San Diego

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While it's great to pick one destination to enjoy to the fullest, a day trip to a nearby town or attraction can be the icing on the cake of your vacation. ShermansTravel experts have rounded up the top day trips within a few hours' drive so you can experience that must-visit stretch of beach, national park, or under-the-radar city.

Day Trips from San Diego

Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds

More than just a location for horseracing (www.dmtc.com), the Del Mar Fairgrounds hosts the Festival of Lights in winter, the city’s fair in summer, and numerous other special events.

22 miles north of San Diego, CA, www.sdfair.com
Tags: family | gambling | day trip

Julian

This town is known for its apple pies and cider, but there’s much more. Visit quaint shops and historic sites, hike trails, go wine tasting, or camp out in the beautiful Cuyamaca mountains.

60 miles northeast of San Diego, CA, www.julianca.com
Tags: editor pick | day trip | culinary | wine tasting

Legoland

Rides, games, and fascinating displays turn the famous plastic building blocks into a world of adventure.

34 miles north of San Diego, One Legoland Dr., CA, 760-918-5346, www.legoland.com/california
Tags: family | day trip | amusement park

Tijuana

Go south of the border for discount shopping, cultural exhibits, and wild bar hopping. Take the trolley from downtown San Diego ($3) to the border, walk across, and bring your passport for easy reentry. Nights can be sketchy, so party in San Diego.

16 miles south of San Diego, www.seetijuana.com
Tags: great value | culture | day trip | city

Wild Animal Park

Much more expansive than the San Diego Zoo, the Wild Animal Park replicates the experience of an African safari with a long tram ride amid fenceless animal enclosures.

32 miles northeast of San Diego, 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd., CA, 760-747-8702, www.sandiegozoo.org/wap
Tags: family | day trip | wildlife | zoo

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