7 Spots To Get Outside And Enjoy San Diego While Keeping Safe Distancing In Mind

Social distancing is crucial right now, but we also know how important it is to get outside for some vitamin D and fresh air.  Lucky for us, San Diego has no shortage of opportunities to get outdoors (can you imagine riding this pandemic out in some of the tight quarters of east coast cities?!).

We’ve curated a list of some of our favorite spots to visit that will offer beautiful views, sunshine, and unlimited amounts of fresh San Diego air. Whether you decide to get in a workout or to post up at the park with a book in hand, we guarantee you will enjoy it even more with sun-kissed skin.

Balboa Park

Balboa Park is located in Hillcrest, close to Downtown and Mid City, making it easily accessible to many neighborhoods by bike or walking.  Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, many popular museums are not open at this time. Click here to stay up to date with the open attractions at Balboa Park.  One favorite that is currently open is the Japanese Friendship Garden, open daily from 10 am – 5 pm. 

Though Balboa Park is known for its intriguing museums, it also captivates visitors with its Spanish-style architecture. I know we were taught not to judge a book by its cover but we feel that you can judge a museum by its architecture. Let your artistic juices flow and try sketching your favorite building at the park! Bring along some paper, a pencil and an eraser and get creative.  The Botanical Garden is a great place to visit on your lunch break or after a long day in front of your computer. The fresh air and lush greens will make you feel like you’ve transported to your own personal oasis. Just outside of the botanical building you can find a popular spot to sit on the grass and have a picnic or catch some rays! Pro tip: Running out of socially distanced date ideas? Surprise your significant other with a picnic in the park – they won’t forget it!

The Beach

No matter the time of year in San Diego, you simply cannot go wrong with a day at the beach.  Turn on your hot spot on your cellular device and make the beach your office! Seagulls tend to be pretty annoying coworkers but you can’t beat the fresh air flowing through your system.  Beaches have been less crowded than normal due to the pandemic but if you are lacking vitamin-D, then the beach will surely help that.  A few of our favorite beaches include Crown Point Shores, Del Mar Dog Beach, Coronado Beach and Pacific Beach.

San Dieguito County Park

San Dieguito County Park is known for its recreational activities, spacious picnic areas, and rich history. Unfortunately due to Covid-19 restrictions, reservable areas and BBQs are closed for the time being. To stay up to date on Covid-19 related park operations, click here. Trails, playgrounds, basketball courts, and scenic overlooks are all open at this time and make for a great time spent in the San Diego sun! Leashed pets are permitted in the park during park hours so bring along your furry friends and be sure to bring along lots of water and snacks because you can easily spend a few hours here.

Juan Maria Osuna was granted the land that is now San Dieguito County Park by the Mexican government in 1840.  His heir sold the land to subsidiaries of the Santa Fe Railway in 1906 and they planted 3.5 million eucalyptus seeds in hopes to use the wood for railroad ties. The wood was never used for the railroad and the land sat untouched for years.  The company then sold parts of the land which we now know today as Rancho Santa Fe. The county then purchased the land for San Dieguito County Park on January 12, 1954.

Torrey Pines Golf Course

Referred to as, “golfers paradise”, Torrey Pines Golf Course provides a relaxing environment to take on two 18 hole Championship courses – the North and South courses. Sitting atop coastal bluffs in beautiful La Jolla,  views of the Pacific will take your breath away. While some states have off-seasons, San Diego’s sunshine provides perfect weather to golf all year round. To follow Covid-19 restrictions, they are currently enforcing facial coverings at all times in common areas. To reserve tee times, click here.

*Torrey Pines Golf Course is closed from Jan. 19 – Feb. 2 in preparation for and to host the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open.

Kate Sessions Park

Kate Sessions Park is known by locals as one of the best views in San Diego. This hillside view overlooks Mission Bay and is located in North Pacific Beach. We recommend bringing a blanket or chairs, some snacks and good company. It’s the perfect spot to socially distance yourself from your friends and share conversation from 6 feet away and it’s dog friendly! Once you visit, you will quickly learn why it is known as one of the best views in San Diego.  If you are heading there to watch the sunset, we recommend getting there a little earlier as the park tends to be busier close to sunset!

Mission Trails Regional Park

Was San Diego made for hiking or was hiking made for San Diego? Either way, Mission Trails is a must-do if you consider yourself a true hiker. While many San Diegans have accomplished Cowels Mountain, there are actually many other lesser-known trails that are all part of Mission Trails.  They say that the world is our playground so take advantage of the twists, the turns and the mountains, big and small.  Make sure to pack your mask, lots of water and social distance while on the trails!

If you’ve been an avid hiker for some time now and haven’t completed the 5 Peak Challenge then let 2021 be the year you push yourself to new heights.  The 5 Peak Challenge was created to inspire hikers to visit all 5 peaks in the park. The goal was to get 15,000 people to complete the challenge and that is just what they did! If you completed the peaks and submitted proof before June 26, then you are one of the lucky 15,000 folks who earned their certificate and logo pins. Though you won’t win anything, we still recommend taking on this challenge! You will still feel accomplished once you complete all 5 peaks.

Mission Bay Park

Whether you want to learn how to rollerblade or paddleboard or you just like to shoot hoops by the water, Mission Bay Park offers ton of space to take part in a variety of socially distanced outdoor activities.  Mission Bay Park consists of 15 different points scattered around the bay such as Bonita Cove, Crowne Point, and Fiesta Island, just to name a few. Lighting up a bonfire is a great way to socially distance after dark while staying outdoors.  Fiesta Island and Crown Point are two popular spots that have fire pits waiting to heat up your night.  Bring firewood, a few chairs and whatever you do, please don’t forget the smores! Or hang out at Dana Point using this portable hammock. I may be giving away my favorite spot to hammock but with views of the bay and a book in hand, it is the best way to spend a Sunday!  To find the hours and location of each site, click here.

We are in a pandemic for what can seem like an eternity, and mental health is just as crucial as physical health. If you are feeling down, spending time outside can help.  Something as simple as taking a walk around your neighborhood will get your blood flowing and help clear your mind.

Please remember to socially distance as you spend time outdoors!

Stay safe, San Diego! And please tag us on Instagram @theresandiego when you’re out visiting these amazing spots!


The Latest
The Dish is your source for the latest menu updates, new cocktail programs, happy hours, and special offers from San Diego’s best restaurants and bars!...
El Chingon
What would Comic-Con be without Comic-Con food, drinks, and parties?! Here’s a run-down of some of the most interesting specials we’ve seen around town! Lionfish...
Food, Wine, and Brew at the San Diego Zoo
Dine, drink, and do good! Food, Wine, and Brew 2024 is a one-of-a-kind tasting event at the world-famous San Diego Zoo. At this can’t-miss evening,...
Novo Brazil Brewing Anniversary
Get ready to celebrate in style as NOVO Brazil Brewing Company marks its 10th anniversary with a sports-packed bash at its Otay Ranch brewpub! Join...
Haute with Heart Fashion Show
St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (SMSC), a nonprofit organization that serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, will host its 46th Annual Haute with Heart Fashion Show. This...
San Diego Made Summer Market
The San Diego Made Summer Market, a two-day event featuring over 120 of the city’s best craft vendors and emerging brands, is set to take...