While the day after Thanksgiving has become one of biggest shopping days in the United States, why not join us and #OptOutside instead?

For the third year in a row, REI – one of the biggest outdoor retailers in the U.S. and a partner to many of our region’s nonprofits – is closing its stores and asking people to #OptOutside and choose the bounty of the outdoors this Black Friday.

To help you prepare, we’ve partnered with REI staff in San Diego to curate a special list of the top five places in San Diego County they are hoping to get to with family and loved ones this holiday season.

In addition to these picks from REI, the new online tool Get Outside San Diego can help you follow your Thanksgiving festivities with a day outside:

Getting Outside

Thanks to grant support from the Brutten Family Fund at The San Diego Foundation, you can now find more than 1,100 parks in San Diego with the click of a mouse at GetOutsideSanDiego.org.

This online tool helps you search for parks and sort by 20 different activities or themes (hiking, beaches, ballparks, fishing, wildlife viewing, playgrounds, camping and more), get directions and links to parks, download maps of parks and share favorite locations on social media.

Increasing Access

While San Diego’s parks and natural areas are a large part of what makes our county one of the most desirable places to live and visit, according to our Parks for Everyone report, many low-income, ethnically diverse communities have limited access to parks and open spaces.

The San Diego Foundation Opening the Outdoors program helps connect, protect and increase access to nature across the county, especially for San Diegans in underserved and park-poor communities.

As this year closes, think about giving to the Opening the Outdoors Program and help more San Diegans have the opportunity to #OptOutside and experience the best of San Diego’s beautiful and healthy environment!

Help more San Diegans Experience the Outdoors