San Diego offers some of the most picturesque views in the country, from dazzling beachfront sunsets to sweeping mountain vistas and an assortment of quirky neighborhoods in between. Balboa Park, in particular, is a favorite, offering a taste of the city’s vibrant culture, while Sunset Cliffs lives up to its name for professional and amateur photographers alike. Surprisingly, many locals haven’t experienced all that our beautiful city has to offer, which is why we recommend the following secret spots that are sure to boost likes on your next Instagram post.
1. The Secret Swings, La Jolla
Let your inner child loose on these hidden swings located near UCSD’s La Jolla campus while enjoying the (literal) million dollar ocean view.
2. KAABOO Del Mar Music Festival
San Diego’s newest music festival features world-renowned musical talent and local culinary flavors every September in Del Mar. The festival also features colorful live art exhibits, including colossal murals that serve as the perfect backdrop to your Instagram shots.
3. Holy Matcha in North Park, San Diego
The matcha may be green, but Holy Matcha on University Ave screams pink. It’s hard enough to choose between their matcha-inspired teas, lattes, soft serve and gluten-free treats?it’s even more difficult to select which corner of the shop will provide the most inspired Instagram shot.
4. La Jolla Murals, “Favorite Color” by Roy McMakin
La Jolla is a rare jewel of a city overlooking the ocean, and The Murals of La Jolla (@muralsoflajolla) have managed to enhance the city’s beauty with 24 murals by local artists throughout the downtown area. “Favorite Color” by Roy McMakin is a fan favorite, featuring the preferred colors of 100 strangers. McMakin said his inspiration was the desire “to create a visual document of what a somewhat arbitrary group of people, of various ages, etc., choose as their favorite color.”
5. Crest Cafe, Hillcrest
The most discerning brunch fans will love Crest Cafe in Hillcrest, which offers an old-school diner experience with an artistic twist: a life-sized violet elephant on its front mural that serves as an ode to Hillcrest and the neighborhood’s colorful history.
6. You & Yours Distillery, East Village
This dreamy hotspot is definitely #InteriorDesignGoals, with panoramic views of Insta-worthy decorations. Stop by for one of their classic vodka or gin cocktails and watch their in-house distillery at work while you sip and snap pics.
7. Spruce Street Suspension Bridge
Spanning 375 feet in length and towering 70 feet from the ground, this hidden gem in the Bankers Hill neighborhood will make you feel like you’re defying physics above the picturesque canyon, with Insta-ready shots from nearly every angle.