Rejoice, Instagrammers. La Jolla is one of the most scenic places in the world for mobile and professional photography. We have blue skies (most of the time), interesting architecture, murals, marine life, the sparkling blue Pacific Ocean and views for miles.
Our little seaside community is full of spots that are worthy of your camera and time. I’ve narrowed a list to ten places for photography in La Jolla that should give you a good start.
The money shot: Go at sunset and try to catch the round sun between the pillars. It’s incredibly hard to do. Scripps Pier is a research pier located on La Jolla Shores Beach and also popular for family and engagement photos.
Ellen Browning Scripps Park
Here, there are wind-sculpted trees, our little green huts, lifeguard towers and the seals on the rocks below. Your options for a good shot are endless. Go early in the day or near sunset to avoid capturing other people
Torrey Pines Gliderport
A somewhat hidden gem, the Torrey Pines Gliderport is perched on a bluff above Black’s Beach and boasts one of the most panoramic coastal views in all of San Diego. Plus, the colorful gliders dotting the sky add loads of interest.
Sunny Jim’s Sea Cave
It’s dark inside Sunny Jim’s Sea Cave but the shot from the inside looking out is stunning especially if you’re able to catch a rogue snorkeler and kayak tour.
The seawall here was built back in the day to create a safe place for kids to swim. If the surf is big, you can capture dramatic waves crashing on to it. Of course, there are always the La Jolla seals to photograph.
Recreational photography is allowed inside the Salk Institute, a research institute and architectural landmark that is open to the public. This is the most coveted shot but you’ll need to respect their rules for photography.
Mt. Soledad Veteran’s Memorial
The views from Mt. Soledad Veteran’s Memorial are 360-degrees with the best shots south over Mission Bay or north to La Jolla Shores Beach. But even east over the freeway captures a more mountainous side of San Diego.
The Windansea Shack is a historical landmark first built in the 1940s by WWII soldiers who liked to surf here. It’s still a meeting spot for locals and a popular place to take photos in La Jolla.
Murals of La Jolla
Fifteen colorful murals are sprinkled throughout the Village and liven up otherwise average spaces on private buildings. A few are at street level and awesome backdrops for photos. The murals change to showcase new artists and keep the concept fresh.
La Jolla Cove
Tips for Taking Photos in La Jolla
I’ve been told by photographer friends that the best light along the beach happens in the early morning around 7–8 a.m. You are also not likely to encounter many crowds during this time.
Be extra vigilant when walking on to the rocky areas near the beach as I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost slipped holding camera gear or chasing kids around.
Please do not take selfies within close proximity to the seals and sea lions. They’re used to people but I am still amazed by how many people try to touch them and get right up in their faces.
If you’d like to take photos of our cute marine mammals, see my guide to visiting the La Jolla seals and sea lions.
Sunset at La Jolla Shores Beach gives you an incredibly wide range of options, especially at low tide. You could take pictures at Scripps Pier, shoot straight over the ocean, capture kids running along the coastline and so much more.
It is also particularly fantastic to use Ellen Browning Scripps Park as a base to walk south to the Children’s Pool or north to the sea caves depending on how you feel.
Where do you like to take photographs in La Jolla?
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