SOLANA BEACH, Calif. — San Diego is full of outdoor spaces to explore — so many that even longtime residents can find an underrated gem right in their backyard.
Families looking for new things to do this weekend could check out San Dieguito County Park, a beautiful space near Del Mar and Solana Beach that features trails, rope suspension bridges, lookout points, a butterfly garden and several playgrounds.
Jessica Geiszler from the San Diego County Parks Department shared a virtual hike with FOX 5, which you can watch in the video player above. Geiszler said San Dieguito is among her favorite parks in the region, noting its wide range of activities.
The park has 5 miles of interconnected trails that link its upper and lower areas. Activity Hill sits in the center and is the star of the show, featuring two rope bridges and three ladders that lead to panoramic lookout platforms.
Visitors who reviewed the park online said the trails are suitable even for younger kids. A viral Instagram video from the company Rental with a View recently highlighted Activity Hill, dubbing it a “hidden San Diego gem.”
In the upper park, Miracle Field and a new “inclusive play space” each cater to kids with disabilities or other access needs. Kids in wheelchairs can roll directly onto the rubberized ball field’s surface. The playground features ramps and specialty equipment that make it accessible to kids of all ages and abilities.
Four additional playgrounds are scattered throughout the upper park, meaning it’s usually easy to find open equipment.
Highlights of the lower area include picnic spaces, a wedding gazebo and a scenic butterfly garden. Across San Dieguito’s 124 acres, you’ll also find a fitness trail, basketball court, volleyball court and a nature-themed scavenger hunt trail for kids.
San Dieguito County Park is located at 1628 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, featuring an upper and lower park entrance. The park is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to sunset. Parking is $3 inside the gates, though there is typically free street parking available a short walk away.