In a city known for its beaches, Mount Soledad stands out as the mountain worth visiting. The highest coastal point in sunny San Diego overlooks the palm tree–lined Pacific Beach and the bluffs of Torrey Pines. The mountain is home to the the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial, which honors living and deceased veterans from the Revolutionary War to the present day. On a clear day, 360-degree views of the La Jolla shores, the bridge to Coronado Island, Mission Bay, and even the mountains of Mexico can be seen.
The Mt. Soledad memorial is considered to be one of the most unique veterans memorials in the United States. Its 11 walls display names and photographs of veterans with plaques telling their stories, and its commanding memorial cross stands at a towering 29 feet (nine meters) tall. It also offers stellar views of the Pacific Ocean and the La Jolla coast from its mountaintop location. The site is free to visit, and a stop of the mountain is often included on half- and full-day tours of San Diego.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The memorial is free to enter.
- While the base of the cross is only accessible via a large staircase, the site and its views are easily enjoyed from the bottom of the stairs.
- Visitors will find a parking lot, portable restrooms, and a lawn area suitable for picnics on-site.
- Volunteer docents are available to answer questions about the memorial.
How to Get There
Mount Soledad is located in the upscale La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego. It’s often a stop on tours of San Diego and La Jolla; if visiting solo, access the mountaintop via Soledad Mountain Road or the San Diego Trolley.
When to Get There
The memorial is open daily from 7am to 10pm. Sunset is the most popular time to visit. Most days are clear and sunny with excellent ocean views, though summer can have a marine layer clouding the skies.
Nearby San Diego Highlights
The views from Mount Soledad provide an overview of much of what you’ll want to see in San Diego. For this reason, it’s a great starting point for exploring the city. Once you’ve checked out San Diego’s downtown, Old Town, and Gaslamp Quarter areas, head to the ritzy beachside community of La Jolla—famous for its sea lions and tide pools at La Jolla Cove. San Diego beaches, Balboa Park, and the renowned San Diego Zoo are all nearby as well.