San Diego Suggestions?

I’m going to be heading out to San Diego for a family reunion in a couple of weeks, staying in El Cajon. Does anybody have suggestions where I might go to take some shots if I can only sneak away for an hour or two at a time? Perhaps locations with good sunrise compositions, in particular, since that’s most likely to be the time I can beg off.

I’m not too sure of locations other than random beach spots and you can just happen upon while walking. I can tell you to go get some tacos anywhere in San Diego because they’re fire. But for real, look on google earth near where you’re staying for some rocky spots along the beach that you can use as a cool foreground or two.

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Hi Dave - The La Jolla area has some rocks along the coastline that work for interesting foregrounds. Of all the beaches we visited in the San Diego area, we found that stretch of coastline to be the most interesting for landscape photography. The beach areas are busy since they are right by downtown La Jolla so you likely will not find a lot of solitude but early morning shouldn’t be too bad. I can’t remember exactly which area we liked the most but with limited time, I would recommend starting your research here (maybe it was Point La Jolla and La Jolla Cove). If you enjoy plant photography, the San Diego Botanic Garden is also a nice stop. And, like David mentioned, the food in this area is incredibly good, so maybe you can stop for a taco, too. Have a nice trip!

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Sunset Cliffs would be another beautiful location to consider!

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Torrey Pines State Reserve is about 30 minutes NW of El Cajon. I especially like the badlands along the trails from the visitor’s center down to the beach. Some of the badlands can be viewed from the Broken Hill overlook .

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Thanks, everyone! I’m heading out tomorrow and looking forward to doing some exploring (and eating some tacos!)

Another idea that I found great for photography is the san digeuito river park. They have several areas with short hikes with views to the bay, river, mountain. You should look at their website and check it out. further east there is the lake hodges lake which is really nice for photography. For sunset the beaches of la jolla and north of that are great at they have rocks for foreground.

Hi @MunkyC late to the party. Are you still in town? I live in SD if you still need suggestions. Sounds like you’re out in El Cajon and want to shoot sunrise, I would say drive out to the Cuyamaca and Julian areas as they will be facing East, Cuyamaca Peak is a great hike and shot location. If you can go a little further, Fonts Point near Borrego is great for sunrise and pretty unique. Our beaches are generally best for sunset, the Pot Holes near Hospitals Reef in La Jolla are pretty iconic.
The Botanical garden that Sarah suggested is great but pretty far from where you’ll be. There is another more famous one in Balboa Park but unfortunately it’s closed for remodeling but Balboa park in general is very pretty and photogenic.
Feel free to reach out if you need anything while in town.

Thank you, everyone, unfortunately two days after we arrived in Southern California, my wife came down with COVID (and then promptly shared it with me) and the tone and content of our vacation changed radically. While I’m simply desperate to shake the dust of San Diego from my heels right now, I look forward to checking out some of your suggestions the next time I head down here!