Since I am spending almost all of my time in either Washington DC or New York City, nothing makes me happier than an escape into the outdoors. The concrete jungle can be a bit overwhelming! Having grown up in Oregon, I miss the fresh air and constantly seeing green!
While I was in San Diego, Derek and I decided to pay a visit to the Torrey Pines State Reserve for some much needed time outside for the both of us. The reserve is situated right along the northern coast of San Diego and offers the salty breeze from the ocean and some amazing vantage points overlooking the sea.
What I like most about this place is that you can choose what scenery you want to surround yourself with. You can select beachfront, dirt trails, cliff-sides, or the unique foliage. In addition, you won’t get stuck on an incredibly long hike – unless you want to! There are a bunch of loops that branch off of the main path, giving you the opportunity to take a short walk or explore a bit more on a longer trek.
We ended up hiking around five miles total. We walked from the north beach reserve entrance down to flat rock, which is towards the southern area of the reserve along the beach. Then we meandered up the cliff-sides on dirt trails and enjoyed the panoramic views of the sea. We wandered along a road that is closed to cars, but was available to bikes and walkers alike. We then turned off and took two of the separate loops and were greeted with some of the most beautiful views of the sea.
If you are planning to head over to Torrey Pines, there are a few things that you should take into account. First and foremost: parking. There is a stretch of free parking along the north beach before the state reserve. Since it is free, it fills up quite fast. There is also a parking lot at each of the north and south entrances, but they charge either an hourly fee or a flat rate for a day pass. My advice would be to go early and grab a free spot, or to park in a neighborhood close by and walk.
Another thing to remember is that it is a reserve, not a park. This means that there are no trash cans within the reserve, dogs are not permitted, and if you pack it in you bring it back out with you. All of these requests gives Torrey Pines an unspoiled beauty that everyone can enjoy. The last piece of advice I can offer is to lace up your shoes, grab your camera and enjoy one of the most beautiful areas in San Diego!