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DPChallenge Forums >> Out and About >> Recommendations for shooting spots near San Diego
Showing posts 1 - 11 of 11, (reverse)
08/06/2009 07:40:23 AM · #1
I need the help from the DPC community! I will be travelling in the San Diego area and will have one free day <yeah!> to go "picture-hunting" :D Anybody can recommend good spots within a 2-hour drive max from the city? I like to do landscapes, macros and am willing to step outside of my usual comfort zone as I want to take maximum advantage of this opportunity (it will be my first visit to California). Thanks for your help!

BTW - I can hike easily and I'm used to it with a bag full of photo gear and a tripod (NOT a carbon fiber one...) :)
08/06/2009 12:10:12 PM · #2
08/06/2009 01:06:47 PM · #3
Hi Caroline!

Tried to find the responce to the same question I had a few years ago...

No luck!

The water front area is nice,(people & ships) La Jolla is great, (people and surf) and so is Torry Pines, (hiking, surf, shore line, cactus & trees)
I have a few posted.

Enjoy, (From a fellow Canadian!)


08/06/2009 03:24:40 PM · #4
Actually there is little reason to drive so far. San Diego is actually pretty small and most of the beauty lays right on the coast. Once you come off the coast it's a lot of "Same City, USA". A few choice spots I suppose would be:

Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, La Jolla, Cabrillo Monument, Coronado, Mt. Soledad (La Jolla), Torrey Pines State Park, Old Town. All of these places are just minutes from downtown and no more than 10 miles from downtown. You can keep going North up the coast to hit Del Mar, Encinitas and more. I've stayed away from mentioning the Zoo, Sea World and Wild Animal Park. I'm guessing this isn't exactly what you want to be shooting.

You didn't say WHEN you were coming. Do a quick scan of my images and if there is something that looks interesting then I'll tell you where to go. rkligman.smugmug.com
08/06/2009 03:32:42 PM · #5
If the San Juan Capistrano Mission is within 2 hours of San Diego it may be of interest to you.


Message edited by author 2009-08-06 15:34:22.
08/06/2009 04:03:24 PM · #6
I would head up to La Jolla, just 20 minutes from downtown, sunset of course.
08/07/2009 07:41:21 AM · #7
Thanks so much! I am so happy to see there will be interesting things close to the city! I'll probably opt for the Coast as I live very far from the sea, let alone a sea warm enough to swim in <GRIN>. I'll post a few pictures once I've been there. Thanks again!
08/07/2009 08:00:09 AM · #8
I'm a San Diego native and spet my working life there, though I am on Cape Cod now. Cpanioti mentioned Mission San Juan Capistrano, which is about an hour and a half north of San Diego, maybe less, depending on the traffic. That's a lovely location for sure, but here's a link to missions actually IN the county of San Diego:


Of particular interest is Mission San Luis Rey, which is in the flood plain just inland from the North County beaches, near Oceanside; nice drive up to there.

If you get a clear dawn (problematical), a lovely place to view it is from the top of Mt. Soledad above La Jolla, which offers a panoramic, 360-degree view of the entire area from the ocean inland to the mountains.

Balboa Park, San Diego's great urban park, is full of photo opportunities, especially if you like old, Spanish-revival architecture. Google "Balboa Park San Diego" in Google Images for pictures.


Message edited by author 2009-08-07 08:01:05.
08/07/2009 10:04:16 AM · #9
What Rick said... plus just minutes from Old Town is Califoria's first Mission... San Diego de Alcala //www.missionsandiego.com/mission_history.htm

For a nice little hike with landscapes there is Mission Trails Regional Park; Old Mission Dam area is cool or head up Cowles Mountain for Views. //www.mtrp.org/

For rural and country Landscapes just head out towards Julian, it will go from sprawling city to country setting quickly.

If you are coming down on a weekend or want to hook up with a shooter or shooter(s); check Rae's weekend events on the front page or drop a post in the forum on the SD dSLR photography group's website. //www.sandiegodslr.com/

Some have mentioned going beyond the county limits, which is 25+ miles square...remember to take traffic into consideration. For a one day deal here in San Dag, you could be spending a bit of time on the road if you choose the wrong time/path.

Message edited by author 2009-08-07 10:15:17.
08/07/2009 06:51:54 PM · #10
Lots of good ideas so far. Just a couple route suggestions.

From the Airport go to Harbor Island across Harbor Drive from the airport. Then go around the bay to Shelter Island. Then up Canon Street and catch Catalina to the Point Loma Lighthouse. Lots of good views of the city and boats and some tidepools on the ocean side. Go across the bridge and visit Hotel Del Coronado, walk through it and see a nice beach (park on the street for free).

Also the Torrey Pines Gliderport off Torrey Pines Rd between La Jolla Village Dr and Genesse across from UCSD to see a good view of La Jolla coastline and hang gliders if it's breezy, and then go South a little and take La Jolla Shores Dr down to La Jolla Shores. It's a great view driving down from UCSD to the coast. Going North on Torrey Pines Rd you go through some quaint communities on the coast highway Del Mar, Solana Beach, Cardiff by the Sea, Leucadia, Encinitas.

[eta] BTW La Jolla Shores is beautiful, but the tide pools North of Scripps Pier or the La Jolla Caves,Bird Rock or children's pool area off Prospect Dr would be more photogenic.

If you're adventurous you can go South to Tijuana but I haven't gone there in over 20 years. I don't think I'd bring expensive camera equipment there.

Message edited by author 2009-08-08 02:33:16.
08/29/2009 02:31:08 PM · #11
I don't know when you going??? but (also as a fellow Canadian) i would recommended the San Diego harbour tour you can book it a 2 hour tour for about $15 on Goldstar and the boat takes you up and down the bay, it was a great experience and provided oodles of shooting opportunities.

(there is a huge military base in the bay so that adds to the shooting opportunities)
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