Exploring San Diego


Break from town: Where to take a day trip from San Diego

Posted at 2:44 PM, Mar 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-04 17:10:31-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As springtime gives way to sunnier skies and warmer weather, San Diegans have plenty of time to head outside the city for a road trip.

Within a few hours distance from San Diego, locals can escape the hustle and bustle of the beach life. From amazing hiking trails and desert backdrops to areas packed with history, there are options abound.

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Here are a few places to check out outside of San Diego for a day trip showing a different side of Southern California:

Joshua Tree National Park (Trip duration: 3 hours 17 minutes): An escape to the scenic beauty of Joshua Tree National Park's iconic Joshua trees, desert gardens, and campgrounds is a few hours ride from San Diego. The area boasts tons of unique rock formations that make hiking and rock climbing perfect.

Borrego Springs (Trip duration: 1 hour 52 minutes): Locals often head out to Borrego Springs every spring to catch spectacular wildflower blooms and sunsets as well as masterful metal creations at Galleta Meadows. In addition to tons of hiking destinations, the area's art galleries showcase amazing local art.

Palm Springs (Trip duration: 2 hours 47 minutes): Palm Springs is a great destination for those looking to head outdoors or kick their feet up. Visitors can head to several local casinos to try their luck, head to the "Rodeo Drive of the Desert" at the El Paseo Shopping District, visit the Living Desert for a mesmerizing zoo trip, or take in some history at local museums.

Big Bear Lake (Trip duration: 3 hours 41 minutes): It's one of the first choices for San Diegans looking to play in the snow. Big Bear Lake is perfect for winter trips to ski, sled, or snowboard. Snow Summit, Big Bear Ski Resort, and Snow Valley offer some of the best slopes in Southern California, and summertime makes fun on the lake a joy.

Palomar Mountain (Trip duration: 1 hour 26 minutes): Head up to Palomar Mountain to gaze at the stars at the Palomar Observatory or some nearby zip lining at La Jolla Zip Zoom. The area makes more hiking options easy to discover and more nearby fun is available at Harrah's and Casino Pauma and wineries.

San Juan Capistrano (Trip duration: 1 hour 19 minutes): San Juan Capistrano is steep in history, from the Capistrano Depot to Mission Basilica. The town's historic district also offers up a ton of options for history buffs. For those looking for a new beach scene, Dana Point is nearby for those classic SoCal coastal scenes.

Anaheim (Trip duration: 2 hours 16 minutes): Disney fans will have no problem heading up to Anaheim for the day for fun at Disneyland and/or California Adventure parks. But there's more than magic in Anaheim, Knott's Berry Farm is also near as well as Angels Stadium and entertainment at the Honda Center.