Sunset Cliffs

Sunset Cliffs features sea caves, beautiful beaches, amazing surfing and some of the most picturesque views in San Diego. Spend the day outdoors hiking, swimming, birdwatching or looking for dolphins! Visit the Cabrillo National Monument and end the day with a beautiful sunset while listening to sounds of the ocean.
Sunset Cliffs
Overview
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Things to Do
Popular Activities
Family Vacation
Quiet Retreat
Featured Hotel
Know Before You Go
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Beaches
Similar Neighborhoods

Highlights

Sunset Cliffs
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Tide Pools
Tips
Overview
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Tips

Hiking, Sunsets & Surfing

Classic Vw Bug with a Surfboard on the Roof at Sunset Cliffs Natural ParkThe Surf Can Get Very Good at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

Sunset Cliffs, San Diego is a small neighborhood in Point Loma along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. It is full of natural beauty and is a calm and peaceful spot to vacation in Southern California.

If you want somewhere safe with stunning panoramic views of the ocean, then Sunset Cliffs is perfect for you. The locals refer to it as “The Cliffs.” The name comes from the sheer cliffs hanging over the ocean along the coast. These cliffs provide a free fall into the water.

The area features secluded beaches that let you find a bit of privacy away from everyone else where you can watch a sunset or play in a tide pool. It is a hot spot for photographers since the area is breathtaking at all hours of the day.

Sunset Cliffs is mostly a residential neighborhood. It has many houses from the 1950s and 1960s, but developers are still working in the area to add more housing options for this in demand neighborhood.

There is a small commercial strip along the northern part of the neighborhood. Here, you will find small stores and hometown dining options.

The big draw is Sunset Cliffs Blvd, which you will find cars cruising up and down to take in the views. The neighborhood does have great walkability. You can easily go from your hotel to the beach or park. It is a quiet area that caters well to families.

Sunset Cliffs is just the place if you want a laid-back atmosphere without a lot of tourist activity. However, be aware that you will have to travel to get to any attractions and dining beyond a few local places. There also isn't really shopping or museums in this neighborhood.

Traffic can be a nightmare during rush hour, so you will need to plan accordingly. Luckily, though, great shopping, dining and attractions are close enough that you can do a lot on your visit.

Sunset Cliffs
Why you'll love Sunset Cliffs
Sunset Cliffs is famous for sunsets & surfing! Check out the sea caves, beaches and hiking trails. Watch for birds and dolphins. Paddle board, surf or swim.

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Orangutan at San Diego Zoo
The World Famous San Diego Zoo
Explore the top zoo in America! The San Diego Zoo is located in iconic Balboa Park, and features over 3,500 animal in their habitats. Bundle with other attractions in Balboa Park for top savings - like the Air and Space Museum!
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What attractions are included with a Go Pass?

Attractions that you can visit with a Go San Diego Pass include:

The San Diego Zoo, Birch Aquarium, SeaWorld, Safari Park, LEGOLAND, Harbor Cruise, USS Midway Museum, the NAT Museum, Whaley House, PETCO Park Tour, iFLY San Diego and many, many more!

Things to Do

Cabrillo Nat. Monument
Cabrillo Nat. Monument
Paddle Boarding
Paddle Boarding
Surfing
Surfing
Swimming
Swimming

Nature Is Calling You in Sunset Cliffs

Sunset Cliffs really is all about the views and stunning scenery. When you come here, you need to take some time to really take in the natural beauty surrounding you.

Go on a hike along the cliffs and glance out into the ocean. Follow the trails for a deeper look at what California is really like. Explore sea caves to get a deeper understanding of the area.

You can, of course, explore the water. Go swimming. Walk the tide pools and find interesting marine life. Or grab a surfboard and try surfing the classic waves of Sunset Cliffs including the surf spots of: Garbage Beach & AB's or New Break (Nubes).

Fun is easily found. Visit Sunset cliffs Natural Park, Rope Beach for a chance to see all the scenery that showcases some of Mother Nature’s best work.

Local Tips
Tide Pools at Sunset Cliffs
If you go at low tide to Sunset Cliffs you can find some amazing tide pools. Once you safely get down to the beach the tide pools here are some of the best in San Diego.

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is right in the neighborhood if you want to stay close by. It offers 68 acres of land in the western portion of the neighborhood. It runs along the ocean and features conservation areas, coastal bluffs and sea caves.

If you get lucky, you may even get to watch the California gray whales migrate as you enjoy the views of the vast ocean from the park. You can usually find many people enjoying the waters by The Arch, which is a popular swimming spot with a 20-foot ledge hanging overhead. The Arch also was known as an ideal cliff jumping spot. However, be aware that not only is it illegal it is very dangerous, as many people have been seriously hurt.

Watching the sunset is a huge activity in this area. The views are ideal to catch the sun as dips along the horizon of the Pacific. You will ooh and awe over the many colors, from pinks to reds and oranges to purples. You might even catch a Green Flash!

Some say that the best sunset viewing spot is at Pappy's Point in Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. Do note, when viewing the sunset, it can sometimes get chilly due to the ocean breezes, so make sure to take a light jacket or sweater. You can take the bus to the park, making it very easily accessible.

Point Loma Tide Pools in Cabrillo National Monument is another great place to see some beautiful sites. This is just south of Sunset Cliffs but to access it you will need to enter through the other side of Point Loma as Cabrillo National Monument is part of the expansive Naval Base Point Loma. The tide pools there are worth a visit and there are many hiking trails within Cabrillo National Monument as well.

Popular Activities

Drive Your Own Speed Boat Tour
Drive Your Own Speed Boat Tour
$80 per person
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Make it a Family Vacation

Sunset Cliffs is a great place for families. It is very welcoming and offers the type of neighborhood where families fit right in even if you are only there for a few days or a couple of weeks.

Besides taking in all the fun outdoor activities the area has to offer, you can also stop in at nearby attractions all around San Diego. They are not too far away and provide you with a range of options for things to do and see.

Petco Park

Petco Park, which is home to the San Diego Padres, is perfect if your family loves baseball. If you visit outside of the season, the facility puts on many other events throughout the year that are all family friendly.

Balboa Park

Balboa Park is a great place for kids. There are 17 museums in Balboa Park including some completely tailored to children like the Fleet Science Center. There are also restaurants and theaters encompassing the largest park in San Diego.

The San Diego Zoo

You may also want to take the kids to the San Diego Zoo. Here they can see animals from around the world. There are presentations, gift shops and plenty of dining options. A day at the zoo is fun for the whole family.

LEGOLAND California

Only 40 minutes north is LEGOLAND California. If you have a child that is infatuated with Legos, then this is a must-see. It celebrates all things Legos and lets your child get up close and personal with this favorite classic toy.

SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego is another top spot for families. This celebration of aquatic life offers shows, exhibits and learning experience for kids of all ages. You may even get the chance to get close to the animals during tours and other events.

Save with the Go San Diego Card

Keep in mind when traveling with children, it often helps to map out your destinations for each day. We can help you purchase the Go San Diego Card which will get you into over 50 attractions and experiences including the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld San Diego, LEGOLAND California and many museums for a fraction of the regular admission costs. This can help things to go more smoothly as you begin your actual vacation. You can get an additional discount if you purchase the Go San Diego Card from our website, helping you save more!

Featured Activity

Interact with Dolphins at SeaWorld San Diego
Visit SeaWorld San Diego
The world-famous SeaWorld San Diego is home to animal shows, roller coasters and other rides for the entire family. Enjoy encounters featuring the famed Orcas, dolphins and sea lions, or take a tour through the habitats.
Learn More

Sunset Cliffs Is a Quiet Retreat

When you go on vacation, you probably want to get away from it all. You want to stay somewhere that is quiet and safe while also easily accessible to attractions. Sunset Cliffs may be that ideal spot you are looking for.

This neighborhood may not be the biggest, and it may not have a lot of attractions, but it does offer a place to call home base that will allow you to rest each evening in comfort. Then, during the day, you can head off to see all the sites close by.

Featured Hotel
The Inn at Sunset Cliffs
Beach view The Inn at Sunset Cliffs
Beachfront
Beachfront
Pool
Pool
Surfing
Surfing
3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
Get away from the everyday when you book a room at The Inn at Sunset Cliffs. This comfortable hotel is located by the beach in beautiful Point Loma.
Prices Starting at $175
Check Availability

Know Before You Go & Tips

Amazing Sunsets
Amazing Sunsets
Parks
Parks
Walkable
Walkable

Top Destinations Nearby

Sunset Cliffs is really nearby many attractions. You have a variety of options that will suit a range of tastes. So, whether you want to see something historical or need to feel a surge of adrenaline, this area has it all.

Ocean Beach

Head out to Ocean Beach where you will find a range of shopping and dining options along Ocean Beach Newport Avenue. You should also stop at the pier where you can go fishing or just watch the sea lions frolic.

Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument and Park is a real treat. You can experience a real lighthouse, and on a clear day, you can literally see all the way to the Mexican border. At the national monument, you will learn a little about the history of San Diego and have the chance to explore the on-site museum. Where you can learn about how this location protected San Diego and the west coast of the United States during WWII.

The park also features plenty of hiking trails if you would like to explore a bit more. There are also tide pools, which can be a lot of fun, especially for children.

USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum

You’ll find more history at the USS Midway Museum. This is an old naval aircraft carrier turned into a museum. While here, you can take audio tours, interact with knowledgeable guides, see restored aircraft and check out other memorabilia from the time the USS Midway was an active carrier.

Belmont Park

Belmont Park is a tribute to the amusement parks of the 1920s. It features an old roller coaster that is still operational and making riders scream. There are other amusement rides, miniature golf, arcade games and a food court along the boardwalk in Mission Beach.

Old Town San Diego

If you want Old West meets modern day fun, then go to Old Town. You’ll see plenty of historical architecture, museums and living history events from the 1800s. This town really celebrates the past. Plus, you can also do quite a bit of shopping and find some seriously good restaurants here.

Old Town also is the site of the Old Town Trolley Tour. Ride the trolley around San Diego and stop at various attractions. You can get off and on the tour as you please, so it allows you to plan your day and see everything you want to without having to mess with traffic.

Whaley House Museum

One last site you cannot miss is the Whaley House Museum. If you enjoy the paranormal, then you probably already know some stories about this place as it’s been featured on various television shows and written about in books.

The Whaley House has been everything from a family home to a billiards' hall to the courthouse. You will learn all about its varied history on your visit. This includes learning that Thomas Whaley built the house on the former site where the town used to carry out public hangings. Also, you will hear the sad tale of a suicide that happened in the house.

The museum pays homage to an important building in the city with hosts in period clothing and guides who will explain all the important details of the house, its history and the hauntings.

Sunset Cliffs
is Famous For:
Dolphin Sightings
Dolphin Sightings
Hiking
Hiking
Sunsets
Sunsets
Surfing
Surfing
Known For:
Beaches
Beaches
Birdwatching
Birdwatching
Cabrillo Nat. Monument
Cabrillo Nat. Monument
Walkable
Walkable
This Month's Forecast
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