Pearl of the Pacific – San Diego, California - Atlas Obscura

San Diego, California

Pearl of the Pacific

An ode to the friendship between four Pacific Rim countries. 

This giant pearl-shaped fountain is nestled at the heart of a vibrant, symbolic mosaic. It’s a beautiful, artistic ode to international friendship. 

The Pearl of the Pacific was created in 1998 as a symbol of unity between the United States, Mexico, China, and Russia, which are four of the Pacific Rim countries. A group of architecture students from these four countries worked with prominent artists and members of the community to create the fountain and its surrounding features.

The whole monument blends different cultural symbols. Concrete gates resembling large Chinese fans seem to guard the pearl, while a gateway showing Russian lacework invites visitors to step closer. The colorful mosaic surrounding the pearl is full of additional symbols representing the four countries. You can spot the Mexican Quetzalcoatl, the Russian Siberian tiger, the Chinese dragon, and an American shore bird. The fountain is the centerpiece of Shoreline Park and is a permanent homage to and reminder of the rich Pacific Rim influence in Southern California.

Know Before You Go

Plenty of close parking and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. The location has become a popular picnic and gathering site over the years.