The world is a big place, but Instagram has made it a lot smaller. Now, you have access to destinations all over the world with a quick geotag search.
Not only that, Instagram is revolutionizing the way that people travel. People want to visit places that stimulate them on a personal level, yes.
Do they also want to travel to places that will amass huge Instagram likes on their posts? Heck yes.
The popularity of posting on Instagram and showing off what an amazing life you have is ever-strong.
Social media showcases how exciting life can be and how many incredible places you can visit, often causing wanderlust.
The travel niche on Instagram has also created another phenomenon— Instagrammable places.
People want to visit the trending places around the globe to snap their star shot for their Instagram content. #doitforthegram, amirite?!
No matter what type of travel content you’re creating, you want to inspire users on Instagram through sharing the places you encounter, your discoveries, as well as your perspectives on life and culture.
We love to explore all of the different places that Instagrammers are featuring and have put together a few guides to help you pick out the best places to visit, see, eat, and share on your Instagram.
One of the most iconic places around the world for visitors and locals alike is San Francisco.
With a population of roughly 875,000 people in the city alone, they saw a record high of 26.2 million visitors in 2019.
It’s also one of the top destinations for travel in the US, making it one of the most Instagrammable places on the planet.
With no shortage of attractions and sights to share, it’s a perfect Instagram spot for locals and visitors of all sorts.
In this countdown, we’re going to unveil all of the top spots to Instagram in San Francisco.
We’ve ranked them based hashtag and geotag research to compile the list leading up to the #1 spot for Instagram posts in SF.
With a combination of parks, museums, neighborhoods, events, eateries, sites, and more, the best of San Francisco is coming at you!
An incredible experience that makes science and wonder accessible to the masses, Exploratorium is a museum located on the iconic Pier 15.
The museum opened in 1969 with a mission of making science interesting for all through art and interactive displays.
The exhibits and displays change frequently, so visiting often is recommended. You can easily find new and engaging things to snap for your IG profile.
They even make updates to existing exhibits, so you may not encounter the same thing twice.
24. 16th Avenue Tiled Steps
An array of incredible mosaic steps, the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps project began in 2003 with the intention of creating neighborhood collaboration.
Not only was the purpose to bring the neighborhood together, it was also meant to beautify Golden Gate Heights.
The whole neighborhood was able to participate in making the mosaic tiles, and the Tiled Steps project was revealed to the public on August 27th, 2005.
Now, it’s an iconic space for people from around the world to celebrate community and creativity.
Included in the mosaic are handmade tiles that showcase birds, fish, and other animals through the work of over 300 community members.
You can get an incredible view from 16th Avenue and Moraga Street— you’ll also get an incredible workout!
23. Cliff House
A classic staple in the world of SF restaurants, the Cliff House has been around since 1858. Unfortunately, on the last day of 2020, it closed its doors for good.
The National Parks Service forced closure of the national treasure after denying a contract renewal.
Instagrammers will be disappointed to hear they will no longer be able to document their experience at the Cliff House, but they can still visit and reminisce (for now) what used to be a historic restaurant of San Francisco.
Their three impeccable dining sections will be greatly missed by SF residents and visitors alike!
22. Blue Bottle Coffee
If you’re looking for another iconic place to grab a coffee or a bite to eat in San Fran, you’ll love the minimalist and modern look of Blue Bottle Coffee, as do many other Instagrammers out there.
With locations now in NYC, LA, SF, and Japan, Blue Bottle is native to the SF area and is so popular due to its short production chain and single origin coffee beans, boosting sustainability.
You’ll find no shortage of fun and artsy ways to snap your Blue Bottle photos and enjoy some of the best coffee and eats around. Be prepared to wait— it’s popular from the moment the locks come off the door.
Blue Bottle may have expanded to Japan, but the Japanese have been settled in San Francisco since the early 1860s.
They initially set up camp in Chinatown and south Market Street, but were uprooted by the 1906 earthquake and fire.
They then made home in the Western Addition neighborhood, which is now known as Japantown.
Over time, shrines, restaurants, and shops all reflective of the Japanese culture became a staple of the neighborhood.
Japantown can offer you a wide range of Japanese cuisine, entertainment, beauty, religious services, and much more. Don’t miss your chance to check out the unique architecture!
20. California Academy of Sciences
Another museum bringing you science in SF is the California Academy of Sciences, located in Golden Gate Park.
It’s the only place in the world that features an aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum all in one space— that alone makes it Instagram worthy!
You’ll be able to enjoy an incredible four-story living rainforest, a roof full of beautiful blooming wildflowers, a coral reef ecosystem, and even penguins!
There is so much to see and explore that you may not have enough storage on your camera roll for all the photos you take.
If you’re over 21, you can enjoy an incredible NightLife experience that allows you to get tipsy while checking out the Academy at night; you can buy tickets on their website and the event happens Thursdays from 6-10pm.
19. Ghirardelli Square
If you like chocolate, this one’s for you! Ghirardelli Square is a popular tourist destination near the world-famous Fisherman’s Wharf.
The original Ghirardelli factory can be found there, and you can enjoy some absolutely Instagram-worthy sweet treats.
It’s been a landmark of the SF bayside since 1862 and draws in visitors from all over the world.
If you continue on to Fisherman’s Wharf, you’ll be bombarded with even more shops and restaurants, but don’t forget to satisfy your sweet tooth (and IG feed!) with some delectable Ghirardelli treats.
18. Conservatory of Flowers
Since when don’t people like to see a bunch of beautiful flowers and plants on their Instagram feed? Flowers have been a perfect ambiance-creator for basically forever.
The Conservatory of Flowers is proof, and they’ve been enjoying visitors for more than a century.
Boasting luxurious Victorian architecture, The Conservatory of Flowers finds itself as one of San Francisco’s historical sights as well as most-photographed structures.
The building was virtually destroyed by a cyclone in 1995, but luckily reopened in 2003 to host over 2 million visitors.
It’s also a popular destination for romantic wedding couples that want to say their “I do’s” in an iconic, majestic venue.
17. Japanese Tea Garden
Japantown isn’t the only awesome homage to Japanese culture in the city. Another big draw of San Francisco for Instagrammers is the Japanese Tea Garden, which can be found in Golden Gate Park.
Built for the 1894 World’s Fair, it has stood the test of time and now holds the name of the oldest public Japanese Garden in the United States.
You can get in touch with some serious inner-peace walking along wooded paths with ponds alongside, finally reaching the teahouse.
With an expansive 3 acres featuring Buddhist and Shinto sculptures, you won’t want to miss it.
16. Sutro Baths
The Sutro Baths used to be the largest indoor swimming area in the world and featured 7 pools, a museum, amphitheater, and ice skating rink in the original facilities; it was unfortunately burned down in June of 1966.
You can still visit the Sutro Baths as a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, taking incredible and eerie shots of the remains of the original baths.
It’s a unique piece of history that remains at Lands End in SF.
15. Muir Woods
For the nature lovers of Instagram, you won’t want to miss Muir woods.
John Muir was one of the most famous mountaineers in the history of the United States, the father of the national parks, as well as a prominent figure in almost all of the California mountainside.
You won’t want to miss out on the impressive redwoods and Redwood Creek. The area has been protected since 1908 and is not only a refuge but a place for research.
There are strict regulations to protect the area, so don’t even think about taking home a little souvenir from the forest.
It only makes sense, with over a million people visiting the natural area every year.
The oldest Chinatown in North America can be found in San Francisco. Chinatown is a sprawling neighborhood always bustling with activity and movement.
There’s always something going on and you can find an incredible amount of different Chinese cultural treats.
You can enter through an astounding Dragon’s Gate on Grant Ave. and Bush St.
The further out you get from there, the more you’ll start to notice the rhythm of everyday life and not simply a tourist area.
13. City Hall
Like a handful of other places on this list, City Hall was also ruined during an earthquake and fire— the same one that destroyed the initial Japantown.
With the 1915 World’s Fair on the horizon, it was imperative that it was restored.
It was ready in time, and now, the SF city hall absolutely stuns with incredible interiors— there are literally four floors of white marble! Talk about luxury.
It also has a grand staircase and a 307-foot dome that can be seen from many points around the city.
The property also includes expansive areas for walking and taking in the impressive architecture.
12. Painted Ladies
Perhaps made famous through the hit sitcom “Full House,” the Painted Ladies are an impeccable row of 7 houses that were built between 1892 and 1896.
These houses are simply iconic, rightly situated on “Postcard Row.”
You can find these beauties between 710 and 720 Steiner Street across from Alamo Square Park. It’s a great spot for spending a day in the park and taking in the sights.
You’ll be able to share the colorful and opulent homes with your IG followers, including the more modern SF skyline in the background.
11. Ferry Building Marketplace
If you’re a fan of handmade goods and artisan products, you’ll love what the Ferry Building Marketplace has to offer.
You’ll also be able to find a handful of delicious food offerings and gourmet ingredients.
You can stop for a coffee, a bite to eat, or even some delicious ice cream along the way. You can also enjoy a farmers market outdoors on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
You’ll get beautiful views of the Bay Bridge and you may want to rent a bike so that you can explore what the rest of the pier has to offer.
With an iconic clock tower and lovely outdoor cafes, you’ll find something worth posting on Instagram without a doubt.
10. San Francisco Pride
San Francisco Pride doesn’t have one particular location, but it is certainly one of the most Instagram-worthy events of San Francisco and it spans across the whole city.
It’s incredibly popular and is a big draw for SF during the last weekend of June.
It boasts over 200 different exhibitors and a whopping 20 community stages and venues, leaving you no shortage of places to share on Instagram.
It’s notoriously risque and fun, so get ready to enjoy yourself and spend some time getting to know people.
There are literally thousands of spectators that assemble to watch the Market Street parade, and many march behind the parade all the way to the end of the route at the Civic Center.
Instagram Live, anyone?
9. Museum of Modern Art
Known as SFMOMA, this museum was the first museum on the West Coast that featured solely 20th century art.
Its expansive premise of 170k square feet are beaming with modern and contemporary art that spans across media— art, design, painting, sculpture, and more.
You can visit this museum and see it for yourself for free; you’ll have access to about a third of the museum at no charge, but to view some particular exhibitions, you’ll have to pay an entry fee.
8. Bay Bridge
San Francisco is known for its bridges, and this is one of them. The Bay Bridge can be seen from a variety of spots around the city, but a notoriously good view is seen from behind the Ferry Building Marketplace.
Great! Two Instagrammable spots in one.
If you’re a morning person, you can grab a coffee at the nearby Starbucks and take a seat for the astounding sunrise. Nothing more Instagram-worthy than that, right?
7. Ocean Beach
A calm destination for Instagrammers, Ocean Beach spans 3.5 miles and allows you to take a moment for yourself and reflect on your surroundings.
Take a stroll on the beach alone, with a friend (both human and furry), and enjoy the serenity of the crashing waves— maybe even capture a boomerang for the ‘gram.
6. AT&T Park
Sports are a big deal in any city in the US, so it’s no surprise that AT&T park is one of the most-frequented (and Instagrammed) spots in the city.
Whether or not you’re a SF Giants fan (Go Dodgers), you can enjoy the area and take some Instagram shots. You can even book a behind-the-scenes tour to get an insider’s view.
5. Fisherman’s Wharf
A true San Francisco staple, Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the top tourist destinations in the city. It’s always bustling with people and activity, offering no shortage of shops, restaurants, and attractions.
You can get some incredible and iconic snaps of the Wharf for your Instagram and also try some world-famous sourdough bread or clam chowder.
4. Union Square
Union Square is a type of hub of the city, connecting some of the most well-known streets in San Francisco.
It’s a public plaza of almost 3 acres and has uncountable options for delicious dining and satisfying shopping.
If you want to see the street artists prepare for the day, take a stroll in the morning. You can also see the iconic painted hearts that are scattered across San Francisco.
3. Alcatraz Island
A once-notorious prison, you can now hop on a boat and take a tour of one of the most famous historic icons of the United States.
You can enjoy taking photos of the first lighthouse on the US West Coast and also enjoy the first US-built fort. Around 1.4 million guests visit the attraction yearly, so make sure you plan it out.
2. Pier 39
Pier 39 is where all of the tourist action begins on the pier, and it’s one of the most Instagrammed sights of all of San Francisco.
You can enjoy all of the different sounds and stimulations, and you’ll even get a great view of the sea lions sunbathing.
1. Golden Gate Bridge
It probably comes as no surprise that the Golden Gate Bridge is the top Instagrammed spot in San Francisco, considering it’s a tourist hot spot and must-see location.
It’s iconic and unmistakable on a global scale.
Not only can you get creative with an infinite number of vantage points, you can also take a walk along Golden Gate Park and even walk along its almost 2 miles of bridge.
You can access it by reaching Presidio National Park.
Bonus Spot: Haight Ashbury
One of the most well-preserved districts in San Francisco and made famous by the hippie movement of the 1960, Haight Ashbury is a great spot if you want to get a feel for SF’s diversity and historic vibe.
Nearby Golden Gate Park and just below The Painted Ladies, you can take a stroll through the neighborhood and enjoy its boutiques, vintage shops, dive bars, and interesting restaurants.
You can even check out a great collection of Victorian homes, including the Grateful Dead House.
Tips for Instagram Travel Posts
Whether or not you’re Instagramming San Francisco or another destination, there are three tips for creating captivating Instagram travel posts that will set your content apart from the rest.
If you want to make sure that your posts get connected with your destination and more people in your target audience, you should be sure to use the proper hashtags.
Tag the location on your Instagram post as well as in hashtags; you should also use geotags on Instagram stories for a chance to be featured in the official location story. Many times, people will search for a destination; when you tag the location of your post, your content can get more reach and get seen by more Instagram users.
It may even get featured by another account if it gets noticed by the right person!
Call to Actions
No travel post is complete without a call to action. Ask your followers a question, tell them to tag a friend, or any other witty and conversational way you can get them to engage with your content.
There are so many fun ways to engage users through travel posts, so really be creative and think about what you would respond to as an Instagram user.
The more you can get people liking and commenting on your posts, the more reach it will gain.
Final Thoughts: Most Instagrammed Places San Francisco
San Francisco can be a goldmine for Instagram!
Have you ever been to San Francisco? What are some other Instagram-worthy sites that we can check out? Let us know in the comments— drop your IG handle!