This post may contain affiliate links, which means I'll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please see my legal page for more details.
Are you looking for your next city break in the US and want to capture some epic Instagram shots? With the help of many travel bloggers, I have compiled a list of the most Instagrammable places in US cities!
NEW YORK CITY
NYC is home to dozens of super famous Instagram spots. When planning a few days in New York City, it can be really overwhelming to try and see everything and hit all those epic NYC photos spots. From Manhattan to Brooklyn, from parks to urban jungles and sprawling skylines, the list is endless. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite Instagrammable spots in NYC!
1. Top of The Rock
My favorite spot to catch a panoramic view of the NYC skyline. Take the elevator to the top and stop by one of the big window frames to snap a picture. Then head to the outdoor viewing deck and ask whoever is taking your photo to go to the top level so you can get a shot looking down. Don’t forget to purchase your tickets in advance as the line can be brutal.
2. The Empire State Building
New York has three epic views from three epic buildings in the city. One of the most famous of these views is from the Empire State Building. The ESB offers prime views of Jersey, Brooklyn, and Lower Manhattan (including One World Trade, or the Freedom Tower as known by locals). The perfect time to visit is about an hour before sunset to get a variety of views from the same vantage point. When planning a visit to NYC and to the Empire State Building, winter would be an optimal season. The weather may be colder in the winter, but it also happens to be the time of year when the time of sunset is timed when locals are still at work, so there will be fewer people in general on the viewing decks. Heading up the ESB about an hour before sunset allows time to see the city in during the magical golden hour, as the colors begin to pop out at sunset, and in the evening when Manhattan comes alive with the city lights.
3. The Flat Iron Building
This is a totally iconic Instagram location in NYC. It is free and super easy to get to with multiple nearby subway spots. Any time of day is good for taking photos at this spot. It is quite easy to get a good clear shot of the street! There is a nearby street light so simply wait until the ‘walk’ symbol comes up and the cars stop and easily cross the street and get an epic shot. A wide-angle lens or standing really far back works best to photograph the whole building. There are many angles to photograph the flat iron so make sure to be creative.
4. Bow Bridge in Central Park
One of the most beautiful places in Central Park in New York, it’s so marvelous that it’s known as the most romantic spot in the city. Every year hundreds of couples get engaged here, on this bridge that crosses the big lake of Central Park.
The best pictures can be taken either from the east of the bridge, on the spot called “Rock with a View” or from the west from a little dock on the lake. It’s said that the best time of the year to see it is during autumn when the trees show reddish colors and reflect beautifully in the lake.
5. DUMBO and The Brooklyn Bridge
DUMBO is an Instagram hot spot to take pictures of the New York City Skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. If you want to try and snag a shot without too many people, come right before sunrise (or when it’s freezing outside!). There are some really cool photos to take on the Brooklyn bridge itself too with Manhattan in the background.
Boston is full of historical charm and has so many different neighborhoods to explore. From the incredible Boston Public Library to the picturesque neighborhood of Beacon Hill, Boston is full of pretty spots to take epic Instagram pictures.
1. Acorn Street
Dubbed the most beautiful street in America, Acorn street is a tiny and hilly cobblestone street in the heart of Beacon Hill. With a big American flag floating in the wind, it makes for the perfect Instagram shot. But make sure to come early morning as it’s one of the most touristy spots in the city.
2. Harvard in Cambridge
The iconic Harvard university grounds are especially gorgeous in late Fall when the foliage turns shades of bright reds, yellows, and oranges. And there are so many things to do in Cambridge, it’s definitely worth the quick T ride from downtown Boston.
Surrounded by water, mountains, and evergreen forests, what is not to love about Seattle? Definitely one of the most instagrammable places in the USA for its picturesque landscapes and amazing sites to see. Seattle should be on your to-do list of places to visit. Seattle is pretty new to the Instagram scene but has a ton of cool spots for epic Instagram shots if you know where to find them!
Caitlin from Escape Reno has visited Seattle a few times and Seattle is definitely one of her top fave cities for Instagram shots! The whole city is a great backdrop for a good photo. That said, keep in mind lighting can be difficult in Seattle because of the latitude. Summer days are extremely long and the sun sets late – so you can be waiting a long time for golden hour. While completely opposite, winter shots are mainly taken in the dark when the sun sets at 4:30 pm.
1.Pike Place Market
If you’re one to shoot with food or drinks, don’t forget the first Starbucks is in Pike Place Market, and the Starbucks Reserve Roastery is beautiful inside. With tons of fresh flower stalls, pretty coffee shops, and colorful fruit stands, Pike Place has tons of opportunities for fun Instagram shots.
2. Kerry Park
For outdoors shots, Kerry Park has the most amazing views of the city.
3. The Space Needle
Built as an observation tower for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Space Needle is the most iconic building in Seattle. Below the Needle is the Seattle Center, a sprawling arts complex that houses the Museum of Popular Culture, the Chihuly Garden, KeyArena, the Pacific Science Center, the International Fountain, and more.
The Seattle Center is home to many festivals throughout the summer, and there are Instagram-worthy views of the Space Needle from every angle. There are elevators to go up to the recently renovated observation deck for an awesome view of the Emerald City, but be sure to get reservations to eat at the revolving restaurant at the top!
4. Chihuly Garden and Glass
Take a peek inside Seattle’s glass forest at Chihuly Garden and Glass. A colorful and amazing landscape of Dale Chihuly’s artworks. There are eight galleries filled with transparent, playful, and crystal-like sculptures, each with a unique blend of form, shape, and color.
The Gum Wall
The Gum Wall is located on the ground level of Pike Place Market. it has become an iconic photo spot in Seattle. It’s pretty gross when you think about it, but such a fun place to snap a colorful shot.
LA is probably most well known for its association with celebrities and stardom and the Hollywood sign. But there is so much more to this Southern California city such as hubs for street art, places for a creative outlet, beautiful sprawling beaches, and amazing places to explore.
Obviously, a great place to capture some picture memories and for sure a very instagrammable place to be.
1. The Hollywood Sign
From Santa Monica and Melrose to Downtown, Los Angeles is a mecca for street art. Instagrammers can often be seen scouring the streets to capture the city’s newest colorful murals. To beat the crowds and take a selfie with some unique backdrops, head to the small district of Filipinotown located near Echo Park. International artists and local legends have gathered to create over 110 murals in the area as part of the Alley Project. The collaboration aims to beautify the once drab neighborhood and the best part is that they’re constantly changing with many beautiful murals. Start at Gabba Gallery, then come around to the side streets to find the most Insta-worthy shots.
Pop on over to Lost and Abroad and enjoy some more stunning artwork from Filipinotown
Washington is the US capital and that alone makes it an incredible place to visit and experience. However, one of the stand-out things about the State is that it has some amazing classical, heritage sites which are well worth seeing. Other noteworthy places to see would be the incredible array of museums and Kennedy Center, one of the performing-arts venues available to explore.
Greenworks D.C. is the cutest corner in Georgetown! This pink building is perfection with the most beautiful flowers adorning this gorgeous floral shop.
This city is one of the largest in the US and is well known for its skyscrapers and grand architecture.
There are also some lovely parks and a river walk for the more outdoorsy visitor and beautiful art galleries and museums for the more artistic side of you. Chicago has some amazing places for you to snap a pic and showcase and share with everyone. See below for some instagrammable places for your trip itinerary.
1. The Bean-Chicago Loop
The Bean aka Cloud Gate, its official title, is one of the most iconic places in Chicago. Its shape and stainless-steel mirroring create unique opportunities for photography. The Bean’s reflective properties allow for amazing photos, including capturing the Chicago skyline. The shape distorts images depending on where the pictures are taken and creates for some amusing photography.
Located in Millennium Park in Chicago’s Loop, the Bean sits across from the famous Congress Hotel. Its popular location in the park is alongside the Crown Fountain, which is a water area in the summer and next to the McCormick Tribune Plaza which features ice skating in the winter. The park itself is walkable, consisting of numerous museums and is along the famous Michigan Avenue. Fun fact: the Bean’s interior is made of wood and is mostly hollow.
2. Downtown River Walk
This is a great spot along the river in the city in the midst of the huge skyscrapers, but still right by the water. The River Walk is a great place for spectacular pictures, but there are also options to kayak the river or take a romantic river cruise. There are many stops along the way that make for beautiful photographs.
Discover more of the beautiful River Walk from Our Kind of Crazy’s equally beautiful story.
3. North Avenue Beach
Situated about a mile north of the heart of the Magnificent Mile, the beach’s walkway, running alongside Lake Michigan, is just far enough away to get a ton of Chicago’s famous landmarks in view, from the Ferris Wheel of Navy Pier to the towering John Hancock Center, but close enough to still marvel at the architectural details and beautifully organized chaos of the city. Between the gorgeous skyscrapers and Lake Michigan’s electric blue waters, it’s the perfect spot to sit back, gaze at the Windy City, and snap a ‘gram or two.
4. Botanical Gardens
Make sure to check out these spectacular gardens while in Chicago. Located on the lake shore with 385 acres of stunning scenery, there are countless opportunities for beautiful shots here.
5. Chicago Theater
At over 100 years old, the Chicago Theater features some beautiful architecture. This legendary venue is situated in the loop area of Chicago and is definitely one of the most iconic US theaters.
I do not think this city needs much introduction. Las Vegas is a bucket list destination and a must-stop on a Nevada road trip. There are so many fun things to do in Las Vegas: it is an incredible vacation spot with lots of fun places to take Instagram photos!
1. The Las Vegas Arts District
The Las Vegas Arts District has so many photo opportunities around every corner.
Most people never make it to this creative side of Vegas because they never leave the strip. This area is full of flashing lights, giant art installations, and larger-than-life murals! Only about an hour is needed to explore in order to come home with tons of amazing photos.
2. The Las Vegas Neon Museum
The Neon Museum pays the ultimate homage to the Las Vegas origin story and it’s a fun retro thing to do in downtown Las Vegas. It is a littered boneyard of old neon signs which have played such an important role in the city’s visual history. The museum was founded in 1996 and is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and studying the neon history of Vegas.
The museum is very Instagrammable in the same way that abandoned buildings and old rail cars are Instagrammable. But on this photoshoot, you can juxtapose yourself right onto the words of old Las Vegas.
The museum is popular so be sure to book ahead for your tour, which is offered during the day and at night.
From Wayfaring Views. Find her on Instagram!
3. The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign
The iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas is the classic, and most popular, Instagrammable spot in the city. Almost everyone who visits goes past the sign at least once, often upon arrival as the cab driver takes the long way around from the airport.
A good percentage of visitors also make a trip out to the sign to get a photo. The city transit Deuce buses have a stop at the sign, as do the hop-on-hop-off buses. Many tour companies that lead day trips outside of the city have also added a quick stop at the sign to their itineraries. The guides will even say “Make sure to get an Instagram shot”. Go and find out from Gypsy With a Day Job more of what you should know before visiting Las Vegas.
From Gyspy with A Day Job. Catch them on Instagram
Austin is the state capital of Texas. This city is a great place to visit for those whose hearts are filled with rhythm and blues – and of course some country rock. There are also some really fun and interesting places for you to visit in Austin, such as some of these listed below. Also home to beautiful open spaces and great vibes.
1. The ‘I Love You Show Much’ wall and ‘You’re My Butter Half’ mural
The mural is located at 2000 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd on the side of the United Way for Greater Austin building. It’s best known for its cutesy pop art style of a slice of bread and a partially melted slab of butter with a heart between the two. The mural has become a favorite place for couples to take cutesy photos, proclaim love, and even propose!
Let Adventures of Panda Bear give you some more great reasons to visit Austin right here.
2. Capitol Hill.
The official government buildings are framed perfectly by lush green trees for those ‘hat holding back to camera’ shots or ‘couple goals’ snaps! Capitol Hill is very central to downtown. It does get busy with tourists taking tours and school trips doing group pictures so time it right.
The hilly San Francisco is well known for its year-round fog, iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, and colorful Victorian houses. San Francisco ranks rather high on the cultural “it” list of places to visit at some point in time. The city can provide some great beach visits (when it isn’t foggy) or even when it is, depends on you really, and some other really great sightseeing places that are unlikely to be replicated anywhere else.
1. Baker Beach
When visiting “The Golden City” there are a handful of must-see spots, including the Golden Gate Bridge and Pier 39, but don’t forget about the beach! Just south of San Francisco’s famous Golden Gate and Marshall’s Beach is Baker Beach. The thing about Baker Beach, probably because it’s a little farther south than Marshall’s Beach, and therefore slightly more inaccessible to the general tourist population, is that there will mostly be locals making the beach not as crowded. It’s the perfect place to sit back and watch the pillowy waves crash onto the sand as the sun sets over the Marin Headlands and the bridge in the distance. Pelicans can even be seen flying overhead! A fun fact to note is that Baker Beach also happens to be a nude beach, so keep that in mind as people are walking up and down the beach. 🙂
There are a variety of ways to get to the beach from the Golden Gate Welcome Center: 1) Walk about 30 minutes through the Presidio, 2) take a combination of a couple of buses (which also takes about 30 minutes), or 3) It will be about a 5-minute drive by car.
2. Clarion Alley
A street art paradise, Clarion Alley is located in the very cool Mission District. It can be found between Valencia Street and Mission Street running parallel to, and between, 17th Street and Sycamore Street. The murals in Clarion Alley are painted by local artists and often feature political themes relevant to today’s issues. It’s easy to spend an hour or so just taking a ton of different pictures here! The murals are super colorful and there’s such an incredible amount of them!
Go and check out My Toronto, My World for more instagrammable moments in San Francisco
3. Golden Gate Overlook
Golden Gate Overlook is an amazing viewpoint of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and one of the most popular Instagrammable spots in SF. Located in the Presidio neighborhood of San Francisco, Golden Gate Overlook is easy to get to and take photos at. There is a large parking lot at Golden Gate Overlook and it is easy to get parking during the week. A ride-sharing service can also be taken to get dropped off there.
To get the Instagrammable shot at Golden Gate Overlook, make sure to bring a zoom or portrait lens and line up the Golden Gate Bridge between the two trees for the best effect. The place to take the shot can be found easily.
4. Ina Coolbrith Park
Ina Coolbrith Park is one of the best hidden Instagrammable spots in San Francisco. While mostly known for locals, Ina Coolbrith Park offers one of the best views of downtown San Francisco and the Bay Bridge. However, it is a hike (literally) to get to Ina Coolbrith Park, located on top of the Russian Hill. The good news is that for those who do not plan to hike up the steep hills that San Francisco is known for, it is possible to take a car to this park. In addition, since it’s a neighborhood park, most of the time the park is very empty and quiet, making it the perfect Instagram spot for photos.
Dallas, I think when one says the name the pictures of the iconic show of the ’70s, ’80s and beyond rear to the surface. But it is known for so many more things, including being a metropolis of North Texas and a cultural and commercial hub within the region. A city well known for many things from Tex Mex cuisine to a diversity of cultures and people through to incredible art museums and many other things. You surely need to pop on over to Dallas on your next trip – road or otherwise.
1. Deep Ellum
The street art scene in Dallas is booming, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon! Some of the best murals are located in Deep Ellum, a haven for artists and Instagrammers alike. From a gigantic American flag to an homage to aliens, all day can be spent seeking the perfect shot.
There are several public works of art that can easily be discovered on foot. If sculptures are a must, don’t want to miss out on The Traveling Man. It’s a 38 ft statue of a robot with an amazing view of Downtown Dallas in the distance.
Most visitors spend the whole day in Deep Ellum, exploring its art, trendy restaurants, and artisan boutiques.
Ah, Miami – not much to say here except the sun, sand, and glorious expanses of beaches. At the center of Florida, Miami is a leader in finances, media, and arts and culture within the region, amongst other things. Because of this, you are likely to come across some truly unique events, sights to see, and things to do. Miami is definitely another one for the travel bucket list for both locals to the US as well those abroad. Instagram will love you when you share your time spent in Miami.
1. Miami Beach Lifeguard Stands
Walking down the beach from South Pointe, there are various lifeguard stands in all colors, shapes, and sizes. They are perfect to photograph to get that quintessential photo. Going at sunrise or when the lifeguards close down lends the perfect lighting for the best photo.
Most of these stands have been designed by architects, artists, and musicians. With so many to choose from, it’s ideal for the perfect shot!
By Travels of Sarah Fay. Find her on Instagram
2. Wynwood Walls
Check out these giant, colorful street murals in the Wynwood neighborhood in Miami. It features over 40 dazzling murals painted by artists from all over the world. This attraction can be visited in the day or night as the paintings are kept well-lit. Wynwood Walls makes for countless options for an artsy photo shoot.
3. The Broken Shaker Bar
Known for its delicious, unique cocktails, the Broken Shaker Bar is the perfect spot to grab a drink and picture (or two). It’s located on Miami Beach, so be sure to check it out!
New Orleans is one of those places with so much uniqueness you just have to be in the moment and experience it and take it all in. It is a beautiful, vibrant place filled with equally vibrant, friendly people. The city is well known for its unique dialect, Creole cuisine, and of course Mardi Gras. However, with all these things New Orleans is known for, there are also many other places to see and things to do which may not always be known to everyone. See below for some ideas of what more New Orleans has to offer.
1. Corner of Royal St. and Dumaine St.
With its brick exterior, cast iron gallery, and hanging ferns, this building is a New Orleans classic.
Located in the French Quarter, it’s situated on a busy route for tourists, locals, and horse-drawn carriages! As with most Instagrammable spots it’s recommended to arrive early in the morning before the crowds.
2. New Orleans’ Garden District
It is simply bursting with beautiful, instagrammable spots: covered in majestic mansions, dotted with streets lined with gigantic oak trees that are dripping with Spanish Moss, and cool boutiques, any photographer will be quick to find lovely enclaves and beautiful corners worth snapping here!
A few highlights to keep an eye out for include the home that inspired Disney’s Haunted Mansion, the house used for exterior shots in one season of American Horror Story, the vibrant Commander’s Palace restaurant, and the many cafes and boutiques of Magazine Street! The New Orleans Garden District is also where you’ll find the visually stunning Lafayette Cemetery No. 1.
By Our Escape Clause. Find them on Instagram!
3. Cafe Du Monde and Cafe Beignet
These beautiful little cafes located in the New Orleans French Quarter are known for their cafe au lait and beignets. The place to go for those who love photographing food, these are definitely a couple of the most Instagramable spots in New Orleans.
I think it is safe to say that we have some amazing places to see and experience here in the USA. What is your favorite?