If your La Jolla vacation itinerary is eat, sleep, beach, repeat … well, we get it! And it sounds amazing. However, if you are looking to get some exercise while exploring the beauty that is San Diego, we have a few ideas for you. San Diego County, believe it or not, has over 255 hikes that range from the beach to boulder-filled canyons, and from the tops of peaks to potato chip-shaped rocks. (*Check out one of our county’s most popular hikes—Mount Woodson aka Potato Chip Rock.) 

To help you pick the right path, we’ve selected a few nearby hikes that will get your heart rate up, and will give you stunning vacation views and memories.

The Ultimate La Jolla Hike: Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve is an iconic San Diego hike that offers sweeping views of the rugged Southern California coastline and Pacific Ocean. Actually a collection of multiple trails, Torrey Pines’ easy, well-kept tracks are perfect for people of all ages and fitness levels. The preserve provides a beautiful snapshot of our region’s native landscape, and is home to the nation’s most rare pine—yes, you guessed it—The Torrey Pine. Combine a few trails before taking the “Beach Trail” all the way down to the sand below and enjoy a beach walk back to the car. While you’re enjoying the views, keep your eyes peeled for hang gliders and paragliders! The Torrey Pines Gliderport is a few miles south of the preserve, but sends the thrill seekers flying your way!

Looking to add in some extra adventure? Book a tandem paragliding or hang gliding session! Visit Fly Torrey.

The “Neighborhood” Hike: La Jolla Coast Walk Trail

Walk out of your door at Pantai Inn and get ready for a beautiful, easy adventure along our coastline. This short, historic path gives visitors a true taste of the Village. From your home base on Ocean Street, crossover Coast Blvd. to first check out Shell Beach and Rocky Point. Depending on the tides, you can dip your toes in the sand here, but you may want to keep your shoes on a little longer, this is your first stop of many, after all. Continue north to the picturesque La Jolla Cove. The dark blue and turquoise waters are home to many resident seals … as well as swimmers and snorkeling enthusiasts. Continue up the hill where you will pass the vintage Cave Shop. (If you have some extra time, stop in and see what this La Jolla establishment is all about.) Continue onto the dirt path where you can revel in stunning views of La Jolla Shores, the famous Scripps Pier, and even north county beaches in the distance. After you’ve enjoyed the vista, start to circle back through town. Grab a cup of coffee or juice to refuel at one of our favorite cafes while walking through town. Your last coastal stop before returning to Pantai Inn will be the Children’s Pool Beach which features a stone walkway that actually takes you out into the water. There are often seals lounging around on the sand here too, so let us take this chance to remind you not to venture too close to these wild animals. From the Children’s Pool you are all of 5 minutes from Pantai! 

*Fuel your adventure at one of our favorite cafes or breakfast joints. Check out our list of the best and why we love them here!

The Urban Adventure: Balboa Park Trails

Why not take a hike in the city to experience one of San Diego’s most cherished sights. Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre historic urban cultural park that holds museums, gardens, shops and even the incredible San Diego Zoo. As for the trails, there are actually 19 different paths that total 65 miles of trail! While some of these trails will make you feel like you’ve left the city, other paths will weave you in and out of popular park’s popular attractions. As a sort of choose-your-own-adventure hike, we recommend making sure to include the Cabrillo Bridge, reflecting Lily Pond and the absolutely massive Moreton Bay Fig. Balboa Park is about 20 minutes from Pantai Inn. 

*If you’re looking for something unique after your trek, Panama 66 is an outdoor bar/restaurant with live music every Friday and Saturday night. It is located in the sculpture garden of the San Diego Museum of Art. Learn more about Panama 66.

The One in the Woods: Blacks Canyon Trail

La Jolla is known for beautiful beaches, but the Blacks Canyon Trail offers a lovely 1.8-mile walk through the University of California San Diego’s Eucalyptus Grove and Ecological Reserve. Blacks Canyon is an easy trek that is ideal for a run or walk with kids. Both young and old explorers will love spotting native birds and sun-bathing lizards, and when you visit in the right season, there are beautiful wild flowers all around. Another reason we love this hike? Blacks Canyon is one of the few well-shaded tracks which is really great for the warm, sunny San Diego summers. While not directly on the ocean, your views of the Pacific can still take your breath away. 


*There is free one-hour parking located at the Hopkins Parking Structure.