La Jolla is a great destination for photography lovers. This Californian city has beaches, mountains, frequent blue skies, and many trendy hot spots.
5 Best Photo Locations in La Jolla, California
Whether you’re a photographer, traveler, or Instagrammer, this insider guide will reveal some of La Jolla’s top photoshoot locations. Here are some of the best places to take photos in La Jolla. Choose the destinations you would like to photograph, and make sure you book accommodation nearby―this way, you won’t have to rush.
Here are our favorite places to stay in the San Diego area by budget.
Budget: Rambler Motel (Basically on the beach with pool and casino)
Mid-Range: King’s Inn (1960s-themed with big pool) or Old Town Inn (good value)
Luxury: Pantai Inn (all suites boutique inn) or La Valencia Hotel (Mediterranean vibes)
Apartment: Chic Bay View Condo Less Than 10 Miles to Dtwn San Diego!
1. Birch Aquarium at Scripps
This region in California is known for marine life and aquatic ecosystems, helping make the Birch Aquarium one of La Jolla’s top attractions. The token photo opportunity can be found in the Hall of Fishes.
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This exhibit features more than 60 tanks with aquatic life that ranges from the warm waters of Mexico to the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest. The lighting guarantees the perfect silhouette photo against a turquoise-colored backdrop.
2. The Cliffs at Torrey Pines
The world-famous Torrey Pines Golf Course has one of the most spectacular views along the California coastline. Perched high above dramatic cliffs on the Pacific Ocean, the scenery makes the site very popular for wedding photography.
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The course is a hotspot for spotting celebrities and professional golfers. One couple actually had the wedding crasher story of a lifetime after meeting President Barack Obama on the 18th hole. If you’re looking for an ultra-luxury experience, The Lodge at Torrey Pines is the only five-star hotel in all of La Jolla.
3. The Reflections at Scripps Pier
As an iconic La Jolla landmark, Scripps Pier is a great location for photography. It’s just south of downtown La Jolla on La Jolla Shores Beach. Families, friends, and couples will appreciate the soft sand and a mile of flat, walkable coastline. Bonfire pits are also available for hire, which can create a cozy scene for photographs.
Among the highlights of Scripps Pier are the dreamy sunsets that take place behind it. Twice a year, an event locally known as Scrippshenge occurs in which the sun perfectly aligns down the center of the pier. The opportunities for photos with reflections are endless.
4. Shell Beach Tide Pools
With seven miles of coastline, La Jolla has a variety of beaches that serve as great photoshoot locations. Shell Beach is well-known for its gorgeous tide pools, which are often filled with marine life such as starfish and sea anemones.
Photographers appreciate that the tide pools are in a constant state of change from the daily tides. When visiting, be sure to wear appropriate footwear, as the algae-covered rocks are picturesque but slippery. Make sure to capture the clouds reflecting off the pools at sunset.
5. The Waves at La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove is considered to be one of the most photographed beaches in all of Southern California. The unusual north-facing cove is protected by the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park.
The cove enjoys a unique micro-climate in which the temperature stays between 50 and 90 degrees year-round. Several small caves are lining the cove, and sea lions can be seen swimming off the coast or lying out in the sun on the rocks. Photographers will enjoy the challenge of including the abundant wildlife in their pictures.