20 Best Places for Self-Portraits in San Diego, California

LaJolla_CA La Jolla Image Courtesy Andrew Magill

Are you looking for a great spot to take your next selfie*? We have no shortage of spectacular scenery for a memorable background, whether you’re a city person or a nature lover. Here are 20 of the best spots around San Diego and La Jolla for self-portraits.

*selfie = self-portrait, often taken at arm’s length with your phone and intended for social sharing

City and Attractions

La Valencia Hotel, La Jolla. This iconic hotel called “The Pink Lady” was built in 1926. Photo ops abound, with views of the pool, grounds, and the Pacific to choose from.

Little Italy, San Diego. Looking for hustle and bustle? This vibrant neighborhood is home to more than a dozen events throughout the year, and its Mercado (Farmer’s Market) takes place every Saturday.

Balboa Park, San Diego. The largest urban cultural park in the U.S. has a wide variety of landscapes and cityscapes; it features 19 gardens if you’d like a horticultural theme for your self-portrait.

San Diego Maritime Museum, San Diego. Want to be Jack Sparrow for a day? This world-renown museum has a collection of historic vessels, including the Star of India. Built in 1863, it is the oldest active ship in the world.

Seaport Village, San Diego. This seaside shopping village offers bay views, a marina, lagoon, and historic carousel, along with quaint architecture. Stroll along the boardwalk until inspiration strikes.

Chicano Park, San Diego. This park is rich in Latino history, with a collection of fabulous cultural murals that decorate the support pillars for Interstate 5, under which the park runs. It’s a great backdrop for urban photos.

Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla. If it’s striking architecture you’re after, look no further. This research facility has been called the most significant architectural site in San Diego. The view through the travertine marble courtyard is breathtaking!

Centennial Park, Coronado. Want a skyline backdrop? Then this view can’t be beat. This park is on the bay with panoramic views of the city of San Diego. Take the ferry over from the Embarcadero.

UC San Diego Department of Visual Arts, La Jolla. The graffiti staircase in Mandeville Hall is a canvas for the students, who have been adding their tags for decades. Pick your favorite piece of urban contemporary art for your selfie.

Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego. If want the glow of neon, wander through this historic area at night; it was once the home of Wyatt Earp. It’s the epicenter of nightlife in San Diego and the views from some of the rooftop bars are spectacular.

Hotel del Coronado, Coronado. Pose on the beach where Marilyn sat in Some Like It Hot. The distinctive red turrets of this landmark hotel are stunning when decorated with holiday lights. This National Historic Landmark celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2013.

Beach and Nature

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, San Diego. The remarkable sandstone cliffs take on a golden hue at sunset that contrasts with the blue Pacific. Everyone should have a self-portrait done here!

Scripps Coastal Reserve, La Jolla. This reserve contains Black’s Beach, a beautiful and isolated stretch of beach. FYI, clothing is optional at Black’s, which is also ranked as one of the best surfing beaches in the world.

Scripps Pier, La Jolla. Though this is a private, state-of-the-art research pier (part of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography), it stretches more than 1000 feet into the Pacific.  It’s a local landmark within the Scripps Coastal Reserve, first built in 1915 and replaced in 1998.

WindanSea Beach, La Jolla. Featured in The Endless Summer, the famous documentary that helped popularize surfing, it is often frequented for portraits at sunset. Photographers consider it a must see!

Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego. The beautiful beach and cliffs of this 2000-acre area features some of the wildest areas along the Southern California coast. If nature’s your thing, this might be the spot for you.

Bird Rock, La Jolla. Are you a bird lover? This unique area includes an acre of tide pools and the distinctive rock itself, which is uncovered at low tide and is often covered with birds. Be careful with your camera on the slippery rocks!

La Jolla Cove, La Jolla. One of the most photographed beaches in California, this gem features a series of intriguing cliffs and caves that form a small bay.  The calm waters make a peaceful ocean backdrop.

Cuvier Park. This small park is often the site of wedding ceremonies. (It’s also known as The Wedding Bowl, as a matter of fact.) Take your cue from the many couples who have married here—the view of the coastline is spectacular.