Nature usually steals the spotlight in San Diego, given its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Yet over the last two centuries, mankind has occasionally done a decent job of making beautiful things too. Here are 10 of San Diego’s most visually stunning buildings.
The sprawling Hotel del Coronado is a gorgeous, beachside Victorian resort that’s been around since 1888. Numerous notable figures have stayed here, including film stars, famous musicians, and several presidents. Among them are George Harrison, Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum, JFK, Brad Pitt, and Madonna. It is still considered a luxury property today, with an on-site spa and dining options.
Hotel del Coronado, 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA, USA, +1 619 435 6611
This stunning church is easy to spot, as its tall spires and all-white exterior are visible from the freeway. It’s the 47th temple constructed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, opening in 1993. It is particularly noticeable around Christmas, when, according to the San Diego Times, thousands of lights adorn the 7.2-acre site in festive cheer.
San Diego California Temple, 7474 Charmant Drive, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 858 622 0991
The Santa Fe Depot has been serving rail passengers for over a century. Designed by Bakewell & Brown, the station opened in 1915 and was saved from possible demolition in the 1980s. Many historical features remain, including the original benches used by passengers waiting for their ride.
Santa Fe Depot, 1050 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 800 872 7245
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is a non-profit research institute founded in 1960. The buildings, divided by a narrow water feature, which is stunning in its simplicity, are the work of Louis Kahn and his firm.
Salk Institute, 10010 N Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA, USA, +1 858 453 4100
For those who are interested in Mission-style architecture, there is perhaps no better starting point than Mission San Diego de Alcala, the first of California’s 21 missions, founded in 1769. Tours are available on Saturdays and Sundays for $2/person, and those who want to visit may request them online.