Sports Activities in San Diego
student story by Sophia K.
San Diego is well known for its outdoor activities and the many choices you have to do sports. If you are a sporty type of person, I am pretty sure that you will find the right activity for yourself. I wanted to try something new, so I rented a surfboard and a wetsuit in my first week at Pacific Beach. The result was good and I liked it, so I bought a board for the whole stay and sold it on Craigslist at the end. Other International Students were lucky to have beach cruiser bikes and skateboards in their apartments. You can perfectly use them on the beautiful boardwalk from Mission Beach along to Pacific Beach. Another opportunity for doing sports is to join the National University soccer team, which they will introduce to you during Orientation Week. If this all does not match your interests and you would rather exercise on your own, you can choose between different gyms. The YMCA gym is located next to the Spectrum Campus, has a huge offer and costs only 15 USD for National University students. Another gym is on Friars Road, good to reach if you live in Pacific Beach.
Hiking and exploring the beautiful San Diego area
Another opportunity for activities is to show yourself and others around San Diego. Hiking is always a good idea if the weather is not good enough to go to the beach. Torrey Pines is a nice hiking area, but you need to pay 20 USD for a parking pass. The other option is to park a little far away and walk to the parking spot. After you walk up the mountain, the view over the cliffs and the ocean is magnificent. Point Loma and the Sunset Cliffs are also good spots to take gentle walks and see some nice sites of San Diego. The best thing is to walk to the lighthouses of Point Loma and enjoy the view over San Diego downtown. To enter Point Loma Park, you also need to pay 10 USD. On the way is a military cemetery and there are tight pools in the park. All in all, it is worth a day trip and the 10 USD.
If you do not mind driving a little more for the hike, I can recommend driving to Potato Chip Rock. There is a 4 hour walk when you park down the hill at a lake. The other parking spot is on the opposite side of the mountain and the walk is only 1 ½ hours. The view is nice and you can take some funny photos on the chip. I would prefer hiking during the week and not on the weekend because they build a line to get a photo on the weekends.
My last hiking tip would be a recommendation for a whole day trip. The Joshua Tree National Park is only 2 hours away from San Diego but not in the county anymore (so you maybe need to talk to your car rental company if you can go there). The National Park is nice to do some walks through the desert and the area with special Joshua trees. The key view point provides an amazing view to the Coachella Valley and the mountains behind it.
Want to read more student stories from San Diego? Find them here.