10 Places for Postcard-Perfect Photos of San Diego

  • The Lily Pond and Reflecting Pool, Balboa Park

    Picturesque Balboa Park: A Photographer's Dream

    Photo opportunities never stop popping up in San Diego's historic Balboa Park, the nation's largest urban cultural park. Home to the San Diego Zoo and 15 major museums, this is where lush tropical gardens and bubbling tile fountains are surrounded by majestic buildings featuring ornate Spanish Colonial Revival-style architecture. 

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Historic Hotel del Coronado

    Historic Hotel Meets Award-Winning Beach

    The historic Hotel del Coronado, the largest wooden beachfront hotel on the West Coast, has set the scene for many a Hollywood film, such as the classic "Some Like It Hot" with Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis. Not only is this historic hotel a feast for a photographer's eyes, but the expansive, sandy beach, with views on the blue Pacific and Pt. Loma peninsula beyond, is a consistent winner of dozens of "Best Beach in America" awards.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • San Diego Skyline from Pt. Loma

    Pt. Loma Peninsula: Best Spot for a Classic San Diego Skyline

    Local photographers agree that the best San Diego skyline photos can be shot from residential areas of Pt. Loma, a peninsula some five miles from downtown. Lucinda Street is a popular vantage point, but other streets in this area also provide excellent views onto the skyline. Dusk is a perfect time to capture the glow of the setting sun reflected in the city buildings.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Torrey Pines State Reserve Beach, La Jolla

    Golden Cliffs at Torrey Pines State Reserve

    The majestic sandstone cliffs that dominate the beach at the Torrey Pines State Reserve in La Jolla are a favorite subject for local photographers. Shoot when the light is low for stunning reflections in the rock formations. Venture above the beach to hike the trails, which command picture-perfect views of the deep ravines etched into the headlands with the blue Pacific beyond.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá

    San Diego Mission: Capture a Slice of California History

    The Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá, founded in 1769, is the first and oldest of the 21 missions that comprise the historic California Missions Trail stretching from San Diego to Sonoma. Lush gardens and 18th century Mission architecture make this venerable site a favorite among photographers. Since the Mission faces south, the best time to photograph is at noon, or at dusk, when the otherwise stark white stucco walls take on a mellow hue from the setting sun.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Coronado Bridge from the deck of Hornblower Cruises' Harbor Tour

    Coronado Bay Bridge: A San Diego Icon

    This graceful bridge, a city icon, spans San Diego Bay from downtown to the Coronado peninsula. Since the bridge is closed to pedestrians, the best way to capture the beauty of the Coronado Bridge's architecture on camera is from the bay below, via a harbor tour.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Statue of Juan Cabrillo and San Diego Bay, Cabrillo National Monument

    Cabrillo National Monument: Photograph the Bay and Beyond

    Not only is the Cabrillo National Monument one of the most visited national monuments in the nation, it affords the photographer expansive views of San Diego Bay, the city skyline, and the coastline from La Jolla in the north to the Mexican coastline to the south. The sandstone statue of Portuguese navigator Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who discovered the bay in 1542, frames these glorious views. 

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • San Diego's Historic Gaslamp Quarter

    The Gaslamp Quarter: Historic Heart of San Diego

    The Gaslamp Quarter features 16 blocks of restored Victorian buildings in the heart of downtown San Diego. As famous for its architecture as for its eclectic restaurants and pulsating night life, the Gaslamp Quarter presents a photo opportunity at every corner. The best time to photograph the buildings is at twilight, when the gas lamps are aglow, the buildings are lit, and the details of the intricate architecture are still visible in the late afternoon/early evening light.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Old Town State Park, San Diego

    Old Town: Photograph Mexico This Side of the Border

    Visit Old Town State Park on your photographic tour of San Diego for images that reflect San Diego's rich history. From 1822-1872, Old Town was the thriving center of San Diego. Original adobe structures built around a spacious plaza, colorful shops and restaurants of the period, and costumed performers and docents all contribute to an endless selection of subject matter for the avid photographer. 

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Municipal Pier, Oceanside

    Life's a Beach for Photographers in San Diego

    San Diego's 70 miles of public beaches are as diverse as the city itself.  But one thing is certain--you'll never tire of the photo opportunities to be found on any particular strand.  Sunset is the perfect time to capture the golden light that sets the beaches aglow as the fiery sun drops into the blue Pacific.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona