Kijubi.com is a company that specializes in arranging outdoor activities in Southern California. Through Kijubi, you can arrange a helicopter ride over Bel Air or day charter a yacht. But most budget travelers aren't interested in such luxuries. They'd simply like to find vendors who will arrange a kayaking trip or teach surfing and rock climbing. Check the links here for some outdoor adventures that won't break the budget--some are under $70--and enjoy a memorable day during your budget visit to Southern California.
Spectacular views of the San Diego skyline, the Naval Air Station and the Coronado Bridge are a part of this fully narrated, 25-mile, two hour cruise. The cost is $27 for each person in your party age 13 or older, half-price for those 3-12 years old and free for children under age 3. There's a full-service galley where you may purchase food and drink during the cruise. There are six tours a day, leaving between 10 a.m. and 4:15 p.m.
Rent a mountain bike in the coastal town of Laguna Beach and test your skills. This area has some incredible hills that will tax the stamina and skills of any rider. The shop will also provide a guided tour at additional cost, but most budget travelers will probably opt for the free maps and chart out their own independent adventures. You'll need to be at least 18, have a valid driver's license and a major credit card to use as a deposit.
A fishing charter in the waters near Dana Point at reasonable rates. In these warm coastal waters, there is great diversity of species. Much depends on the time of year and even the time of day. You'll need a one-day fishing license if you're older than 16, and gear can be rented if you don't have your own. Don't forget your sunscreen and your camera--you might catch some whales or dolphins at play through your lens as you're trying to catch tuna or rock cod on your hook.
This one is a bit of a splurge, as it will cost a fee and (most likely) a 20-percent gratuity. If it were in an ordinary setting, that would be unthinkable for many budget travelers. But consider that you're taking the Malibu Ranch Trail ride. The trip is guided, so you'll hear about the wildlife and the history of the area as you ride. Try for a time that will allow you to view the legendary sunset.
This is an all-day kayaking tour that begins at 8 a.m. and concludes about 5 p.m. The Newport Beach waters afford views of sailboats and yachts, multi-million dollar bay front homes, and even sea lions. Hours of operation shorten in winter. A driver's license and credit card are required at time of rental.
Rock climbing is a popular activity in this part of California, but novices should "learn the ropes" before they make any attempt at climbing. You can book a full-day lesson, conducted at Joshua Tree National Park. Learn about rating systems, belaying, knot tying, belay commands, equipment, and basic climbing techniques. Class tuition includes the cost of harness, shoes and expert instruction.
This guided snorkeling trip in La Jolla Cove costs $45. If you'd like to wear a wetsuit, one will be provided at no additional cost. All equipment is provided except for underwater cameras, which are available for purchase. The trips are offered only during the Spring and Summer months, and they tend to fill up quickly, so reservations are important. You'll see the La Jolla Ecological Reserve and its abundant wildlife, and swim by the La Jolla Sea Caves. Trips leave at 10 a.m. and 12 noon and 2 p.m. You must be able to swim in order to take the snorkeling trip.
What list of outdoor adventures in Southern California would be complete without some surfing? You can take a semi-private surfing lesson in San Diego's Mission Beach area. In summer, an additional hour of surfboard rental is included at no extra charge. Times for the 90-minute classes vary by tide schedule. Board handling, positioning, standing-up technique, etiquette and safety measures are included in the instruction.
Many believe Dana Point is a reference landmark for whales as they migrate from Arctic waters to the warmer seas off California and Mexico. It has become known as the "Whale Watching Capital of the West." Gray whales migrate in winter, blue whales in summer. Whale and dolphin sightings at Dana Point are very common, but not guaranteed on this trip, which lasts about two hours. If you've priced whale-watching trips on the East Coast, you'll consider this a bargain. The law requires the boat to stay at least 100 yards from whales, but the guides report some whales may swim right up to the boat. No touching, feeding or swimming with the wildlife is permitted.