Looking for great ideas for a leisurely California weekend? Pick up an SUV rental San Diego with the help of rental24h.com and get ready for an unforgettable road trip. San Diego is a large and very interesting city, teeming with museums, parks, beaches, amusement parks, and historic sites. And there’s nothing better and easier than exploring all of its surroundings with an SUV rental car.
Despite its impressive size, the city is quite calm and its atmosphere is conducive to an excellent rest. At the same time, the well-developed road network and convenient interchanges make it convenient for traveling by a car rental. If your goal is a pleasant weekend on the sunny California coast, then consider some amazing places you can visit within driving distance of San Diego.
1. Coronado Island
Coronado Island is a beautiful place where you can walk and lie on the beach. Even the road to the island itself deserves your attention: the long bridge offers a magnificent view of the island and the port. By the way, Coronado Island is also famous for the location of the US Navy. The island itself is small, and there’s no great entertainment there. However, here you can walk, look at beautiful houses, dine in numerous restaurants, go shopping, swim on the beach, or stay in Hotel del Coronado.
The main street of the island, Orange Avenue, is the most popular place where you can stroll along the coastline and enjoy the incredible sunset views.
2. USS Midway Museum
The next stop on your San Diego travel route is the USS Midway Museum, located at 910 N Harbor Dr, San Diego. In order not to waste time looking for a parking space, it’s better to park near the museum in a paid parking lot. It costs only $5.
The museum itself is a former aircraft carrier that has been restored and turned into an exhibition area. The admission fee to the aircraft is just $20, which is a small fee for what you see there. Therefore, climb aboard this huge ship to explore its vast expanse with about a dozen military aircraft.
After visiting the museum, you can simply stroll along the promenade and see other ships. By the way, there’s an airport near the embankment, so airplane lovers will be glad to get double pleasure from contemplating these iron birds.
3. Balboa Park
Perhaps this place is always at the top when it comes to attractions in San Diego. And there are good reasons for this. Balboa Park is a gigantic urban cultural park full of recreational areas, natural greenery, flower beds, gardens, walking paths, and numerous cultural sites. It houses several museums, theaters, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
In addition, the park has several outdoor sports facilities and restaurants. Honestly, if you seriously set yourself the goal of examining everything that’s here, then even a week won’t be enough. It’s home to a Botanical Garden, Japanese Friendship Garden, 1935 Cactus Garden, Alcazar Garden, Australian Garden, California National Plant Garden, Casa del Rey Moro Garden, George Washington Children’s Ethnobotanical Garden, Desert Garden, Florida Canyon National Plant Sanctuary, and much more.
4. La Jolla Natural Park
La Jolla Natural Park is a true gem in the crown of San Diego. Local beaches regularly top the world rankings. It’s a unique coastal area, combining white sand beaches, underwater reefs, secluded coves, and high cliffs. The picturesque rocky shores offer wonderful views of the ocean and the surrounding area of San Diego.
The water of the La Jolla coast is incredibly clear. The bottom is visible to a depth of ten meters. As a result, La Jolla is one of the best diving and snorkeling destinations in the world. The underwater world in this part of the ocean is extremely diverse. The shores of La Jolla are home to seals and many birds as well.
5. Torrey Pines Natural Reserve
A huge park in the north of the city was created to preserve the unique pine forests on the rocky shores of the Pacific Ocean. Here you can walk along scenic paths, enjoy a cocktail of pine and ocean air, look at sandy canyons and coastal lagoons with clear water.
The park covers 2,000 acres on the rolling Pacific coastline offering stunning ocean views. The reserve’s landscape includes a plateau with cliffs rising above Torrey Pines State Beach and a lagoon that is home to migratory seabirds.
Here you can see a variety of wildlife representatives, including forest cats, foxes, skunks, raccoons, coyotes, and, of course, the very rare Torrey pines. The reserve has about 11 miles of hiking trails, a small museum, a hotel, and a visitor center placed on top of the cliff.
The fastest way to reach the reserve is via Highway 5. Take Carmel Valley Road and drive west for about a mile and a half until you reach Coastal Highway 101. Then turn left and follow the beach. The park is located between the Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course and Del Mar city.
6. Belmont Park
Belmont Park is a historical amusement park in the Mission Bay area. Located on the beach, the park welcomes millions of guests every year. Even the first rides and roller coasters installed there in 1925 have survived in Belmont. In particular, it’s a Giant Dipper, a roller coaster listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Plunge indoor swimming pool is also a great place to spend time all year round. Other must-see attractions in the park include the three-story free fall tower Tilt-A-Whirl and the Liberty Carousel.