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Most Popular Instagram Spots in San Diego

Visiting San Diego? Don’t miss these popular photo spots.

After spending a year living in San Diego, we’ve instagrammed the city quite a bit on our accounts (estherjulee  +  jacobthefu  +  localadventurer). Now that our time here is coming to a close, we’re realizing more and more how much we’re going to miss this city and its picturesque spots.

The Most Instagrammable Places in San DiegoPin

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Last Updated: February 29, 2023

13 San Deigo INstagram Spots You Can’t Miss

Here are our favorite Instagram spots in town. Let us know if there are any others we should add to the list!

1. Scripps Pier at La Jolla Beach

8650 Kennel Way, La Jolla, CA 92037, map

This iconic San Diego photo gives you an amazing view through the bottom of the pier. It’s a great place to watch the sunset, enjoy the beach, and explore the surrounding La Jolla area.

See More: Ultimate Guide to San Diego Beaches

Scripps Pier + 101 Things to Do in San Diego Bucket List // Local AdventurerPin

2. Salk Institute of Biological Studies

10010 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037, map

The Salk Institute is a functioning research facility that has some of the best architecture in San Diego. Despite the fact that it always looks abandoned or empty in all the photos online, there is a constant stream of workers and tourists walking through especially during the workday.

Salk Institute for Biological Studies (Best Instagram Spots in San Diego) //

3. Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

Ladera St, San Diego, CA 92107, map

This is my favorite place in San Diego. It gives you plenty of vantage points to enjoy the sunset and watch the waves crashing against the cliffs. There’s an arch you can jump off during the summer and a secret (not-so-secret) sea cave/sinkhole (that you can explore at your own risk).

See More: 25 Free Things to Do in San Diego

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park (13 Best Photography Spots in San Diego) //

4. Old Point Loma Lighthouse →

1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr, San Diego, CA 92106, map

Located in Cabrillo National Monument, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse has an iconic spiral staircase that everyone loves to photograph. In Point Loma, you’ll also get a great view of the San Diego skyline over the bay.

See More: Tide pooling at Cabrillo National Monument + Secret Sea Cave

Iconic Photo of the Spiral Staircase Point Loma Lighthouse in San Diego // lo

5. Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (Downtown)

1100 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101, map

This museum has a few different exhibits rotating throughout the year, and they make plenty of appearances on Instagram. These exhibits have already left, but see the ones they have now here.

See More: Ultimate San Diego Bucket List

6. Dr Seuss Tree (La Jolla)

1100 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037, map

Did you know Dr. Seuss lived much of his life in San Diego? There is a tree in La Jolla that people call the Dr. Seuss Tree. It is said to have inspired the Truffula Tree in Lorax. Can you see the resemblance?

Local Tip: There is also a Dr. Seuss art gallery in La Jolla where you can buy originals and prints.

See More: The Abandoned Mushroom House on Blacks Beach San Diego

7. Chicano Park

32.6996515,-117.1447764, map

Chicano Park has a rich history, but the main draw for photographers is the beautiful murals. Each has a story of its own.

chicano park san diegoPin

8. Ho Cho Minh Trail (Saigon Trail) →

32.884992,-117.2533585, map

This hike will take you through unique rock structures, and at the end, you can enjoy the sunset from the beach (a sometimes nude one). Don’t forget to check out the Mushroom House too while you’re there.

See More: How to Hike the Ho Chi Minh Trail


9. The Pond in balboa Park

1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101, map

This is an obvious touristy spot, but it’s beautiful and hard to resist for any photographer. The best times to go are sunrise and sunset.

See More: Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park

The Lily Pond in Balboa Park San Diego // localadventurer.comPin

10. Potato Chip Rock →

33.0092674,-116.9764378, map

We have mixed feelings about this hike, but we can’t deny that it’s a fun photo opp. It’s an optical illusion that you have to see for yourself.

See More: The Truth about the Potato Chip Rock Hike

potato chip rock photosPin

11. Broken Hill (Torrey Pines)

32.9153316,-117.2574292, map

Torrey Pines has some of our favorite day hikes overlooking the ocean.

See More: The Stunning Torrey Pines Hike in La Jolla

12. Any of San Diego’s Beaches

You can always find beautiful photos to share from the beaches of San Diego. The photo below is actually a rare occurrence in Coronado where you can see a sunken ship at low tide.

See More: Where to Find the Sunken Ship in San Diego

13. Pigment (North Park)

3801 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104, map

This is a store in North Park that looks like it’s made for instagram. If you visit, you’ll see what I’m talking about. Don’t forget to pick up some of my favorite postcards designed by our friend, Katie Hart at Odd Daughter Co. I also loved making a terrarium while I was there.

Local Tip: You can easily get around the Grand Canyon Village with the free shuttle bus.

See More: Best Things to Do in North Park Neighborhood Guide

Pigment in North Park San Diego is the cutest store that's practically like you're walking into an instagram photo //

Bonus: The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch (Spring Only) →

5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008, map

If you’re in San Diego during spring, you should check out these flower fields. There are plenty of photo ops!

See More: Beautiful California Flower Fields You Must Visit This Spring

Map of San Diego Instagram Spots

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Did we miss any cool Instagram spots in San Diego? What are some favorite Instagram spots where you live?

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Esther and JacobPin

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

Follow on Instagram (E + J), YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest.