selfies at the beach with friends

San Diego’s Most Instagrammable Photo Spots

If you love to take photos when you travel, you will be thrilled to know that there are so many unique, quirky, and beautiful places in San Diego to fill your social media pages with amazing vacation photos! The best part is that many of these insanely cool Instagrammable places in San Diego are within a few minutes from your suite at the Best Western Island Palms on Shelter Island. In fact, your San Diego Instagram photoshoot begins with some of the best photography in San Diego that can be taken onsite at our waterfront Hawaiian Isle-style hotel.

Here at Island Palms, we are lucky to have some of the best views in San Diego, where you can snap photos of the yachts in the marina, sunsets over the Bay, palm trees swaying in the breeze, and the downtown skyline… all without even leaving the property! If you’re looking for some of the best photo spots in San Diego, book your suite at our waterfront Shelter Island resort and let the photoshoot begin!

Most Instagrammable Places in San Diego for Photos

Old Town San Diego (4.1 Miles to Hotel)

The charming streets and buildings in Old Town San Diego are some of the most Instagrammable places in San Diego! From lush gardens, historic buildings, and delicious (and beautiful) Mexican food to vibrant decorations, craft demonstrations, and colorful dancers – there is no shortage of wonderful photo opportunities in San Diego’s Old Town.

4002 Wallace St San Diego, CA 92110

Old Town San Diego SIgn

The Embarcadero (5.0 Miles to Hotel)

The Embarcadero Promenade Walkway by Seaport Village is a photographer’s dream, boasting some of San Diego’s most stunning views. Whether you’re a seasoned shutterbug or just love capturing vacation moments, you’ll be enchanted by the bustling boardwalk, picturesque boats dotting the harbor, coastal critters, and the breathtaking vistas of Coronado and Point Loma. And don’t miss the spectacular sunset reflections dancing on the water—it’s a sight to behold and a photo you won’t want to miss!

1600 Pacific Highway and Harbor Drive between Grape and Ash streets

Downtown San DIego Embarcadero

Cabrillo National Monument (5.1 Miles to Hotel)

This historic landmark is located at the tip of Point Loma Peninsula and offers amazing views of the lighthouse and some of the best views in San Diego of the harbor and city skyline. Guests can also catch a glimpse of the beautiful Coronado Islands and the Naval Air Station as seen in the distance, as well as the chance to get up close to the coastal tide pools near the water that are filled with interesting sea creatures and shells. 

1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr, San Diego, CA 92106

Cabrillo National Monument Building

Balboa Park (5.2 Miles to Hotel)

Museums are a huge Instagram opportunity, especially in San Diego. Balboa Park offers the perfect location to learn about history and snap a great photo for your feed. With over 40 museums and scenic grounds filled with gardens, ponds, eateries, and more, Balboa Park can easily take up a full day. Be sure to stop by the Lily Pond, located in front of Balboa Park’s Botanical Building. It’s one of the most popular spots to photograph in the entire park.


Balboa Park at Sunset with Fountain

Cannonball (5.9 Miles to Hotel)

For a prime photo op in San Diego, visit Cannonball on Mission Beach. This trendy rooftop spot offers delicious drinks and sushi, paired with breathtaking beachfront views. Snap pictures of your colorful cocktails and artfully presented sushi against the backdrop of the sparkling Pacific Ocean. Whether it’s a sunny afternoon or a glowing sunset, Cannonball provides a perfect setting to capture the essence of a quintessential San Diego beach day.

3105 Ocean Front Walk, San Diego, CA 92109

(Video: @cannonballsd)

Communal Coffee (7.2 Miles to Hotel)

Communal Coffee in San Diego is a must-visit for photo enthusiasts. This charming café combines artisan coffee with a beautifully curated floral shop, creating a unique and Instagram-worthy ambiance. Snap photos of your meticulously crafted latte art, surrounded by vibrant blooms and stylish decor. Whether you’re capturing the cozy indoor seating or the inviting outdoor patio, Communal Coffee offers a picturesque backdrop for every coffee lover and photographer.

 2221 Fern St, San Diego, CA 92104

Coffee shop with people sitting at tables

(Photo: @communalcoffee)

Artelexia (12.1 Miles to Hotel)

This fun Mexican craft store with a funky vibe is a great place for Instagram photos in San Diego. Although there are several photo ops inside and outside the vibrant shop, the eye-catching “You Are Radiant” mural is the most popular Instagrammable photo spot. Located in San Diego’s hip and eclectic North Park neighborhood, Artelexia is a great place for photos and a variety of Mexican-inspired gifts like folk art, gourmet foods, and home décor.

3803 Ray St, San Diego, CA 92104

Artelevia shop mural on the wall

(Photo: @artelexia)

Scripps Pier (12.6 Miles to Hotel)

Designed for oceanographic studies and scientific dives, Scripps Pier is available for viewing by the public via tours and special events. Sunset photos are the best here and there are some local paths and hills that offer unique angles and views to die for. Check out the Pier Cams here to see the amazing views!

8650 Kennel Way, La Jolla, CA 92037

Scripps Pier with people walking to the water to surf

Windansea Beach (13.9 Miles to Hotel)

This San Diego beach is a local favorite for engagement and special event photos due to the beautiful rock formations and unique grass hut on the water. The local elements are perfect for framing the photos for a unique perspective. Windansea is also a great place for drone photos and an opportunity for amazing aerial shots of the coastline and rocky waters below.

Neptune Pl & Nautilus St La Jolla, CA 92037

Cliffs on the beach in La Jolla

Can You Find These San Diego Instagrammable Spots During Your San Diego Getaway?

Book your room or suite here at the Best Western Island Palms and dive into a picture-perfect vacation! Snap stunning shots of San Diego’s beauty and enter our photo contest for half-off your next stay. With beautiful bay views from your tropical oasis suite on Shelter Island, your getaway is bound to be unforgettable. Grab your camera and let the adventures begin!

Wine on Patio overlooking Marina at Sunset