San Diego has what's often called the nation's best weather. So it's impossible not want to get outside and use your own two feet. But where to go? We've done the legwork for you. Take the walks listed below and you'll enjoy backdrops of sun-drenched beaches, rugged coastal terrain, and lively urban scenery. Tip: Wear sunscreen and comfortable shoes, bring plenty of water, and pack a camera.
1. For a trek through nature, there's no better place to take in San Diego's serene side than on the Batiquitos Lagoon Trail (www.batiquitosfoundation.org), just across from La Costa Resort & Spa (www.lacosta.com). Boats aren't allowed on the protected lagoon, so nothing stands between you and the chance to see rare seabirds (like egrets and herons) and native plants.
2. Ditch the History Channel and get on Old Town's easy Presidio Park Trail (www.nps.gov/nr/travel/ca/ca2.htm) for a real-life stroll through the San Diego of the Spanish settlers; it's preserved in 49 acres on which you'll see soldiers, sailors, Native Americans, and Franciscan missionaries.
3. Knowledgeable guides from the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation (www.gaslampquarter.org), during their guided walking tour, transport you back in time to experience the neighborhood's captivating history, which includes red-light secrets, Wyatt Earp's haunts, and raucous gambling halls. Saturdays at 11am, admission $10 adults, $8 for senior citizens, students, or members of the military.
4. Also offering a free walking tour is Balboa Park (www.balboapark.org/info/tours.php), the undisputed cultural heart of San Diego. You'll see 17th-century Spanish architecture, plus 1,200 acres of galleries, museums, and botanical gardens. 1pm every Tuesday and Sunday.
5. Downtown San Diego's waterfront is the prime place from which to see the city's stunning bay views. Begin your stroll along the cobblestone walkways of Seaport Village (www.seaportvillage.com); you'll bass for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Keep strolling along to the marina boardwalk just outside the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego (www.manchestergrand.hyatt.com) to see family-friendly sights. Continue down to the Embarcadero Marina Park or people-watching, kite-flying, or picnicking.
6. Hike through the rugged Torrey Pines State Reserve (www.torreypine.org). While traversing the spectacular eight miles, which are relatively easy and kid-friendly, try to glimpse California gray whales or bottlenose dolphins in the distant waves.
7. The three-mile boardwalk connecting Pacific Beach and Mission Beach offers enough sand and surf to satisfy all the active, young sun-worshippers here. In addition to just-out-of-college types, this area is popular and often crowded with bikers, inline skaters, skateboarders, and runners. Don't want to walk on concrete? Hoof it on the sand along the water instead.
8. Want a challenge to your endurance and courage? Then climb Cowles Mountain at Mission Trails Regional Park (www.mtrp.org). If you don't feel like sweating it up the 1,591-foot peak, instead enjoy the park's hiking and biking trails along the San Diego River.
9. In Coronado, a beach community with small-town charm right across the bay, members of the local historical association (www.coronadohistory.org) lead an easy-paced walking tour of the local landmarks, including romantic gardens and a Navy base.
10. Take one of the guided walking tours through Old Town San Diego (www.oldtownsandiego.org) or grab a map and do it yourself. Amidst the restaurants and boutiques, you'll have the chance to shop stalls of unique arts and crafts, amble by (or through) the old cemetery, and the Whaley house (www.whaleyhouse.org), which locals say is hauntedÂ?
11. The Mt. Palomar Observatory Wilderness Path in La Jolla is newly opened after months of reconstruction. Native plants now cover what used to be 64,000 square feet of asphalt, making it ideal for a relaxing, comfortable romp through nature that's not too far outside city limits.
-- Additional reporting by Justine Rivero