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Life and Work with Jessica Johnson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Johnson.

Jessica, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I created Hidden San Diego in 2010 as a means to inspire people to get outdoors and seek out all the beauty that is tucked away in our city. I noticed so many people around me getting sucked into technology and various addictions and slowly losing their sparkle. This project is my own personal contribution to stirring up the inner child in us all and reviving our adventurous spirit.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I mean, of course, it hasn’t been perfectly smooth. Anyone that is trying to make a difference and growing their business and audience is going to face at least some opposition. I accepted awhile ago that it’s just part of the journey. I would recommend to grow thick skin. I do try my hardest to do the right thing though and make as many people happy as possible. I know that’s not possible but if 95% of the feedback I receive is positive, which it mostly is, then I feel I am on the right path.

My advice would be to keep hoofing forward no matter what. Even at my lowest points, I have always continued on with this project. In many ways, it is my happy place though. I am a big believer in choosing a job in which you are passionate about and one that you would do even if you weren’t making any money off it.

What else should our readers know?
I run two websites: Hidden San Diego and Hidden California. Both sites specialize in all hidden, haunted and amazing places throughout San Diego and California. I like to dig as deep as I possibly can with each place that I feature on my site. I often work closely with historical foundations, scouring old newspapers and talking to locals that may have connections to the place I am researching.

Everything on my site (unless stated otherwise) is done by me. That means the researching and writing of the articles, photography, web design and social media blasts. It is an intense labor of love but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I also recently published my first book which I am super proud of, titled Abandoned San Diego. You can purchase it through my site. It is also sold on Amazon, various Barnes & Noble’s and Costco stores, and other local shops in San Diego. Abandoned San Diego showcases some of the abandoned and more or less forgotten gems of the city and tells their history.

I think what helps set me apart from the others is that I look for what is not on the internet yet and set out to explore those places. I am constantly putting new adventure spots on the map and often making up the names of exploratory places that become household names.

Were there people and/or experiences you had in your childhood that you feel laid the foundation for your success?
Absolutely! I grew up across the street from a canyon that offered endless adventures for me and my friends. My parents would also take us to “hidden” spots in San Diego such as Mushroom Beach and the Suspension Bridge. Each and every adventure I had as a child and teenager was a building block I now realize. These adventures ultimately lead to my decision to build a website and share all the hidden gems I’ve found throughout my life with the e-world.


  • Full Membership to all Hidden San Diego members spots- $50
  • Abandoned San Diego Book- $22

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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