California

6 Romantic Day Trips in San Diego

San Diego is one of the most romantic cities in the world, offering a ton to do with the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. There are theme parks like LEGOLAND, great bars in the Gaslamp District

Julian

Romantic restaurants: Jeremy’s on the Hill, Romano’s, & Julian Beer Company.

Small town USA can be found in the little city of Julian in inland San Diego. Couples can go apple picking here in the Fall or camping in the Summer. This one-street town is known for its tasty apples and everything in the city is built around these fruits. Stop by the Julian Cider Mill for some adult apple juice or get some apple pies at Mom’s Pies.

More adventurous travelers can check out cave tours or go hiking amongst the green hills. This makes a great short trip because there isn’t much to do in Julian after you’ve spent the day here due to its tiny size! If you’re looking to go glamping in San Diego, you’ll find a handful of cozy Air B&Bs for rent around Julian.

PC: La Jolla Mom

La Jolla Cove

Romantic restaurants: Duke’s La Jolla, Piata, George’s at the Cove, & the Marine Room.

Nestled in North County San Diego, La Jolla is a charming seaside town perfect for lovebirds. La Jolla Cove will be a highlight of your trip, you can relax on the beach as you watch sea lions sunning on the rocks. Also check out the La Jolla Caves, which you can actually enter through a set of stairs or even kayak around.

Also, check out the Birch Aquarium ($20 to get in) which is located at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography on the UC San Diego campus. The Aquarium is home to over 5,000 fish in 60 habitats, plus the museum where you can learn more about these sea creatures. If you’re staying in the La Jolla area in the Spring, don’t miss the colorful Carlsbad Flower Fields or find the SuperBloom of flowers around SoCal. What could be more romantic than a morning surrounded by poppies and an afternoon at a stunning beach?

PC: RootsRated

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

Romantic restaurants: Charles + Dinorah at the Pearl Hotel, Vessel Restaurant & Bar, Old Venice Restaurant, & the Wine Pub.

Found on Point Loma near Coronado, Sunset Cliffs is a sight to behold and a perfect spot for some beach romance. Walk down the stairwell to the shore when the tide is out and discover the “Secret Beach”. Sunset Cliffs is best for surfing, walking the beach trails, and of course watching gorgeous sunsets with your sweetie.

You can explore the tidepools throughout the area, and may even get lucky enough to spot a dolphin or whale in the water beyond the cliffs! There are 68 acres of the park you can roam including carved coastal bluffs, arches, and sea caves. There’s a good amount of parking here but check out the map before you head to Sunset Cliffs.

PC: Trover

Mission Bay

Romantic Restaurants: Costa Brava, Oceana Coastal Kitchen, the Firefly, & the Joint.

Mission Bay is a great place for sun and fun, offering jet ski rentals and cruises every day. This park is actually the largest aquatic center int he country, spanning 4,235 acres. Several companies offer boat rides around Mission Bay including sunset, whale watching, and booze cruises.

Couples will also want to check out Mission Beach which has a host of casual eateries and beach bars. This beach also offers bike rentals, beach volleyballs, boogie boarding, surfing, sport fishing, and scuba diving. Don’t forget to get an adrenaline rush at Belmont Park, the amusement park along the beach. Seaworld is also close by if you’re interested in seeing some aquatic animals up close.

For a quieter day, visit South Mission Beach, where the beach widens and fisherman cast off the jetty. Lovers will enjoy strolling along the beach, I recommend coming by bicycle since parking can be difficult. Walking along Mission Beach is as beautiful as it gets, earning its spot when it comes to romantic day trips in San diego.

Coronado Cays Gondola Rides

No need to go to Italy, you can ride a gondola right in San Diego Bay! These hour-long cruises hold up to 6 people or you can book a private cruise with just your honey. You can also do a wine tasting while aboard, or purchase your own bottle from the Gondola Company.

Once your ride is over, check out Bayview Park for sweeping harbor views or Centennial Park for a 180-degree view of the tall buildings of the city. There’s plenty of romantic activities around Coronado Island, which offers an awesome hotel, a playhouse, theater, and a day spa. These amenities make the Coronado area a perfect place for a romantic day trip in San Diego.

PC: SoCal Pulse

Balboa Park

Romantic Restaurants: Parq Restaurant, The Prado at Balboa Park, CUCINA urbana, & the Rose.

Balboa Park is a cultural center in the heart of San Diego which hosts the San Diego Zoo and a myriad assortment of specialty museums. Just a few of the 17 museums are the Fleet Science Center, Japanese Friendship Garden, Mingei International Museum, San Diego Museum of Man, and San Diego Air & Space Museum.

The most romantic part of Balboa Park is their unique, lush gardens brimming with sweet roses, towering trees, and bright water lilies. Couples will love this romantic day trip to San Diego because you can come and visit one of the park’s many attractions or just come for a picnic in the gardens.

For a more active day trip, Balboa Park also has miles of hiking trails, golf, tennis, foot golf, cycling, swimming holes, dance classes, Frisbee golf, archery, and dance classes. They also host tons of events throughout the year.


Lovers Love San Diego!

As you can see from this list of romantic day trips in San Diego, there’s a TON to do for couples. From riding gondolas in the bay to picking apples in Julian, you will never be bored! If you have a favorite romantic day trip in San Diego that we didn’t mention, let us know in the comments below!

No San Diego article is complete without this guy. PC: Giphy.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Stories ... Just Stories
    April 3, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    This is a great article! Very interesting and informative. And the photos are absolutely beautiful, too. I’m putting Sunset Cliffs Natural Park on my “Can’t wait to see this” list 🙂

    • Reply
      Aimee
      April 3, 2019 at 6:14 pm

      Thank you so much! The park is really beautiful!

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