I did it for the Gram.
How many times have you heard that? While I don’t adventure and explore JUST for Instagram pictures, I do try and use that platform to persuade others to travel, show some hidden gems I’ve stumbled upon and to share the locations of places to inspire. Everyone obviously has a different definition as to what constitutes a great Instagram picture as that’s the true beauty of that platform, to showcase your talents by creating art with your photos.
My definition of a great Instagram shot includes: shooting in a place that catches the eye or in a place that’s well-known, somewhere colorful & unique, all the while exhibiting the fun I’m having.
San Fran is full of Instagrammable spots. This is a post that will get added to time and time again because every single time I visit San Fran, I find a new amazing place.
Here are the Instagrammable Spots in San Francisco:
Chinatown is an Instagrammer’s dream. The Dragon’s Gate is an iconic place as it represents the entrance to Chinatown. My favorite spot to shoot in Chinatown is this lanterned street that T’s into some seriously-unique architectural buildings.
Head to Waverly Place in between Washington & Clay Street to find this place.
16th Avenue Tiled Steps
I thought that this was one of the most Instagrammed places in San Fran but I was surprised to learn about how many people didn’t know they existed after posting about them on social media. The stunning mosaic-tiles decorate every 163rd step, changing colors on each platform, supplying you with a variety of shots in a single locale.
The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps are in a residential area at the base of Grandview Park. Find them on Moraga Street on an incline between 15th and 16th Avenue.
The iconic Zig-Zag Street that we’ve all seen in various movies and tv shows is stunningly decorated with fresh flowers and landscaping.
This portion of Lombard Street is located between the Streets of Hyde & Leavenworth.
Hidden Garden Steps
Another set of mosaic-tiled steps? YES! And these aren’t as popular so you’ll have a lot of opportunity to take pictures here. In fact, some locals were actually unaware these existed too when I had talked with them. While the Hidden Garden Steps don’t have as many tiers as the 16th Avenue Steps, the colors beautifully represent a garden with lush greenery, dragonflies and vegetables.
These are located near the other tiled steps at 1520 16th Avenue.
Museum of Ice Cream
This place just might be the most Instagrammable spot in all of San Fran but unfortunately, I’ve attempted going there multiple times they’ve either been closed or tickets just sold out. I will make it there someday and when that time comes I’ll be back to update you all on why I think it’s so Instagrammable! Buy your tickets online here before visiting.
Find the Museum of Ice Cream at 1 Grant Avenue.
The Lip Mural
Street art is always Instagrammable and this lip mural is one of my favs.
Find this spot in Little Italy on the back of the Bodega North Beach building, located on the corner of Columbus and Filbert, along Via Bufano.
Mr. Holmes Bakehouse
Possibly one of the most sought-after Instagram spots in San Fran is this neon sign at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse that reads “I Got Baked in San Francisco.”
Find the neon sign in Mr. Holmes Bakehouse at 1042 Larkin Street.
Snag yourself a slice of pizza and go wandering through the gorgeous area of Little Italy.
This photo was taken in front of the Grant & Green Saloon on the corner of Grant Avenue & Green Street.
Japanese Tea Garden
While they do charge a small fee for admission, if you enter before 10 AM you can get in for free!
The Japanese Tea Garden is located in Golden Gate Park.
One of the busiest tourist areas in San Fran, the Fisherman’s Wharf embodies all that a seaside city should: fresh clam chowder, live entertainment, multiple marinas with every type of boat and the salty smell of the ocean.
Find the Fisherman’s Wharf in North Beach to the west of the ever-famous Pier 39.
Another one of the busiest tourist areas in San Fran is Pier 39, an elongated pier that stretches out into the Bay with shops, bars and restaurants.
Pier 43 Ferry Arch
The Ferry Arch is a historic area that was built in 1915. It was used for the docking of ferries for passengers, cargo and rail cars and is where the prisoners were loaded before heading to Alcatraz. If you look closely in the pictures, you can see Alcatraz on the right side of the frame.
This spot is located on Pier 43, in between Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf.
Labyrinth at Land’s End
So incredibly unique, you have to catch it for the Gram! Labyrinth at Land’s End was created by Eduardo Aguilera in 2004 as a “meditative, circuitous path for peace, love and enlightenment.” It also supplies you with some stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge on a clear day.
To get there, park at the Land’s End Trailhead, walking southwest on the golf cart path. Cross through the gated road, taking a right at the T. Once you get to the split, take a left down the stairs until you’re met by the ocean. Take a right up the dirt path heading north until it opens up to the Pacific Ocean.
The Painted Ladies
Full House, need I say more? These ever-famous Victorian and Edwardian architectural homes have been featured in more than 70 films and shows. It’s one of the most Instagrammed spots in San Fran and you can probably see why: It supplies you with the picture-perfect-postcard shot of San Fran.
Find the Painted Ladies at 710 Steiner Street.
Woodline Lover’s Lane
One of my favorite places in San Fran is the gorgeous Lover’s Lane in Presidio Park and that 0.6 mile woodline trail is perfect for an Instagram shot!
Find this spot in Presidio Park on Lover’s Lane.
Last Stop First Stop Mural
Once again, murals are the best for Instagram!
Find this one on the corner of Judah and La Playa Streets.
The Castro District
If you’re into colorful Instagram shots then this is the place for you. Head down to Castro Street to see the vibrancy of San Fran come to life!
Castro Street is located just north of Eureka Valley and Delores Heights.
The Lime Green House
San Fran is full of uniquely-colored homes and buildings.
This building is located on the corner of Irving and La Playa Street.
San Fran has multiple outdoor public areas that have characteristics perfect for the Gram.
The LOVE Sign is located in Apple Union Square at 300 Post Street.
Cafe Zoetrope Building
This incredibly-architected building is in the heart of San Fran and is a stunning representation of the uniqueness of the city.
This building is located on the edge of where Little Italy borders Chinatown, on the corner of Columbus Avenue & Kearny Street.
Golden Gate Park’s Music Concourse
A stunning area within San Fran’s largest recreational park is the music concourse with a gorgeous backdrop.
Find this spot in Golden Gate Park, in between the California Academy of Science and de Young Museum.
Hearts in SF
The beautiful heart sculpture in Union Square changes annually as local artists paint it for the General Hospital Foundation for fundraising.
Located in Union Square on the corner of Post and Powell Street.
Market Street Cable Cars
San Fran is iconic for those cable cars that hoist you up their enormous hillsides.
The photo was taken on the corner of Market and Stockton Street but, if you’re looking for the more traditional trolleys, head over to Hyde Street near the Hyde Street Pier.
Regarded as one of the best places to catch an aerial view of San Fran (on a clear day, of course), Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill is the perfect Instagram spot.
Coit Tower is located at 1 Telegraph Hill Blvd. but this shot was taken on Gerke Alley off of Grant Avenue.
Views of Coit Tower & Alcatraz
This place is basically just a ledge on the side of a street but it’s one of my favorite spots to sit with my lunch to stare out over at San Fran; the views are pretty Instagrammable to boot! From one angle you can see Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower then, from the other angle you’re able to stare out into the water at Alcatraz island.
Located just off of Leavenworth Street on Francisco Street. This shot’s taken on the ledge that curves around to the west.
Located directly in front of San Fran’s City Hall is the gorgeous Civic Center courtyard area full of Instagrammable spots. Staring at City Hall on the right side near the parking garage are trees with their trunks decorated in various animal prints. A shot of the domed City Hall building can be caught here as well and, in the center of the tree lines directly in front of City Hall is a life-size chess board. To the left is another tree-lined path with lights strung in a zig-zag manner.
Find this area in San Fran at 335 McAllister Street.
The Golden Gate Bridge
The most photographed bridge in the world, it’s no wonder why tourists flock to this area for the perfect Gram shot. The best places to shoot the bridge from is at Battery Spencer on the Marin Headlands or at Battery Crosby near Presidio Park.
Another great Instagram spot for a shot of the Bridge is at the Torpedo Wharf on Long Avenue.
Like I said, I will definitely be updating this post with more San Fran’s Instagrammable Spots as time goes on. Living so close to the city gives me ample opportunity to explore pretty much whenever I want and I’m completely okay with that as San Fran is my absolute favorite city!
Be sure to give me a follow over on Instagram! You can find me @thebreakofdawns or click here.
Use This Map Below to Show You Where Each Instagrammable Spot Is!
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