San Diego
Outdoor Activities

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Our most recommended San Diego Outdoor Activities

La Jolla Underwater Park: Kayak and Snorkel Tour

1. 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

2. 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.

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

3. 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.

San Diego: Drive Your Own Speed Boat 2-Hour Tour

4. San Diego: Drive Your Own Speed Boat 2-Hour Tour

Ideal for those with a free spirit and sense of adventure, but who don't want to miss out on a guided tour, this 2-hour excursion combines the best of both worlds. You will be the captain of your own speed boat, all the while following a trained, knowledgeable guide as they keep you informed via the 2-way communication system that’s mounted in each boat. Hear the guide’s witty, yet historical narration as you cruise the harbor, seeing such luminous sights as the Russian submarine at San Diego Maritime Museum, the USS Midway and the skyline of downtown San Diego. Exhilarating and spontaneous, with laugh-out-loud moments, the thrill of driving your own boat, as well as the safety of having a skilled guide introduce you to the highlights makes for a perfect combination. Even the sea lions will give you a cheer!

San Diego: Harbor Cruise

5. San Diego: Harbor Cruise

See San Diego's best sights. Learn about the city and enjoy a cruise on the bay. Depending on the option booked, this tour takes you under the Coronado Bridge, past military ships, waterfront landmarks, and marine life for a look at San Diego's scenic beauty and fascinating history. This tour’s luxury ships offer three levels with comfortable indoor and outdoor seating, 360-degree views, and an on-board snack bar serving snacks, soda, beer, wine and cocktails (available for purchase). This is a great way to experience San Diego from the water.

Brothels, Bites and Booze: San Diego Gaslamp Walking Tour

6. Brothels, Bites and Booze: San Diego Gaslamp Walking Tour

Join us on a tour of the Gaslamp Quarter and we’ll tell you about the infamous Stingaree District, once a center of scandal and debauchery. We’ll walk along streets that featured 120 brothels at one point, and served as one of Southern California’s major red light districts. On our Brothels, Bites, and Booze Tour you’ll hear tales from the past that are funny and some that are hard to believe! During our 2.5-hour excursion you’ll see how this area has been restored and is now home to San Diego’s main nightlife and dining destinations. The Gaslamp Quarter now features more than 100 restaurants and bars. We’ll take you to some of the best restaurants in the area so you can taste a variety of popular ethnic cuisines and some alcoholic beverages as well! Most guests find that the samples on the tour are quite filling and are at least as much food as a full meal. You might want to eat no more than a very light snack before the tour – or nothing at all!

San Diego: Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise

7. San Diego: Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise

San Diego is one of the best locations to watch whales year-round. Gray Whales migrate winter-spring from feeding grounds in Alaskan waters to calving lagoons in Baja California and back. In summer, the legendary Blue Whales, the largest animals on Earth, commonly feed off-shore of the San Diego coast. You may also spot Fin, Blue, Humpback, and Minke whales during the summer whale watching season. Additionally, you'll often see pods of Dolphins including Risso’s, Common, Pacific White-Sided, and Bottlenose Dolphins. Your captain will also highlight other wildlife such as Sea Lions, various fish like Mola Mola (Sunfish), and a variety of marine birds such as Herons, Terns, Pelicans, and Gulls.  View these extraordinary mammals in the wild on this spectacular cruise. The expert crew will help you locate these creatures and additional marine wildlife, such as dolphins and sea lions. Learn about marine life and local environmental efforts from professional captains and whalers who work at the San Diego Natural History Museum. You may even spot a whale calf traveling with its mother as they return from the Arctic. This is a fantastic and exhilarating journey for all age groups. Guaranteed whale or dolphin sighting. If you don't sight some type of whale or dolphin during the cruise, you'll be issued a pass that's good for another San Diego whale watching or harbor cruise. San Diego is quickly becoming one of the world’s best whale watching locations. The city is home to whales, dolphins, and sea birds, and features one of the world's most beautiful coastlines.  Enjoy live educational narration from captains and trained naturalists employed by the Natural History Museum.  Watch blue whales and dolphins in comfort on a large, fast, and stable boat!

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

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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.

Frequently asked questions about San Diego Outdoor Activities

What are other things to do than Outdoor Activities that are worth visiting in San Diego?

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Other Sightseeing Options in San Diego

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What people are saying about San Diego

We found this all-inclusive pass to be very beneficial. It worked seamlessly at all of the attractions we visited. For us, the best part was that we didn’t feel pressured to spend all day at one particular location. We brought the family to one place that ended up not being great for us, and we were able to leave and go to Sea world for just a few hours before they closed which wasn’t in our original plans for the week. That ended up being our favorite attraction of the trip!

So easy to use and loads of choices. Just make sure you download the app for your qr codes to enter your venues. Used ours for san diego zoo, sea world and knotts berry farm. 100% recommend. Great value for money considering knotts berry farm wanted $99 per person on the gate.

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

Took our 1 year old grandchild and he was interested in everything but the animals.

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