San Diego is home to an abundance of beautiful attractions, restaurants and views. Many of these are well known, such as the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld and the sea lions at the La Jolla Cove. However, there are plenty more San Diego experiences that are well known locally, but might not be to those visiting on vacation.

These five stunning locations are sure to create lasting images of your time spent in sunny San Diego. Should you have enough time, we recommend attempting to visit all five. From beautiful sunsets to breathtaking mountain scenery, here are San Diego’s five best kept secret locations.

Shell Beach Tide Pools

Those interested in seeing marine life up close, without having to dive in the water, definitely need to stop by Shell Beach and explore the tide pools. This area is a bit tricky to climb down into, but at low tide you can enjoy the hundreds of small tide pools. Most are full of small fish, snails and other small marine life. Additionally, you can catch a glimpse of the sea lions in the area.

Bahia Belle

The San Diego Bay is a popular attraction for boats, jet skis and outdoor events. One attraction that might go unnoticed to those not familiar with the area is the two-story Victorian-style paddle wheeler that cruises the bay at night. For only six dollars you can tour the Mission Bay area while listening to live music and having a few cocktails.


San Diego is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the entire nation; however there can be a lack of seasons. If you are visiting and would like a taste of home, especially in the fall, head ninety minutes north into Julian. Located in the Cuyamaca Mountains, this is the perfect spot to go for a hike, take a horse and carriage ride and enjoy the famous local pies, baked daily.

Sunset Cliffs

Undoubtedly one of the premier San Diego experiences and a great location to watch a sunset, the Sunset Cliffs in Point Loma/Ocean Beach provides a remarkable view to end the day. The cliffs sit above the Pacific Ocean, right over some of the best surf spots in the county. There are even a few locations to climb down onto the rocks below and watch the surf crash into the cliffs.

Prado in Balboa Park

The Prado in Balboa Park is truly spectacular. One of the top destinations in the city for weddings, the Spanish architecture is remarkable. There are street performers, gardens a reflecting pond and places to grab lunch and dinner. Additionally, enjoy some the local museums while you are there.