The greater San Diego area is full of tremendous urban charms—from world-class restaurants to picture-perfect beaches—but many of its most incredible sights come in the rich network of green-spaces showcasing our coast’s wilder side.
An absolute gem that protects a precious swath of native habitat remarkably close to the city center is Sunset Cliffs Natural Park on Point Loma—a fantastic place to visit to get a sense of what much of San Diego looked like prior to development.
The best part? It’s less than 10 miles from the Sofia Hotel! That means in a quick trip you can go from the epitome of comfort and elegance to a tranquil, oceanfront oasis of wilderness—the best of both worlds!
Sunset Cliffs takes its name from the wonderfully scenic sandstone formations composing the western edge of the Point Loma peninsula. Strikingly sculpted by relentless waves, these cliffs are also notable for their Cretaceous-era dinosaur fossils.
Above the cliffs are a wonderful spectrum of San Diego’s native Mediterranean-biome plant communities, from coastal sage to maritime chaparral. Every visitor to Southern California should take time out to enjoy—and pay respect to—these amazing ecosystems, which are among the country’s most biologically diverse. Everyone should take in San Diego’s bustling bayfront, but everyone should also experience what it’s like to stand in a wild, aromatic shrubland above an undeveloped coastline.
The salt-spray tangles of Sunset Cliffs support a dazzling variety of wildlife. Bird-lovers particularly have loads to look out for: The park is the perfect spot to enjoy the natural migratory funnel of Point Loma, and even outside the migration season there are always hawks, year-round songbirds, and a plethora of seabirds taking advantage of the habitat diversity.
A Precious Heritage
The natural beauty and ecology of Sunset Cliffs are spellbinding, but the human history is deep as well. Once Kumeyaay homeland, the park property went through a colorful lineup of landowners before falling under the management of the City of San Diego. This one-of-a-kind example of wild San Diego coast is safeguarded by the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Council, established in 1988.
As a guest at the Sofia, you’re an easy journey around the north end of San Diego Bay to the stunning blufftop gardens and wave-carved headlands of Sunset Cliffs. We’ll happily point the way to this local treasure!