Here is a (growing) list of what I think are some of the BEST locations and hidden gems in San Diego to take engagement photos!
San Diego is known for its beautiful beaches, great weather year-round, great food and drink, and so much more. Because of all these perks, there are SO many great spots in San Diego to take engagement photos. My favorite part about it is you can find virtually any landscape background within an hour of wherever you are! Beaches, mountains, snow, desert, city – you name it, you can find it. Now, without further ado, the best places in San Diego to take engagement photos:
Downtown San Diego
Roam the streets with your lover and soak in the city vibes in Downtown San Diego. Dress up or dress down, this location has backdrops for every vibe.
Downtown San Diego provides so many great backdrops for engagement photos. It’s one of my favorite locations to take engagement photos in San Diego! Dress up for a romantic, “just-married at the courthouse” vibe, or dress down for a casual look that says “we’re just being us and there happens to be a photographer here”. See more of the latter here: https://clarisserae.com/2023/02/28/downtown-san-diego-engagement-photos/
An obvious choice for obvious reasons. Go on a weekday for less crowds and choose a photographer (me) who knows how to make it look like you’re the only ones there!
Balboa Park is a classic location for engagement photos in San Diego. The stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, and plethora of picturesque backgrounds make Balboa Park a no-brainer when it comes to San Diego engagement photos locations. Choose a photographer who can navigate the crowds and make it look like you are the only people in the park, and you’re golden. (Hi, that’s me!!) Here are some engagement photos I took in Balboa Park on a busy Saturday – you can’t even tell it was busy that day! https://clarisserae.com/2023/02/17/balboa-park-engagement-photos/
Rolling green hills and lush greenery give this San Diego hidden gem a romantic aesthetic.
I just recently discovered this hidden gem and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite locations in San Diego to take engagement photos. San Diego’s Mission Trails Regional Park provides the perfect backdrop. Nestled in the heart of San Diego’s eastern region, this natural oasis boasts stunning landscapes that range from rolling hills and rugged rock formations to serene lakes and babbling streams. The park’s rugged beauty provides an ideal setting for capturing romantic moments between couples while also showcasing the unique beauty of Southern California.
Tall cliffs and a long beach give you Hawaii vibes for your engagement photos without the flight!
Black’s Beach is a GEM. It’s quite popular (and also a nude-friendly beach – just FYI), but the steep walk to get to the beach ensures only those who know its worth make it down to the sand. The sunsets at Black’s Beach are STUNNING. The beach is surrounded by tall cliffs that make it feel other-worldly. I get major Hawaii vibes from this beach! There is ample room on the sand, so even if there are other beach-goers, it never feels crowded and we can always find a people-free background. Plus, you can see the paragliders jumping off at the Torrey Pines Gliderport from the beach!
I love taking engagement photos at Black’s Beach – it’s definitely one of my favorite locations in San Diego to take engagement photos. Here are a few other blogs of engagement photos at Black’s Beach: https://clarisserae.com/2020/12/07/blacks-beach-engagement-photos-in-san-diego-ca-loren-pat/
Torrey Pines Gliderport
Looks like several locations in one because of all the variety!
I can’t talk about Black’s Beach without talking about Torrey Pines Gliderport too! Torrey Pines Gliderport is a beautiful spot to take engagement photos in San Diego. There is a large parking lot when you reach the Gliderport, and you might have to circle once or twice, but we always find parking.
Torrey Pines Gliderport is chock-full of gorgeous backdrops. There are cliffs, lots of plants and brush, greenery, cute pathways, and of course the beautiful ocean. One thing I love about this spot is that even if there are people around, there are ALWAYS private spots we can find to get those people-free photos we all know and love.
My favorite part about this location is you can see the paragliders taking off from the top of the cliffs, flying down until they land on the sand below. Such a cool sight to see!
A classic spot for engagement photos for a reason
Sunset Cliffs is a great location for engagement photos in San Diego. Beautiful ocean backdrop and big cliffs that make you forget you’re in Southern California – what’s not to love? This location does get a bit crowded, but the crowds are avoidable if your photographer knows what they’re doing.