San Diego is in the southern-most part of California, just a few miles from the Mexican border. This area is very populated, but you can still find some nice beaches to enjoy.
Pacific Beach is one of San Diego’s most popular and trendy beaches with many surfers and young people hanging out and spending time here. There is a fairly good-sized beach for sunbathing and hanging out and just off shore are some surf breaks that make this a popular beach for the surfers. Just to the east of Pacific Beach is Mission Boulevard lined with restaurants shops and bars. The night life around Pacific Beach is very popular and trendy.
Just outside downtown San Diego is Carlsbad State Beach, where you can find surf breaks, swimming, fishing and places to scuba dive. There are also walkways that have roller bladers, joggers and people out for a walk. This is one of the more crowded beach areas, but is a good spot for people watching with near by shopping and dining.
North of San Diego, on the way out of town, is San Onofre State Beach. This 3,000 acre state park offers overnight camping and day use. This is a very popular park and has plenty of recreation with good spots for swimming, surfing kayaking. The beach is also good for sunbathing and picnicking.
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, located on the coast just outside of San Diego, is a day use area with a good variety of hiking trails and picnic areas. The park was named after one of the rarest pine trees in the U.S., the Pinus torreyana. The small forest of Pinus torreyana located in the reserve is believed to be the last remaining stand of an ancient forest that covered much of this coastal area.
In Torrey Pines, you can spot some exciting animals if you are lucky including a couple different types of hawks (the Red Tailed Hawk and the Red Shouldered Hawk) along with bob cats, coyotes and foxes. You can also spot some great ocean life if you are lucky, such as sea lions, dolphins, and whales swimming around.
The Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is one of the few places in this area you can still see the native environment as most of it along the coast has been destroyed and developed.
The San Diego area is a rich place, but very over developed. You have to go out of your way to find places that are not cement and asphalt, but you can still find a few pieces of some rich country hidden here and there.