Volo Sports -
Credit Kambria Fischer
Volo Sports -
Credit Kambria Fischer

7 Outdoor Activities in San Diego for Fall—From Rollercoaster Rides to Paragliding!

Leave Your PSL at Home and Get Your Heart Rate Up!

With the scorching September heat wave a distant, sweaty memory, we can finally get back to enjoying San Diego’s nearly perfect weather that it’s famous for–and there’s no shortage of outdoor fun to be had along the SoCal coast. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for an adrenaline rush or you crave something a little more mellow, San Diego has an abundance of outdoor activities for everyone. Here are seven outdoor activities in San Diego that we love to do in the fall!


Volo Sports Pick-Up Games

Volo Sports - outdoor activities san diego
Credit: Volo Sports San Diego


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Ready to win? Volo Sports hosts different sports leagues around the county almost every night of the week. Players can dust off their cleats and jump into games like soccer, pickleball and volleyball through Volo’s organized pick-up leagues. Pickleball paddlers can team up and head to Doyle Rec Center in La Jolla for Monday night games. Setters, defensive specialists and hitters can serve up aces on the volleyball court Saturday mornings in Ocean Beach. Players needing some friendly mid-week competition can charge the pitch in Mira Mesa with pick-up soccer games on Wednesdays!


La Jolla Sea Caves Kayak Tour

La Jolla Sea Caves Kayak - outdoor activities san diego
Credit: La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaks

Hop in a kayak and paddle through the stunning La Jolla Sea Caves! These 90-minute tours will take you through the caves and along the coastline, offering stunning views of La Jolla’s natural beauty. Kayakers often spot sea lions, pelicans, leopard sharks and more–in addition to Garibaldi (aka Catalina goldfish).



Hike to Potato Chip Rock (via Mt. Woodson)

Potato Chip Rock - outdoor activities san diego
Credit: AllTrails

You’re not a true San Diegan until you’ve snapped a pic at the precarious Potato Chip Rock. This iconic hiking landmark makes cameos on social media, dating profiles and hiking guides. Trekking up to Potato Chip Rock can be somewhat strenuous, so set out early before it gets too hot, pack enough water and a snack or two and don’t forget your sunscreen. The 7.4-mile trek takes about four and half hours–not including the wait time to get your updated profile pic at the crest of the rock.


Play at Belmont Park

outdoor activities san diego - Belmont Park
Credit Bhadri Kubendran

For the best Dole Whip outside of Disneyland’s Tiki Room, head to Belmont Park. Your inner child can let loose, enjoying carnival-style games, amusement park rides, cotton candy and boardwalk attractions. Parking is free and the activities are endless—from kids’ craft nights to happy hour dining and live music at the park’s eateries. No visit is complete without a ride on the Giant Dipper: the iconic, vintage wooden beachfront coaster that tops speeds of 45 mph. 



Cinema Under the Stars

Credit: Unsplash

If moonlight is more your thing, pack up your coziest throw blanket and meet your snuggle buddy at the box office. Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills is a unique, outdoor movie venue. With a mix of cabanas and zero-gravity chairs, the theater can host 60 people to view flicks on their digital projection screen. The cinema has been operating in its current setting since 2005, showing classic movies with traditional theater concessions. 


Explore the Encinitas Meditation Gardens

For a moment of silence, the Meditation Gardens at the Encinitas Self-Realization Fellowship promise peaceful spaces and a lush backdrop for quiet relaxation. Colorful and diverse plants spot the grounds along with meditation nooks, koi ponds and calming views of the Pacific Ocean. The gardens are closed on Mondays and during inclement weather, but they are otherwise available for enjoyment from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. 

Torrey Pines Gliderport

Torrey Pines Gliderport - outdoor activities san diego
Credit: Lexi Wheeler

Since the 1920s, the Torrey Pines Gliderport has played a pivotal role in Southern California’s aviation scene. Daredevils can take off from the cliffs for paragliding, hang gliding and sailplanes, along with remote-control model planes. Lessons, certifications, tandem flights, equipment sales and repair services are also available. Numerous inventions also took flight at the Gliderport, such as the Robinson Variometer and Zanoonia Sailplane. Enthusiasts can learn more about aviation history at the site as well.

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Jessica Young has lived in San Diego since 2003. She is a graduate of San Diego State University, where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Anthropology from San Diego State University. She also holds Master's Degree in Education from University of California, San Diego. Young works as a journalism teacher at Orange Glen High School in Escondido, Calif.

Young is the President of the San Diego Journalism Education Association and serves on the Board of Directors and Board of Trustees for the Quill and Scroll International Journalism Honor Society. She is an active member of the scholastic journalism community and teaches at workshops and conventions around the country. She was recognized as a "Rising Star" by the Journalism Education Association.

In addition to teaching, Young enjoys running with her adopted golden retriever, Maxwell. She has conquered the Original Marathon course in Athens, Greece as well as the Inca Trail in Peru. Young also dabbles in baking and photography. You can follow her adventures on instragram at: @racingcupakes.


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