Come for the trails, stay for the view! Kate O. Sessions Memorial Park is a dog-friendly urban park with 79 acres of open space where you can hike, picnic, toss a Frisbee, fire up a barbecue … and did we mention a view? From its crest, Kate O. Sessions offers a stunning vista of Mission Bay, the Pacific Ocean, and La Jolla and San Diego below. Bring a blanket and you can end your active day by enjoying one of San Diego’s famously stunning sunsets.
As for those trails, you can walk a 0.75-mile paved loop amid Peruvian pepper trees, ornamental pines, and eucalyptus trees in the park’s cultivated section. (Some of those exotics were planted by Ms. Sessions, a famed local horticulturalist known as “the mother of Balboa Park.”)
Or you can explore the park’s 55 acres of hilly, unmanicured land on a mile-long loop trail through the chaparral habitat filled with sage, yucca, and the occasional rabbit, gecko, and snake. Kids will gravitate toward the playground on the west side of the park near the trailhead, complete with swing sets and two jungle gyms. However you play in Kate’s place, you’ll enjoy this serene island in the middle of the city.
Kate O. Sessions Park is 1.7 miles west of I-5 between La Jolla and Mission Bay. From southbound I-5, take Exit 23 to Bluffside Ave. From the off-ramp continue straight onto Mission Bay Dr. and then turn right onto Garnet Ave. From northbound I-5, take Exit 23 A to Mission Bay Dr. Then turn left on Garnet Ave. Turn right on Soledad Mountain Rd., left on Beryl St., and right on Lamont Rd., which becomes Soledad Rd. and leads to free parking on Park Dr. Dog friendly!