Top 7 Places to Watch the Sunset in San Diego

Sam Tracy | November 11, 2020 | Lifestyle Features Travel culture

Best Places to Watch the Sunset in San Diego

Sunset as seen from the summit of Cowles Mountain

Is there anything more majestic than a sunset by the sea? San Diego sunsets are some of the most spectacular in the States, and the county is littered with impressive views of the nightly show.

It's inspiring to watch the pastel pinks, pleasant purples and fiery oranges crawl across the sky as the sun dips behind the horizon’s edge, but which lookout is the best?

We've compiled a list of San Diego’s greatest sunset views so you can have the most picturesque Californian evening every time.

See also: 10 Best Places to Watch the Sunset in Chicago

Ocean Beach Pier

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jason (@eyeniverse)

1850 Ocean Front Street / Website

On the south end of the Ocean Beach coastline, OB Pier offers a panoramic vista of San Diego’s cotton candy skies. San Diegans love this spot. It’s one of the most visited landmarks in the county. Cast a fishing line from the end of the dock or simply sit and admire the golden hour views.

Sunset Cliffs

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jen Shook (@jadshook)

1100 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard / Website

Take a short journey south from Ocean Beach and you’ll hit a truly spectacular stretch of coast called Sunset Cliffs. The rocky shoreline attracts photographers, picnickers and sunset-watchers alike. It's also a prime spot for running or yoga, so you can do sun salutations as the sun falls or take a jog with an unbeatable view. One trip, and you'll see how these cliffs got their name.

Shelter Island Marina Walkway

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by PictureSD (@picturesandiego)

2071 Shelter Island Dr / Website

Just outside of Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn, Shelter Island Marina Walkway is a relaxing spot to watch the coastline fill with pastel hues. Benches line the marina walkway for sky watchers to enjoy, and you can't beat it for unobstructed views.

Cowles Mountain

7046 Golfcrest Drive / Website

Looking for adventure? Head to the tallest mountain in San Diego City. With an elevation of 900 feet in 1.5 miles, the hike to the summit is very popular but quite steep. The view at the top is spectacular (you can even see Mexico), but if you plan to watch the sunset, make sure you take it in one the way down. You don't want to get stuck in the dark.

See also: The 10 Best Places to Watch the Sunset in NYC

Mount Soledad


Less than a mile away from La Jolla Beach is a mountian top with breathtaking views of the horizon. The monument stands 823 feet tall. Even the nearby palm trees pale in comparison to its height. The incredible outlook from this National Veterans monument offers miles of coastline and city landmarks. From way up here, the beautiful San Diego sunsets seem to last a lot longer.

Crystal Pier

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by @crystalpiersandiego

4500 Ocean Blvd / Website

This Pacific Beach landmark has fantastic views and an interesting history. Originally constructed in the 1920s, the pier has long been a popular vacation destination. Cape Cod-style cottages were added in the 1930s to give the experience of “sleeping over the ocean.” Today, these cottages house a hotel and shops. Swing by the pier for a sunset experience like no other as you stand above the tides and watch the sun disappear behind the Pacific’s horizon.

Oceanside Pier

928 North Coast Highway / Website

Rounding out our list is a wooden pier perfect place for leisurely strolls, fishing or grabbing a bite to eat under pastel sky. Oceanside stretches nearly 2,000 feet in length. Head to the restaurant at the pier's end for unobstructed sunset views over the glistening Pacific Ocean.

Tags: web-og sunset

Photography by: Samuel Antonio