There are countless activities to do in San Diego, ranging from costly to completely free. One of the most relaxing and inspiring things to do is watch the sunset. It can cost nothing, but if you’re willing to spend some cash, you can expand your options. It can be done alone, with a date, or as a family. But one thing is certain: If you find yourself in America’s Finest City, you absolutely must make it a priority to visit one of these best places to watch the Sunset in San Diego.
Whether you’re a visitor or resident, one of the most popular things to do is to enjoy the sunset in San Diego and here’s where to find the best sunset views in San Diego.
San Diego is known as America’s Finest City and for good reason. It boasts mountaintops and beaches, urban gaslamp district and rural Julian, shopping, museums, amusement parks, some of the best breweries in the country, and places to check out some wildlife (including the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park). However you choose to spend your day, end it with a dose of beauty and inspiration by going to one of the best places to watch the sunset in San Diego.
Watch the Sunset in San Diego | Altitude Sky Lounge
Bring your date or some friends to the Rooftop Bar at Altitude Sky Lounge and enjoy some cocktails while you watch the sun go down over the San Diego skyline. The fire pit, lush furniture, glass-walled balcony, and happy hour specials create the perfect recipe to watch the sunset in San Diego.
Watch the Sunset in San Diego | Sunset Cliffs
This is one of the most stunning beach scenes in San Diego. Right on the water, Sunset Cliffs boasts rocky cliffs, sea caves (only during low tide), public benches, and sometimes seals. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to hike a bit!
Watch the Sunset in San Diego | La Jolla Cove
Equally fitting for a romantic date as it is for a family picnic, La Jolla Cove offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and a grassy area with benches (perfect for settling in to enjoy the sunset). You can also take a short walk to Children’s Pool Beach to check out the seals.
Watch the Sunset in San Diego | Mt. Soledad
Get ready for some altitude! Mt Soledad is one of the highest points in San Diego and makes for an excellent location to watch the sunset in San Diego. The drive up can be fun in and of itself, passing by multimillion dollar homes. Once you get to the top, you’ll catch a breathtaking, fully panoramic view of San Diego, so bring some binoculars! Seeing the sunset from this elevated point is truly spectacular.
Watch the Sunset in San Diego | Pacific Beach
Pacific Beach is one of the most flexible places for watching the sunset in San Diego. You can enjoy it while walking along the beach, or stop at one of the many restaurants or bars and watch it with a cocktail in hand. It’s a great place for people-watching too. However you choose to do it, arrive early so you can enjoy your afternoon at the beach before settling down with the sunset.
Watch the Sunset in San Diego | Hilltop Park
When looking for the best places to watch the sunset, we often think of the coast. But there are several places further inland where you can catch a gorgeous sunset without having to fight too much coastal traffic. Hilltop Park, located in Rancho Penasquitos, offers a spectacular view of San Diego from above. For parents, there’s the added bonus that it’s also a park, giving the little ones a chance to play while you relax on a picnic blanket. There’s also a Recreation Center at the park which offers Open Table Tennis on Wednesdays and Fridays (bring your own paddles and balls, or you can check out a set from the staff).
Watch the Sunset in San Diego | Sunset Seat in Del Mar
Start by hiking the nearby trails of Torrey Pines. When you arrive at Sunset Seat, you’ll find a striking piece of art: a bench carved from an old pine tree. You can rest while you watch the trains pass on the nearby track and await the gorgeous sunset. This location is great for both families and a romantic date. Bring a picnic blanket, some picnic food, and your camera!
Watch the Sunset in San Diego | Windansea Beach
If you’re looking to enjoy the sunset and take some gorgeous pictures while you’re at it, Windansea Beach should be at the top of your list. Between the striking way the waves break on the rocks and the “surfer’s shack” at the end of the beach, there are plenty of stunning photo ops you can take advantage of. Considering all the gorgeous rocks at Windansea Beach, this location is probably best for older kids and adults.
Watch the Sunset in San Diego | Mount Helix
Another great location for watching the sunset in San Diego is Mt. Helix. Located inland in La Mesa, Mount Helix offers a panoramic view of San Diego from an altitude of 418 meters. Arrive early, as there are only about seven parking spots at the top, and bring some comfortable shoes.
Watch the Sunset in San Diego | George’s at the Cove
If you’re willing to spend a bit more money, you can watch the sunset while enjoying a truly inspired dinner. This location is perfect for a romantic date or a special anniversary. Put the walking shoes away, don your finest date night apparel, and get ready for a breathtaking evening.