Sunset Cliffs Beach is one of my favorite beaches in San Diego and lies in Sunset Cliffs park which spans over 68 acres with walking paths along the coastal cliffs that are perfect for watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. The area is popular with locals, surfers and tourists alike, although there is almost always open street parking nearby. You can often see pod of dolphins popping out of the water just beyond the break and some have said that they’ve seen whales migrating in the distance during certain times of the year.
The beach itself is a small sliver of sand that has been built up along an inlet within the park. The only way to access the beach is by (carefully!) walking a path down the side of the cliff. This path passes through a section where the cliff isn’t quite a cliff so it’s definitely doable. Since it does take a little extra time and effort to get down there and the fact that many visitors simply don’t get this far along the trail, the beach is often relatively empty. It is also away from the street so if you’d like to enjoy a bottle of wine with your sunset without being hassled or ticketed, this is the perfect spot to do it! (Not that we recommend breaking the law or anything…)
From this beach area, you can explore the less well-known side of Sunset Cliffs including the caves and various tide pools. Most of these can only be accessed during low tide, so plan accordingly if you want to try and check some of them out. There are several sea caves located along the shoreline that are relatively easy to find if you’re looking for them. But if you’re having trouble you can view my other posts on the caves of Sunset Cliffs.