cooked with garlic butter and lime and served with beans and rice. Scoop up the lobster in warm handmade flour tortillas while savoring tequila margaritas. After lunch, have free time to shop at the traditional Mexican Curios Market. At 4:00 PM head back to San Diego with an approximately 5:30 PM arrival time.

La Jolla: Stand Up Paddle Board Rental

9. La Jolla: Stand Up Paddle Board Rental

Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is one of the best ways to get out and enjoy the water. The sport began as an ancient Hawaiian tradition that was reintroduced to the world in the mid-60s.  SUP boarding is one of the best ways to explore the Seven Sea Caves of La Jolla, a remarkable creation full of marine wildlife. These 7 unique sea caves are filled with local history and natural beauty. The La Jolla Ecological Reserve starts at the Seven Sea Caves and extends north to Scripps Pier. This remarkable stretch of water is home to an underwater park, part of La Jolla's submarine canyon, giant kelp forests and a rocky reef.  The preserve shelters numerous species, including leopard sharks, sea turtles, sea lions, dolphins and migrating whales. Only 2% of the world's ocean water is protected by state and federal law, which also makes La Jolla's ecological reserve a rare place to see undisturbed wildlife in their natural habitat. The stand up paddle boards are inflatable, lightweight, and easy to transport from the shop to the beach and back.

San Diego: Private Group Surf Lesson

10. San Diego: Private Group Surf Lesson

Hit the waves in Southern California with some of the best instructors in the industry on a group surf lesson in San Diego just for you. Learn about ocean conditions, surf etiquette, and proper technique. Hone your skills or pick up a new hobby after this fun experience out in the ocean. Learn the proper way to put on a wetsuit, work on footwork on the beach, and the best way to paddle before heading out into the water. Make the most of learning from a dedicated instructor just for your group. Feel safe knowing your instructor is never far away and before you know it, you'll be shredding the waves and hanging ten like the locals.

Frequently asked questions about San Diego Day Trips

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Other Sightseeing Options in San Diego

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What people are saying about San Diego

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 27 reviews

It was a wonderful family and friends activity for beginners. Staff was friendly and helpful.Our instructor Jack was well knowledgeable and experienced in surfing and taught us the basics. Jack was the best. He coached us to get perfectly on the board and I caught the first wave. Definitely a memory that will be cherished for a long time. I’m definitely going back again 100%.

Kayak guides were knowledgeable about sea life and history of the area and gave a good tour. We couldn’t go in the caves because the ocean was too rough which was really disappointing. However that made getting through the surf going out and coming back in really exhilarating! That alone was an experience!

Great mini tour of the cove with plenty of ecological info. The guides were fantastic in their interactions and creating an enjoyable experience

Super fun experience with very helpful staff. Olivia was a great lead guide and made it fun and informative. Would definitely do it again!

First time kayaking! a little intimidating, but fun activity with my hunny!