I love being outdoors. I think a lot of that was fostered by moving out to California for school… not that Orlando isn’t a great place but with 100000% humidity and 10000 mosquitoes to go along with it, it makes it kind of hard to enjoy staying out for too long! Since coming out to California, I have found a lot of places I really enjoy going on weekends for hikes and outdoor activities in general!
Big Bear, CA: Big Bear in general is a great place to go camping, hiking, and spending a weekend outdoors. I’ve gone probably three or four times the last three years I’ve been here…. no shame.
Potato Chip Rock- Mt. Woodson: Poway, CA: a must-do hike when you are in San Diego! It is pretty touristy because people really want to get that photo on this rock that looks like a potato chip and when you take photos, you can angle it so it looks like you are floating in mid-air. The catch? You have to hike 3 miles uphill to get that picture! This time going to Potato Chip Rock was one of my favorites because I brought a friend from Florida. When I warned her about the hills and how long it was going to take, she goes, “Carolyne, it’ll be fine. We walk around Disney World all the time for much longer.” She took those words back instantly.
Three Sisters Falls: Julian, CA: The most recent hike I’ve been on this summer and warning! It is not for the inexperienced. While I’ve started to embrace the hills in San Diego, I was not prepared for four hours of hopping over rocks. Definitely the most difficult hike I’ve done thus far but also one of the most fun because of the people I was with! They were patient when I slid, tumbled, yelled, and helped me whenever they could with bouldering. I would happily do the hike again, but maybe in the fall to see the three waterfalls- all dried up in the summer. Tip: Bring a gallon of water! You’ll see it as a warning for the hike from even the most experienced of hikers in blogs as well as Yelp. It’s for real- this hike is going to make you thirsty! Also… go to Julian after for pie and cinnamon ice cream. Don’t question it. You don’t need to refuel healthily after this hike- just with pie and ice cream :P
Torrey Pines State Park: La Jolla, CA: Super lucky to live right next to amazing trails that I generally love to run! However, the majority of my friends aren’t runners (that will change… this blog will convert them… ;)) and so Torrey Pines is great to hike as well! It overlooks the ocean, there are multiple different trails with varying challenges, and you can end up on the beach at the end of your hike. A great place for chatting and since you are right by the ocean, it doesn’t get that hot either!
I seriously love to canoe/kayak and I can’t believe I haven’t done it that often since I’ve been in California. It has become a summer tradition every time I go home to Florida with my high school friends. We always joke that every year, it is a way to test our friendship since it requires so much teamwork!
Wekiwa Springs State Park: Apopka, FL: Canoeing here is fun and cheap! Since Florida is basically one big swamp, the river is endless and you are always guaranteed to see a few baby alligators while you are canoeing. Well… we’ve only seen babies…
Blue Spring State Park: Orange City, FL: This is my favorite state park back home. From November to March, you are able to canoe/ kayak next to the manatees! The state park serves as a temporary refuge home for the manatees when they come looking for cooler waters in those months. During the summer, the springs open up for people to go tubing, swimming, and “cliff jumping (I now know what should constitute as a cliff).”