If you are planning on eloping, you’re lucky to be in San Diego! For one thing, there are so many stunning and amazing San Diego elopement locations around town. This includes everything from well-known favorites to remote hideaways. In fact, there is something for every couple. In this guide, let’s highlight a few of our most popular and time-tested elopement locations.
- Balboa Park
- Sunset Cliffs
- Presidio Park
- San Dieguito County Park
- Torrey Pines State Preserve
- Windansea Beach
- Waterfront Park
- Seagrove Park
- Coronado & South Beach
- Bayview Park
- Silver Strand State Beach
- Dos Picos
- Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens
Balboa Park is a favorite amongst visitors and locals alike. It’s a color explosion! In fact, there are hundreds of different types of flowers around the grounds. Additionally, it is full of culture, history, and super cool architecture! Amazingly, many of the buildings are over 100 years old. As such, the park itself is one of the oldest in the US dedicated for public use.
Where to Hold Your Balboa Park Elopement
Fortunately, you can have your wedding in many areas around the grounds. For example, the Casa del Prado Courtyard is tucked behind the theatre. Because of this, it is cocooned from a lot of the hustle & bustle by buildings and gorgeous arches. From there, the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden is a short walk across the street. In this garden, 130+ varieties of roses bloom in March-December, and are a riot in every color imaginable.
Right next to the Rose Garden is a fun Desert Garden. This is complete with rustic trails and prickly plants. More toward the center of the park there is the lovely Alcazar Garden. Tucked away and lined with arches, Alcazar offers a more traditional, landscaped garden feel. And finally, there is the Spanish Art Village! This is a quaint corner of the park that is lined with multi-colored art galleries and shops. There is also a sunny courtyard paved in colorful stones.
As you can imagine, we could photograph in this park for days! We haven’t even talked about other highlights! For example, Spreckels Organ, the Japanese Friendship Garden, or the iconic Museum of Man Tower 😉 So many choices!
More Balboa Park Elopement Details
To hold an event at Balboa Park, you must have a permit. You can obtain one through the San Diego Park and Recreation Permit Center. The fee is $177.16 for four hours. You are allowed to have an arch and up to 50 chairs, as well as a battery operated sound system. There are several public parking lots, and the park is a short Uber/Lyft ride from downtown.
Balboa Park Elopement Photos
Here are photos from recent Balboa Park elopement events by our amazing elopement vendor team.
Sunset Cliffs, as the name suggests, is the place to be when the sun goes down. A local favorite, Sunset Cliffs is situated in the Ocean Beach neighborhood of San Diego. During the day, people walk along the cliff top and adventurers hike down to the beach below. Also, you will see surfers present year-round. The streets leading to the cliffs are lined with beautiful homes and lush landscaping.
Nearby, OB has a relaxed vibe and is filled with eclectic shops, bars, and restaurants. It is quintessential West Coast style. Most likely, you’ll come across more than one vintage VW bus!
Where to Hold Your Sunset Cliffs Elopement
For unparalleled views of the Pacific Ocean, consider a wedding along the cliffs. This will enable you to center your day around the water. Because of this, you will have rocks, sand, wildflowers, and nearby neighborhood architecture within reach. This means plenty of options for pictures. Although you are allowed to have ceremony music, we think it’s not necessary. Our opinion, but the seagulls, breeze, and ocean below make a pretty sweet sound backdrop to your vows 😉
Sunset Cliffs Elopement Details
You are required to have a permit to get married at Sunset Cliffs. This is obtainable through the San Diego Park and Recreation Permit Center. The fee is $177.16 for four hours. You can also have an arch and up to 50 chairs, as well as a battery operated sound system.
Sunset Cliffs Elopement Photos
Here are images from recent Sunset Cliffs elopements by our exceptional elopement team.
If you and your sweetie think about tacos as much as you do your big day, then Presidio Park just might be the perfect location for you 😉 Old Town, home to some of the best Mexican restaurants in San Diego, is another local favorite. It is at the foot of the hill that this 40 acre park encompasses. For a bit of history, Presidio Park was first settled in 1769, with the Serra Museum and the park built in 1925. With a birds eye view, you can see south to downtown, and west out to the Pacific.
Where To Hold Your Presidio Park Elopement
The museum itself is simple, with pretty white arches and brick steps leading up to it. It is surrounded by rolling lawns with mature trees and a multitude of flowering bushes. With this setting, it is an ideal spot for the elopement ceremony. Afterwards, when the nuptials have completed, it’s a great area for pictures. Or, if preferred, Old Town is a quick trip down the hill. As mentioned, this is a really fun place for additional photos and video. The entire place is pituresque and fun. For example, there are: historic buildings, Mexican shops, colorful restaurants with dangling pinatas, and a bustling center. All together, it adds to the warm celebratory vibe of the day.
Presidio Park Elopement Details
To get married at Presidio Park, you can obtain a four hour permit for $177.16 through the San Diego Park and Recreation Permit Center. Additionally, a small arch and chairs are permitted on site. If you want to play music, sound should be battery operated only.
Presidio Park Elopement Photos
Here are image examples from recent Presidio Park elopement weddings by our all-star elopement team.
San Dieguito County Park
The San Dieguito County park is located a few minutes east of the coast and tucked between Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Rancho Santa Fe. San Dieguito is a beautiful option for those looking for more “green” in their special day. Enter the Lower Park on El Camino Real for 125 acres of manicured lawns, a pond with a fountain, and trails with workout stations.
Where To Hold Your San Dieguito County Park Elopement
For ceremonies, the lawns can be used on a first come, first serve basis. Especially on weekends, this hidden gem is a popular place amongst locals for picnics and birthday parties. For a nice variety, there are five main areas. The ranger recommends reserving the area closest to the lawn that you like, in order to, as she put it “not have a 6 year old’s birthday party” next to where you’re getting married. 😉 During the week, it’s a fairly peaceful area, especially early to mid-day. Because of this, it winds up being a perfect shady option for your elopement.
Once the “I do’s” have been exchanged, on a lawn or at the wrought iron gazebo, there is plenty of space to roam for photo ops! As one option, the pond near the entrance often has ducks paddling around in it. Also, the trails that wind throughout the park are sprinkled with wild flowers. Further, the tall trees and lush grass give the feeling of being in your own world, just you and your favorite person/people.
San Dieguito County Park Elopement Details
Fees range from $105 – $175 for the lawn reservations (depending on which area) and $425 for the gazebo. This covers all day. As well, chairs and an arch are allowed, just no driving on the grass. As far as parking, Ample parking is available on a first come, first serve basis.
San Dieguito County Park Elopement Photos
Here are a few photos from beautiful San Dieguito County Park wedding elopements by our exceptional elopement team.
Torrey Pines State Preserve
For the adventure-minded couple, the Torrey Pines State Reserve location definitely hits the mark. For starters, it is perched atop a cliff! Also, it has views that stretch west out over the Pacific Ocean and across the canyons to the east. As a whole, Torrey Pines is a well loved 2000 acre nature preserve just north of La Jolla. Up top, there are multiple hiking trails that are enjoyed 365 days a year by people who sometimes drive for miles to visit. Below, the beach is wide and picturesque along the cliffs. Immediately south, you can see the world renowned Torrey Pines Golf Course, home of the PGA Farmers Open. And all around, you can enjoy the salty air and the beautiful open skies typical of Southern California.
Where To Hold Your Torrey Pines State Preserve Elopement
There are multiple spots for weddings in Torrey Pines. For example, North Overlook, South Overlook, and High Point are all a good 15-20 minute walk from the parking areas. As such, these locations are best for couples looking for an intimate ceremony amongst nature. For added amenities, such as chairs and an arch, then the West Overlook or Torrey Circle would be a better option. (These two are also closer to parking, and allow for larger groups.)
No matter which site you choose, you are surrounded by stunning landscape and trails with breathtaking views. Also, the beach is just a hike (or very short drive) away. No matter what, you will have aretty wedding photo location, guaranteed 😉
Between La Jolla to the south and Del Mar just north of the preserve, there are countless options for dining to celebrate the day! Just ask, and we are more than happy to give recommendations for restaurants or nearby hotels.
Torrey Pines State Preserve Elopement Details
Permits are $100, and then site fees range from $275-$375 for smaller weddings. A peace officer monitor is also required and must be booked for a minimum of four hours at $79 per hour.
Additional entry fees per car are $12-25, based on current demand.
Torrey Pines State Preserve Elopement Photos
Here are select examples from breathtaking Torrey Pines State Preserve wedding event elopements from our professional elopement team.
Located just south of La Jolla Cove and the Tide Pools, Windansea Beach is tucked away in a neighborhood and stretches for several blocks. There are a couple of white staircases that lead down rocky cliffs covered in “ice plant” – shimmery green succulents that often have purple or yellow flower blooms. Be sure to check the tide when you’re planning your big day- high tides often cover the beach!
Where To Hold Your Windansea Beach Elopement
The north end on the rocks is accessible, and will just require a bit of an adventurous spirit. This is because the rocks, while super cool, can be tricky when they are wet. Lower tide provides a wide stretch of sand for walking – and marrying! – on. The famous Windansea Surf Shack, a thatched hut that was originally constructed in 1946 by a local surf gang, adds a bit of whimsy and is a great photo prop.
The streets around Windansea are lined with palm trees, beautiful gardens, and can provide great backdrops for photos. There is definitely no shortage of variety for pictures! From the beach you are steps (or a short drive) to the center of La Jolla. Countless restaurants and bars, quaint hotels, and plenty of shopping are all close by.
You can also take a surfing lesson, or book a kayak tour of The Cove! This is a great way to get up close and personal with the real locals- the California Sea Lions and Pacific Harbor Seals that hang out on the rocks there year round. They’re adorable, just don’t get too close. They prefer to practice social distancing all the time. 😉
Windansea Beach Elopement Details
Permits are $177.66 for a four hour time block, and are obtainable through the City Of San Diego. An arch and chairs are allowed. Sound must be battery operated.
Windansea Beach Elopement Photos
Here are favorite examples from charming Windansea Beach elopements from our incredible elopement team.
Waterfront Park has it all- cool urban buildings, a colorful art sculpture in the sunny garden, trees and shade, grassy lawns, water fountains, even a playground for the young at heart! It’s right downtown at the Deco style County Administration Center, and also (as the park name suggests) is right across the street from San Diego Bay. The photogenic Star of India especially is a great backdrop for nautical photos, and the historic USS Midway Museum is a short walk away. Plenty of variety for photos!
Where To Hold Your Waterfront Park Elopement
With the courthouse onsite, the simplest place to have the ceremony itself is within the courthouse building. Or, you can arrange for another location nearby. And after the ceremony, why not make a day of it? You have countless opportunities for hotels, dining, and entertainment close by. Petco Park, home of the Padres, is less than two miles away. Or for something a little different, jump on the ferry for a quick ride over to Coronado! Excellent restaurants at the ferry landing there offer a sparkling view of the San Diego skyline. It’s a great place to cap off your special day watching the sunset.
Waterfront Park Elopement Details
The total cost for a ceremony is $70 – $150 for the marriage license, and $80 for a civil marriage ceremony. Ferry tickets to Coronado are $4.25 each way. Padres tickets vary, and there are usually plenty of budget conscious options 😉
Waterfront Park Elopement Photos
Here are a selection of examples from romantic Waterfront Park elopements from our tight-knit elopement team.
Seagrove Park / Powerhouse Park and Beach
Interested in a beach atmosphere and views, but prefer to stay on the grass? Or just want to have the option for both? Seagrove and Powerhouse Park are located next to each other in Del Mar, about 25 minutes north of downtown San Diego. Del Mar is a relaxed seaside town lined with shops and restaurants, and these parks are simple, with palm trees and the ocean providing the ambiance. Seagrove offers a bit more in the way of trees and shade, and both parks have easy beach access.
Local tips: If your ring bearer or flower girl has four paws and barks, make sure to check out Del Mar Dog Beach, just a mile to the north 😉 At low tide, the walk along the cliff there is fantastic. Then to cap the day off with amazing seafood, Jake’s Del Mar and The Poseidon (one of our favorites!) are right next door to Powerhouse Park with amazing views out over the waves.
Seagrove Park Elopement Details
Permits are not required for events with less than 25 people. Chairs and a temporary arch are allowed, along with battery operated music.
Seagrove Park Elopement Photos
Here are highlight images from intimate Seagrove Park wedding elopements produced by our in-demand elopement team.
Coronado & South Beach
Half of Coronado is US Navy base, and the other half is beaches, boutique shops, theatres, and award winning restaurants. The famous Hotel Del Coronado is a treat that is highly recommended and is great to explore. There you’ll find more shops and great restaurants, drinks overlooking the beautifully maintained beach, mermaid classes in the summer, and even an ice skating rink on the lawn in December! Miguel’s Cocina across the street is fun for Mexican food, and Hotel Marisol is a sweet little boutique hotel down the street in a nearly century old building.
South Beach is located next to “the Del” and offers a wide stretch of sand perfect for your ceremony. See those islands out in the water to the left? That’s Mexico 😉 To the right you can see the coast for miles as it curves out into the ocean. And if you happen to be there during low tide, keep a close eye out for the shipwreck of the SS Monte Carlo. This 300′ long concrete ship used to be a floating casino, and was blown onto South Beach during a storm in 1937. The tides gradually covered the wreckage in sand and now only tips of it can be seen when the water is extremely low.
Coronado & South Beach Elopement Details
Street parking and free public parking lots are available. A concrete sidewalk runs the length of the beach, with stairs down to the sand at several points. A permit is required from the Coronado Parks and Recreation Department for more than 25 guests. Sound must be battery operated.
Coronado & South Beach Elopement Photos
Here are picturesque photographs from customized Seagrove Park elopement weddings created by our popular elopement team.
Just a few blocks north of the better known Centennial Park located at the Coronado Ferry landing, Bayview Park is snugly tucked between two large houses. With towering trees, it offers a more intimate setting for your ceremony, with the spectacular view of the San Diego skyline. The streets around are worth a stroll for pictures as well, with quaint houses and lush gardens full of flowers and fruit trees that somehow always seem to be in bloom. The Ferry Landing nearby is fun for photos and continuing the celebration. Afterword, local favorites to celebrate at are Il Fornaio for great wine and Italian food, and Peohe’s for sushi and tropical drinks 😉
Bayview Park Elopement Details
Parallel parking on the street is typically close by.
Bayview Park Elopement Photos
Here is a mini photo selection from Bayview Park elopement clients who hired our best-in-industry elopement team.
Silver Strand State Beach
Just south of San Diego, “The Strand” connects Coronado and Imperial Beach. Silver Strand State Beach stretches for 2.5 miles on the ocean side, and is often a quieter option for people looking to avoid the crowds. Camping is available on a first come, first serve basis, and several large parking lots make the beach itself easy access. All in all it’s the perfect intimate elopement beach location: just you guys, the gulls, silver shelled sand, and endless ocean.
Silver Strand State Beach Elopement Details:
$100 permit fee, $125 site fee. Set up, decor, and activity plans must be fully disclosed, pre-approved, and included in the permit. Liability insurance naming California as an additional insured is required. Additional parking fees: $10-20/vehicle, $50 for a 10-24 passenger bus.
Silver Strand State Beach Elopement Photos
Here is a small photo selection taken from Silver Stand State Beach elopement events created by our top elopement team.
Dos Picos County Park
Dos Picos means “Two Peaks” in Spanish, and is named after two mountains nearby. This park is located about 45 minutes from downtown San Diego in Ramona, and is truly for the nature inspired couple! It is filled with ancient oak trees, and features beautiful campsites, rustic cabins, and plenty of picnic tables. Hiking trails wind through the valley sheltered between the two mountains that the park is named after.
There are many hidden nooks if a very intimate elopement is what you’re after. For a bit more structure (and perhaps a few, or many, guests!) there is a wedding venue on the grounds as well. The lawn overlooks a small pond, has a beautiful gazebo, and a covered stage nearby with two large barbecues.
Dos Picos County Park Elopement Details
Entry is $3 per vehicle. Cost range is $2 – $600 depending on the site required and amount of people. Photography/Videography permits are not required 🙂
Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens
Stone Brewery was founded in 1996 and is the largest brewery in Southern California. A brewery may sound questionable for an elopement, but the garden area at their Escondido location is pretty darn cool! Shady trees, bamboo lined paths, and twinkling market lights bring ambiance to the party. Liberty Station has a fun atmosphere as well, and is on the site of the former Naval Training Center San Diego. Grass lawns, rose-colored arches, and water views surround Stone here.
Once you’re hitched and have wandered around a bit for photos, be sure to do the tour of the brewery operations if you’re at the Escondido location. Then settle in for some pints, tasty beer inspired food, and good times!
Planning Your San Diego Elopement
Our expert team of elopement professionals has decades of experience. As such, we are extremely familiar with all the best elopement locations in San Diego. In addition, we know all the best venues and hidden spots. So, if you have a specific question, let us know. Likewise, please contact us if you are considering an elopement location not listed here. We will be happy to help and discuss the specific details of your San Diego elopement.