The Best Hidden Gems in San Diego

Joey Bergandi  |  January 20, 2023

San Diego

The Best Hidden Gems in San Diego

San Diego is known for its beautiful white sand beaches and gorgeous picturesque sunsets. The city is a boiling pot for multicultural diversity and history. It would be no surprise that a beautiful city like this would have some hidden gems that are worth seeing!


Balboa Park Japanese Friendship Garden


While Balboa Park is no stranger to being a tourist attraction, there is a hidden gem in living within the park that deserves to be seen. The Japanese Friendship Garden first opened in 1990 then reopened in 1999. It represents the bond of friendship between San Diego and Yokohama. The garden is a beautiful place to explore and learn about Japanese culture. With its traditional architecture, delicate stone work, and stunning vistas, the garden is a place of peace and beauty. The koi ponds and water features are particularly lovely, and the educational programs and exhibits are very informative. I highly recommend visiting this wonderful place.

Harpers Topiary Garden


Harper's Topiary Garden was created by a couple from Mission Hills who wanted to turn their front yard into a work of art that would be enjoyed by all. They gathered ideas from their travels through Asia, Europe, North Africa, Hawaii, and various places in North America. The garden is free to visit and is open at all times.

Scripps Coastal Meander


The Scripps Coastal Meander is a section of the California Coastal Trail, a 1200-mile network of pedestrian trails. Some sections of the trail have sign posts with the iconic blue and white CCT emblem, but much of the trail does not have signs. The newest section of trail features a sensitively designed pathway and boardwalk traversing a coastal terrace 150 to 200 feet above the beach, planted with drought-tolerant native plant species.

Del’s Hideout


If you're in the area, be sure to check out 5351 Adobe Falls Rd San Diego, CA 92120. This restaurant has some of the best Texas-style barbeques around, and their healthy grain bowls are worth trying. With such great reviews on Yelp, you won't want to miss out on this hidden gem.


Wolf in the Woods


Wolf in the Woods is a one-of-a-kind wine bar and cafe that takes inspiration from Native American, European, and Hispanic cultures. Located in the historic neighborhood of Mission Hills, Wolf has a beautiful interior that is inspired by the legendary folklore and arts of native New Mexico. If you're looking for a unique and intimate dining experience, look no further than Wolf!


Island Prime and C Level Lounge


Island Prime / C Level offers two distinct dining experiences with one amazing view. Located on Harbor Island, each restaurant has its unique character and menu. C Level is a casual bistro open daily for lunch and dinner, with outdoor seating available. Island Prime is an upscale eatery offering a fine dining atmosphere for steak and seafood lovers. Resting on stilts atop San Diego By C Level Lounge is an upscale-casual lounge overlooking the city skyline and Coronado.


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