This Sunday is national “Take a Walk in the Park Day,” which means you should get out there and enjoy a local park or two. Luckily, San Diego has a bounty of pristine parks from which to choose, as seen in these open-air locations reviewed and frequently visited by Yelp users.
So, put on some comfy clothes, grab the kids and the dog and take a turn on the trails.
Self Realization Fellowship Meditation Garden (Encinitas)
This trail through the greenery and cliff-side is worth making yourself mute. In fact, silence is requested on site at the Self Realization Fellowship Meditation Garden in Encinitas. Here, you’ll find a gentle uphill climb covered in foliage and ancient looking pools filled with koi. At the top, the cliff overlooks the ocean and there are plenty of benches to sit and center yourself. Consider a small donation to the center on your way out (appreciated, but not required). Street parking is free.
Fletcher Cove Park (Solana Beach)
Strolling along the beach is a staple of the SoCal life and this neighborhood park in Solana Beach has the perfect set up. With a playground for the kids, as well as bathrooms and lifeguards on hand, it’s a great place to get outdoors. Fletcher Cove Park is perched on the seaside, so wait for low tide and then head through the facility and down the ramp to skip along the sand. The seawalls tower up on one side, while on the other side, it is surfer city. These views can’t be beat. Parking is free.
Del Mar Dog Beach (Del Mar)
What’s a walk without man’s best friend? Take you four-legged pal to hang out with other pups at this popular dog beach in Del Mar. You can through the sand to get to the shoreline and then you’re officially in doggy territory. Get your heart rate up by playing fetch with your furry friend or tiptoe through the waves. Though there’s plenty of space to roam around here but the volleyball courts do get busy on the weekends, so plan accordingly. Paid parking is available along Camino Del Mar where the driver parks, pays and displays a receipt on their dashboard.
Harveston Lake Park (Temecula)
Located in the center of Temecula is this respite from the hustle and bustle. The walk around this manmade lake is an easy, family friendly path that’s perfect for both people and pets. Sunsets are particularly pretty and you’ll find tables and picnic opportunities throughout the 17-acre plot. The kiddies can enjoy the playground, and if you’re feeling more water than land, paddleboats are for rent onsite year-round.
Lake Poway Park (Poway)
If you want that new Potato Chip Rock profile picture, this is the gateway! Pull in and park ($5 for non-Poway residents) and explore the beautiful grounds before you head up the Mount Woodson Trail on your way to that legendary rock that’s shaped like a potato chip. Once you get to the top, you might quickly realize you’re not alone. More often than not, there’s a line at Potato Chip Rock of people waiting for their chance to snap a photo of themselves on the famous formation. If you’re planning to skip that 4-mile uphill climb, there are plenty of other trails to meander through, as well as picnic tables and grassy areas to relax in. There’s a recreation area with gazebos, fishing and boating too.
Trish Sanderson is the community manager and marketing director for Yelp North County San Diego. She leads the local community of Yelp reviewers both online and off.