There’s more to San Diego than Seaworld and the Gaslamp District on a Friday night – and it’s not all about the beach, either. Here are five of the best places to get out of town.

 

Coronado

Coronado Bridge

Ok, this one’s about the beach. Only a 15 minute ferry ride or a 10 minute drive from downtown San Diego, isthmus Coronado (it’s not technically an island) is like a different world with its low-rise buildings and retro atmosphere. The beach, complete with little sand dunes, is gloriously underdeveloped – go for a walk, and then rest up with a drink at the historic Hotel del Coronado.

 

Carlsbad
Carlsbad, California

This charming beachside town is only 35 miles north of downtown SD, but it’s truly another world. Wander the shoreline, grab food at one of the beachside restaurants and hit up the Carlsbad Lagoon for wakeboarding lessons and kayaking trips. Of course no trip is complete to this destination without a walk through Carlsbad Caverns National Park. 

Legoland
Entrance to LegoLand in California (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Disneyland in Anaheim may get most of the attention when it comes to southern California’s theme parks, but Legoland is an equally enticing proposition. There are over 60 rides and it’s very much a family-oriented day out – children under 10 will love it. But even adults will have their inner geek freak out over the Lego structures.

Tijuana, Mexico
Tijuana, Mexico (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Most San Diegans will advise against crossing the border to Mexico right now, but if you do want to do it, try and go in a group, and stay on the main drags. For a longer stay, it’s best to drop further down into Baja, California. And even if you want to stay on US soil, it’s fun to make a quick drive to the border – only 16 miles away, but there are fantastic views of Mexico from the last exit on the freeway.

Temecula
Temecula, California vineyard (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

About 90 minutes north of San Diego, Temecula is where locals go for a weekend away. It’s wine country, so prepare for leisurely drives and lip-smacking tastings – but there’s also golf and hot air balloon rides. Old Town Temecula is a step back in time, too.

 

 

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