7 Movies Filmed in San Diego

    Just over 100 miles from Hollywood, San Diego has been home to many movies that were filmed on our beautiful beaches and in unique locations. Who knew San Diego had such a high presence in movies? Go re-watch the following movies to find out if you can recognize any familiar San Diego spots, or go take a tour of San Diego to see the spots in person.

    Bring It On (2000)

    bring it on filmed in San Diego

    bring it on filmed in san diego
    Bring it On at SDSU











    One of every 90s girls’ favorite movies about cheerleading, Bring it On features several San Diego locations. Starring Kirsten Dunst, Gabrielle Union, and Eliza Dushku, Bring It On follows a San Diego high school cheerleading squad through tournaments and championships. The high school Rancho Carne High School was filmed at San Diego State’s campus. The front of the school in the movie features SDSU’s Hepner Hall. They also filmed at Academy of Our Lady of Peace, The Marlin Club, and Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn. The last scenes of the movie were filmed at Oceanside Pier where they extended the stage at the Junior Seau Pier Amphitheatre for a cheerleading competition.

    Top Gun (1986)

    Top Gun

    Top Gun filmed in San Diego
    Top Gun at Point Loma Lighthouse










    One of San Diego’s most memorable movies, Top Gun has filming locations all around the county. If this is one of your favorite films, visiting these film sights are a must-do. Starring Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins, and Kelly McGillis, Top Gun follows the story of one of the students at a Navy elite fighter weapons school. Filming locations include Kansas City Barbeque in Downtown San Diego-it actually still looks the same! Also included is the intersection of West Laurel and Union Street in Bankers Hill where Maverick is seen driving. You can also visit the Wave House Athletic Club in Mission Beach to see where the locker room scenes were filmed. Next, visit the Point Loma Lighthouse to see the location used as Viper’s house. Lastly, Top Gun was filmed at Miramar Naval Air Station and the Naval Training Center in San Diego.

    Almost Famous (2000)

    Almost Famous filmed in San Diego

    almost famous in San Diego
    Almost Famous at Ocean Beach Pier










    Oscar-winning Almost Famous follows the story of a high school aged boy who is given the opportunity to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up and coming rock band who he follows on tour. Starring Kate Hudson, Billy Crudup and Patrick Fugit, the film is based in Ocean Beach in order to create a 1970’s beach town. The opening scenes of the movie feature Newport Avenue. Another location in San Diego where they filmed at is San Diego Sports Arena where the main character meets the rock stars for the first time.

    Some Like it Hot (1958)

    some like it hot

    some like it hot filmed in san diego
    Marilyn Monroe in front of Hotel Del Coronado












    Another one of San Diego’s most well-known movies, Some Like it Hot stars Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon and is a comedy about romantic high jinx that take place in the resort they are staying at. Some Like it Hot features Hotel Del Coronado and Coronado Municipal Beach. Hotel Del Coronado has celebrated the movie’s anniversaries, included the most recent 50th anniversary in 2009.

    Anchorman (2004)

    anchorman filmed in San Diego

    Taking place in America’s Finest City, Anchorman surprisingly only features one San Diego location. Most of the film was shot in Long Beach trying to portray San Diego. The film follows a male dominating news broadcast team that is interrupted when a woman is hired to be an anchor. It stars Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Steve Carrell, Vince Vaughn and other notable actors. The only scene that shows real San Diego is the scene where Ron Burgundy is taking a walk through Balboa Park. At least the film let everyone know to Stay Classy, San Diego.

    Freaky Friday (1976)

    freaky Friday


    freaky friday
    Freaky Friday at Mission Bay









    Not to be confused with the Lindsey Lohan remake, the original Freaky Friday stars Jodie Foster and follows a mother and daughter who switch bodies. During the movie, Jodie Foster’s character must compete in a water skiing competition. This was filmed in none other than Mission Bay!

    Traffic (2000)

    traffic filmed in San Diego

    This award-winning movie starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas, and Benicio Del Toro is about cross-border drug trafficking and takes place in San Diego for part of the film. Traffic features many different spots in San Diego including the Rancho Bernardo Inn where the main character Helen enjoys lunch with her friends. Another location included the Hall of Justice in Downtown and the Hotel San Diego across the street, although this hotel is no longer standing. Next up is the Botanical Garden in Balboa Park, and the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina. The film also included a real car explosion that took place downtown and was made possible by coordinating with public safety agencies, the San Diego Trolley, and business owners.

    Want More Information About San Diego?

    San Diego is filled with so many things to do like checking out film locations. There are also a lot of hidden gems, historical spots, beautiful neighborhoods to explore and weekly events to entertain yourself with. Find the right neighborhood for you and talk to one of our San Diego real estate agents at Ascent Real Estate to experience America’s finest city 24/7. Find your dream home today.


    *Information & Images Provided by IMDB

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    2 Responses to “7 Movies Filmed in San Diego”

    • Wendy BUCKLEY

      Written on

      I actually worked at the Marriott when theyfilmed some scenes for Tracfic in the pool. They did it early morning so didnt really have to many guests our. It was fun to watch.

      • Ascent Real Estate

        Written on

        That’s awesome, Wendy! Thanks for sharing 🙂


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