Wildside Weekender

CALIFORNIA: San Diego Wildlife Weekender

Jennifer Leigh Warner SoCal - Winter(32)


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2025 :: February 7 - February 10



From: $2,549 (See details)
Cost is per person, double occupancy from San Diego, CA (SAN)


3-5 Participants




This tour is available as a private trip for any size group. The tour cost will vary with the number of people and any custom requests.

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Highlights of CALIFORNIA: San Diego Wildlife Weekender

  • Hands-on photo instruction for wildlife and landscape photography with Nikon Professional Jennifer Leigh Warner
  • Explore the coastal wildlife habitats of Southern California and photograph the native wildlife that winter in this region.
  • Photograph one of California’s only mainland Harbor Seal Rookeries during pupping season.
  • Photograph nesting shorebirds, such as Brandt’s Cormorants, along the California coast.

Description of CALIFORNIA: San Diego Wildlife Weekender

Looking for a warm place to photograph this winter? Southern California has some of the richest biodiversity in the country. With one of the only mainland Harbor Seal and California Sea Lion rookeries in California you will be able to photograph harbor seals giving birth and teaching their new pups how to swim. You will also get a chance to photograph California Sea Lions surfing the waves. San Diego County is one of the best places in the country to photograph marine wildlife, including nesting Cormorants, Brown Pelicans, Osprey and so much more. During this weekender you will photograph some of San Diego’s premier wildlife photography hotspots led by an award winning wildlife photographer who has spent over a decade photographing in this location.

Length of Tour


Brief Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in San Diego

Days 2 Photograph in La Jolla both morning and evening sessions.

Day 3 – Photograph morning in San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, Afternnon in La Jolla and evening at the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier.

Day 4 – One last morning in La Jolla before returning home.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in San Diego and check into hotel.

We will head out to La Jolla Cove for an evening photo session before the sunsets.

Afterwards we will have a welcome dinner.

Days 2 – We will arrive in La Jolla Children’s Pool a beach set aside for pupping Harbor Seals. This is our best chance for photographing a seal birth while we are here. We will photograph pregnant and new born harbor seals both on land and in the water from the safe distance of the sidewalk and seawall viewpoints. This beach is closed in the winter to allow Harbor Seals to give birth and is one of the only areas in the world where you can photograph this in the wild.

Before heading into town for lunch we will walk along the coast to photograph surfing California Sea Lions and nesting Brandt’s Cormorants.

In the afternoon we will make our way back along the coast looking for Brown Pelicans, Black Oystercatchers, Hummingbirds, Osprey and California Ground Squirrels.

Day 3 – We will start our day at the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. Habitats includes southern California coastal sage scrub, riparian and coastal wetland communities and is a critical migrating waterfowl habitat and nesting sites for sensitive bird species including the endangered Ridgeway.

After lunch we will head back to La Jolla to photograph more of the marine mammals and shorebirds before wrapping up at the Scripps Memorial Pier, a popular place for seascape photography.

Day 4 – Before returning home we will have one more chance to photograph the pupping Harbor Seals in La Jolla.

After our morning session we will head back to the San Diego airport for afternoon departures.


Cost is $2,549 per person, based upon double occupancy, from San Diego, CA (Airport code SAN.
This trip ends in same as arrival city (Airport code ).


Meals are not included in the price of this tour


Single Supplement

If a single hotel room is preferred, or we are unable to find a suitable roommate for you, a single supplement fee of $450 will be assessed.

NOTE: For boat-based tours, see pricing options for single cabins. Single cabin cost includes the single hotel cost above.


Minimum Number

If fewer than the minimum number of required participants are registered, we may still be able to run the trip by adding a small-group supplement fee, per person, determined by the number of participants registered.


Deposit Requirements

A $500 deposit per person is required to hold each space on this tour. Deposit may be made online by clicking the "Book Your Trip Now" button and using any credit card. If you prefer, you may call us at 888-875-9453 to pay by phone. You may also mail us a check, however, remember that all space is held on a first come-first served basis as deposits are received.

How to Book

In order to hold your space, click the "Book Your Trip Now" button above and complete the deposit process, including payment of the deposit through our Paypal portal using ANY CREDIT CARD. Upon completion of deposit, please visit our secure, online CLIENT INFORMATION FORM to complete your registration.

Final Payment

For all land-based tours: full payment by check is due 120 days prior to the departure date.

For all boat-based adventure cruises of 7-days or longer: full payment by check is required 180 days prior to departure.

NOTE: If you prefer to use credit card for final payment, a 3% fee may be added to cover the credit card merchant fees we incur.

This trip includes standard hotels.

Activity Level Rating: (Note: 1 is easy and 5 is difficult)

Photography will be on even ground and no challenging hikes.

You want to have a good selection of lenses with you on this trip.

  • Telephoto lens – 400 mm or larger for wildlife (I use the Nikon 200-500 mm)
  • A wide-angle lens for environmental and landscape images
  • A tripod will be a must for photographing sunrise or sunset
  • The weather along the coast can get quiet chilly in the winter. Make sure you are bringing a coat, hat and gloves.
  • Waterproof hiking boots. We will be hiking along the beach and your feet can get very wet.

Purchasing Flights

Do not purchase your flights until the trip has been confirmed to go.

Detailed Trip Information

Upon notification that final payment is due (120 days prior to departure for land based tours / 180 days for boat based tours), you will receive a trip package of detailed information for your tour.

Any additional information about the trip, including lodgings, contacts, participants, meeting locations, etc., will sent about 2 weeks prior to the trip departure, or after final payment is received for late registrants.

Travel Insurance

As with all tours, we recommend purchasing Travel Insurance to help cover your investment, for covered reasons. Please see our section on Travel Insurance.

Passport & Visa

US Citizens may require a visa to enter certain foreign countries. See above for any required visa information.

Participants arriving to the USA from a foreign country may need to get a travel visa to enter the United States. Be sure to check the requirements for your country of origin.

Itinerary Changes

The trip itinerary is developed many months ahead of time. Occasionally, despite our best planning, changes may occur during the trip, or we may be forced to alter our plans. Changes may occur because of weather, road conditions, safety concerns or other circumstances. In these situations, it is the leader(s) responsibility to carefully consider and implement appropriate alternatives. Any additional costs incurred because of changes will be the responsibility of each individual participant. Refunds will not be issued as a result of itinerary changes.

Location Map