What better way to end a San Diego day than watching the sun sink into the Pacific? While there’s no bad place to watch the sky fade from lilac to vermillion, here are a few of the most breathtaking spots to choose from, including mountaintop, pier, beach, and bluff.
Originally built in the 1920s, the 20th Century cottages were added a decade later and today house a hotel and shops. Today as then, this Pacific Beach landmark is a perfect spot to drop a fishing line, breathe in the fresh salt air, and let the day fade away. Situated on the paved Oceanfront Boardwalk linking Pacific Beach and Mission Beach, the pier is an ideal setting for a memorable sunset.
Windansea Beach is one of those rare places in nature that appears as if it was sculpted by a gifted architect or landscaper. A slope of ice plant backs a series of rock shelves and low-tide patches of sand beloved by surfers, sun-lovers, and of course, anyone catching a sunset.
Just south of Ocean Beach, Sunset Cliffs Boulevard traces a stretch of coast as rugged as any in Southern California. Pounded by surf, the bluffs are eroding (sometimes faster than others), occasionally forming new rock arches and grottos. The runners, cyclists, yogis, photographers, and beachcombers who flock there each evening know that the west-facing cliffs’ name is well-deserved.
Coronado Beach and Hotel Del Coronado
Vast expanses of white sand punctuated by sand dunes, some tide pools, and a dog-friendly beach. That’s only part of the draw to Coronado Island’s west side, which is also home to the iconic red-roofed Hotel Del Coronado. If you savor the sunset at the hotel, you may think your cocktail is enhancing the glow of the Pacific. In reality, it’s the rich mica content in the sand here that makes the ocean glitter.
At nearly 2,000 feet in length, Oceanside’s 125-year-old pier is one of the longest on the West Coast. That means more time to savor a stroll to the end as fishermen cast their lines and the sun sinks lower and lower. When the sun disappears, you’re within walking distance to the lion’s share of South Oceanside’s excellent eateries.
You can expect to see more than just the sunset from this white tablecloth dining establishment on the 12th floor near downtown. How about the downtown skyline, Coronado Bridge, San Diego Bay, and Point Loma? Reservations are not required for cocktail hour at the bar and patio, 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sunday through Thursday.
For a single viewpoint that packs in miles of coastline and urban landmarks plus the endless blue of the Pacific, nothing beats Mount Soledad. The 823-foot-tall promontory stands less than a mile from the beach in La Jolla, rendering the Scripps Pier and distant palm trees in miniature. From this vantage the sun makes an unhurried arc to the horizon, giving you plenty of time to see some of the plaques honoring thousands of veterans.
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