When you come to San Diego, there are three places you should go to see the gorgeous panoramic views of San Diego County:
Mount Helix in La Mesa — Mount Helix has a private park with a large cross at the top. Great sunsets because you’re far enough inland to actually get sunsets instead of the coastal marine layer. Mount Helix is about 1,370 feet high.
Mount Soledad in La Jolla — At 822 feet high, you can see the coastline from Mexico up to Los Angeles on a clear day. The marine layer usually burns off around noon, but then it rolls back in off the ocean as early as 5:00 p.m. on some days, so get thee yourself up there around 2:00 p.m. for the clearest views.
Cabrillo National Monument — At the outer edge of San Diego Bay, these are the most spectacular views of Mexico, Coronado Island, downtown San Diego, and all that lies in the San Diego Harbor, including the Submarine Base and the Navy Air Base on Coronado Island.
Mt. Helix and Mount Soledad are free. All you have to do is drive your car to the top.
Cabrillo National Monument, being a government institution, costs money to get in. However, for this week only, from April 21 (yesterday) to April 28, it’s free!