Let’s face it – tourist guides, and documents alike, can only tell you so much. And the things they do communicate to you are usually your typical – XY hotel, XY restaurant, XY site, etc. This list will be nothing like that. This will be a list of secret gems of San Diego, fun and unique spots that are not so easily found.
These are going to be locations that will create adventure and amazing memories. These will be your go-to locations where you’ll recharge your batteries after a long day at the office. These will be the secret, unique spots where you’ll be able to take someone out. These are the spots not even San Diego natives know about. So brace yourselves, gems are coming!
Secret Gems of San Diego – The Hidden Swings
This might be perfect for two things:
- Hiding from everyone after a long day at the office
- Taking someone very special to you on a very romantic afternoon / evening.
These swings are so simple yet so amazing. If you go to La Jolla hillside, above the Scrips pier and near UC San Diego – you’ll find a set of swings hanging from the trees. And they are those simplest swings ever, having two ropes and a plank at the base – having room for two people to sit down. When I say secret I mean it. They are very well hidden, and the only way to find them is to either be extremely lucky, or to know where they are.
Take a short hike from the Expedition Way and you’ll find them. They are worth the bother given that they are overlooking the ocean. The swings themselves are getting updated (new ones being created) so make sure to go to #secretswings on Instagram for the latest news.
Secret Gems of San Diego – One of the Few Visible Shipwrecks in California
Adventures type, are we? Well in that case this’ll be perfect for you! This is one of the few visible shipwrecks in California. I wouldn’t really advise diving and exploring it without any professionals assisting you. Please refrain yourself from doing that.
But, exploring it from the coastline, with binoculars and cool cameras might be an epic date! The shipwreck was once known as SS Monte Carlo. It lies very shyly below the water surface and is only nicely visible when the tide is low. Dating back to 1937 the 300 foot long monster ran ashore on Coronado.
You can either swiftly drive across the bridge from downtown, or take a 15ish minute long ferry ride to get to the site. An easy to get to must see!
Secret Gems of San Diego – Secret, Spooky Suspension Bridge
This is an epic one. Instagram is getting flooded with numerous photos showing people either wanting to or actually crossing suspension bridges. These are those, almost historic, bridges that have a wooden floor and a rope like fence, attaching the bridge from one side to the other. When you look at it from afar it looks like it’ll crumble the moment you set foot on it.
Located in the quiet and secluded neighborhood of Banker’s Hill is the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge. Dating from 1912, it’s initial purpose was to connect two neighborhoods split by the Kate Sessions Canyon. Today it is a perfect place for someone seeking a place for a cool selfie, or just some thrill! If you wish to cross it – you can! It still operates normally, despite its age. The fun part is the fact that it sways from side to side as you walk over it, considering that it is being suspended across the canyon by cables.
Best part – it’s very easy to find! Just drive west down Spruce Street and there’s no way you can miss it.
Secret Gems of San Diego – Secret and Rare Sunsets
Again, something for the romantic souls out there. It doesn’t matter if you love seeing sunsets on your own, or you love sharing the moment with someone – you should hear this out. The best part of this is the fact that you can’t see it more than twice a year.
This magical and rare sunset location is rather easy to find. It is located at Scripps Pier. The thing that is so magical about this is the fact that only twice a year the sunset will perfectly align with the pier pillars. The exact dates vary each year, but usually happen in the time frame from May to August.
The pier itself belongs to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and is hence usually closed for the public eye. However, there are two ways one could go about touring it. There are volunteer guide hosts that could get you a free 50 minute tour through the campus towards the pier. The only thing you need to do is sign up online by noon the day before. The alternative is to pay 30 bucks and go on a full moon walk at dusk with the Birch Aquarium in the time between July and October.
Secret Gems of San Diego – Honorable Mentiones
The above mentioned are my favorites, but there are few more ‘lesser’ ones that I should not avoid mentioning.
- Cafe Secret – a very zcute, hidden in Del Mar’s main drag, restaurant with home cooked Peruvian food. A must see and a must eat!
- Secret, hidden mining tunel – take a tour through the Julian gold mine, dating back from 1870s. Adventure extraordinaire!
- Old Town Graveyard – a very creepy fun fact: you’ve been walking over graves without possibly knowing it. Walking around San Diego Ave means walking over some very old graveyards from 1889!