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The Best Hiking, Biking, Swimming, Trails and More in San Diego

Our go-to guide for where to hike, bike, run, swim, and get outside in San Diego. Plus: gear, clubs, classes, and more.


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La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove | Photo by Corey Jenkins

Ocean Swimming Spots

1. La Jolla Cove
This sheltered cove has lifeguards and two buoys marking a quarter- and half-mile. When the water is clear, you can see fish and plant life below. On April 12, take a break from the tax-filing crunch at the La Jolla Cove's Tax Relief Swim. lajollacoveswimclub.com

2. Ventura Cove
Ventura Cove in Mission Bay is boat-free and has lifeguards and a small beach. Swim laps around the six buoys, which are about one-tenth of a mile from one end to the other.

3. Fletcher Cove
Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach is often crowd-free and is a good place to practice swimming in waves. Bonus: Parking is free in the lot at 111 South Sierra Avenue.

4. Spanish Landing Park
Across from the airport off North Harbor Drive, you'll find a wave-free swim. From the beach to the Harbor Drive bridge covers about a quarter-mile.

5. Glorietta Bay
Coronado's Glorietta Bay has sheltered swimming, views of the Coronado bridge and golf course, and a small beach where you can dry off—plus free and easy parking.


Swim Clubs, Coaches, & Lessons

Aztec Aquaplex
Adult swim lessons at San Diego State University’s Aquaplex are for beginners through intermediates. Lessons are offered in groups or alone, ranging from $8 to $20 per lesson. aztecaquaplex.sdsu.edu/lessons

San Diego Tri Club
San Diego Tri Club’s group swims are held at the JCC in La Jolla and in open water at Fletcher Cove and La Jolla Cove. The first session is free, after that it’s $5 a session. triclubsandiego.org

Happy Swimmers
Find swim coaches at websites like happyswimmers.com or through groups like San Diego Tri Club.

Tri Swim Coach
Try a swim clinic that uses underwater video to help you see and improve your stroke. Find details on websites like triswimcoach.com.

Coronado Masters Association
Coronado Masters Association offers coached swims Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 6:30 p.m. in Coronado’s beautiful municipal pool. eteamz.com/cmaswimmers

Coronado’s Municipal Pool
Coronado’s Municipal Pool | Photo by Corey Jenkins


Coronado’s Municipal Pool
Coronado’s Municipal Pool is just feet from the bay—go at sunset, trust us. Nonresidents can buy a monthly pass for $120 and swim 50-meter or 25-meter laps in the competition pool. 1845 Strand Way, Coronado

Bay Club Carmel Valley
Formerly the Pacific Athletic Club, Bay Club has three heated pools and a soothing atmosphere. Instructors teach the Michael Phelps Swim Method. Membership grants access to the spa, gym, and pools. 12000 Carmel Country Road, Carmel Valley

Bud Kearns Memorial Pool
San Diego’s Bud Kearns Memorial Pool in Balboa Park is clean, big, and at $4 a visit, easy on the wallet. 2229 Morley Field Drive, San Diego

Aztec Aquaplex
San Diego State University’s Aquaplex is open to the public and costs $5 to get in. It has a 50-meter pool just for lap swims and a recreation pool for kiddies to play in. 5375 Remington Road, College Area



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