Credit: Kambria Fischer

8 Ways to Stay Active This Fall in San Diego and Work Off That Pumpkin Pie

Join a Sports League, Kayak Through Caves or Lace Up Your Roller Skates!

For most of America, the first fall chill marks the slow transition from spending summer days under the sun to cozying up by the fire with a cup of cider in hand. In California, locals are blessed with nearly 24/7 sunshine, making outdoor activities a year-round luxury. Known for its white-sand beaches, surfing communities and picturesque hiking trails, San Diego is a veritable wilderness playground. Take in the scenic beauty that covers the city’s natural terrain while mentally and physically challenging yourself through yoga, hiking or kayaking excursions. Here are eight ways to embrace San Diego’s perfect fall weather and get outdoors!

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Play Pick-Up Sports

Best Outdoor Activities San Diego
Credit: Volo Sports

Whether you’re an athlete, ex-athlete or want to try a new sport, this one’s for you! With Volo Sports San Diego, locals can join a community of active enthusiasts while enjoying sports such as soccer, basketball and pickleball. Formed under the Volo Kids Foundation, the organization proudly supports youth with a passion for sports who may not have access to recreational activities. By purchasing a monthly membership, players receive access to drop-in leagues, pick-up games and tournaments ranging from super social to competitive. And in the spirit of fall, Volo is partnering with Michelob Ultra to host a Halloween Bar Crawl on Oct. 28! Participating bars and venues include Pacific Beach’s Sandbox, Mavericks and Tavern at the Beach. Volo pass members receive two free drinks at participating bars—a Michelob Ultra and a shot. Non-members are also welcome to purchase a ticket for $20, which includes a free Michelob Ultra. Don’t miss this spooky season event!

Location: Pacific Beach

 

Get Your Steps in at the 5K Mutt Run

Best Outdoor Activities San Diego
Credit: Volunteers

With less traffic and more dog-friendly spaces, it’s arguable that San Diego is LA’s chiller cousin. On Oct. 28, bring your furry friend on a Halloween-themed run or walk at the 10th annual 5K Mutt Run. In collaboration with Labs and More, a West Coast animal hospital, the fundraiser is a great way to spend quality time with your four-legged friend while supporting animal rescue. Sponsored by Road Runner Sports and Mike Hess Brewing, participants have the chance to win prizes for best costume and highest donation, including a four-night stay in Mission Beach and Road Runner gift cards.

Location: Kearny Mesa

 

Kayak Through the La Jolla Sea Caves

Best Outdoor Activities San Diego
Credit: La Jolla Sea Caves Kayaks

Nestled underneath the trendy boutiques and stylish coffee bars of La Jolla Cove, the sea caves are a local gem. Coastal living means locals have the luxury of exercising on the water. La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaks is conveniently located next to the shoreline, creating a fun and easy workout through the mouth of the sea caves. With both personal kayak rentals and professionally guided tours, you can paddle through the kelp forests of La Jolla’s ecological marine reserve for a glimpse of sharks, rays and sea lions.

Location: La Jolla

11/20

 

Embark on a Sunrise Hike Up Cowles Mountain

Credit: Eréndira Tovar

What better way to start your day than catching the first rays of the morning sun? For those on dawn patrol, the 5-mile hike up Cowles Mountain ascends 900 feet into a bed of fog. Located in Mission Trails Regional Park, navigate switchbacks and rocky terrain to the top of the peak—the reward is panoramic views of downtown San Diego and its neighboring beaches. Free parking is available at the foot of the hike and on the street. Cowles Mountain is a popular choice among locals so it’s best to get there early before spots fill up.

Location: San Carlos

 

Explore the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park

Credit: Dominic Nepomuceno

Grab a friend and take a leisurely stroll through the botanical groves of Balboa Park’s Japanese Friendship Garden. The garden was forged out of a friendship between San Diego and Yokohama, Japan, welded together through cultural festivals, exhibits and the iconic Japanese cherry blossom trees. Koi ponds, vibrant flora and cascading falls mirror traditional Japanese gardens and create a tranquil spot to get your steps in. Visit the museum, which hosts educational sessions and activities designed to enhance understanding of Japanese culture. Exhibits include craft sessions focusing on Japanese art and specialized techniques like making bamboo.

Location: Balboa Park

 

Snag a Swim Pass to Andaz San Diego

Credit: Andaz San Diego, polarizedstudios.com

Not in the mood for a beach day? Andaz San Diego in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter offers easy access to some fun in the sun with their pool day pass. The hotel’s day pass grants unlimited access to their rooftop, lap-sized pool and private cabanas, so you can catch some rays and get some laps in. Take in stunning views of downtown as you swim, and don’t forget to reward yourself with a cocktail afterward!

Location: Gaslamp Quarter

 

Lace Up Your Skates at Ringer’s Roller Park

Best Outdoor Activities San Diego
Credit: Ringer’s Roller Rink

No one said getting in daily movement has to be a dreaded activity forced onto your schedule. Ringer’s Roller Park fosters a fun and social atmosphere for locals to connect with a community of skaters and achieve an adequate workout with nothing more than eight wheels on concrete. This whimsical outdoor rink creates a vibrant scene for the Bonsall neighborhood with vibrant murals, flashing lights and fun photo ops. Public skating is open every Thursday-Sunday, and the rink also hosts skating lessons and derbies. Thursday is adult night, where the rink is transformed into a techno music venue with live DJs. Friday is ‘90s throwback from 6-9 p.m., and Saturdays from 6-9 p.m. is hip-hop night. Sunday evenings are reserved for family fun.

Location: Bonsall

 

Practice Oceanfront Yoga at Palisades Park

Slow down and relax with a meditative yoga class at Palisades Park overlooking the Pacific. Taught by local yoga instructor Steve Hubbard, classes are designed to help students cultivate a strong mental and physical balance through mindful movement. All sessions are donation-based and perfect for trying yoga in a non-competitive setting. Students are guided through a series of vinyasa flows with inversions, creating an upbeat yet soothing workout for diverse skill levels. There’s no need for advance reservations—simply arrive at the location on Law Street 15 minutes before class; the current schedule has classes at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10 a.m. sessions on the weekends, but check their website before you go. 

Location: Pacific Beach

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