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June 01

a long bridge over water

California is home to the Entertainment Capital of the World, but Los Angeles and Hollywood aren’t the only places known for their film history. On your next stay at InterContinental San Diego, discover some well-known spots where movies have been filmed in San Diego. Spend a day exploring the city and seeing how many places you can recognize.

A Checklist of 5 Filming Locations in San Diego

Some of the most recognizable landmarks in the San Diego area have served as the backdrop of popular films. 

  • One of the most popular movies filmed in town is Citizen Kane. The opening newsreel montage features Balboa Park.
  • Hotel del Coronado is another iconic landmark featured in a blockbuster film. This seaside resort is where Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemon, and Tony Curtis cause trouble while avoiding the mob in Some Like It Hot.
  • The shores of Mission Bay made an appearance in Freaky Friday, the 1976 version with Jodi Foster. It was while out waterskiing on the water that the mother and daughter switched back.
  • In the opening scene of Almost Famous, you can see Newport Avenue and Ocean Beach’s iconic pier. This movie also utilized the San Diego Sports Arena for the opening concert venue’s exterior shot. 
  • A majority of Top Gun was filmed in San Diego and the surrounding area. This includes the infamous piano bar scene, which was shot at Kansas City Barbeque

Make InterContinental San Diego Your Home Base

Found along the downtown waterfront, InterContinental San Diego is surrounded by adventure. From seeing where movies were filmed in San Diego to hiking a breathtaking trail, there’s no shortage of things to do and see. Whether visiting for a week or weekend, you’ll never have to worry about running out of things to do.

Start planning your next visit by browsing our range of accommodations. Our luxury hotel in San Diego features rooms perfect for everyone, from solo travelers to families. All of our rooms come with turndown service, a welcome amenity, flat-screen TVs, marble bathrooms, and more. Before reserving your top choice, take a look at our special offers and promotions for ways to save on your stay. To learn more, call 619-501-9400.

a man holding a surfboard in the water

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a plate of oysters with lemon wedges and a spoon

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a white fence with black text

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a man and woman driving a car

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a woman sitting on a rock looking at the sunset

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a woman riding a bicycle

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a person holding a glass of beer

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a man and woman holding wine glasses

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a man and woman on bicycles on a beach

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a baseball stadium with palm trees

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a person holding chopsticks with sushi

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a woman lying down on a massage table

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a path with flowers and a sign in the background

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a starry sky over a desert

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a street sign with a neon sign over it

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a group of people with their hands up

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a group of people riding a scooter

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a group of people at a coffee shop

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a woman climbing a rock wall

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a man and woman looking through binoculars

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a person holding a glass of alcohol

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a person holding a spoon over food

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a group of people holding champagne glasses

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a man and a woman holding shopping bags

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a person standing in front of a large crowd of people

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a few women eating at a restaurant

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a group of icebergs in the water

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a family walking on the beach

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a group of people performing on a stage

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a couple kissing a giraffe

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a person looking at art on a wall

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a group of people riding horses

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a group of people eating tacos

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a woman holding a bag

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a person holding a fish

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a flock of birds flying over water

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a person looking out a window at a large red and white balloon

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a man and woman on a boat

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a sailboat in the water with a city in the background

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a man holding a camera in front of a crowd of people

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a group of people playing golf

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a couple of men talking

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a man and woman on bicycles on a beach

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a man painting a wall

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a man and a woman at a market

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a white building with a cross on top with Mission San Diego de Alcalá in the background

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a group of people on a stage

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a woman and a child at a table with jars of food

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a group of people on a roller coaster

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a red train on the tracks

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

a city skyline with a body of water in the foreground

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

An island with clear blue water

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

A couple wearing sunglasses looking at a map

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

A big naval war ship at a dock

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

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Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

the gaslamp quarter in san diego california

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

tide pool animals9

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

balboa park natural history museum

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

woman lacing up her ice skates

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

christmas boat parade

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

san diego balboa park botanical building

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

sea horse

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

couple at red carpet award show

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

broken hill at torrey pines

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

mother and son splashing in waves

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

colorful abstract painting

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

la jolla beach cove

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

san francisco trolley

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

ranunculus flowers

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

whale breeching the water

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

balboa park san diego

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

sunset in torrey pines

Action! | A Guide to Movies Filmed in San Diego

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