Best San Diego Hikes on the Coast

Encinitas Bluff Tree Best San Diego Hikes

San Diego County has some of the best coastlines on the entire coast of California. From the rugged coast, with towering sandstone cliffs found in North County San Diego, all the way down to the open estuaries, and sandy beaches located in South County San Diego. Today I would like to list for you some of my favorite San Diego hikes that you too can experience, on the coast of San Diego.

All San Diego hikes listed are to be taken only with a negative low tide. Please make sure to check out the tide chart before embarking on your adventure, as some of these walks are dangerous if the tide comes up on you. A good rule of thumb would be to allow a couple of hours before the high tide comes back in. Remember, a very high tide always follows a really low tide.

One more thing. I have written extensively on all of these sites previously, and have linked each post appropriately, so click on the underlined links for more information.

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Best San Diego Birding Hotspots

Loma Alta Creek San Diego Birding

Here I  present to you a comprehensive list of the best San Diego birding hotspots. I will be including all of San Diego County starting first to the north and making my way south. Each site will consist of a link to an address; as well as, habitat type, amenities,  tour information (if available,) and finally any notable birds of interest.

Did you know that there are many free San Diego birding tours offered all over San Diego County? I will also be including any insider information that I turn up in my research; such as prime locations within each site.

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Slough What? Discovering Famosa Slough

Famosa slough sign ocean beach california

Hi! Have you ever explored a wetland before? Well, today I would like to share with you a place that you would never expect to be so wonderful-Famosa Slough in Ocean Beach. First off, what is a slough? According to the dictionary, a slough (pronounced slōō)  is a swamp or shallow lake that is usually the backwater of a larger body of water with relatively low water circulation.

In other words, we can think of a  slough as a wetland a little farther from the shore compared to say, a lagoon where the mouth opens to the ocean. Another way to look at is, is that a slough is the part of the estuary where fresh water from creeks and urban runoff mix with the salty ocean water that is transported by the tides.

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Touring The Living Coast Discovery Center

Sweetwater Marsh National Refuge San Diego Bay

At the beginning of Summer, I took my two daughters to go and check out the Living Coast Discovery Center, located in the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I had not been there for over 30 years, so needless to say I was super excited to go back!

Where is the Living Coast Discovery Center?

First off, The Living Coast Discovery Center is in South Bay, San Diego-Chula Vista, which is 12.4 miles from Downtown San Diego.

San Diego South Bay consists of everything south of Downtown San Diego to the Mexican Border; which includes National City, Chula Vista, Coronado, and Imperial Beach.

San-Diego-Bay-Map-Living-Coast-Discovery-Center

1000 Gunpowder Point Dr, Chula Vista, CA 91910

(619) 409-5900

http://www.thelivingcoast.org

Hours  10am-5 pm daily

Adults (13+)            $16
Children (3-12)        $11
Children (0-2)          Free

#please click on any photo to see a larger version

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Walking the Batiquitos Lagoon Trail

Batiquitos Lagoon sitting bench plants lagoon hills

Are you looking for a relatively easy trail to go hiking on in San Diego? Well, look no further as I have found the perfect spot! The Batiquitos Lagoon is between Carlsbad and Encinitas. It is one of the last saltwater marshes in Southern California. Today I will be taking you on a tour of the 3.14-mile Batiquitos Lagoon Trail.

Batiquitos Lagoon Map topography

Let’s go!

7380 Gabbiano Lane, Carlsbad

760-931-0800

Nature Center-9am-3pm daily

Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation Information

Batiquitos Lagoon Trail-A Photo Tour

I was so happy to come here for the first time. I have always been curious about this lagoon as you can see it from the Interstate 5 freeway. Here are a couple of references for you. The first is a map of the lagoon as well as a list of all possible birds that are seen here. Finally, I have also added the Self-Guided Batiquitos Trail Map which highlights several sites.

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Showcasing the Best Beaches of La Jolla

Best Beaches of La Jolla

Today I would like to showcase a few of the best beaches of La Jolla in the hope that the beauty and wonder will encourage others to visit San Diego and experience the loveliness first hand.

 La Jolla is a seaside community situated on top of towering cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean located 20 minutes north of Downtown San Diego.

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Los Penasquitos Lagoon

Los Penasquitos Lagoon

One of my favorite places to explore for over the past 30 years is over at the Los Penasquitos Lagoon. Can I take you on tour?

Ok! Let’s go!

Los Penasquitos Lagoon

Located between the city of Del Mar to the north and the border of San Diego to the south, the Los Penasquitos Lagoon is a 510-acre coastal salt marsh estuary.

Translated from Spanish, meaning “The Little Cliffs,” the Los Penasquitos Lagoon frames the northern part of the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and is designated as a Natural Preserve. Continue reading “Los Penasquitos Lagoon”

Torrey Pines State Beach

Torrey Pines State Beach Panoramic Bluffs

Torrey Pines State Beach is located right between La Jolla to the south and Del Mar to the north.  I have been visiting this beach for over 30 years and never tire of the sights.

While living in San Diego, this was our number one beach to come and visit.

I discovered Torrey Pines State Beach when I was working as a Fisheries Technician. This beach is a prime spot for surf fishing. I can not think of a better place to have to work on!

I love it here so much!

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Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a 2000 acre park located in the community of La Jolla in San Diego, California, off North Torrey Pines Rd. Nothing here has ever been altered or diverted at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, making it one of the wildest coastal stretches left in California.

I can not emphasize enough just how beautiful this Reserve is!

Come and join me for a tour!

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Birch Aquarium-La Jolla

Warm water tank Birch Aquarium La Jolla

Birch Aquarium is located on the Scripps UC San Diego campus overlooking the Scripps Pier and the Pacific Ocean. Partnered with the Scripps Institute Oceanography (SIO), the Birch Aquarium is a fabulous place to visit to learn about all the natural wonders of the ocean and its creatures.

More than 460.000 people visit this aquarium annually. There is so much to do and learn here.

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San Diego Lagoons and Nature Centers

Agua Hedionda Lagoon San Diego Lagoons

I have prepared a list of all San Diego lagoons and nature centers that are along the coastline. I have also linked each site to its appropriate website.

Explore, have fun and learn at the same time!

Nature Centers and San Diego Lagoons

San Diego doesn’t just have the best beaches in the country; we also have some of the most significant coastal wetlands as well.

With over 70 miles of coast to discover in San Diego, there are also several coastal lagoons to visit as well. Be that you are in a mood for a hike or interested in the natural history of the area, you really can not go wrong!

I will be starting the list at the most northern location, Oceanside and will be making my way South, finally ending at the Mexican Border.

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Cabrillo National Monument-Tide Pools

Cabrillo National Monument

 Situated at the end of the Point Loma Peninsula, Cabrillo National Monument has some of the most popular and easily approachable tidepools in all of San Diego.

After my latest trip this past New Years Day, on a spring tide,  I whole-heartily agree!

Come and join me on a tour of the Cabrillo National Monument tide pools!

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La Jolla Shores Beach

la jolla shores beach

 La Jolla Shores Beach has over 1 mile of sandy beach and is located between the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and La Jolla Shores Hotel at 8300 Camino Del Oro, in La Jolla, California.

This beach has some of the most gentle waves during the summer in all of San Diego, which in turn makes it an excellent beach for the family.

North View La Jolla Shores sand shore pier background

Discovering La Jolla Shores Beach

This beach, due to its calm waters is an ideal area for swimming or learning how to surf.   Additionally, there is also a boardwalk attached to the beach, which makes biking, skating, and jogging favorite activities here as well here.

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Beaches of Encinitas-A Photo Tour

beaches of encinitas

Beacon's Beach Beaches of Encinitas

 I have been coming to the beaches of Encinitas for over thirty years, and boy do I have enormous amounts of pictures to prove it!  If I had to pick my favorite stretch of beaches on the 70 miles of coast in San Diego, it would have to be, the beaches of Encinitas.

Would you like to join me on a tour?

Let’s Go!

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Swami’s State Beach-Hidden Paradise

Sunset at Swami's State Beach

Swami's State Beach Sunset

As I have said many, many times, San Diego has some of the best beaches in the country. Most are well known and are almost always busy, but there are a few that not many know about. Today I would like to concentrate on one of my personal favorites, Swami’s State Beach.

This hidden beach oasis is situated toward the southern end of Encinitas, California which is about 25 miles north of Downtown San Diego.

Would you like to come and join me for a tour?

Let’s go!

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