Ecotourism Fun in San Diego

| 4/7/2016 10:37:00 AM

Scripps PreserveDon’t let the fact that San Diego is America’s seventh most populated city mask the fact that this metropolis, sandwiched between the Laguna Mountains and sparkling Pacific Ocean, is every bit a nature – and sun – lover’s dream. With temperatures typically in the 70s or 80s and plentiful sunshine, there’s rarely a day you can’t catch the sunset, go for a ocean kayak trip or bike some of the hundreds of miles of bike trails or pathways that weave through the city.

This first of a two-part blog based on my family’s recent wintertime escape in February, highlights the ecotourism adventures to be had, on land, water or, if you’re truly adventurous, in the air.

Marine Sanctuary

We hit the waters of the La Jolla Cove in an ocean kayak on Everyday California’s Sea Cave Excursion. Our 90-minute paddle included a stop at – and inside — the La Jolla Sea Cave known as “the clam,” plus some hang time with Sea Lions and colorful narration by our guide Cara about the natural and cultural history of the area.  The caves are only accessible by water, in a kayak.

“The La Jolla Preserve has four distinct micro-habitats,” explains Kara Drown, as she guides us toward the caves after a stop to talk about the La Jolla Underwater Park and Ecological Preserve. “We’re paddling through three of them, the kelp forest, sandy flats and rocky reef. The Preserve is a Marine Protected Area that has one of the highest concentrations of sea life anywhere along the coast of California.”

As it turns out, the cove is ideal for kayaking and stand up paddle boarding, with its relatively calm and sheltered waters. Boats are restricted inside the buoys marking the 6,000 acre-wide preserve area of tidal shoals, shoreline and ocean floor.

Whale seen from Hornblower Cruises 

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