SAN DIEGO — San Diego’s beautiful weather and natural landscapes makes it an ideal place to go on enjoyable walks or hikes.
Natural parks are common in San Diego County, providing scenic views of mountains, ocean waters or hilly valleys.
Here are some popular nature sites to visit in the area:
Cabrillo National Monument (Point Loma)
Featuring a National Monument dedicated to Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European to set foot on what is now the West Coast of the United States, the park also attracts locals and tourists to visit the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, in addition to a trail with breathtaking views of the harbor and the city of San Diego.
Tecolote Canyon Natural Park and Nature Center (Clairemont Mesa West)
Named after the owl, or tecolote in Spanish, for the bird with the sharp, powerful talons that lives in this canyon, the Tecolote Canyon Natural Park has approximately 6.5 miles of trails that can be used for jogging, walking and mountain biking.
Sunset Cliffs Natural Park (Point Loma)
The 68-acre resource-based park stretches along the Pacific Ocean, offering panoramic ocean views from its cliffs, sea caves, arches and carved coastal bluffs.
Mission Bay Park (Mission Bay)
Mission Bay Park, the largest aquatic park of its kind in the country, is a water playground for swimmers, windsurfers and water skiers. With 27 miles of shoreline, visitors also can picnic, ride bikes along the paths, play volleyball and fly kites.
La Jolla Natural Park (La Jolla)
Although it’s a short hike on the 42-acre preserve, the hidden trail leads to jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean, downtown San Diego and, on a clear day, even Mexico.
Balboa Park (Balboa Park)
A combination of natural and manmade beauty, Balboa Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and one of the Great Places in America. Not only does it contain five parks within one park and several trails, but it also provides visitors with a zoo, carousel and international cottages.
Torrey Pines State Reserve (Torrey Pines)
Home of the nation’s rarest pine tree Pinus torreyana, the wilderness area overlooks the Pacific Ocean and features trails along high broken cliffs and deep ravines.
Mission Trails Regional Park (San Carlos)
From boating on Lake Murray to camping at Kumeyaay Lake, Mission Trails Regional Park, also known as the third Jewel in the City of San Diego Park System, has one of the largest urban parks in the U.S.