Travel Guides

The 10 Most Instagrammable Spots in San Diego

11 months ago by matthew

When you think of Instagrammable spots in California the first place that comes to mind likely isn’t San Diego. You’re probably thinking about LA’s Hollywood Sign or the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, but while San Diego may fly under the radar, there are a ton of spots in and around the city that make San Diego one of the most Instagram-worthy stops along the California coast!

Now you’re probably thinking okay, but where are these spots? Well, we’ve got you covered and put together a list of San Diego’s most photogenic locations. From coffee shops to hiking trails and every mural in between, this list has got something for every traveller’s #aesthetic!


 IG // @communalcoffee IG // @communalcoffee

1. Communal Coffee

2335 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104 / www.communalcoffee.com

Communal Coffee is one of the most aesthetically pleasing coffee shops around. From their white tiled walls to their swing chair and iconic “Coffee + Flowers” mural, Communal Coffee is the place to be if you’re looking for the most photogenic cappuccinos in town.

Communal Coffee was designed as a space that focussed on selling quality coffee in a well-designed space and that is definitely how you feel when entering Communal Coffee. Whether its for the ‘gram or for a caffeine fix we definitely recommend checking them out!


 IG // @hwang_36 IG // @hwang_36

2. Potato Chip Rock

14644 Lake Poway Rd, Poway, CA

Potato Chip Rock is an iconic hiking destination when visiting San Diego. The thin strip of rock can make for some pretty hilarious photos, especially when rotated, and the shots you’ll grab balancing on the sliver above the rolling landscape of San Diego are unbeatable.

We recommend getting their early in the day, as the tourists stopping by to get their own snaps get more and more plentiful as the day goes on. There’s also two different routes to get to the rock so if you’re up for a challenge you can take the more advanced route but we suggest the easier route if you’re looking for a less strenuous hike or are hiking with children!


 IG // @shawnaleeann IG // @shawnaleeann

3. “Favorite Color” Mural

7596 Eads Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037

“The Favorite Color” Mural in La Jolla has become something of a San Diego icon since it was created by artist Roy McMakin in 2010. The bright and playful mural is the perfect spot to grab a snap with friends or document your vacation outfit of the day!

Each tile on this mural was made after asking an individual what their favourite colour was. After giving an answer McMakin added their favourite to the wall, making this a true living reflection of the favorite colours of San Diego! The mural is definitely a must see (and must photograph) when visiting the San Diego area!


 IG // @the_flower_fields IG // @the_flower_fields

4. Carlsbad Flower Fields

5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008 – www.theflowerfields.com

This is a bit of a seasonal stop on our Instagram tour through San Diego but a list of photo spots certainly wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Carlsbad Flower Fields. Located on the Carlsbad Ranch in Carlsbad, California just outside of San Diego, the flower fields are open for visitors from March 1st to May 10th every year, weather permitting!

With nearly 200, 000 visitors coming to the fields annually its definitely not something you’ll want to miss if you’re visiting the area during the time of year the fields are open! Its considered one of the most incredible places to see wildflowers in Southern California and its nearly fifty acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers are the exact burst of colours your eyes (and camera lens) needs.


 IG // @graceelizwilson IG // @graceelizwilson

5. Balboa Park

1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101 – www.balboapark.org

Balboa Park was originally named “City Park” but was renamed in honour of the Spanish explorer of the same name and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977. Whether its the lush greens of the park grounds, the architecture spanning from mid-century Modern buildings to Spanish Colonial Revival structures, Balboa Park is inarguably the most photogenic park in the city.

The park is also home to the world famous San Diego zoo a must see for any visitor coming to the San Diego area and a prime location to grab some truly wild Instagram pics (pun intended).


 IG // @holymatchaa IG // @holymatchaa

6. Holy Matcha

3118 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104 – www.holymatchasd.com

Whether its the pastel pink decor, the floral adornment on their drinks or the delicious matcha lattes, Holy Matcha is definitely one of the spots you can’t miss when visiting San Diego.

If you’re not big on coffee but live for the trendy cafe vibe than Holy Matcha is absolutely the place you (and your Instagram feed) need. Their palm leaf wallpaper is the ultimate backdrop to capture your trendy vacation #aesthetic and its one of our favorite spots in San Diego!


 IG // @melissa_nguyen IG // @melissa_nguyen

7. Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

Ladera St, San Diego, CA 92107 – www.sandiego.gov/park-and-recreation/parks/regional/shoreline/sunset

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is the perfect locale to capture some beachside snaps when visiting the San Diego area! The park features 68 acres stretching along the Pacific Ocean and bordering the edge of Point Loma.

Whether you’re looking for sunset views or a glimpse out of a seaside cave there is something for you to capture at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park and no visit to San Diego would be complete without a stop here. There are multiple points to explore the park so make sure you check out their website to find the area that fits your wanderlust needs (or explore them all, like us!).


 IG // @zachdalquest IG // @zachdalquest

8. “Greetings from San Diego” Mural

4225 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104

Postcard perfect, the “Greetings from San Diego” mural is the one Instagram snap you can’t miss when visiting San Diego! The mural is done up like a classic vintage postcard and features a bunch of different landmarks like Hotel del Coronado, the Sunset Cliffs and the Giant Dipper at Belmont Park!

If you’re road tripping across the states this mural is an especially important edition to your travel bucket list, as its one of 28 similar paintings done across the United States. They’re located all over and you can check out the rest of the locations over at www.greetingstour.com.


 IG // @weriza.co IG // @weriza.co

9. Salk Institute for Biological Studies

10010 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037 – www.salk.edu

Okay we know what you’re thinking, uhm isn’t the Salk Institute a scientific research facility? Why would I want to grab an Insta shot here? Bear with us though because the Salk Institute features some of the most satisfyingly symmetrical architecture around.

The open stretch between the two buildings, divided by a stream of running water is one of the best spots to grab a shot and the minimal look of the all-cement landscape is a dream come true for any urban photographer in San Diego. Make sure you check it out, we promise you won’t be disappointed!


 IG // @jalenewentz IG // @jalenewentz

10. Ho Chi Minh Trail

9883 La Jolla Farms Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037

This is one of our more extreme options on the list but a must mention nonetheless. The Ho Chi Minh Trail is usually only trekked by surfers and more advanced hikers bu the views and carved out trail make it a great spot to grab some awesome landscape snaps.

Be aware though, the trail is only maintained by local surfers and fellow hikers so this trail should be ventured at your own risk. If you’re not feeling like taking the trail back to your starting point, you can hike down towards the south end of the beach and you will eventually reach a road that can take you back up to the beginning of the trail!


While San Diego may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of the most photogenic parts of California, there are definitely some spots that make this city a can’t miss place for anyone looking to grab some incredible photos and Instagram snaps.

Whether its aesthetically pleasing coffee shops, fields of wildflowers or some awesome parks and hiking trails, San Diego has something for Instagrammers of all tastes and interests and we hope this list helps you find the perfect spot for you!

Check any of these spots out for yourself? Make sure to tag us in your posts and use #where2next so we can follow along on your adventures!