California is known for its fantastic scenery and with good reason: Outstanding national parks, beautiful forests, stunning waterfalls, and jaw-dropping beaches.

While the State doesn’t have it all, it sure comes close, and San Diego is strategically positioned near so many beautiful areas you simply can’t resist hopping in a rental van and exploring them all.

If you’re a beach lover, you’ll be happy to know that we’ve compiled a series of day trips that will take you to some beautiful towns and destinations within driving distance of San Diego.

Are you ready?



Located just forty minutes away from San Diego, Carlsbad is well known for being the beach destination for those looking for all kinds of beach activities.

From fishing to diving and everything in between, you can rest assured that you’ll find fun for the whole family, both inside and outside the water.

Carlsbad is also home to a series of lagoons and trails that make it perfect for wildlife lovers!


La Jolla

La Jolla translates to “the jewel” and that’s exactly what this beautiful coastal town is.

Located just thirty minutes away from San Diego, this is a beautiful spot for shopping and enjoying a delicious gourmet lunch while enjoying the scenery.

The beaches and ocean aren’t only there to see, though, as there are plenty of activities for both children and adults that everyone is sure to enjoy!

San Clemente

Just one hour away from San Diego sits one of California’s most iconic piers and a favorite destination for a little retail therapy.

The San Clemente Pier is a perfect spot for fun and relaxation. Restaurants, ice cream shops, souvenir stores, coffee houses and more. You won’t be left wanting for anything!

That’s not all, San Clemente’s expansive beaches are the perfect backdrop for a fantastic day and the beach as well as one of the best spots in the world for surfing.

Both experts and beginners alike will be sure to find a wave of their preference and those not interested in trying will have fun watching others do it!


Rosarito Beach

On the other side of the border, we have Rosarito Beach, a perfect place for those looking to have a fun beach day in a different country.

Rosarito gives you a more relaxed ambiance and complete access not only to beautiful Mexican beaches but also authentic Mexican food, which is always an excellent way to cap any trip.

As for beach activities, there’s plenty to choose from: Surfing, diving, swimming, paddleboarding and much more.

Those looking for land-based activities will have plenty to choose from, as horse riding, motocross, zip lines, hiking and more are readily available for visitors and locals alike, and if you don’t mind spending a night or two, Rosarito Beach has a bustling and safe nightlife you don’t want to miss.

Rest assured that crossing the border is more than worth it for this adventure and with our vans, you’ll have no problem doing so!