Best Places to Watch the Sunset in San Diego

San Diego’s postcard-perfect coastline, diverse landscapes and mild year-round weather offer a spectacular canvas for nature’s daily masterpiece — the sunset. As the sun gracefully dips below the Pacific horizon, it paints the sky with a nightly light show in hues of orange, pink, and purple, casting a magical glow over our southern Californian paradise. So as the sun sets on 2023, let’s look back at some of our favorite spots to catch a San Diego sunset sure to leave you breathless.

Sparkling sunset views right here on Shelter Island (just steps away)

(Photo: @island_palms)

Guests at Best Western Plus Island Palms are fortunate to have one of the best sunset spots in town right in our own backyard! As the day draws to a close, grab a seat and a glass of wine facing the water at Blue Wave Bar & Grill, and enjoy the view. Our Shelter Island haven is the ideal spot for watching the evening display dance and shimmer over the boats here in our Shelter Island Marina.

Perch along the cliffs with the locals at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park (2.8 miles)

Perched on the rugged coastline of Point Loma, Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is a Front-Row seat to nature’s most beautiful light show. As you might guess from the name, the cliffs offer an unobstructed view of the sun setting into the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. The natural amphitheater created by the cliffs provides a front-row seat to this nightly spectacle. Grab a blanket, sit on the edge, and watch as the sky transforms into a vivid palette of warm colors.

Ladera St, San Diego, CA 92107

Soak In Bay views at Sunset Point Park (5.4 miles)

(Photo: @visitsandiego)

With a name like “Sunset Point,” you KNOW the evenings here are gorgeous. Sunset Point is located in Mission Bay, adjacent to our sister hotel, The Dana on Mission Bay. The beach here is located next to a gorgeously green grassy park and is dotted with firepits — perfect for toasting marshmallows and soaking up some radiant warmth as you relax. Sunset Point Park is also located just down the street from Mission Beach Boardwalk, which is a great place to squeeze in an evening meal or a little retail therapy before the sun goes down.

1400 Dana Landing Rd, San Diego, CA 92109

Experience panoramic views atop Mount Soledad (11.7 miles)

(Photo: @therealdngr)

For a panoramic view that stretches from the coastline to the city lights, head to the summit of Mount Soledad. This elevated vantage point offers an unparalleled 360-degree perspective of San Diego. As the sun descends, it bathes the city and the ocean in a golden glow. The vista is especially mesmerizing during the “golden hour,” just before sunset.  The sunlight casts long shadows, enhancing the contours of the landscape. This is a photographer’s dream location, so don’t forget your camera!

6905 La Jolla Scenic S Dr, La Jolla, CA 92037

Catch a sunset with the seals near La Jolla Cove (13.1 miles)

La Jolla Cove — known for its crystal-clear waters, abundant marine life, and the famous Seal Beach — is one of the most popular places in town to enjoy sunset views and evening strolls. The combination of the rugged coastline, iconic sea caves, and the sun setting over the ocean creates a truly breathtaking scene. Grab a spot on the beach or the cliffs, and watch as the sky is set ablaze with warm tones reflecting over the calm waters. It’s an ideal location for a sunset picnic or a leisurely evening stroll along the shoreline.

1100 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037

Cozy up at Windansea Beach (13.3 miles)

The beautiful landscape at Windansea Beach is possessed of an almost otherworldly beauty unlike anywhere else on Earth. The nature-sculpted rock formations make this spot even more unique. Cozy up on a blanket with a loved one, or chill with a group of friends and watch the surrounding landscape turn a burnt amber color as the sun sinks below the horizon.

6800 Neptune Place, La Jolla, CA 92037

Golden sands and sunsets of Coronado Beach (13.3 miles)

Coronado is a timeless destination for sunset seekers. The wide expanse of Coronado Beach offers plenty of room to find your perfect spot. Sink your toes into the golden sands as the sun dips behind Point Loma, casting a warm glow over the beach. The silhouette of the historic hotel against the vibrant sky adds a touch of classic elegance to the scene. After the sunset, take a moonlit stroll along the beach and enjoy the serene atmosphere.

919 Ocean Blvd., Coronado, Ca. 92118

Watch a sunset from the sky at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve (17.5 miles)

Who says you can’t enjoy the sunset with a little side of adventure? Thrill seekers and nature enthusiasts will find that Torrey Pines is the place to be for their sunset viewing pleasure.  The combination of wind-carved cliffs, expansive ocean views, the Torrey Pines Gliderport and rare native Torrey pine trees creates a one-of-a-kind setting for those searching for the elusive green flash. Hike one of the scenic trails and find a perch overlooking the coastline. As the sun sets, it bathes the reserve in a warm, golden light, highlighting the unique landscape.

12600 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037

Experience Day’s End at Island Palms

(Photo: @island_palms)

San Diego’s diverse landscapes offer a myriad of choices for those seeking the perfect sunset experience. Each location provides a unique and awe-inspiring perspective of the sun bidding farewell to another day in paradise. And Best Western Plus Island Palms is the perfect place to experience it all! Great rates, thoughtful amenities, and exceptional accommodations all make for a comforting experience. Check our travel deals to find the best rates for your stay, and witness San Diego’s skies ablaze with color as the sun sets over the Pacific.