Most Popular Instagram Spots in San Diego

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.

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Last Updated: June 26, 2020

13 San Diego Instagram Spots You Can't Miss

If you’re headed here, we put together a list of the popular San Diego instagram spots plus a few of our more off the beaten path favorites.

1. Scripps Pier at La Jolla Beach

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.

2. Salk Institute of Biological Studies

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.

3. Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

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).

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.

5. Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (Downtown)

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.

6. Dr Seuss Tree (La Jolla)

Did you know Dr Seuss lived much of his life in San Diego? There is 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?

7. Chicano Park

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

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.

9. The Pond in Balboa Park

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.

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

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

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.

13. Pigment (North Park)

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.

Map of San Diego Instagram Spots

Best Places to Stay

All accommodations listed below have Tripadvisor’s Certificate of Excellence and at least 4 stars on both Yelp and Tripadvisor.

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

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Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both 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.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Don’t forget about Old Town San Diego! Nice photo ops, food, snacks, music, museums and history of the area

    1. Oh yea! We need to explore that area more.

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