La Jolla is a photographer's dream and we can understand why. No matter where you go, every location is absolutely picture perfect. We did a lot of walking along Coast Boulevard on our recent trip to La Jolla and "surprise!" we took a ton of photos.
We've listed the areas in order of where to start your fun day of photography in La Jolla. If you start at Point La Jolla, you can walk to all of these locations with the exception of Windansea Beach. Windansea Beach is a couple of miles South of the Children's Pool, so we did not put it on this map since it's not within walking distance. Well, it is, but we decided to drive instead of making the mile and a half trek.
Point La Jolla
We discovered this spot after we took a little tour down a tunnel at Sunny Jim's Cave. Point La Jolla is located right next to the Cave store and it has great backdrop views of the Seven Caves. Plus, you have some great "bird art" all around you!
There are a ton of photo-op opportunities here where you can get so many different angles and views. It is also a great spot for photos as it's less crowded than the other areas along Coastal Blvd.
This beach is easily accessible by walking down a long flight of stairs. Last year we came to this spot to take photos during the golden hour and tried to do the same this year. However, it turned out to be overcast and we captured a very different mood this time around.
Earlier that day, it was bright and sunny but right around sunset, the atmosphere quickly changed when the clouds rolled in and completely covered the sun. You can capture quite a bit of different angles at this beach depending on how daring you want to be. Crystal was a bit more adventurous and climbed on rocks to get to higher vantage points.
Shell Beach Green Hut
Right before you head down the stairs to Shell Beach, you will notice a green hut. This is a great spot to take some photos that are a bit different.
Once we were inside the hut, we decided to sit on the edge so that you can see the ocean in the photos. Just be careful and do not attempt this if you don't have a very good balance.
If you climb over (or crawl under) the rail next to this hut, you can get closer to the edge and capture the crashing waves as a fun backdrop. We ended up going on a day when the current was pretty strong, so we were lucky to have been able to experience this.
Once we started doing this, several people took notice and wanted their shot in front of the crashing waves as well. Everyone waited their turn and it was definitely a moment you had to wait for as the waves didn't come crashing all the time. You will need a little bit of patience for this and always be aware of your surroundings. Watch your step because there are no guard rails.
As you're walking from Shell Beach to the Children's Pool, you'll see an area where you can stop and really take in the views. There is no name for this on Google maps, but if you look closely, you will see a walking path that veers slightly off Coast Blvd. At first glance, it doesn't really seem like an area for a photo-op but don't let the simplicity of this pedestrian path fool you.
We walked pass this area several times during the day and didn't think to stop and take photos the first time around. However, when we came back shortly before sunset, when it was less crowded, we were able to take photos that had a different vibe and a cool backdrop of Shell Beach.
It's definitely a challenging spot during the day since there is a ton of foot traffic along this path. We only recommend getting these shots when there isn't a crowd or you will be there forever trying not to get people to walk in front of your camera.
The Children's Pool is a very popular spot as the waters here are very calm, thus making it a safe area to play in for children. When we stopped by earlier in the morning, we didn't see any seals or sea lions and we were a little bummed since we were really looking forward to it.
We were glad we returned later in the day because there were a ton of seals taking their naps. Once they start to take over the area, the beach will get roped off to give these sea creatures some privacy. You can still get pretty close, but the partition is there for everyone's safety.
This is the only beach we went to that isn't along Coast Boulevard. All of the above mentioned locations are popular areas for both locals and tourists; whereas, Windansea Beach is where the locals flock to.
A quick drive South of the Children's Pool and you are away from the larger crowds and hotels and in a quiet residential neighborhood. There are a ton of surfers here catching the waves and it's a great place to sunbath on the huge rocks. We loved how this area was different from the beaches along Coast Boulevard.
We wish we could have spent an entire week in La Jolla. We were visiting during a holiday weekend and only covered a small section of the amazing views that can be captured here. Even for novice photographers, it's pretty impossible to capture a horrible photo. The landscapes here pretty much do all the hard work for you, so all you have to do is make sure you are in focus.
WHERE TO STAY
La Valencia Hotel
This hotel is located within walking distance to all the photo spots we mentioned (except for Windansea Beach).
Airbnb in the Heart of La Jolla
A peaceful high ceiling studio located right in the heart of La Jolla.
Get $40 off your first Airbnb stay HERE