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Hottest Instagrammable spots in California

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In a world captivated by Instagram, California is a top destination for scenic beauty. Here, photographers and social media enthusiasts find endless inspiration. It’s not just the stunning sights perfect for snapping a photo; the state’s culture and history add to its charm. As California professional movers, we’ve seen the joy these spots bring to new residents and visitors. Now, let’s reveal the hottest Instagrammable spots in California.

Exploring the hottest Instagrammable spots in California

California has many picture-worthy locations, both for amateur photographers and those dedicated to it full-time. Every spot tells a unique story that you can capture in your unique way. It’s no wonder many professional photographers and even entire studios frequently hire commercial movers in California to help them transition to this state – both for the sights and the numerous opportunities.

Picture of a person that is holding a smartphone
If you’re planning on making Instagram influencing your job or have already done so, California is the perfect place to be.

Here are some of the most favorite, hottest Instagrammable spots in California that are a must-visit:

  • Hollister: A city where each location tells its unique story, resonating with Instagrammers for its beauty and history.
  • Los Altos: Known for its picturesque spots that captivate photographers and social media enthusiasts with their unique charm.
  • Aptos: Offers a blend of coastal and forest landscapes, making it a favorite among those seeking diverse and natural backdrops for their photos.
  • Los Gatos: Blends natural beauty with elegance, providing varied landscapes perfect for Instagram.
  • Saratoga: Celebrated for its artistic vibe and natural harmony, Saratoga is a prime location for capturing both cultural and natural elegance.
  • Palo Alto: A city that combines academic excellence with natural splendor, offering sought-after photo opportunities.
  • Big Sur: Renowned for its natural grandeur, featuring dramatic landscapes that have become iconic on Instagram.


Hollister is often overlooked, but it’s a photographer’s paradise. Pinnacles National Park is a standout, known for its breathtaking rock formations and rare wildlife, including California condors, peregrine falcons, and bobcats. This park, home to towering spires and deep canyons, is a masterpiece of nature’s artistry. It’s the perfect spot for adventure seekers and nature lovers. Capture the beauty of talus caves or the dramatic high peaks, each with something special to offer for your photos. Representatives of moving companies in Hollister often witness stories of visitors who came for a photo and stayed for the experience.

Picture of the Pinnacles National Park
Hollister has some of the hottest Instagrammable spots in California

Mission San Juan Bautista is steeped in history and adds a historical flavor to your Instagram feed. Founded in 1797, it’s the 15th Spanish mission established in California. It’s not just about the old mission church; the surrounding gardens and courtyards offer serene settings. The mission’s architecture, with its classic Spanish influence, makes for an ideal contrast to the park’s nature, reflecting centuries of history and culture.

Los Altos

Next up is Los Altos. It offers a blend of history and modern charm. The Los Altos History Museum is found in a serene park and is perfect if you love combining nature with history. The amazing architecture here, reminiscent of early Californian ranch houses, and exhibitions on local history, including the Ohlone people and the area’s agricultural past, make it a must-visit spot. The museum, best visited during the quieter weekday mornings, is free, offering an enriching experience without cost. Capture the essence of the area’s past and present in one shot, especially during the special exhibitions that frequently rotate.

Downtown Los Altos, with quaint streets and distinctive shops, has an authentic small-town feel. The population reflects a blend of ethnicities, contributing to a rich community atmosphere. Reputable Los Altos moving companies relocate people from all over the world to this place.

For food enthusiasts, restaurants like the upscale Italian eatery Pompeii or the cozy farm-to-table destination Bumble, offer delightful culinary experiences. The most popular spot for photography is the Downtown Triangle, known for its murals and café culture. Capture the daily life of the locals, the charming storefronts, or the seasonal decorations that adorn the streets. This area reflects the community’s spirit, making it a captivating subject for your Instagram story.


Aptos is the most charming little town in California. It’ll give you both a coastal vibe and rich forests. Here, you’ll find two of the hottest Instagrammable spots in California:

  • Seacliff State Beach: Famous for its long pier and the historic SS Palo Alto, a concrete ship now resting at the beach’s end. This unusual structure creates a striking contrast against the ocean backdrop, perfect for dramatic sunset shots. Visitors often capture the changing tides around the ship, offering a rare blend of history and natural beauty. Movers Aptos CA has to offer frequently move newcomers who come for the beach’s allure.
  • Forest of Nisene Marks State Park: A perfect place for nature lovers, this park is home to miles of hiking trails through dense redwood forests. The park’s tranquil streams and towering trees are ideal if you’re looking for a serene, natural setting. Photographers find the play of light through the foliage particularly captivating, especially in the early morning or late afternoon.
Picture of the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
Aptos is a great place for nature lovers

Los Gatos

Los Gatos has a natural beauty but also a touch of elegance. It’s a favorite among photographers for many reasons. The most captivating spots include:

  • Vasona Lake County Park: This park is a gem for nature photography. With its beautiful lake and abundant wildlife, it’s perfect for capturing the essence of California’s outdoor beauty. The park is also known for its seasonal changes, offering a different experience with each visit.
  • Testarossa Winery: Set in a historic 19th-century building, originally a Jesuit Novitiate Winery, offers a stunning backdrop with its lush vineyards and elegant architecture. The winery is renowned for its exceptional Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, which reflect the rich terroir of the Santa Cruz Mountains. These wines, along with their limited-production single-vineyard selections, are a must-try for visitors. The winery provides guided tours that delve into its rich history and the winemaking process, offering a comprehensive experience. The Cave Tour is particularly popular, taking guests through the historic cellars. For the best experience, visiting during the late afternoon is ideal, as the golden hues of sunset cast a magical light over the vine rows, creating a perfect photography setting. If you hire trusted movers Los Gatos you could move and visit this location the same day. Photographers often find the patio area, with its views of the rolling hills and vineyards, to be an ideal spot for capturing the essence of Testarossa’s picturesque setting.


Saratoga has an artistic vibe and is one of the prime locations on the list of the hottest Instagrammable spots in California. Photographers can capture the essence of California’s artistic and natural elegance in many different places, primarily:

  • Hakone Estate and Gardens is one of the oldest Japanese gardens in the Western Hemisphere. It offers a serene escape, featuring koi ponds, bamboo groves, and flowering cherry trees. Entry into this peaceful retreat typically requires a small fee, and the best times to visit are spring and early fall when the gardens are in full bloom or show vibrant autumn colors. This historical garden was inspired by the Samurai gardens of the Edo period and is a perfect setting for Zen-like photography, drawing local artists and photographers alike. Movers Saratoga CA residents trust often recommend Hakone to newcomers for its unique beauty and calm atmosphere.
  • Montalvo Arts Center, a cultural and arts hub housed in a historic Mediterranean-style villa built in 1912, is surrounded by lush gardens and contemporary art installations. The center is known for its dynamic range of visual and performing arts, hosting various exhibitions, concerts, and educational programs. Visitors can explore the artistic creations scattered throughout the property, ranging from sculptures to interactive installations. The blend of the villa’s historic architecture, art, and the natural beauty of the gardens offers a range of photo opportunities. As you can see, it’s a must-visit destination if you’re seeking both cultural enrichment and aesthetic inspiration.
Picture of a shrine in the Hakone Estate and Gardens
This is one of the oldest Japanese gardens in the Western Hemisphere

Palo Alto

Palo Alto has some of the most sought-after photo spots, including:

  • Stanford University, renowned for its blend of Romanesque and Mission Revival architecture, is an iconic institution founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford. The Main Quad, with its intricate stone arches and the stunning Memorial Church, exemplifies this architectural style. The Rodin sculpture garden, featuring a significant collection of Auguste Rodin’s works, adds an artistic allure to the campus. It’s no wonder that many TV shows and movies, including MythBusters, were filmed here or inspired by the place. This variety in architecture and art provides photographers with a rich variety of backgrounds.
  • Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve, a vast marshland spanning over 1,940 acres, is a haven for wildlife lovers. It has a variety of bird species, like the American avocet and the black-necked stilt, making it an ideal spot for birdwatching and photography. The preserve’s boardwalk and observation deck are the best spots for capturing panoramic views of the bay and its vibrant birdlife. Early morning or late afternoon visits are recommended for the best lighting and wildlife activity. If you decide to make this place your home, the best moving companies Palo Alto has to offer will help you make it happen swiftly and efficiently.

Big Sur

This place is famous for its natural grandeur and is a highlight among the hottest Instagrammable spots in California. Big Sur movers are always busy, thanks to tourists who often decide to make this place their home after visiting once. Here are two must-visit locations:

  • Bixby Creek Bridge, completed in 1932 as part of the Pacific Coast Highway, is a marvel of engineering and design. Its graceful arch and rugged setting make it a quintessential symbol of California’s coastal beauty. Constructed to connect remote areas of the Big Sur coast, its Art Deco style blends seamlessly with the dramatic cliffs it spans. The bridge is particularly stunning at sunset or sunrise, with the play of light creating a breathtaking scene. Early morning or late afternoon are ideal times for photographers seeking to capture its grandeur against the Pacific Ocean backdrop.
  • McWay Falls, located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, is an extraordinary 80-foot waterfall that plunges directly into the ocean. Accessible via a short trail from Highway 1, it’s a relatively easy walk. Visitors should bring appropriate footwear and a camera with a good zoom lens to capture the falls from the designated overlook. The waterfall is most impressive during the rainy season, from November to early spring when the flow is at its peak. Photographers often find the golden hour, just before sunset, as the perfect time to capture McWay Falls.
Picture of McWay Falls, one of the hottest Instagrammable spots in California
This waterfall is one of a kind

General photography and safety tips for visiting the hottest Instagrammable spots in California

When exploring and photographing the diverse beauty of California’s iconic locations, consider these tips for the best experience:

  • Photography tips:
    • Use a tripod for long-exposure shots, especially in low-light conditions.
    • Experiment with different angles and perspectives.
    • Early morning or late afternoon (‘golden hours’) often provide the best lighting.
    • A polarizing filter can enhance skies and reduce reflections.
    • Capture both wide shots and detailed close-ups for variety.
  • Safety and visiting tips:
    • Always stay on marked trails and respect barrier signs.
    • Check weather conditions before your trip, especially for outdoor locations.
    • Carry sufficient water and snacks, especially in remote areas like Big Sur or Pinnacles National Park.
    • Wear appropriate footwear and clothing for the terrain and weather.
    • Be mindful of wildlife; maintain a safe distance, and do not feed animals.
    • Respect the natural environment; leave no trace and avoid damaging flora.
Picture of a camera ready for capturing the hottest instagrammable spots in California
Utilize these tips for the best experience in California

Which one of the hottest Instagrammable spots in California will you visit first?

As you can see, the state of California provides many opportunities for Instagram enthusiasts. Each location offers plentiful opportunities for stunning photography. These areas enrich the visual appeal of your Instagram feed and invite you to explore and appreciate the richness of California. Whether you’re a resident, a visitor, or moving to this state, the hottest Instagrammable spots in California will always be a good place to visit.

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