San Diego’s Best Scenic Waterfront Walks

San Diego is known as “America’s Finest City,” and it’s hard to argue with the year-round pleasant weather, excellent cuisine and breathtaking scenery. While there are plenty of exciting activities all around the county, you shouldn’t forget to take time and relax with a nice walk along the waterfront. With the county’s 70 miles of coastline at your disposal, it can be difficult to decide where to take a stroll. Here’s a look at a few of San Diego’s best scenic waterfront walks.

The Embarcadero

No matter if you’re staying in the Gaslamp Quarter or you came downtown for one of your San Diego sightseeing tours, the Embarcadero is a great walk with tons of scenery. As you stroll along the pedestrian path lining San Diego Bay, you’ll pass by a number of the city’s top attractions:

  • USS Midway Museum
  • Seaport Village
  • San Diego Maritime Museum
  • Waterfront Park
  • Petco Park
  • San Diego Convention Center

While this walk is great at any time of year, summer weekend evenings are especially enjoyable. As the sun goes down and the buildings illuminate, you can hear the city’s symphony playing outdoor concerts accompanied by dazzling fireworks. You can also catch the pyrotechnic show from the water on a San Diego dinner cruise.

Ocean Front Walk

Mission Beach and Pacific Beach are two adjacent coastal neighborhoods that are linked with a paved pedestrian path known as Ocean Front Walk. Starting in the south at the inlet jetty, the walkway stretches 3 miles until you reach the north end of Pacific Beach. Along the way, you’ll have unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean to the west and a steady stream of bars, restaurants, condominiums and other attractions to the east. If you aren’t feeling up to a 6-mile round-trip stroll, you can also rent a bicycle.

Coronado Beach

San Diego has plenty of beaches, but Coronado’s stretch of sand is consistently rated as one of the best. As you walk past multimillion-dollar oceanfront mansions, a wide swath of pristine beach stands between you and the water. The highlight of this route is the historic Hotel Del Coronado, which was the largest resort in the world when it opened in 1888. During the holiday season, the hotel’s roof and other surfaces are covered with twinkling lights and a fully-functional ice rink allows visitors to skate on the beach.

Torrey Pines State Reserve

If you’d rather go hiking instead of walking, Torrey Pines offers 8 miles of rugged trails high above the Pacific Ocean. As you work up a sweat with the dynamic scenery, don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife in its natural habitat. From December until April, watch out for small puffs of mist in the water as migrating gray whales make their journey from Alaska down to ancestral breeding grounds in Baja California, Mexico.

Go for a Walk

These are just a few of San Diego’s best scenic waterfront walks, but you can’t go wrong by just taking a stroll on the closest beach. No matter what you plan on doing in “America’s Finest City,” you can always trust an experienced tour operator to make recommendations for strolls and other excursions.

About the author


Martin was born in England but now lives in Perth, Western Australia. He has a passion for breakfast, coffee, hot curries & fast food, and is a cat & Dalek person.

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