San Diego is famous for its coastal views. And it doesn’t get much better than the Sunset Cliffs in Point Loma. The vistas along this less-traveled stretch of coastline (Ocean Beach is more populated) are some of the most spectacular in the Golden State. Get on the scene via a 3-mile (round-trip) hike. Avoid crowded parking lots by finding street parking near the well-marked trailhead at the intersection of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Adair Street.
The hike begins immediately along the namesake sheer cliffs and continues south, hugging the precipitous cliff edges, with some stretches jutting over the Pacific, dishing stunning coastal perspectives. Warning signs remind of the dangers when traversing fragile bluffs, though locals and tourists alike delight in choosing the perfect spot for a cliffside picnic or yoga session. Be smart about it. You’ll have opportunities to wend your way down to the beach with many unmarked (and slightly difficult) but popular routes (tip: just look for the scrambling residents).
After 1.5 miles, pass an official staircase beach route that leads to an intertidal oasis, and take a sharp turn to the east. Follow the arrow signs to continue south, maneuvering through a eucalyptus grove to Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, a 68-acre undeveloped preserve, home to more striking panoramas of arches and sea caves, as well as the Coronado islands to the south. Here would be the perfect spot to enjoy one of San Diego’s famous sunsets. You beachya!
To get to the trailhead, take I-8 to its western terminus. Use the right lane to go left onto Sunset Cliffs Blvd. After about 2 miles, you will reach the intersection with Adair St. The trailhead is on your right. Look for street parking here. The summer rules state no dogs from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.