Five Places to go Off the Beaten Path this Spring in San Diego

While the weather in San Diego is mild around the year, springtime in San Diego is a not to miss season. Favorite activities in the area during spring include viewing an almost endless variety of colorful flowers in bloom at one of the many floral shows, which begin when the warm weather months arrive. Special seasonal themed celebrations can be found at the areas major attractions, and springtime sporting events are always popular as local teams compete throughout the warm weather months. A visit to San Diego in the spring is not complete without experiencing some of the numerous cultural festivals, especially those commemorating special holidays commonly celebrated in the local area such Cinco De Mayo. You can also try some of these five options, which are off the beaten path, for something different from the typical tourist spots.

1) Enjoy the View from Mt. Soledad – Less than 20 minutes north of San Diego, this park provides a panoramic view of San Diego, the Pacific Ocean, Mexico and the Los Angeles Mountains. On a foggy day, Mt. Soledad makes you feel as if you’re in the clouds as the peak is above the swirling fog that fills the surrounding valleys. For Top Gun fans, the view to the east provides a peek at the marine base where the movie was filmed. A large cross, able to be seen from almost anywhere in San Diego, is surrounded by a Veterans Memorial. Bike tours are available from several tour companies and a few start at the top of the mountain and work their way down for those who don’t want to cycle up the incline.

View from Mt. Soledad at Night 2015

Photo Courtesy Spring 2015 Andrew Chen

2) View the Areas Only Submerged Park at the San Diego- La Jolla Underwater Park – This 6,000 acre marine Aquatic Park is unusual in that it is entirely under water. Perfect for kayak, snorkeling and scuba diving fans, two entry points to the underwater spectacle provide access to four different underwater ecological systems. The entrance at La Jolla Cove lets you view a wide variety of marine life in the rocky reefs and kelp beds. In these two ecosystems you can find a myriad of brightly colored fish close to shore and swimming in and out of the red, amber and forest green strands. Neon orange garibaldi with their young which are easily identified by iridescent blue spots, dart through the kelp, and giant kelpfish can just be made out blending in with the grassy background. You may also catch sight of harbor seals, bat rays, giant sea bass, barracudas and schools of senorita weaving through the swaying fronds. Across for the cove is La Jolla Shores, the entry point for the sand flats and submarine canyon. The flats a dessert-like appearance is broken up by leopard sharks and pipefish which swim among sea pansies, sea pens, and sand dollars. The canyon can be found a few hundred yards west which drops off sharply and is over 1000 feet deep though you can explore its edges at around 50-85 feet deep. Here you’ll find sarcastic fringehead fish, vermillion rockfish, fairy hydroids, lion’s mane mudibranchs, and giant sheepcrabs. This is also a favorite breeding ground for market squid which spawn year round so you can often view thousands of the creatures at the edge of the canyon. This park has strictly enforced preservation related restrictions so be sure to check the regulations if planning on visiting the area.

leopard shark in San Diego - La Jolla Underwater Park

Photo Courtesy Spring 2015 Tewy

3) Cross the Bay to Explore Coronado Island – Easily reachable by ferry or a quick drive over the Coronado Bridge, this fabulous spot has tons of shops and restaurants and plenty of beach areas where you can sink your toes in the sand or wade and swim through gentle ocean swells. Stoll through charming shops, art galleries and hotels and enjoy the beautiful architectural designs along the way. When you get hungry choose a casual, low scale meal or snack or opt for something gourmet at one of the many restaurants with outdoor seating plentiful. Start at the Ferry Landing Market Place but don’t miss out on the rest of the Island as there are too many things to see not to explore. The island is small enough to explore on foot or on bicycle but there is a bus that runs the length of the main shopping area along Orange Avenue ending at the historic landmark, the Hotel del Coronado. Don’t leave without taking in the view of San Diego from the island’s Centennial Park.

The Flow Rider at Belmont Park in Spring4) Have Fun at San Diego’s Oceanside Amusement Park at Belmont Park – Though billed as carnival-style, this amusement park boasts thrill rides that could compete with those at major amusement parks across the country. Ride the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster, a park favorite and the Beach Blaster, a contained swing ride that slings you 60 feet in the air from 120 degrees in one direction to 120 degrees in the other. Try one or all of the parks unique thrill rides which put you in control of the speed, spin and direction. Experience bungee jumping on the Leap of Faith or soar across space on the Zip Line while you soar over the park. Stop by the Arcade or try out the laser tag games. Shop along the quaint streets and take a break to eat at one of the numerous restaurants before heading back for more fun. When you tire of the excitement opt for a round of mini-golf or some rock climbing. The park also features a zoo, botanical gardens, 14 museums a Tony award winning theater, an outdoor pipe organ pavilion, an antique carousel and a small-scale train.

5) Go with the Flow at the WaveHouse Beach Club – Whether you’re hungry, thirsty or just want to do a little surfing, the WaveHouse has what you need. This 30,000 square foot, outdoor beach club is situated along the boardwalk in Mission Beach. Enjoy the Tiki bars and outdoor fire pits under the large leafed palm trees. Great food and one of a kind California craft beers will satiate you appetite and thirst as you relax along the boardwalk, take it easy in a cabana or catch the show at the wave pool. Watch the action at the Flow Barrel, the only artificial wave machine in the country, which creates a remarkable recreation of Hawaii’s famous Banzai Pipeline, or experience it for yourself. All skill levels from amateur to Olympic gold medalists can be found challenging the man- made wave daily. For a less challenging wave, the Flow-Rider produces an endless wave of water that is perfect for boogie boarding and body boarding enthusiasts alike.

Have fun in San Diego 🙂

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