25+ Instagrammable Places in San Diego

Awesome Instagrammable Places in San Diego California

With stunning beaches, incredible weather, beautiful architecture, and one-of-a-kind sunsets, photographing San Diego is pretty easy! In this San Diego California guide, I will cover the 25+ Instagrammable places in San Diego you won’t want to miss!

These photo spots include beautiful beaches, a hidden swing, flower fields, cute cafes, and more!

Planning your San Diego itinerary? Check out my detailed 3 days San Diego guide! It includes where to stay in San Diego, eat, and more!

Balboa Park Cactus Garden
San Diego Cactus Garden – Instagrammable Places in Balboa Park

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1. Greetings from San Diego Mural – Most Instagrammable Mural in San Diego

Easily one of the most Instagrammable places in San Diego has to be at the Greetings San Diego Mural! This colorful mural is actually located right off the main road, but the mural is too cute not to visit. Plus, this mural is just so welcoming, how can you not grab a selfie with it?

The road in front of the mural is an active driveway, although only one car came during our time here. Just be careful of cars. Additionally, right next door is Belching Beaver, a popular San Diego Brewery.

Address: 4225 30th St San Diego – on the Belching Beaver Brewery wall.

welcome to san diego mural

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2. Sunset Cliffs

When the name is Sunset Cliffs, you know it has to be a pretty epic San Diego photo spot! San Diego has an incredible cliffside overlooking the beach below. This also makes for a great spot to watch the sunset and, of course, get awesome Instagrammable photos! 

I would recommend arriving at Sunset Cliffs at least a half-hour before the sun is scheduled to set. This is because this Instagram location can be quite busy and finding parking on the streets can be difficult. By arriving 30 minutes earlier, you will have enough time to find suitable parking and get set up. 

Additionally, it makes watching the sunset so much more enjoyable after getting your photos. The Sunset Cliff area covers a nice portion of the coastline. I’ve put the coordinates of the location we took our photos from. 

San Diego insider tip: Make sure to bring a light jacket with you – especially in Spring, Fall, and Winter months. The cliff area is super windy and can get pretty cold.

Address: 900-, 998 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, San Diego, CA 92107

Sunset cliffs in San Diego

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3. Coronado Island – Hotel Del Coronado

One of the most popular areas to hang out in San Diego is Coronado Island. Although not technically an island, it is known for pretty San Diego photo spots, great food, mansions, and a nice beach! 

In terms of finding the most Instagrammable places on Coronado Island, you have a pick from of beach photos, near the small sand dunes on the beach, and with the famous Hotel Del Coronado in the background.

The best starting point will be the Hotel Del Coronado. From there, you can find other fun Instagram angles. 

You can get to Coronado Island by ferry and by car. The ferry takes about 15 minutes and costs $7 USD a person. 

If you are visiting San Diego, I would definitely recommend renting a car!

Address: 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118

View of Hotel del Coronado across the beach
Overlooking beach from the sidewalk at Coronado Island with palm trees to the right
Coronado Island

4. Balboa Park Spanish Village Art Center

Looking for a colorful spot to brighten up your Instagram feed? Then you will definitely want to head over to the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park! You can find free parking right next to the village too! This fun area has a colorful brick-like center with blues, yellows, and oranges. 

The town area also has old charm San Diego vibes with really cute storefronts and lots of pretty succulent and cactus plants for epic Instagram photos. 

When planning your photoshoot at this San Diego gem, I would suggest getting here early to avoid crowds. Also, the lighting can be a bit harsh as it reaches mid-day.

Balboa Park Spanish Art village is a must with a weekend in San Diego

5. Balboa Park Casa Del Prado

Right next to the Spanish Village Art Center, make your way to the Casa Del Prado Building. This is such a cool-looking Spanish Architecture building making it a perfect addition to the Instagrammable places in San Diego.

I would also recommend getting there early to avoid car traffic and having a wide-angle lens to get the building in the photo. 

Balboa Park Instagrammable Places San Diego in front of Casa Del Prado with woman in street

6. Lily Pond at Balboa Park

Another one of the top Instagrammable places in San Diego is the Lily Pond at Balboa Park. It’s becoming a reoccurring theme that Balboa Park has so many photo-worthy spots! The Lily Pond, in particular, is one of my all-time favorites in Balboa Park! 

It is such a pretty view, and there were hummingbirds everywhere when we did our photo shoot. The Lily Pond is within walking distance from the Casa Del Prado, so make your way here after! 

7. Cactus Garden at Balboa Park

The Cactus Garden at Balboa Park felt like a hidden gem! Even during mid-day, nobody was here, and it’s easily another top contender for Instagrammable places in San Diego!

Whether you want some close-ups with cacti or the cathedral in the background, there are a lot of photo options to choose from here!

Woman standing forward between the cacti at balboa park
Balboa Park Cactus Garden

8. Seaport Village

The Seaport Village is not only great for shopping or grabbing lunch but also great for Instagrammable photos, too! Whether you want cute pictures of the nautical color and Spanish architecture shops or the bay in the background, you definitely have options of photo spots to choose from.

You can even stage a cute picnic looking out to the water. 

Address: 849 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

Ocean view of seaport village with shore line to the right

9. Gaslamp Quarter Sign

When visiting San Diego, you have to visit the Gaslamp Quarter! So, while you are at this historic San Diego spot, photographing the sign makes for a really cool picture! 

Gaslamp Quarter is a must with a weekend in San Diego itinerary. View from the middle of the street with the over arching Gaslamp sign

10. Gilderport at Torrey Pines State Reserve

For epic beach and cliff views, you will definitely want to add Gilderport at Torrey Preserve to your Instagram spots to check out in San Diego! Enjoy panoramic views of the stunning blue ocean from the seacliffs!  

You can even fly a drone here if you have one, and walk down the cliff to the beach for some additional photo-ops! The cliffs are quite massive, so finding a spot with no people should be quite easy. 

We visited the cliffs mid-day, however, I am sure golden hour and sunset can also be a great time to photograph this San Diego gem!

Address: 2800 Torrey Pines Scenic Dr, La Jolla, CA 92037

Torrey Pines over look of the ocean is very instagrammable. Woman twirling by cliff edge wearing white dress

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11. La Jolla Beach and Cafes

With palm tree-lined streets and beach views, La Jolla takes the cake for Instagrammable places in San Diego!

There’s an abundance of Insta-worthy cafes, including parakeet cafe and Better Buzz Coffee La Jolla. Near La Jolla Cove, there is a huge lawn, perfect for IG photos with the ocean in the background. 

You can even go down to the beach for some photo-worthy shots! The lawn area starts near Shells Beach. While you are here, you can also see seals and sea lions, but please make sure to keep your distance. No selfies with them!

La Jolla Cove in San Diego overlooking the ocean

12. Secret Swing in La Jolla

To be fair, this secret swing is really no secret. In fact, when you google secret swing La Jolla, it will come right up on the map. However, that doesn’t make this San Diego spot any less Instagrammable!

It is located at the Birch Aquarium parking lot. You just do a little climb up and you are treated to stunning views. 

During our visit, the swing was not up, but it should be back up now. Even without the swing, the views are still A+! 

Secret swing spot at La Jolla San Diego with woman in white dress overlooking view

13. Point Loma Lighthouse

Who doesn’t love a good lighthouse? They make for the perfect photos, and this is one of the most incredible lighthouses in California. The Point Loma Lighthouse was built in 1855. The views are lovely from the cliffs!

This San Diego photo spot does cost $20 per car to get in because it is a part of the area is run by the National Park Service. There is more to the park than just the lighthouse. If you make it here for sunset, it will surely be magical on the cliffs.

Address: 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr, San Diego, CA 92106

14. Old Town San Diego Historic Park

If you really want to feel the historical influences of San Diego, you will need to come here! Not only is the Old Town San Diego Historic Park such a fun place to visit, but it is also super Instagrammable, with colorful Spanish and Mexican art, succulents everywhere, and beautiful tiles.

The photo spots at the Old Town San Diego Historic Park are endless, but make sure to get here early because it does get busy. There are also tons of great eating here and cute gift shops. 

Address: 4016 Wallace St, San Diego, CA 92110

Old town san diego instagrammable colorful stairs with woman in white dress
Old Town San Diego with cacti and woman in white dress

15. Scripps Meander Boardwalk

Looking for more ocean vibes for your Instagram feed? Head over to Scripps Meander Boardwalk. From here, you have a beautiful overlook of the ocean and Scripps pier. You can also create really cool leading lines with the boardwalk looking out. 

San Diego Insider Tip: When parking here, make sure to crimp your tires! This means turning the tires towards or away from the curb depending if you are facing up the hill or down the hill. If you don’t, you will likely get a ticket.

Address: Scripps Institution of Oceanography 9234-9218, La Jolla Shores Dr, La Jolla, CA 92037

Look down boardwalk at Scripps is very instagrammable places in san diego

16. Scripps Pier

Take it one step further and make your way down the Scripps beach to take fun photos under the pier! Now you will have two epic and completely different San Diego photos from the same place. 

17. False Point

Want beautiful sunset photos while in San Diego? Then look no further than False Point. This local gem gives all the feels. You will walk down the stairs to a rock beach and will likely see surfers finishing out their day. 

Because this is a very local spot, you will be parking in the neighborhood. PLEASE be very respectful of this area. The beach is technically in these homeowners’ backyards. 

sunset in San Diego over the ocean. To the left is cacti
San Diego instagrammable sunset spot false point at sunset on the rocks with woman shadow to the left

18. Potato Chip Rock

I hope you packed your hiking shoes! This cool San Diego Instagrammable spot comes with a 7-mile hike out and back. Personally, my hikes end at around the 2ish mile mark, so I didn’t make it out here, but if you don’t mind the walk, it does look pretty epic! Make sure to get the Alltrails map for this one! 

Patato Rock in San Diego is Instagrammable
Credit: mkopka/depositphotos

19. Spruce Street Suspension Bridge

Instagrammable places always have room for cool suspension bridges, and the San Diego Spruce Street Suspension Bridge is no exception. I was actually pretty surprised at how large this bridge actually is.

The bridge is quite long and pretty wide, making it easy to get photos without bouncing around from people walking. 

We took our photos around golden hour, but I’d recommend coming a little earlier for better lighting since the trees block the lighting.

Fun Fact: This bridge was built in 1912.

Address: W Spruce St, San Diego, CA 92103

Spruce Street Suspension bridge with woman in white dress standing in the middle

20. Belmont Park at Mission Beach

Visiting San Diego during the summer? Belmont Park at Mission Beach is a great photo spot for all the summer vibes. Carnival rides in the background, ice cream treats, and even the beach – all perfect for creating some fun content showing off this San Diego spot! 

After getting your photos, you can, of course, enjoy the theme park, get a bite to eat, or hang by the beach. 

Address: 3146 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

21. Carlsbad Flower Fields – Best Flower Instagram Spots in San Diego

If you happen to be visiting San Diego from early March through early May, then visiting Carlsbad Flower Fields is easily one of the most Instagrammable places to visit. These colorful flower fields are made with the photographers in mind with fun props and rows upon rows of different colored flowers. 

The colorful flowers that grow here are called Persian Buttercup and they are available for purchase to bring home with you.

If it’s not peak season to visit these flowers, they still have a lovely garden and do other seasonal events like strawberry picking and sunflower fields.

The main Persian Buttercup fields will reopen on March 1, 2023. Tickets must be purchased on the Carlsbad website in advance.

22. North Park Nursery

The North Park Nursery has become quite popular for Instagrammers looking for flowery photos. This is a great spot to get photos from even the outside during springtime. 

Address: 2335 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104

23. Holy Matcha

If you are looking for one of the most Instagrammable tea shops in San Diego, look no further than Holy Matcha! It screams to photograph me with hot pink and green decorations. There are even two locations to choose from in San Diego. 

24. You Are Radiant Mural at Artelexia

This colorful mural will surely bring a pop to your Instagram feed. The mural can be found right outside the retail store Artlexia which has beautiful Mexican art, gifts, decor, and more! 

Address: 3803 Ray St, San Diego, CA 92104

25. Native Poppy

Not only are flower shops generally awesome, but the Native Poppy flower shop, in particular, also has a really cute poppy flower mural. It is no wonder so many people make a trip over to take photos outside the shop. 

Address: 142 S Cedros Ave. Solana Beach, CA 92075

Instagrammable Places in San Diego Wrap-up

This covers some of the best Instagrammable places in San Diego. I hope you have the best time photographing the city. Find more helpful guides, including my photography gear and travel outfits below!

Travel Camera Gear | Travel Outfits | 3 Days in LA | 1 Day Joshua Tree Itinerary | 1 Day Death Valley Itinerary | Free Things to do in LA

Have any questions or did I miss a cool San Diego photo spots? Let me know in the comments below! 

Did this Instagrammable Places in San Diego guide help you? I’d really appreciate it if you could share it below! 

Instagrammable places in San Diego
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Samantha Oppenheimer

Samantha Oppenheimer (Sam Opp) quit her corporate marketing job in 2018 to travel the world and become a travel writer, blogger and content creator. She loves experiencing authentic travel experiences, photography, and nature. Sam shares helpful travel itineraries, travel tips, budget tips, and travel advice from her personal experiences. You can also find Sam's words featured in large publications including Mirror, Thrillist, and Well + Good. Learn more here: https://findloveandtravel.com/samantha-oppenheimer/

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