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Sunset Cliffs picture in San Diego
Cliffs at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park picture in San Diego
Sunset Cliffs picture in San Diego
Cliffs at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park picture in San Diego

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  • Free
  • 24/7 daily

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  • Hiking, Recreation, Swimming/Pools Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

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Based on 8 interviews

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  • Recommended
  • If You Have Time

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Next to the Cabrillo Monument, travelers say this is the next best place for ocean views in Point Loma. Situated a little more than 9 miles due west of downtown San Diego, Sunset Cliffs stretches across 68 acres and runs 1.5 miles along Point Loma peninsula's western shoreline. The dramatic sandstone cliffs and untouched vegetation along with its stunning ocean vistas make for an unforgettable stroll both during the day and at night. The area is also home to a few secluded beaches as well, though getting to them can be tricky. There is a beach popular with locals at the beginning of Cordova Street off of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, but you have to traverse down the rocky bluffs to get there. For an easier descent, head to the end of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard at Ladera Street and take a walk down the available stairway. It won't lead you to the beach but it will get you just above the crashing waves. That area is pretty popular with surfers, so expect to see lots of locals catching waves. If you venture farther up into Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, you'll find plenty of walking trails right along the ocean and through the coastal scrub that dot the area. 

As its name implies, sunset is a popular time to visit the park and recent visitors say arguably the best. If you want to avoid the crowds at dusk, try to plan a mid-week trip rather than a weekend visit. Travelers recommend bringing along a sweatshirt in case the ocean breeze gets a little too chilly. Past visitors also suggest using the restroom before stopping here as there are no facilities on-site. You can get to Sunset Cliffs via public transportation. If you're staying downtown, take the trolley to Old Town Transit Center then catch the 35 bus and it will take you to the beginning of the cliffs. Sunset Cliffs has no opening or closing hours, though it's best to go when there's light for maximum visibility. People have had accidents falling off of the cliffs, so be sure to observe the signs marking unstable cliffs. 

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#1 Balboa Park Home to the renowned San Diego Zoo. this 1,200-acre park is the city's cultural hub. Located in downtown San Diego (about 2 miles north of the city center ... Read more » f11photo / Getty Images

#2 San Diego Zoo and Safari Park This 100-acre establishment is one of the most famous zoos in the country. The San Diego Zoo is not only one of the largest zoos in the USA but also ... Read more » fortherock / Flickr

#3 Torrey Pines State Reserve Want to see what San Diego looked like at its founding? It's at the Torrey Pines State Reserve. This oceanfront reserve features 1,750 acres of unspoiled land, protecting ... Read more » Lisa Field / Courtesy of SanDiego.org

#4 Coronado Beach Compared to Mission Beach, this popular shoreline boasts fewer sunbathers and calmer waves. Just across the bay from San Diego, Coronado Beach is popular with families and couples alike thanks ... Read more » slobo / Getty Images

#5 USS Midway Museum San Diego is a big military town. You'll likely see bases scattered about while exploring the city, especially around parts of the San Diego Bay. The USS Midway is ... Read more » ATOMIC Hot Links / Flickr

#6 Cabrillo National Monument The southernmost tip of Point Loma is where you'll find the Cabrillo National Monument. The statue depicts Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo who, in 1542, was the first European explorer to ... Read more » russellstreet / Flickr

#7 Gaslamp Quarter The Gaslamp Quarter's 16 blocks are peppered with Victorian-style buildings that now house a variety of shops, art galleries, theatres and trendy restaurants, not to mention plenty of bars ... Read more » John Bahu / Courtesy of San Diego Tourism Authority

#8 Maritime Museum of San Diego The Maritime Museum offers a hands-on look at San Diego's days as a bustling seaport. You can tour all types of historic vessels, from sailing ships to submarines, including ... Read more » Stacy / Flickr

#9 SeaWorld San Diego Though you may spot wildlife at any one of San Diego's beaches (especially Pacific and Mission Beach) none put on quite as good a show as the performers at ... Read more » Radius Images / Getty Images

#10 Mission Beach and Pacific Beach Mission Beach and Pacific Beach are one giant, connected shoreline in San Diego. While not as pristine as Coronado Beach, the area is just as popular thanks to all the ... Read more » John Bahu / Courtesy of SanDiego.org

#11 Sunset Cliffs Next to the Cabrillo Monument, travelers say this is the next best place for ocean views in Point Loma. Situated a little more than 9 miles due west of downtown ... Read more » Zlatko Unger / Flickr

# La Jolla Cove La Jolla Cove is the jewel of La Jolla. Located across the water from La Jolla Shores, La Jolla Cove may not be much in terms of a beach, but ... Read more » pilgrims49 / Getty Images

# La Jolla Shores Known for its gentle waves and active beachgoers, La Jolla Shores is an ideal place to relax for a few hours. Locals and tourists hit this beach to surf, see ... Read more » Courtesy SanDiego.org

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La Jolla Shores picture in San Diego

Balboa Park is home to numerous gardens and museums, not to mention one of San Diego's biggest attractions, the San Diego Zoo. f11photo / Getty Images

The San Diego Zoo is not only one of the largest zoos in the USA but also houses one of the largest collections of rare and endangered animals in the world (3,500 to be exact). fortherock / Flickr

The detailed cliffs and rock formations that permeate the Torrey Pines are one of the most striking geological features of the state reserve.  Lisa Field / Courtesy of SanDiego.org

Coronado is considered one of the best beaches in California for its calm waters, wide sands and incredible sunsets.  slobo / Getty Images

The USS Midway is the longest-serving Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century. The museum features 60 exhibits and 29 aircraft. ATOMIC Hot Links / Flickr

This monument is dedicated to Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, the first European explorer to navigate the Californian coast. russellstreet / Flickr

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At the Maritime Museum you can step aboard the world's oldest active sailing ship, the Star of India (pictured here). The Star of India first set sail in 1863 and has since been around the world 21 times. Stacy / Flickr

In addition to its popular animal shows, SeaWorld has many exhibits that offer the opportunity to interact with the animals it calls home, including dolphins and stingrays. Radius Images / Getty Images

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A beloved spot among locals and travelers alike, Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is often considered one of the most beautiful places in San Diego to catch a sunset. Zlatko Unger / Flickr

Located across La Jolla Shores, La Jolla Cove is beloved by locals and visitors for its postcard-worthy scenery.  pilgrims49 / Getty Images

La Jolla Shores is popular for water sports enthusiasts and sunbathers. Courtesy SanDiego.org

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