As a San Diego concierge for more than a decade, Brett Hamblen is well versed in sunset recommendations. For his role as the chief concierge at the luxurious Estancia La Jolla Resort and Spa, Hamblen has accumulated a list of his go-to sunset spots for guests. He shares his favorite spots, based on how you might want to enjoy the Pacific Ocean views.
Want to…dip your toes in the water?
Kellogg Park at La Jolla Shores
The Scripps Institute has protected the area on the Shores as an underwater preserve since the 1970s. “I love it because it’s on the beach, and if you take off your shoes and get in the water, there’s a chance you could see marine life, such as the state fish, the Garibaldi,” Hamblen says. Plus, if you’re there on the 4th of July, he says it’s one of the best places to catch the fireworks.
Want to…take a nice drive?
Torrey Pines Gliderport
Need a quick sunset fix from the comfort of your own vehicle? Hamblen suggests the Torrey Pines Gliderport. “It’s an active aviation gliderport and one of the few nice places where you can remain in your car,” he says. “There’s a dirt parking lot that you can drive to the edge of and watch the sunset, or get out and just sit on the cliffs.”
Want to…hang out with seals?
Ellen Browning Scripps Park
Set on the bluffs in downtown La Jolla, the park is named after the cherished member of the Scripps family, aka the “mother of La Jolla,” known for her generous donations to the oceanography institute and hospitals in the area. “The park overlooks the Children’s Pool, which she also donated—she built a seawall into the ocean to create a safe place for children for swim,” Hamblen says. “Nowadays it’s more home to the seals, but that sea wall is a gorgeous location to have the waves crashing at your feet as you watch the sunset.”
Want to…sneak away from the crowds?
We Olive and Wine Bar
For a secluded place away from the masses, Hamblen recommends catching the sunset with a glass of wine in hand on the balcony of We Olive. “From the exterior, it’s a retail store with great olive oil,” he says. “But they have a wonderful wine tasting room with a balcony hanging off that has a cute view, it’s secluded and tucked away so that no one realizes it’s there. It’s one of my favorite hidden spots to hide from the crowds.”
Want to…try a fish taco on the terrace?
Georges at The Cove
“It’s such a La Jolla landmark and all three floors have beautiful views, whether you want a drink at the lounge or an open-air dinner on the ocean terrace,” Hamblen says. Georges is famous for its marinated and grilled fish tacos, but note the famous part—it can get a bit busy on the weekend, so a reservation will help ensure you get prime sunset exposure.
Want to…celebrate a special occasion?
The upscale steak and chop house is also a La Jolla landmark that opened in 1999, and it recently moved into the same building as Georges, overlooking the La Jolla Cove. “Donovan’s is one of the best California steak houses, and they have great steak and seafood with a really great wine list,” Hamblen says. With white linen tablecloths, a mahogany interior and a sommelier on staff, Donovan’s is an elegant spot suited for celebrations and big groups.
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