Disneyland Day Trip

Things to do in San Diego: Top San Diego Day Trips

With so much to do and see in San Diego, there’s almost no reason to want to leave. But if you are looking for recommendations for great Day Trips from San Diego, see this San Diego Travel Blog article as a guide to the ‘Top Day Trips from San Diego’ other Things to do in San Diego.

Written by
Karen Fields

It’s almost unthinkable to consider someone would want to leave San Diego once you arrive here but this list of ‘Top Day Trips from San Diego’ are pretty good reasons.  Visits to mountain villages, another country and the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ are among the top picks.

The Keating Hotel is a Downtown San Diego Hotel, situated in the heart of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. Our latest San Diego Travel Blog article; 'Things to do in San Diego: Top San Diego Day Trips' – introduces 6 of the best selections for Day Trips from San Diego.

Let’s plan a Day Trip!

The Town of Julian
Location: Town of Julian
Distance from The Keating Hotel: 59 Miles/1.15 hours

We absolutely love this beautiful mining town of Julian. This wonderful mountain village is popular throughout the year but during the Fall and Winter months the town really comes to life. The reason? Two words, Apple. Pie. Julian is famous for their delicious Apple Pies and fans of the crust come from miles around to stand in line to acquire 1, 2 or 10 of these famous pies.

Julian also has quint little shops and cute little restaurants that serve up some delicious home style food, and there is an Italian restaurant, Ramono’s Italian that can hold its own with any Italian restaurant we’ve enjoyed.  The short 1 hour drive up to Julian from downtown San Diego is very enjoyable with fun and tasty stop at the Julian Bakery, roadside vendors selling fresh eggs, pies, crafts and more.

Palm Springs
Location: Town of Palm Springs
Distance from our Downtown San Diego Hotel: 134 Miles/2.5 Hours

Palm Springs.  This resort city is a great destination for Day Spa’s, Golf, Shopping and there is a great effort to maintain some of the charm of the ‘1960’s’ heyday. Some of the Shops and Hotels have 1960 and 1970 style retro fixtures, paint and furnishings. A Day Trip to Palm Springs should include a bit of shopping, a round of Golf, or an afternoon soaking in the sun poolside. The 2.5-hour drive to Palm Springs from San Diego is straightforward and uneventful – after all you need to get to that Martini waiting for you at the pool.

Newport Beach
Location: City of Newport Beach
Distance from our Downtown San Diego Hotel: 90 Miles/1.5 Hours

What’s not to love about Newport Beach? Visitors can enjoy some great shopping or a treatment or 2 at one of the many Day Spa’s in Newport Beach. Count on enjoying a wonderful meal at breakfast, lunch and dinner with the many restaurants to choose from.  One of the fun and very ‘doable’ activities is to buy some picnic lunch items, wine, cheeses, or other tasty treats and rent a small boat, (approximately $100 per hour) and cruise around the Newport Beach Harbor.  Also, Newport Beach is a great destination for Whale Watching during the months of December to April when the Whales are migrating.  Newport Beach is a short 1.5 hour drive up the coast.

Joshua Tree National Park
Location: Joshua Tree 
Distance from The Keating Hotel: 160 Miles/3 Hours

is one of the most stunning desert landscapes in California. From the alien looking Joshua Trees, to the huge boulders, to the cacti around the park and the cholla garden, there are so many strange and amazing areas to explore.
At just under three hours to get to Joshua Tree from San Diego, this is an easily doable (long) day trip. It’s a lot of driving, but it is so worth it to get to experience the unearthly beauty of this park for yourself!

Location: Various locations throughout San Diego
Distance from The Keating Hotel: 95 Miles/1.5 Hours
O.k., well if you are going to take a Day Trip from, ‘America’s Most Beautiful City’ it might as well be to go to the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ – Disneyland. Go to enjoy the rides, the food, and all out FUN for the day. Just a 1.5-hour drive north of San Diego, Disneyland requires a long day to visit both parks and you won’t likely see half of what there is to see…but it’s worth a try – right?

Location: The border of Tijuana, Mexico
Distance from The Keating Hotel: 33 Miles/37 Minutes

This is a favorite Day Trip of ours!  Tijuana, or ‘TJ’ - is a fantastic place to visit on a Day Trip from San Diego and, yes, it is safe to travel south of the border. Bring your passport and you can drive into TJ or you can opt to ride the train down to the border and then simply walk across the border into TJ.  You can then travel around TJ and Rosarito (the popular beach town west of TJ) Uber – it is very affordable and readily available. One of our favorite trips is to travel to Rosarito and have lunch at the oceanfront area called Puerto Nuevo.

Puerto Nuevo features many vendors and restaurants that specialize in Lobster dinners, fresh beans, rice and homemade flour tortillas…A-Mazing! And a Lobster dinner for 4 can cost less than $100 with drinks. There are also other areas of TJ that have fantastic restaurants, one is called ‘Paseo Chapultepec’ that features upscale restaurants like Lorenza and Bodega 8.  TJ is also a great place to shop for clothing, household goods and more.

We hope our San Diego Travel Blog article; 'Things to do in San Diego: Top San Diego Day Trips' has inspired you to plan a fantastic Day Trip during your next visit to San Diego.

Visit our San Diego Visitors Guide for more recommendations for all there is to do, see and experience when visiting San Diego.

See our latest Special Offers or for the 'Best Rates Guaranteed' at our Downtown San Diego Hotel go here to Check Rates, Book Now or call: 619-814-5700.