Check-In San Diego

A lifestyle guide by the Sofia Hotel

Seeking Out Some of San Diego’s Finest Photo Ops

We’re obviously biased here at the Sofia Hotel, but San Diego is a truly gorgeous city. That applies both to the metro area’s natural layout—from the bluffs and beaches of the Pacific coast to the chaparral- and forest-clad heights of the Lagunas and Cuyamacas—as well as the cityscape itself, rich in Spanish Colonial and other historic architecture.

Not long ago, the San Diego Tourism Authority presented a nifty roundup of some of the most photo-op-worthy spots in and around America’s Finest City, written by Julie Kremen of San Diego Photography Tours. We thought we’d highlight some of Kremen’s suggestions so you’ve got a shortlist of selfie- and “us-ie”-ready destinations the next time you’re marinating in our boutique Downtown San Diego hospitality here at the Sofia!

Here are some of the best places in San Diego to take pictures, according to Kremen; be sure to check out her article for the full list.

Balboa Park

Established back in the 1860s as “City Park” and come into its magnificent own during the 1915-1916 Panama-California Exposition, Balboa Park has long been a crown jewel of the San Diego cityscape. The park famously hosts some of the top attractions in the city—not least the San Diego Zoo, the Museum of Man, the San Diego Art Institute, and the Spreckels Organ Pavilion—but Kremen notes you needn’t even step inside one of these fine institutions to revel in greenspace glory, given the park’s “varied, scenic gardens” (which we’ve profiled here at Check In San Diego before) and its “exquisite Colonial Mediterranean architecture and beautiful tile fountains.”

Old Town

As a guest at the Sofia Hotel, you’re just a hop, skip, and a jump (or trolley ride) from the historic heart of San Diego: Old Town. Kremen duly includes this lovely, centuries-old neighborhood its due on her list, noting its “feast of wonderful photo ops.”

The Gaslamp Quarter

Nestled as we are on West Broadway in Downtown, the Sofia places you right at the gates of one of San Diego’s most popular districts: the Gaslamp Quarter, once a rowdy den of gambling and now an architecturally outstanding hub for shopping, dining, and night-on-the-town entertainment. Kremen suggests the Gaslamp “features beautiful Victorian architecture to capture during the day, or stick around after dark to shoot the epicenter of San Diego nightlife.” And, really, you couldn’t ask for better front-row seats than the Sofia…

The Embarcadero

As a Sofia guest, you’re also just a stone’s throw from Downtown San Diego’s fantastic waterfront, the Embarcadero, which, as Kremen alliteratively points out, offers shutterbugs the chance to capture “bobbing boats, birds, or bustling boardwalk activity.”

Cabrillo National Monument

At Cabrillo National Monument, you can stand where Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo became the first European to trod upon West Coast terra firma—not to mention marvel at the colorful life on display in the Point Loma tidepools and scout the spectacular oceanic horizon for spouting gray whales. No surprise this gorgeous federal land on the Point Loma Peninsula landed on Kremen’s tally: You can’t really take a bad picture here.

La Jolla

A mix of postcard-perfect sands and rocky headlands, sunbathing sea lions and seals, and primo snorkeling, La Jolla makes one of San Diego’s most celebrated seashores—and another awesome hotspot for Instagramming your Sofia Hotel getaway.