Are you planning a trip to San Diego soon? Here are 15 most Instagrammable places in San Diego to check out during your trip.
After a year and half of not seeing each other, my friend Giulia (@palmtreesandpellegrino), Karya (@karyaschanilec), and I were reunited for a girl’s content trip in San Diego. Giulia grew up in San Diego, she spent the weekend as our unofficial tour guide. We explored La Jolla, North Park, Balboa Park, and San Diego’s South Park neighborhoods. We also stopped my La Mesa to check out a cute, floral, pink, trendy café.
If you’re looking for Instagrammable places in San Diego, this guide is for you. Pro tip – if you plan on visiting South Park, North Park, and Balboa Park, there are multiple places you can stop by in each area. We ended up shooting all these places in one weekend!
Greetings from San Diego Sign
Address: This mural is on the side of the Belching Beaver 4223 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104
My friend Giulia recommended we stay in the North Park neighborhood. We ended up booking an Airbnb at the Sonder North Park Butler Apartments and this mural was just a few steps away from the building.
Address: 8209 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91942
All three of us were so excited to stop by this new café in La Mesa. Pink Rose Café was started by Nadia Zamora. There are no reservations available but we walked in early Saturday morning and had no issue finding a table.
Balboa Park (in front of the Botanical Building)
Address: 1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
If you’re heading to San Diego for the first time, Balboa Park needs to be on your list. This park is massive, spanning over 1,200 acres with the San Diego Zoo, museums, gardens, trails, and other recreational attractions.
Balboa Park has a rich history and began in 1868. San Diego civic leaders reserved this section of the city, though it didn’t get developed for more than 20 years.
Balboa Park – Spanish Village Art Center
Address: 1770 Village Pl, San Diego, CA 92101
Between 1935-36, the California Pacific International Exposition was held at the park to boost the local economy. The Spanish Village Art Center was built and still stands today. You can find 35 working art studios that recreate the feeling of a town square in Spain.
Address: 2611 Congress St, San Diego, CA 92110
If you’re exploring Old Town San Diego, I recommend stopping by Garden Coffee. This outdoor/partially covered coffee spot is perfect spot to start your day exploring Old Town. I personally loved the piano covered in plants and succulents!
La Jolla Secret Swing #1
Address: Off the Coast Walk Trail
If you’re looking for a quick adventure in La Jolla and you’re not afraid to climb down the Coast Walk Trail, check out La Jolla’s secret swing. I would highly recommend wearing sneakers or shoe with some traction. While there are a few ropes to help you down the face of the hill, we found ourselves sliding down trying to get to this swing.
Please be careful. Trying to get to the swing is also a bit treacherous – especially if you aren’t wearing the right shoes.
La Jolla Secret Swing #2
Address: Near the end of the Birch Aquarium Parking Lot
If you’re looking for a secret swing that doesn’t require a hike or some danger, I would recommend checking out the secret swing at the end of the Birch Aquarium. You only have to climb up a hill and get in line to take a photo in the not-so-secret swing.
Address: 1132 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037
If you’re looking for a pink, trendy hotel in San Diego, I recommend checking out the La Valencia Hotel. We didn’t end up staying at the hotel, but we did take a few photos in front of the hotel and on the side of the hotel.
Communal Coffee – South Park Location
Address: 2221 Fern St, San Diego, CA 92104
There are two different locations of Communal Coffee, and both are Instagram worthy. I ended up visiting Communal Coffee’s South Park location. The South Park location has plenty of outdoor seating and they also added a few tables indoors. We loved grabbing coffee here and wandering around their shop!
Address: 3009 Grape Street, San Diego, CA 92102
We had no idea Native Poppy was closed on Sundays. If you’re planning to visit this spot in South Park and want to see inside the store, I recommend not going on a Sunday. Native Poppy has this adorable mural in front of it’s store!
Address: 2248 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104
We stopped for lunch at Café Madeleine after exploring the South Park neighborhood. This red French restaurant was perfect for a late lunch. I ended up getting a caprese panini and an Italian soda.
Address: 3793 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104
If you’re looking for a unique bookstore in San Diego, I recommend checking out Verbatim Books in North Park. Verbatim Books also carries titles from over 200 local authors and offer eclectic range of gently used books. You can find used and rare books inside. Additionally, you can also sell or trade your books.
Pink Mural on the side of Pigment
Address: 3801 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104
If you’re looking for plants, hats, accessories, candles, and everything in between, I highly recommend stopping by Pigment. This was one of my favorite spots in North Park. After we were done shopping, we took a few photos in the pink mural on the side of the store.
Address: 3118 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
I’ve known about Holy Matcha for years, so I was excited to visit this matcha shop. Holy Matcha was founded by Geraldine Ridaura. If you aren’t familiar with matcha, matcha is powdered tea. I recommend trying the strawberry matcha – it was so good!
I personally loved the interior space of Holy Matcha. We went in when the shop opened on Sunday morning and had the place to ourselves.
Address: 4002 Wallace St, San Diego, CA 92110
If you’re looking for a family friendly activity in San Diego, I recommend wandering their Old Town San Diego. This historic state park is managed under the California Department of Parks and Recreation and is free to visit.
Old Town has several historic buildings and structures – including the Whaley House (built in 1865), First San Diego Courthouse, the Little Adobe Chapel, and Casa Estudillo (one of the oldest adobe mansions in California).
What other instagrammable places in San Diego do you recommend seeing?
I hope you enjoyed this round up of the 15 most instagrammable places in San Diego! For more instagrammable places guides, I recommend checking out:
Thank you for reading!
Photos: Karya Schanilec