If you’re planning a surprise proposal in San Diego, first of all, I’d love to photograph it! The thrill of capturing a genuine moment of surprise and joy, helping to find a location that matches your vision, and then getting to spend a few minutes afterwards with you taking photos of your first moments as an engaged couple – nothing matches it. I cry basically every time. It can be stressful though planning this extensive of a surprise. If you are one of my local San Diego couples, you have quite a few advantages such as visiting the location ahead of time or choosing one you already have a personal connection with, tapping into your local support system, and knowing and communicating exactly where you want to get down on one knee. If you are planning to propose on a trip to San Diego though, and aren’t quite sure where you should ask the question, I’ve compiled a list of favorite locations below. This list is not at all exhaustive, and there are quite a few other locations nearby but here’s why I’ve picked these.

  • Beauty – These are classically beautiful San Diego locations. If you’ve chosen San Diego as your destination for surf and skyline, these locations deliver on both.
  • Location – These spots are relatively central to San Diego lodging for the commute there and restaurants for dinner plans afterwards. They are popular enough spots to easily fit into a normal travel itinerary but large enough to allow for some privacy when you are proposing.
  • Accessibility – Within the locations listed, there isn’t a major hike needed to get to beautiful views. There are good meeting places that allow me to find you and trail you to the place where you’re planning to ask the question, and there is lots of variety in these locations for you to take photos after. I do recommend secretly packing some flats if your partner is wearing a pair of heels for comfort and safety between photos.

Sunset Cliffs, San Diego

Right down the street from Point Loma, Ocean Beach, and Liberty Station is one of my favorite places to explore, watch the surfers and sunset, and take a picnic. It’s also a gorgeous place to propose. If your dream is to propose over the arch, you will need to make a reservation, but that isn’t the only beautiful spot in Sunset Cliffs. Just to note, if you are looking to get your toes in the sand, let’s chat about the tides. This spot offers stunning cliff views, and if the tides are right, a narrow and steep path to the sand or stairs to some beautiful tide pools, but you aren’t guaranteed to get in the water if that’s your dream. For a that magical hour or so after you propose, the ocean provides an incredible background, and there are quite a few paths that take you to semi private cliffs overlooking the water, or you can book a private home above the cliffs to celebrate with champagne and close friends and family.

Sunset Cliffs San Diego Proposal Location Ideas from a portrait photographer

Windandsea Beach, La Jolla

If you are looking for a beachside proposal backdrop, but are more interested in getting your toes in the sand and splashing in the ocean, Windandsea might be the perfect location for you. With easy access and a surprising amount of coastline dotted with coves, this beach can offer privacy but allow a photographer to be present without ruining the surprise. Plus easy access to La Jolla means a variety of dinner options are available if you are planning a sunset proposal.

Sunset Cliffs San Diego Proposal Location Ideas from a portrait photographer

Some images were created on behalf of Astray Photography

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