If you are planning a vacation in San Diego, you won’t want to forget your camera. From La Jolla beaches to Anza Borrego State Park, these are the best spots to photograph in San Diego County.
Best Places to Photograph in San Diego
Within the last couple of months, Scott and I have started exploring more of this beautiful place that we call home. From east county to downtown, these are a few of the best places to photograph in San Diego.
South San Diego
I usually don’t venture down south to the more crowded areas because I hate traffic, but some of the most spectacular places to get pictures of San Diego are near downtown.
Coronado – Overlooking Downtown San Diego
My vision of Coronado used to be just a place for rich people. During our last visit, it looked different to me. It had less of a yuppie feeling and the views are amazing, especially at sunset.
Point Loma Harbor
As you can see, this spot is great for taking photos of the harbor with the city lights in the background. My intention is to head back there when it’s not overcast.
Horton Plaza – Downtown San Diego
This Alice in Wonderland-esque mall in downtown San Diego is just about the only mall I will visit. Not to buy things, but to marvel at the unique architecture. Keep in mind, they don’t allow tripods in this mall and security guards will get suspicious and ask you to leave if you look too much like a professional photographer.
San Diego Beaches
The beaches in Southern California are always a good backdrop for any photographer. My favorite spots usually include huge cliffs that drop off into the Pacific.
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Piers are a fun place to take photographs. I like to play around with long exposures, especially when there are people walking along the pier. This photo was taken in Oceanside, California.
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Sunset Cliffs – Ocean Beach
Sunset Cliffs was named because of its awe-inspiring sunsets. It’s also a great place to bring your camera at low tide.
Tide Pools at Swamis in Encinitas
Another photogenic spot at low tide is Swamis in Encinitas. Surfers flock to Swamis when the waves are good, but at low tide, it’s the perfect spot for those who seek out little sea creatures hidden in the rocks.
Blacks is another great surfing destination, but since I don’t like crowded waves, I will usually bring my camera instead of a surfboard. The photo opportunities are endless here. You can capture the hang gliders high above the cliffs or even catch one of them doing a flip. I like heading to the south end of the beach at low tide and exploring the way the water hits the rocks. There’s also the Ho Chi Mihn Trail for those sure-footed photographers.
Windansea is another must-visit beach in La Jolla. In my opinion, it’s the prettiest beach in San Diego!
East County, San Diego
San Diego’s east county stretches far and wide with unique spots to capture. We haven’t begun to even scratch the surface of these destinations, but here are a few of our favorites so far.
San Diego Wild Animal Park – Escondido
I’m not a big fan of zoos. Even the San Diego Zoo, which is somehow known as one of the best zoos in the States, makes me sick to my stomach. I don’t like when animals are confined to such small spaces. The Wild Animal Park is a different story. The larger animals are given acres of land to roam around on and it makes me feel a little better about visiting and taking photos.
Cedar Creek Falls – Ramona
Cedar Creek Falls had to be included on my list because in my opinion, it is the most spectacular waterfall in San Diego. This waterfall and swimming hole quickly became one of San Diego’s hot spots, which brought a lot of kids, alcohol and trash. Sadly, the trails leading to these falls are now closed until further notice after the death of a teen in July 2011.
My hope is that these falls will re-open with a ban on drinking and a strict policy of no dogs allowed. Too many dogs have died on this trail because of careless owners and extreme summer conditions.
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Another place that is worthy of making this list, which we have not yet had the privilege to capture, is the magical display of wild flowers in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
There are plenty more spots to photograph in San Diego, like the stunning La Jolla Cove, but if you have limited time while visiting and you want to make sure you get some good pictures of San Diego, these places won’t disappoint.
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