Top 33 San Diego Instagram Spots

Last Updated on October 15, 2023

San Diego is a beautiful town on the California coast known for its stunning beaches and mild weather. San Diego is the perfect destination for families, couples, and solo travelers alike because there are so many activities and attractions to enjoy. San Diego is also known for being very Instagrammable, and this guide will highlight all the must-visit spots for photographers and Instagram stars. Whether you’re a professional or amateur, this guide to the Top 33 San Diego Instagram Spots will help your photos pop and take your Instagram to the next level!

San Diego Instagram Spots Balboa Park Lily Pond

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. All opinions on the best San Diego Instagram spots are our own. Click here for the full disclosure statement.

Map of the Top 33 San Diego Instagram Spots

The best Instagram spots in San Diego are quite spread out, and you will need to have your own car or take an Uber everywhere to reach them. Our recommendation is to have your own car give how many trips out of the central San Diego area you will be making by visiting all of these top Instagrammable places in San Diego!

Not sure how to caption your IG photos? Check out the Top San Diego Instagram Captions and Quotes

Downtown San Diego Area

Downtown San Diego is not as popular as the downtown area of some other cities, but there are still some notable Instagram spots here, as well as a few that are just outside of the central business district, which we have also included. The best parts about San Diego are the beaches are nearby neighborhoods such as North Park and La Jolla- keep reading for all of those amazing San Diego Instagram spots!

The Nolen Rooftop

The first destination on our guide to the top San Diego Instagram spots is The Nolen Rooftop. The Nolen Rooftop is a bar and lounge right in the heart of the downtown area. The rooftop serves up delicious food and drinks as well as some incredible views of San Diego. The Nolen Rooftop’s stylish interior and convenient location make it the perfect photo spot to snag some awesome photos of the city.

The Nolen Rooftop Drinks
San Diego The Nolan Brunch

Location: The Nolen Rooftop

Hours: The Nolen Rooftop is open from 5:00 PM to 12:00 AM Monday through Thursday, 5:00 PM to 1:00 AM Friday through Saturday, and 10:00 AM to 12:00 AM on Sunday.

Best Time for Photos: The Nolen Rooftop is great to visit anytime, though it does get busy around peak hours.

Tips: A great option is to plan your visit at the beginning of happy hour which runs from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Monday through Wednesday, and 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Sunday.

Balboa Park – Lily Pond

Balboa Park is well-known for being one of the most Instagrammable places in San Diego, and the lily pond is especially picturesque. Set directly in front of the historic botanical building, the lily pond is a picture-perfect spot that is enjoyed by both tourists and locals alike. The pond was first installed in 1915 and has since become a must-visit location for all visitors to San Diego.

San Diego Balboa Park Pond

Location: Balboa Park – Lily Pond

Hours: Balboa Park is open 24 hours a day.

Best Time for Photos: The lily pond at Balboa Park photographs beautifully all hours of the day, but it does get very busy on weekends and later in the afternoon.

Tips: Utilizing a wide-angle lens is a great way to photograph the lily pond and botanical building in the background. You will need to have some patience if you are here during the middle of the day and hoping to take photos without other people in them!

Balboa Park – Botanical Building

Just beyond the lily pond in Balboa Park is our next San Diego photo spot, the botanical building. At over 100 years old, the botanical building is a historical landmark that is truly beloved by the city of San Diego. The building features a striking dome shape and is filled with a variety of over 2,000 plants. Even if you just photograph the exterior, a visit to the botanical building is sure to impress.

Location: Balboa Park – Botanical Building

Hours: You can visit Balboa Park 24 hours a day. Note that the Botanical Building is temporarily closed until mid-2023.

Best Time for Photos: Similar to the lily pond, the botanical building gets very busy during peak seasons.

Tips: If you have time, make sure to take a walk through the building as well! The plants and flowers located inside the Botanical Building are beautiful!

Balboa Park – Casa del Prado Theater

Balboa Park is full of San Diego Instagram spots, including the Casa del Prado Theater. The theater is actually a historic reconstruction of a building originally erected in 1915 for the Panama-California Exposition. The exterior sports stunning architecture and intricate detailing that is reminiscent of buildings you may find in Spain. Today, the theater is home to a number of performing arts initiatives and programs that are significant to the San Diego community.

Casa Del Prado Theater Balboa Park

Location: Balboa Park – Casa del Prado Theater

Hours: You can visit the theater daily from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM.

Best Time for Photos: This is one spot in Balboa Park that never gets super busy, so you have plenty of flexibility as you plan your visit.

Tips: Be mindful that there may be active performances or rehearsals during your visit.

Balboa Park – Spanish Village Arts Center

Lovers of art are sure to enjoy a visit to this next San Diego photo spot: the Spanish Village Arts Center in Balboa Park. The buildings and courtyard that can be found in this area were first built in 1935 and have hosted artists since 1937. The studios are still active to this day and as you stroll through, you’ll find painters, sculptors, jewelry-makers and so much more. The center is full of vibrant colors and artistic designs that make it a fantastic place to take Instagram photos.

Balboa Park Colorful Stones
Balboa Park Spanish Art Area

Location: Balboa Park – Spanish Village Arts Center

Hours: The center is open every day from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Best Time for Photos: We recommend planning your visit for early morning or late afternoon when there are fewer visitors.

Tips: The Spanish Village Arts Center frequently hosts live demonstrations which is fascinating to experience.

Balboa Park – Spreckels Organ Pavilion

The last San Diego Instagram spot we’ll be highlighting in Balboa Park is the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The pavilion is completely open-air and is actually home to the world’s largest fully outdoor pipe organ. The organ was donated to the city of San Diego in 1914 by the Spreckels family, and the park has been hosting free performances every Sunday since 1917. The beauty of this area though is the surrounding architecture of the covered walkways that surround the pavilion.

San Diego Balboa Park Pavilion

Location: Balboa Park – Spreckels Organ Pavilion

Hours: You can visit the pavilion any time of day as Balboa Park is open 24 hours.

Best Time for Photos: Late afternoon or sunset are especially beautiful times to visit this spot.

Tips: Play with the arches of the covered walkway to add something unique to your San Diego Instagram photos. A short clip running or walking along the covered walkway also makes a great video!

Sunset Cliffs San Diego

Another public park that we consider one of the most Instagrammable places in San Diego is Sunset Cliffs. As the name suggests, the park encompasses 68 acres (0.3 sq km) of rugged cliffs and shoreline along the Pacific Ocean. The park is home to beautiful rock formations, caves, and tidal pools, making it a great place to explore for an afternoon. There are a number of trails that allow visitors to enjoy the park, and there is a lot to discover as you wander through this beautiful natural area.

Sunset Beach San Diego

Location: Sunset Cliffs San Diego

Hours: Sunset Cliffs is open daily from sunrise to sunset.

Best Time for Photos: Unsurprisingly, sunset is a great time to take photos at Sunset Cliffs.

Tips: We suggest bringing a picnic to enjoy during your visit! Be sure to bring a blanket or a sweater as the temperature can be quite cool in the evenings near the coast.

Old Point Loma Lighthouse

One of the best ways to capture peak California vibes in your San Diego photos is by incorporating Old Point Loma Lighthouse. Located at the entrance to the San Diego Harbor, this San Diego Instagram spot is a beautiful piece of the city’s history. Old Point Loma Lighthouse was actually one of the first lighthouses to be erected on the West Coast, and was first used in 1855. Though the lighthouse is no longer in operation, it does house a museum where visitors can learn more about its lengthy history.

Location: Old Point Loma Lighthouse

Hours: The lighthouse is located in Cabrillo National Monument which is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. During the Summer season opening hours are commonly extended to sunset on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Cost: The cost to enter Cabrillo National Monument is $20 USD per vehicle. America the Beautiful Annual National Park passes are also accepted here.

Best Time for Photos: Sunset is a spectacular time of day to photograph Old Point Loma Lighthouse.

Tips: The lighthouse museum is full of information and artifacts, so take your time exploring!

Hotel del Coronado

One of the most iconic San Diego photo spots is Hotel del Coronado, a massive resort located right on the beach. This legendary establishment was first built in 1888 and has since become regarded as one of the top San Diego attractions. A number of presidents and celebrities have stayed at Hotel del Coronado over the years, and the Marilyn Monroe headliner Some Like It Hot was even filmed there in 1958!

Location: Hotel del Coronado

Hours: The hotel operates 24 per day, 7 days per week.

Best Time for Photos: This spot can be photographed any time of day.

Tips: Hotel del Coronado is technically located in the nearby town of Coronado, which is located just across the bridge from downtown San Diego. The small town of Coronado is great to explore by foot.

North Park

This next area where you can find some of the most Instagrammable places in San Diego is the neighborhood of North Park. North Park is a super trendy area full of cafes, bars, and small shops. There are a ton of picturesque spots in this relatively small area that you can easily walk between all locations.

Pink Wall at Pigment

The first photo spot in North Park we’ll be highlighting is the pink wall at Pigment. Pigment is a small San Diego shop that sells everything from plants to homeware and small gifts. The shop itself is very aesthetic and a great place to find some unique items to remember your trip to San Diego, and the pink wall outside is a fantastic San Diego Instagram spot. To add a fun pop of color to your photos, we highly recommend using the pink wall as a backdrop!

San Diego Pink Wall Instagram

Location: Pink Wall at Pigment

Hours: Pigment is open from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM Monday through Wednesday, and 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM Thursday through Sunday. The wall is easily accessible any time of day.

Best Time for Photos: There’s truly no bad time to visit the pink wall at Pigment. The wall faces south so you can expect the sun to shine directly onto the wall for most of the day.

Tips: Wearing a neutral outfit is a great way to let the pink wall really pop in your photos.

Plant Wall at Pigment

Pigment is actually home to not one but two great options for photo backdrops, and the second is their picture-perfect plant wall. Also known as a “living wall,” this vertical-hanging garden is a clever way to display a beautiful variety of succulents. The plants really pop against the white wall they’re mounted on, providing a super quirky and unique spot to take pictures.

San Diego Pigment Green Wall Instagram

Location: Plant Wall at Pigment

Hours: Pigment is open from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM Monday through Wednesday, and 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM Thursday through Sunday. The wall is easily accessible any time of day.

Best Time for Photos: The plant wall is one San Diego photo spot you can visit any time. The wall faces to the west.

Tips: The plant wall changes slightly with different seasons, so every visit will be unique!

Green Door in North Park

This cute green door is a quick and fun San Diego photo spot that you can visit any time of day! The green door with a yellow backdrop makes for a great spot to snap a cute photo!

Green Door North Park San Diego

Location: North Park Green Door

Hours: You can visit the green door at any time of day.

Best Time for Photos: This Instagrammable spot in San Diego is a great place to visit any time of day.

Tips: Due to the color scheme of the door and surrounding yellow wall, make sure to choose an outfit that compliments the door!

Verbatim Books

In the North Park area, you can find Verbatim Books, often considered one of the most Instagrammable places in San Diego. This artsy bookstore is full of over 35,000 used books, and some rare publications as well. The entire store is very aesthetic, and the interior shelves in particular are a great addition to your San Diego photos.

Verbatim Books Cool San Diego Bookstore
San Diego Cool Book store

Location: Verbatim Books

Hours: Verbatim Books is open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Sunday through Thursday (closed Tuesdays), and 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM Friday through Saturday.

Best Time for Photos: Verbatim Books is a great place to visit any time of day.

Tips: There are lots of picturesque nooks and crannies to be found in Verbatim Books, so don’t rush your visit!

Artelexia Mural

The “You Are Radiant!” mural at Artelexia is undoubtedly one of the most colorful San Diego photo spots on this guide. The mural was painted by local artist Channin Fulton and is meant to empower everyone who sees it. The Artelexia shop itself is also worth a visit and sells a variety of handmade Mexican items. With vibrant colors and a striking design, the Artelexia mural is a fantastic place to grab some top-notch photos.

San Diego Instagram Spot Artelexia

Location: Artelexia Mural

Hours: The shop is open from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Saturday, and 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Sunday.

Best Time for Photos: You have lots of flexibility as you plan your visit to the Artelexia Mural.

Tips: Don’t forget to do some shopping at Artelexia as well; they sell lots of unique items that make great gifts!

North Park Sign

Of course, a visit to the North Park area of San Diego would be incomplete without photographing the North Park Sign! The idea to install a sign was first proposed in 1935, and fundraising initiatives were spearheaded by a group of North Park women. The efforts of the women paid off and the sign was officially dedicated in 1935. The sign that stands today is not the original, but it still pays homage to the neighborhood’s rich history.

North Park Sign San Diego

Location: North Park Sign

Hours: This San Diego Instagram spot is open 24 hours a day!

Best Time for Photos: Sunset is a fantastic time to photograph the North Park Sign.

Tips: The sign is in the middle of a street, so be careful as you’re photographing it!

Greetings from San Diego Mural

The Greetings from San Diego mural in North Park is a classic San Diego photo spot. The mural is super colorful and each letter highlights some classic San Diego attractions. This is a super popular spot in not just North Park, but all of San Diego! If you can only photograph one piece of street art during your visit, the Greetings from San Diego mural should be a top choice.

Location: Greetings from San Diego Mural

Hours: This is one Instagrammable place in San Diego that is open 24 hours.

Best Time for Photos: You can visit the mural any time, though it does get very popular on the weekends.

Tips: You can really play around with angles and perspectives when photographing this iconic mural.

Holy Matcha San Diego

Holy Matcha San Diego is well-known not only for its tasty matcha creations, but also for being a top San Diego photo spot! The décor is very fun and playful with touches of pink and some greenery as well. This San Diego café chain is an excellent place to grab some sweet treats and take some super aesthetic photos as well.

San Diego Holy Matcha Cafe Drink
San Diego Holy Matcha Cafe
Holy Matcha Pink Bench
Holy Matcha Ice Cream Flowers

Location: Holy Matcha

Hours: The University Avenue location is open 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Friday, and 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM Saturday through Sunday.

Best Time for Photos: Holy Matcha is a great afternoon pick-me-up, but you can really visit any time!

Tips: Aside from matcha drinks, Holy Matcha also serves up donuts, avocado toast, and other tasty small bites, making it a perfect rest stop on your tour of North Park!

North of San Diego

Though many of the most Instagrammable places in San Diego are located within downtown and the close suburbs of San Diego, there are also some fantastic spots that can be found north of San Diego in the beachside communities along the coast. All of these locations are within an hour drive of the city, making them easy to reach.

Parakeet Café

This next San Diego Instagram spot, Parakeet Café, can be found just 20 minutes north in the town of La Jolla. La Jolla is a beautiful seaside town and Parakeet Café is an especially charming spot to take photos. The café features some really fun and quirky décor that makes it super Instagrammable. Parakeet Café is known for being a trendy spot, and it’s easy to see why!

Parakeet Cafe Wall Art
San Diego Parakeet Cafe Latte

Location: Parakeet Café

Hours: You can visit Parakeet Café from 6:30 AM to 7:00 PM every day of the week.

Best Time for Photos: Any time is great to plan a visit to Parakeet Café!

Tips: There are other Parakeet Café locations, but the La Jolla location is our favorite. Arrive hungry – the Parakeet Café menu is extensive and the restaurant is also known for its delicious food!

S3 Coffee Bar

Another café that’s often considered one of the most Instagrammable places in San Diego is S3 Coffee Bar. The outside of this corner café might be unassuming, but the interior is picture-perfect. The coffeeshop is very airy and open with lots of windows and a wall of greenery with a funky neon sign. One corner of the café is also designed to resemble a 2D café which is a really cool feature.

2D Cafe San Diego Wall
2D Cafe San Diego Lunch
2D Cafe San Diego Food
2D Cafe San Diego

Location: S3 Coffee Bar

Hours: The coffeeshop is open daily from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

Best Time for Photos: Try to visit right after opening before it gets too busy in order to have the 2D area of the café to yourself for pictures.

Tips: The S3 motto is “Smell, Sip, and Savor,” so make sure to try one of their coffee creations during your visit!

Armonia Kitchen

Looking for an amazing place to go for brunch just north of San Diego which also happens to be one of the most Instagrammable cafés in San Diego? Armonia Kitchen has your covered with amazing drinks, smoothies, and brunch!

San Diego Chia Bowl
San Diego Avocado Toast

Location: Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Hours: Armonia Kitchen is open every day of the week from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Best Time for Photos: The best times to visit this Instagrammable café is earlier in the morning before most of the brunch crowd arrives!

Tips: Be sure to try one of their smoothies, which are not only made with amazing healthy ingredients, but they are also really delicious!

Scripps Pier

Scripps Pier is not only a well-known San Diego photo spot, but is also considered one of the world’s largest active research piers! The pier is home to a research facility that is a subsidiary of UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Small boats and diving platforms enable researchers to monitor seawater temperatures and the salinity of the water as well, which is incredibly significant information. The pier also happens to be a beautiful spot to take photos of the ocean and is very popular among photographers.

San Diego Beach Scripps Pier

Location: Scripps Pier

Hours: The pier is open to visitors 24/7.

Best Time for Photos: Without a doubt, late afternoon and sunset are the best times to visit Scripps Pier.

Tips: While taking photos of the pier from any angle are great, the best place to take photos is directly underneath the pier, looking toward the ocean. Zoom the camera in to bring the depth of the pier into focus.

Black’s Beach Lookout

This next San Diego Instagram spot takes us to Black’s Beach Lookout in the charming town of La Jolla. Black’s Beach Lookout is an impressive observation deck overlooking the rocky La Jolla cliffs and the ocean beyond. Aside from being a great destination for photographers, the lookout is also the perfect place to watch paragliders and surfers!

San Diego Blacks Beach Viewpoint

Location: Black’s Beach Lookout

Hours: Black’s Beach Lookout is open 24 hours a day.

Best Time for Photos: Like many beachfront destinations on his guide, late afternoon and sunset are great times to visit.

Tips: Be aware that the beach is clothing-optional! From the official lookout there are many side-trails along the cliffs that provide different and unique views of the cliffs and rock formations, be sure to get out and explore!

Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala

Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala is a stunning San Diego photo spot that is well-worth the drive. The mission was first established in 1769 and is still in operation to this day. The basilica features classic Spanish architecture that is a striking addition to photos of San Diego. There is also some beautiful landscaping throughout the property.        

San Diego Mission Church

Location: Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala

Hours: The visitor center is open daily from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Cost: Admission is $8 USD for adults, $5 USD for seniors 55+ and students, and $3 USD for children 6-12.

Best Time for Photos: You can visit the mission any time of day and get some awesome photos.

Tips: One unique way to experience the church is by attending Mass, which is completely free.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Just down the road from Black’s Beach Lookout is Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, one of the most well-known natural areas and Instagrammable places in San Diego! The reserve is home to over 2,000 acres (8 sq km) of beautiful coastal land, giving photographers tons of flexibility to snag some incredible photos. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is the perfect place to experience some of the best that Southern California has to offer.

Location: Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Hours: The park is open every day of the week from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM.

Cost: The fee for Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is $15 USD during peak season, $12 USD during non-peak season, and $25 USD for special holiday/seasonal weekends.

Best Time for Photos: The best times to visit Torrey Pines Sate Natural Reserve are early morning or late afternoon and sunset.

Tips: There are lots of trails and roads to explore, so take your time exploring this area. Get creative with the varying viewpoints and overlooks towards the water. You are almost guaranteed some amazing photos from here!

Torrey Pines State Beach

Just beneath the cliffs of Torrey Pines you can find Torrey Pines State Beach, a beautiful stretch of sandy shoreline. The beach has almost four and a half miles of oceanfront land to enjoy and the whole landscape is incredibly picturesque. Torrey Pines State Beach is also a fantastic spot to watch surfers and capture the ultimate California vibes for your San Diego photos! 

Torrey Pines Beach

Location: Torrey Pines State Beach

Hours: You can visit this San Diego Instagram spot daily from 7:15 AM to sunset.

Cost: The fee to visit the state beach is the same as the Natural Reserve, above.

Best Time for Photos: We recommend planning your visit for early morning, late afternoon, or sunset!

Tips: This is a great spot to pack a picnic and hang out for a while. Be careful when the tide is coming in as it will reach all the way to the cliffs, and you don’t want to end up trapped out by the cliffs!

Park Hyatt Aviara, Carlsbad

Just 40 minutes north of San Diego is the beautiful town of Carlsbad, where you can find one of the most Instagrammable places in San Diego: the Park Hyatt Aviara. This luxurious resort is super picturesque with gorgeously-manicured landscaping and an incredible pool area. The resort is very popular among golfers and a stunning place to stay during your San Diego trip. 

Park Hyatt Aviara Sunset
Park Hyatt Aviara Stairs

Location: Park Hyatt Aviara, Carlsbad

Hours: You can visit the Park Hyatt Aviara any time. If you choose to spend a night or two at the Park Hyatt Aviara, be sure to enjoy their fantastic breakfast.

Best Time for Photos: To avoid crowds, we recommend visiting early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

Tips: If you choose not to stay at the hotel, you can plan a day to just visit one of the resort restaurants or for a San Diego spa treatment. The outdoor courtyard area is easily accessible to guests of the hotel or those just stopping by for a meal.

Carlsbad Flower Fields

Just a short drive from Park Hyatt Aviara is the next San Diego photo spot, the Carlsbad Flower Fields. The fields can be found at Carlsbad Ranch and feature almost 50 acres (0.2 sq km) of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers. The flowers bloom seasonally in stunning shades of red, orange, and pink that stretch as far as the eye can see. This is a spectacular spot we consider a must-visit!

Location: Carlsbad Flower Fields

Hours: The flower fields are seasonal and, depending on weather, are typically open from March to May. The fields are typically open daily from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Cost: Admission is $22 USD for adults, $20 USD for seniors 60+, and $10 USD for children 3-10.

Best Time for Photos: Try to visit right when the fields open to avoid crowds. Weekdays are also preferable as weekends get very crowded.        

Tips: Ensure you only walk on the designated walkways to avoid damaging the flowers!

Encinitas Sign

This San Diego Instagram spot, the Encinitas sign, can be found 30 minutes north of the city in the quiet town of Encinitas. The neon sign is very iconic and a beloved landmark of this coastal town. The Encinitas sign is also framed by palm trees which really enhances the California vibes of your photos.

Encinitas Sign Instagram

Location: Encinitas Sign

Hours: You can visit his photo spot any time of day!

Best Time for Photos: One great thing about the Encinitas sign is there’s no bad time to photograph it.

Tips: Wait for cars to pass by on the road before snapping your photo of this San Diego Instagram spot!

La Paloma Theater

Another one of the most Instagrammable places in San Diego that you can find in Encinitas is La Paloma Theater. The theater is well-known for being the oldest in San Diego and has been in operation since 1928. La Paloma Theater features historic Spanish Colonial Revival architecture that is characteristic of California. Whether you’re catching a show or just passing by for photos, a visit to La Paloma Theater is well-worth your time. 

Encinitas La Paloma Photo

Location: La Paloma Theater

Hours: Hours vary depending on shows.

Best Time for Photos: The great thing about La Paloma Theater is you can photograph it any time of day.

Tips: The theater hosts everything from concerts to comedy shows and dramatic performances, so check upcoming shows before your visit!

Del Mar Railroad Tracks

This San Diego Instagram spot is located in the nearby town of Del Mar. Here the railroad tracks that run along the coastline are at their closest, which allows you to take some cool photos along the tracks with the cliffs and ocean to the side. If you take your photos facing north you will be able to showcase the curve in the tracks and cliffs in the distance.

San Diego Train Tracks Photo

Location: Del Mar Railroad Tracks

Hours: The location is near the Seagrove Park in Del Mar which is open every day of the week from sunrise to sunset. We don’t recommend taking photos here in the dark.

Best Time for Photos: Photos taken at this San Diego Instagram spot are great any time of the day!

Tips: Be extremely careful when walking on or near the railroad tracks! This stretch of track is used multiple times per day by trains and you should not spend any additional time on the tracks than absolutely necessary. Be sure to always be 100% aware of your surroundings.

Potato Chip Rock

Sadly, there are no potato chips to be found at this San Diego photo spot – unless you bring your own! The name of this rock formation pays homage to its unique paper-thin (or potato chip-like!) appearance. There are two different ways to experience Potato Chip Rock, one of them being a 7+ mile (11.5 km) out-and-back hike that begins at the Mount Woodson Trailhead in Lake Poway. The other option begins at the opposite end of the Mount Woodson Trail, along Route 67, and is only 4 miles (6.4 km) roundtrip, though it is quite steep. Whichever route you choose, the trail is beautiful and Potato Chip Rock is amazing to experience in person!

Location: Potato Chip Rock

Hours: The trail is open every day of the week from sunrise to sunset.

Cost: The Lake Poway parking option is free during the week and $10 USD on weekends and holidays. The Route 67 parking option is completely free, with parking available on the side of the road.

Best Time for Photos: Plan to begin your hike early in the morning as this trail is incredibly popular, especially on weekends. Arriving later will mean you may have to wait longer in line to take your photo at the potato chip rock.

Tips: Make sure to wear comfortable hiking shoes and to pack plenty of water and snacks!

Top 33 San Diego Instagram Spots Summary

San Diego is one of the most scenic and popular towns in the Southern California region. With pristine beaches, fantastic restaurants, and adorable local shops, San Diego is the perfect vacation destination. The city is also full of incredibly Instagrammable places that make it a great location for photographers. This guide is the perfect tool to ensure you visit all the top San Diego Instagram spots, and we hope it serves you well! If you’ve been to San Diego, please let us know in the comments what you think the best photo spots in town are.

San Diego Instagram Spots
Best Instagram Spots in San Diego

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