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Chula Vista, California

The best Trails and Outdoor Activities in Chula Vista, California, include the Otay Valley Regional Park. This park is a must-visit for outdoor adventures, featuring a scenic 8-mile trail that offers a variety of terrain for hikers of all levels. The trail winds through the park, passing by the Otay River and several ponds, offering plenty of chances to spot local wildlife. Notable features include the park's unique rock formations and the historic Gunpowder House. For those seeking a more challenging hike, the park also offers the Rock House Trail, a steep climb that rewards hikers with panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscape. In addition to hiking, the park also offers biking and horseback riding trails. Nearby, the Living Coast Discovery Center provides another top outdoor attraction, with exhibits on local wildlife and habitats.

Top Spots in and near Chula Vista

  • Coronado, California

    Spend a Day at Silver Strand State Beach

    5.0
    A day at the Silver Strand State Beach is a must, playing in the surf and searching for seashells. Parking can be challenging, as all beaches on Coronado Island are very busy.  I recommend coming early in the morning and planning to stay all day.  Lots of food options are close to every beach...
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  • Imperial Beach, California

    Catch a Sunset at the Imperial Beach Pier

    5.0
    From San Diego, head South on Hwy 5 for 12 miles. Take a right on exit 5A for Palm Ave/CA-75. Take CA-75 west for 1.6 miles. Stay on Palm Ave as it splits from CA-75. Take Palm Ave for 1 mile until it reaches the coast. Turn left on Seacoast Dr and take it for 1 mile until you reach the Imperial ...
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  • Coronado, California

    Catch a Sunset at Coronado Beach

    4.6
    Photograph the iconic and historic Hotel Del and Coronado Beach on Coronado Island. The Del is a beautiful Victorian resort, which is the second largest wooden structure in the United States. The Del offers amazing photo opportunities during sunset and during sunrise when it is beautifully backli...
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  • San Diego, California

    Run the Convention Center Stairs

    4.8
    This is a great spot to get in a workout and to get some fresh air. The stairs are around 100 steps to the top, so if you're feeling good, you can get a few rounds in. In terms of safety, there are usually people around the convention center, so you most likely won't be alone. With that said, be ...
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  • Chula Vista, California

    Hike Mother Miguel Mountain

    5.0
    4.5 mi / 977 ft gain
    At the summit, your work will be rewarded with stunning views from downtown San Diego all the way to Mexico. You can also see the surrounding mountain peaks and the Sweetwater Reservoir.  This is a great hike to do at sunset - but bring a headlamp / flashlight for the hike back down. This trail i...
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  • San Diego, California

    Hike to the beach at Border Field State Park

    2 mi / 26 ft gain
    The beach at Border Field State Park is southernmost beach in California. This beach begins (on US Maps) at the Mexican border and continues north to the mouth of the Tijuana River. The State Park shares its land with the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve which are both operated b...
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  • Coronado, California

    Explore Bayview Park

    5.0
    Even though I am quite familiar with this spot, I doubt that most San Diegans have sat in the benches at this little park to take in the sunset, sunrise, or spectacular views of downtown San Diego. I'm absolutely positive that most out-of-towners have no idea that this little gem exists. I want t...
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  • San Diego, California

    Hike the Seven Bridge Walk

    5.0
    5.2 mi / 452 ft gain
    The Seven Bridge Walk is a 5.2 mile loop through urban San Diego with scenic views, neat bridges, and gorgeous palm trees. Dogs are allowed on the trail, and the loop is perfect for families and all skill levels. On a Sunday, you will go through the Hillcrest farmers market - a great spot for cof...
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  • San Diego, California

    Climb the Famous California Balboa Bell Tower

    5.0
    This tour allows you to climb up the iconic landmark of Balboa Park. It has never been open to the public to climb until January 2014. An easy seven floor climb brings you to a beautiful viewing deck. From the top of the tower you'll be able to see the glimpses of the San Diego Zoo, the Cuyamaca ...
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  • San Diego, California

    Hike the Balboa Park Trails

    4.6
    4.3 mi / 459 ft gain
    The Balboa Park Trail offers the chance to see wildlife and is open year-round. The trail is shared by runners, families, hikers, and bikers. Dogs are able to use the trail but must be kept on leash. There is a dog park you will pass by. 
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  • San Diego, California

    Discover the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge

    4.0
    Located at the intersection of Spruce Street and First Avenue this spot is hard to miss! There is no parking lot, but there is plenty of street parking nearby!! This suspension bridge is one of those hidden gems in San Diego. Located within Banker's Hill, this bridge brings peace and serenity. It...
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  • San Diego, California

    Explore Cabrillo National Monument

    4.5
    Cabrillo National Monument is named after Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European explorer to reach America's Wet Coast. There are many knowledgable rangers in the park who are eager to share interesting historical facts.  Activities in the park include hiking: the Bayside Trail offers 2 mile...
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  • San Diego, California

    Bayside Trail

    4.0
    1.99 mi / 397 ft gain
    The Bayside Trail features beautiful spring wild flowers and is accessible year-round. The trail is wide with a few rest stops and benches along the way. The trail is breezy, much cooler than many trails inland, featuring ocean views throughout the duration.  This monument commemorates the landi...
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  • San Diego, California

    Explore the Point Loma Tide Pools

    4.5
    Begin by making your way towards the Point Loma Naval Base. Continue along that road as far as it goes and you will come to the Cabrillo National Monument. Upon entering the park you will have to pay a fee to get down to the tide pools. It is $5 per car or $3 per person if you choose to walk in. ...
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  • San Diego, California

    Explore Old Town San Diego State Historical Park

    4.5
    1 mi
    From where Father Junipero Serra established the first of 21 California Missions in 1769, this area was the first permanent European settlement in the San Diego region. Today, past and present meet in a preserved historical park located near Downtown San Diego. You can explore life as it was in t...
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  • La Mesa, California

    Catch a Sunset at Lake Murray

    Lake Murray Reservoir provides drinking water to parts of San Diego, and thus is a no swimming lake. This is one of the reasons it is such a great place to photograph! If you are shooting the sunset, use this app to check the time the sun sets, and get to the lake at least 30 minutes prior to set...
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Camping and Lodging in Chula Vista

San Diego Metro KOA Resort
Chula Vista, California

San Diego Metro KOA Resort

Boulder Oaks Eqst
Campo, California

Boulder Oaks Eqst

El Prado Group
Laguna Meadow Road

El Prado Group

Laguna
Mount Laguna, California

Laguna

Horse Heaven Group
Mount Laguna, California

Horse Heaven Group

Wooded Hill Group
Mount Laguna, California

Wooded Hill Group

Guides, Insights and Stories from Chula Vista

The 5 Best Photography Spots in San Diego

The 5 Best Photography Spots in San Diego

Dustin Kahia

The Adventure-side of Oceanside - 4 Days of Sending it in the Heart of SoCal

The Adventure-side of Oceanside - 4 Days of Sending it in the Heart of SoCal

William Woodward

The Adventure-side of Oceanside Essential Gear

The Adventure-side of Oceanside Essential Gear

Josiah Roe