Much of what makes California great is represented in San Diego, from the perfect climate and miles of coastline to the Mexican influence reflected in food and architecture. San Diego is brimming with creative energy, and since it also sports a laid-back vibe and gorgeous scenery, you don’t have to look far to find amazing photo ops. Our list of the 11 most Instagrammable places in San Diego features not only some of the classic public must-‘gram spots around the city, but also a selection of spaces custom-built for maximum beauty. You’ve got to be in-the-know to be aware of these places, so if you want to take your Instagram game to the next level, check ‘em out.
1. This tropical casa in Sunset Cliffs
Located in sleepy Sunset Cliffs, this enchanted house does full-time duty as a photoshoot and event space. As such, the owners have curated every object, piece of décor, and lush houseplant to be photogenic. Here, the lines between outdoors and indoors are blurred, giving every room a sense of flow and energy. Of course, it’s all draped in natural light, and just down the road, you can catch a snap of an epic sunset from a beachside cliff.
If you like your pictures to have a little extra vintage grit, look no further than the neighborhood of Barrio Logan and this converted historic church. Now a mixed-use space, the venue has both indoor and outdoor areas. The aesthetic features a combination of color, patterns, and the kind of aging wood that makes a great Instagram backdrop. This is the sort of place that pops off of the screen. As a bonus, it’s also conveniently located just minutes from downtown and adjacent to the bridge to Coronado.
3. This backyard tropical oasis
One of the best things about San Diego is the convenient access to so many different landscapes. You’ve got historic, mission-style architecture; thriving urban neighborhoods; breathtaking beach views; and desolate desert landscapes all at your fingertips simultaneously. If you’re looking for some poolside shots, head over to this custom-built tropical oasis in Escondido. Post up under one of its miniature waterfalls and let your hair down. Or sip a rum drink in a pool chair beneath a palm tree. Better yet: take some action shots while heading down the awesome waterslide.
4. Potato Chip Rock
People hike for hours just to Gram a shot of their buddies standing on Potato Chip Rock, a thin stone outcropping near the top of 2,881-foot Mount Woodson. One of the more popular poses is to jump while standing on the edge of it, which appears much more treacherous than it actually is. By and large, photographs at Potato Chip Rock are about playing with perspective; it’s all pretty safe. The site is along an 8-mile trail hike, and that path features beautiful overlooks of Lake Poway and some impressive boulders along the trail, offering plenty of additional Instagram opportunities. Hikers, this day trip’s for you.
5. This picturesque rural villa
This lovely villa is a bit off of the beaten path, and with its seclusion comes some perks. For example, there’s a winery vineyard just outside its walls, a great place to take some shots among the grapes. And, of course, the building itself is a knockout, providing ample opportunities for serious grammin’ — poolside, catching a sunset from the balcony, or posing at the vintage wrought-iron gates.
6. This bright, modern beach house at Solana Beach
If you’re into wood paneling and a mid-century modern aesthetic, this might be the spot for you. This contemporary residence leverages stylish furniture and minimalist walls for a clean, design-forward look that lends itself to classy, timeless shots. But the complex this home is in also has direct beach access; merely a stone’s throw from the front door, you can capture the perfect Golden Hour selfie while waves crash in the background.
7. This El Paseo contemporary art gallery
Art galleries are always among any city’s best Instagram spots. It’s not rocket science — after all, they’re buildings primarily designed to attractively present art and intriguing objects. That also means they’re full of beautiful photo ops, ready for the making. This gallery is perfectly lit for both photographing the art it contains — which ranges from large paintings to striking sculptures — and for using that same art as a backdrop for your own portraits.
8. Scripps Pier at La Jolla Beach
Scripps Pier is one of the most recognizable visual icons of San Diego, and you’ve probably seen shots of Scripps Pier before, even if you didn’t recognize them. The pier’s located at La Jolla Beach, which has plenty of other Instagrammable locales as well, but the pier shot is the shot. While many Instagrammers capture great photos of the length of the pier, we’re partial to this ground-level angle beneath the pier. The wooden slats seem to extend forever, and the white foam of the waves provides a stark contrast against the crisp blue of the water.
9. This East Village lifestyle loft
This sun-drenched downtown San Diego loft was designed with lifestyle photography in mind. Everything’s set up to catch the ample natural light, and the setup is perfect for staging whatever scene you need: there’s plenty of open space, but with small pockets of furniture, making it easy to mix and match elements. It’s even got some free-standing wall sections on wheels to roll around for different backdrops.
10. This oceanfront luxury villa
We’d be remiss if we didn’t throw another oceanfront space into the mix. This one is a spacious, elegantly decorated waterfront villa. A professional decorator has worked their magic here, and it shows — the furnishings and art have a clean modern-art feel. However, all of this pales in comparison to the breaking waves just outside the back door, perfect for a beachside shot.
11. This backdrop-filled indoor studio
This production space is basically an Instagram factory. They provide an arsenal of professional lighting equipment, as well as dozens of backdrops and a cool mix of furniture. You could spend all day here, mixing and matching to create hundreds of perfectly lit interior shots — enough to fill up an Instagram feed for months.
Go on and take every picture you can of San Diego’s historical landmarks and beautiful public spaces. San Diego’s best Instagram spots are often hidden away within the walls of its plentiful studios and hip houses. The 11 most Instagrammable places in San Diego are where you as a photographer can feel happiest and most creative. Instagram was made to capture and share those moments. But Peerspace also exists to help create those moments, and we’re always on the lookout for beautiful places to share with the world. Perfect moments — whether you’re taking pictures of them or not — don’t just happen to you: they’re made. Let’s get busy.