sunset cliffs

Iconic for San Diego. There are 3 good spots here that we can go to.

1 - secret(ish) spot off PLNU’s campus with sandy cliffs and beach. Usually not as crowded as the other spots. Climbing required (but you can totally do it with a dress), secret beach access, flowers in the spring

2 - ?????, parking lot, no beach access, sometimes crowded

3 - arches, parking lot, no beach access, sometimes crowded

thousand steps beach

Gorgeous water and places to explore. Can't get much better backdrops! I’ve been wanting to shoot here since forever!

windansea beach

Jutting green-algae rocks that bring more than just water and sand into the frame

  • can get crowded during summer

  • parking usually easy

  • climbing required

La Jolla Scripps Pier

San Diego has so many pretty piers. This La Jolla pier is my favorite.

  • parking can be a challenge (paid & free)

  • ~.5 miles walking required

  • stairs

Ocean Beach

In the heart of hippie beach is the Ocean Beach pier. Great vibes and art, too! I like to take photos on the beach under the pier and then go to the town (easy walking distance away) and take photos with some of the art walls and eclectic cars.

  • parking around the streets or beach lot

  • lots of food places nearby

  • palm trees, main street, street art, classic cars, pier


The beach in front of the Hotel Del Coronado has a view of the Point Loma peninsula, sand dunes, and and shipwrecked SS Monte Carlo & showcase the heart of San Diego.

  • parking can be challenging on weekends (valet available)

  • not much walking required

Montage beach

Montage Resort in Laguna Beach has all kinds of arches, gorgeous rocks, plus stairs to serve as backdrops.

  • stairs

  • paid parking and valet only

  • walking and some climbing required

  • some slippery rocks

Oceanside Pier

Underneath Oceanside pier is super pretty in the morning. Ruby's burgers for lunch after!

  • Parking always challenging (paid only)

  • Crowded on weekends

  • Mornings only

Other places:

La Jolla tide pools

Del Mar

Not recommended:

La Jolla Cove

Most other beaches because they are crowded