Getting engaged is undoubtedly one of the most exciting parts of every couple’s journey before marriage. Lots of already-married couples will tell you: wedding planning can be hectic, stressful, and even make you downright anxious at times. 

One way you can temporarily take your mind off the more stressful parts of wedding planning is with an engagement session. Having the perfect engagement session is a great way for couples to celebrate their love with a meaningful photo shoot, and San Diego is a destination that appeals to most couples because of all it has to offer.

Here are the Top 10 locations for your engagement session in San Diego:

  1. Sunset Cliffs Natural Park 
    offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, which are best enjoyed atop its ancient cliffs and rock formations. Watching the sunset is nothing short of stunning, which is why Sunset Cliffs makes it to our list of unique engagement session locations in San Diego.
    engagement session in Sunset Cliffs natural parkEngagement Session in Sunset CliffsCouple at the beach
  2. Balboa Park
    As one of San Diego’s most iconic cultural centers, Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre urban park that is steeped in the city’s history, dating back to its reservation in 1835. Spanish Colonial Era-style buildings dot the property, as do lush botanical gardens, over 15 museums, and tourist attractions at every turn.
    Balboa park engagement session
  3. Downtown San Diego
    For sentimental couples that prefer more artsy, casual vibes, or want to commemorate their love with the places where they loved to hang out, Downtown San Diego has all the ingredients for a casual, yet meaningful engagement session. With the majestic city skyline’s reflection on the water, unique hidden gems like cafes, breweries, murals and historical buildings, this is the place for you.
    double exposure photo of a coupleSan Diego couple and airplane flying abovecouple posing in a warehouse
  4. Torrey Pines State Beach
    For outdoorsy couples that want to get their feet wet, Torrey Pines State Beach is one of SoCal’s loveliest beaches to hold an engagement photo shoot. The rocky cliff formations serve as the perfect backdrop against the Pacific Ocean blue, and are host to a series of scenic hiking trails
    Couple kissing at the beachCouple running at the beachcouple posing under the tree
  5. La Jolla Cove
    San Diego’s beaches are truly world-class, and La Jolla Cove proves it. As one of the most photographed spots in La Jolla, the clear blue water, and stunning sunsets make it one of the most sought-after locales for a meaningful photo shoot. Not to mention the cute sea lions you’ll see bathing in the water below, adding a fun touch to your engagement sessions
    Blue hour sessionengagement session in La Jollacouple posing during sunset
  6. Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier
    The Scripps Pier is an iconic location for oceanography research in San Diego, but also serves as an ideal location for engagement sessions because of the dramatic ocean views you can soak in from this stretch of boardwalk along the San Diego coastline.
    couple posing under the piercouple posing at Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial PierEngagement session in Scripps Pier
  7. Mount Laguna
    Located an hour’s drive east from San Diego, Mount Laguna is the perfect location for an intimate engagement session. Mount Laguna’s got the whole package when it comes to nature: you’ve got stunning mountain views, grassy meadows, lush pine forests, and even snow during wintertime! If you want to capture fall vibes during your engagement session, we recommend a Mount Laguna shoot, just as the leaves begin to turn.
    Mt Laguna In SpringCouple posing in the snowMt. Laguna Engagement Session during winter
  8. Anza Borrego
    The Anza Borrego State Park feels like you’ve stepped into another world. The rolling mountains and desert landscape make you feel like you’re on Mars instead of San Diego. Be sure to schedule your engagement session around springtime, to witness the vast desert landscape bloom with desert wildflowers. Font’s Point, located in the northern section of the State Park, is where you’ll see some of the most amazing vistas leading out to the Salton Sea. Slot Canyon is also another one of Anza Borrego’s most sought-after engagement session locations because it can be hard to find, and because of its otherworldly natural rock formations.
    Engagement session at Slot Canyon in Anza Borregocouple walking in the DesertCouple posing on a cliff
  9. Lake Cuyamaca
    Also known as the Cuyamaca Reservoir, Lake Cuyamaca holds the distinction of being San Diego’s only mountain lake. It’s a perfect location to soak in the great outdoors: you’ll see diverse wildlife, quaint cottages, and lush trees to make the perfect backdrop for your engagement session.
    Couple sitting by the lakeCouple Kissing by the lakeCouple standing by the lake
  10. Julian, Ca
    This quaint little town in SoCal has made a name for itself as a great place to hold your engagement session. Its old-timey vibes remind you of the Old West, because it started off as a mining town during the California Gold Rush. It’s also famous for its apple orchards, and as a place to enjoy freshly-baked apple pies! More outdoorsy couples can also enjoy its various hiking trails as well.
    Couple snuggling during winterCouple leaning on a fenceCouple standing under a treeBONUS
    A few hours away from San Diego are two gems that you seriously cant miss out.
  11. Joshua Tree National Park
    Named after the yucca trees that line the Mojave Desert, Joshua Tree’s natural beauty is almost a no-brainer when it comes to choosing a meaningful location for your engagement session in SoCal. Stunning rock formations, diverse flora, and endless views of the night sky all contribute to why Joshua Tree is top-of-mind for couples looking for a place to hold their photo shoot. If you like the vast desert landscape mixed with a little bit of mystical vibes, Joshua Tree is definitely the place.

    Couple posing under an arched rockCouple standing on rock formationsCouple standing under a Joshua Tree

  12. Imperial Sand Dunes
    Located in the southeastern part of California, the Imperial Sand Dunes were formed by windblown sand coming from the prehistoric Lake Cahuilla. The 26,000 acres of sandy terrain contain the largest sand dune ecosystem in the US, making it an almost ethereal and otherworldly location for an engagement session.

    Couple in walking in San Dunes

    Couple walking in the Sand DunesCouple laughing in the desert

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