San Diego’s Ideal Filming Locations

The greatest thing about being a photographer or filmmaker in San Diego is the diverse amount of locations San Diego has to offer. Wildly successful films like Anchorman and Top Gun have taken place in this beautiful city, and it’s not very hard to see why. The Southern California destination is home to diverse schools, a great downtown area, breathtaking beaches, ideal nature settings, pleasant suburban communities, architectural gemstones, and so many more.

If you are looking for a location for an upcoming shoot, there’s minimal reason to look outside of San Diego County, and here’s why:


Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Coronado, and La Jolla are just a few places where you can find beautiful scenery for your next project. Each community has something different to offer, as you can take in the beautiful views at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park or try your luck at the boardwalk games at Belmont Park, Mission Beach.


With all of the great nightlife, shopping, eateries, and a sporting arena (Petco Park), Downtown San Diego has everything that your downtown shooting location might need. Take a trip down to the Gaslamp Quarter where you can find large clubs, intimate pubs, authentic Italian cuisine, and a skyline that you won’t be able to resist.


If your upcoming photos or film require a school setting, you might want to look into San Diego State University, UC San Diego, Point Loma Nazarene University, University of San Diego, CSU San Marcos, or any of the numerous community colleges, high schools, and grade schools in the area. Many productions have used these schools already, such as Veronica Mars, The Real World: San Diego, and Bring It On, who have all used San Diego State as one of their locations.

Nature & Architecture

There are many beautiful nature locations, outside of the beaches, and architectural locations that are very appealing for potential shoots. The Sweetwater River Bridge is a great combination of both modern architecture and the natural scenery that surrounds the bridge. Balboa Park offers beautiful landscaping and classic buildings for all to enjoy. If you are looking to film at a place that actually seems to have seasons (unbelievable for California, I know), then take a trip to Julian, where the old-timey feeling looks beautiful in contrast with the bright autumn leaves or the fresh winter snow.

Overall, San Diego has everything to offer when it comes to locations for photography or film. If you’re looking for specific scenery, I recommend taking a glance at your own backyard first. From beaches to schools and everywhere in between, San Diego is a great spot for your next project.

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