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Solana Beach, California

For outdoor adventures in Solana Beach, California, hiking the Annie's Canyon Trail is a must-visit. This moderate, 2-mile loop trail offers scenic views of the Pacific Ocean and San Elijo Lagoon. The trail is known for its unique sandstone canyon walls and a narrow slot section that adds to its appeal. Another top trail is the San Elijo Lagoon Trail, perfect for bird-watching and spotting local wildlife. For water activities, head to Fletcher Cove Beach Park for surfing and paddleboarding. Nearby, the Cedros Avenue Design District offers unique shopping and dining options after a day of outdoor fun. These are some of the best trails and outdoor activities in and near Solana Beach.

Top Spots in and near Solana Beach

  • San Diego, California

    Pyles Peak

    5.0
    6.03 mi / 1706 ft gain
    Most people who live in San Diego have heard of, if not hiked, Cowles Mountain. At 1591 ft., Cowles is the highest peak in the city of San Diego. It's a hugely popular destination for day hikers and trail runners looking to get in a little trail time and take in the 360 degree views the summit h...
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  • San Diego, California

    Surf at Sunset Cliffs

    4.5
    This is a fun, soft, A-frame point break with a reef bottom and kelp beds a little deeper than the lineup to keep the waves clean.  Breaks right and a left.  Works even when there's a little bit of wind, but not a lot.  It's best on a  4-6 foot swell and only go on a  mid to low tide.  This is th...
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  • Santee, California

    Crystal Cave

    4.0
    0.46 mi / 59 ft gain
    Starting at 8100 Mesa road, you will see parking along the side of the road in a few places, take advantage where you find it.  Pass over the trail gate that marks the start of the journey. This will be a quick trip, as the total distance is less than a mile out and back. Head a quarter mile or ...
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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

    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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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

    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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  • Lakeside, California

    Hike the Oakoasis Open Space Preserve

    2.5 mi / 300 ft gain
    Starting at the trail-head, head down towards the oak-lined ravine marking the beginning of the hike. With trees already growing back from the 2003 fire, these sections of the trail are nice and shady, and quite relaxing. About 1 mile in you will start to see the San Vicente Reservoir to your lef...
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  • Lakeside, California

    Hike El Cajon Mountain

    4.5
    12 mi / 4100 ft gain
    This challenging trek is a great way to get in shape for that spring or summer trip to the Sierras. You may have heard others tell you how tough the hike is and they're not kidding. You'll be gaining 4100 feet over the 12 miles to the peak and back. If you have the time and the energy, you should...
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  • 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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