We love discovering hidden secrets wherever we live. San Diego has been full of them, including a secret sea cave and dangerous surf trail named after a trail in Vietnam. While hiking the Ho Chi Minh Trail, we discovered yet another San Diego secret: the Mushroom House.
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Last Updated: June 26, 2020
The Abandoned Mushroom House & Blacks Beach San Diego
Hidden away at the bottom of the cliffs at Blacks Beach is a unique building shaped like a mushroom. Built in 1968, it was originally called the Pavilion and could be accessed from the cliffs above via a nearly vertical tramway running almost 300 feet down the cliff. It was used as a guest house and was designed by architect Dal Nagle to withstand naturally occurring rock slides, earthquakes, and waves. It offers an 180-degree view from Torrey Pines State Park to La Jolla.
It was last said that the house was owned by UCSD to be used as a place where professors and administrators could take a sabbatical, but it looks mostly empty now. It is private property so you can’t enter the house, but we enjoyed taking photos and relaxing on the beach.
If you’ve explored the beaches in San Diego, you’ll know that Blacks Beach is also known as the nude beach in San Diego. If you want to hang with the nudes, they’re usually at the north end of the beach. Don’t forget to grab directions to the Mushroom House here and check out our ultimate bucket list of 101 things to do in San Diego!
Have you checked out any abandoned or hidden spots near you? Which ones?
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Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.