Sunsets in San Diego are the best sunsets in the world. They're bright and bold and beautiful almost ever night. It's hard to go wrong with a location to watch the San Diego sunset but some places are just a little better than others. Keep reading to learn where to watch the sunset in San Diego whether you want to watch the sunset from a beach, a rooftop bar in San Diego or see the sunset from a beach restaurant.
Watching a sunset in the Pacific Ocean needs to be on everyone’s bucket list. The orange, pink, and red hues fill the horizon like a painting before the sun gives way to the night and its sparkling stars. San Diego is home to some excellent viewing areas to enjoy a sunset.
Best San Diego Sunset Locations
One of the most popular answers to where to watch the sunset in San Diego is Sunset Cliffs. It is located south of Ocean Beach (called OB by the locals). You’ll want to arrive early for the San Diego sunset at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. The 68-acre park, which runs about 1.5-mile north of Point Loma, offers picturesque views of the rugged coastline.
People are known to bring picnic baskets to enjoy dinner along with the sunset. Listening to the waves crash against the rocks offers a relaxing complement to the beautiful sunset.
Windansea Beach (Bird Rock)
The Bird Rock neighborhood in La Jolla, named for a rock resembling a bird, is a great spot for watching the San Diego sunset. Windansea Beach has an iconic grass hut known for sunset photos. This is a fun area to explore before the sun goes down. Take in the Street of Dreams by walking through neighborhoods of mansions near the cliffs.
You can also explore Windansea Beach along the rugged coastline before sitting back to take in the beautiful views. With Bird Rock in the foreground, the picturesque scenery is popular with photographers.
Nothing may top watching the sunset along the horizon of the Pacific Ocean from a rooftop bar in San Diego.
Mister A’s on Fifth Avenue offers rooftop dining with a menu that calls for making your sunset watching a special event. Enjoy a ribeye steak dinner or Maple leaf roast duck entrée as you enjoy the colors of the setting sun with the city’s skyline in the foreground.
If you prefer to enjoy a drink with your sunset, check out the rooftop bar at Altitude Sky Lounge. This rooftop bar in San Diego overlooks Petco Park, home to baseball’s Padres. You can admire the skyline from a rooftop along with the hues of the setting sun in San Diego as it fades past the western horizon.
Open to the public until sundown, Crystal Pier at Pacific Beach (known as PB to locals) offers amazing views to watch a Pacific Ocean sunset. With cottages located along a portion of the pier as part of the Crystal Pier Hotel, the pier becomes accessible to guests-only afterward. Walking to the end of the pier, standing over the ocean, you’ll have a panoramic view of the area.
Another area to watch the gorgeous hues is from the beach, with the pier adding a special charm to the view. You’ll also get amazing photos from the sunset spot.
Hotel del Coronado Hotel on Coronado Beach
If you’ve ever spent time on Coronado Beach, you know it offers magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean. With the Hotel del Coronado’s unique design in the background, watching a sunset on the beach can create a special feeling. Lay a blanket on the sand and enjoy a picnic dinner as you watch the waves come crashing in against the rocks, with the orange, red, and yellow hues of the sky.
The beach has wonderful spots from which to watch the sun go down If you’re a guest at the hotel, definitely request a west-facing room, so you can enjoy the beautiful colors of dusk from the comfort of your room.
Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial
Located high above the area, Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial honors thousands of men and women who served the United States with military service. The memorial also offers amazing views of the area. From your vantage point here, the sun seems to take its time setting, so you’ll have plenty of time to roam the memorial. Take time to learn about the veterans, as well as enjoy the views of the sunset.
Sunset Point Park
With an amazing view of Mission Bay, Sunset Point Park, located west of Dana Landing, provides an excellent location to watch a sunset in San Diego. The Mission Bay attraction is a great spot to enjoy a picnic on the grass as you take in a beautiful scenery. Sunset Point Park has miles of walking and bicycling paths.
Located at San Diego Bay, the Embarcadero is an outstanding spot to catch a sunset. With classic ships such as The Star of India or USS Midway as props for photos, you can get some amazing shots from the pier. Marina Park South is an excellent spot to lay a blanket and enjoy the view of the sunset. With Coronado Island in the foreground, the sun setting offers a picturesque view.
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
Torrey Pines may be the best location to watch a sunset in San Diego. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve has several well-maintained trails and paths to walk along the cliffs. Find your favorite spot and take in one of the most spectacular sunsets you’ll ever see. Standing high above Torrey Pines Beach, the view is simply breathtaking. Bring a camera because you’ll want to keep the memories.
San Diego Sunset - Beach Restaurants
Enjoying dinner at a beach restaurant adds to the thrill of watching a beautiful orange and red glow on the horizon. Look no further when wondering where to watch the sunset in San Diego.
Poseidon Restaurant is an excellent beach restaurant in Del Mar. It offers a great menu featuring items such as Chilean sea bass, Maine scallops, and braised short ribs. You can enjoy a classic beach dinner as you also take in the beautiful sunset.
At Jake’s Del Mar, order some crispy calamari as a kickoff to the sunset watching fun. Then, add the mixed seafood pot to stay with the beach feel as you dine with the sunset.
George’s at the Cove is a La Jolla beach restaurant. It may be the ultimate restaurant by which to watch the sun go down. Dine outdoors on the Ocean Terrace with entrees such as grilled salmon, pork chops, or spaghetti with clams. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. And the view is hard to beat.
The 10 best places are: Sunset Cliffs, Windansea Beach, Crystal Pier, Coronado Beach, Mount Soledad, Sunset Point Park, the Embarcadero, Torrey Pines, rooftop bars and beach restaurants.
San Diego sunsets are stunning all year long. But they are even more exceptional during the winter. This is caused by low humidity and cleaner air, especially after it rains. The best sunsets are when there is 30-70% cloud cover, which is more likely during the winter.
There’s seemingly no bad place to watch the sun go down in San Diego. However, a few locations offer better views than others. From beach restaurants and rooftop bars to sandy beaches and more there’s a special spot for everyone to enjoy the sunset.