10 Places to Photograph in San Diego this Weekend

Our second Weekend Event is coming up in San Diego. While dreaming about the nice, warm weather that Tim, Tony and Eileen will be soaking up this weekend, I decided to scout out San Diego (as I wore down booties and a wool sweater). Here are some places I would seek out and photograph if I were in sunny Southern California. To scout San Diego from Missoula, I used Google Maps and Panoramio to see what other people had photographed at each location.
  • Balboa Park – You could spend an entire weekend in Balboa Park. The 1,200-acre park is a cultural and tourist center of San Diego with numerous museums and theaters, a sporting complex, beautiful gardens, an open-air pipe organ, and the San Diego Zoo on its premises. It also houses the Museum of Man, an anthropological museum documenting the Southwestern and Mexican cultures. Next to the museum is the venerable Old Globe Theatre and the San Diego Museum of Art and the Timken Museum of Art.
  • Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve – Get a sense of what the California coast looked like in all its natural beauty before it was developed. This 2,000 acre reserve is practically across the street from the RMSP Weekend event in San Diego.
  • Beaches of San Diego – What I wouldn’t give for easy access to beaches. San Diego has a ton of public beaches all teeming with things to photograph. Take your pick!
  • Birch Aquarium at Scripps – Aquariums are the next best thing to putting on a wet suit, and scuba gear for photographing underwater life. The Birch Aquarium is one of the best.
  • San Diego Zoo – Perhaps the best opportunity you’ll ever have to photograph zebras and cheetahs in the middle of a city.
  • Seaport Village-This area in downtown San Diego is right on the water and has many shops and restaurants that are illuminated at night providing great opportunities for night photography.
  • Maritime Museum of San Diego This Museum is home to the world’s oldest floating merchant ship, the Star of India, as well as many other restored sailing vessels. Open 9 am – 8 pm.
  • Old Town – This San Diego neighborhood will give you a glimpse of what life was like in the early days of San Diego.
  • The Salk Institute– This biological research center is a unique blend of form and function. The unique architecture and the breath taking views of the ocean create incredible opportunities to photograph. The Salk Institute has been described in the San Diego Union-Tribune as the single most significant architectural site in San Diego.
  • Hotel del Coronado – Visiting Coronado Island might take a little planning but the 2.2 mile-long San Diego-Coronado Bridge to the island is a quick way to get there. You could also take the ferry from Broadway Pier to Coronado which will provide some great photographic opportunities on the way there and back. If you take the ferry, you will disembark at the Ferry Landing Marketplace. From here catch a shuttle bus that will take you to Hotel del Coronado, a gorgeous old hotel that is quite photogenic.

Do you know of great places to photograph in San Diego that I didn’t mention? I’d love to know where you photograph. Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

If you do photograph in San Diego this weekend show us your favorites! Post them on our Flickr group page or on our Facebook page. Make sure to tag the images with “San Diego”.

2 thoughts on “10 Places to Photograph in San Diego this Weekend

Profile photo of Mel Mann


I lived in SD for three years and found lots of photography opportunities – pity I wasn’t very good at it then. Still, some locations to add to your list (all great places to make wonderful images, BTW):

Hillcrest – just east and north of Balboa Park, this is a cool, hip area of town with lots of interesting architecture and people. Plus, you can find George’s Camera Store there – the best in town if you like browsing through equipment for digital and film.

Mission Bay – west and north of downtown, this is the place for people photography if your idea of people ranges from typical SoCal tanned and beautiful folks to the pasty-white and soon-to-be-red vacationing mid-westerners. Lots of beach, boardwalk and bicycles. And there’s an old wooden roller coaster for the adventurous.

Children’s Pool at La Jolla – seals have taken over the beach as a nursery (a continuing controversy) and are photogenic, as are the waves crashing against the sea wall.

Oh, and if you wait on the beach of the Coronado hotel to watch the sunset you might see the green flash.

Profile photo of Page Orb Pedde

Page Orb Pedde

Thanks Mel! These are great suggestions.

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