With summer just around the corner, vaccines continuing and Covid cases dropping, the chances for traveling this summer are looking better and better. We know you’re dying to get out of the house and get a change of scenery, so we’ve got some inspiration for your summer travels! Check out our list of insanely instagrammable destinations you could travel to this summer—or right now. Find something close to home or grab a cheap flight and head somewhere new.
1. The Wave, AZ
Stunning views and hike? Check. Nearby to other National Parks? Check. Easily accessible? Check. The hike to the Wave is stunning and the Wave itself, as you can see, offers some insanely pretty canyons and red sandstone, well, waves. You’ll need a permit for hiking it (as it’s pretty popular) so reserve your day permits for hiking the Wave well in advance.
2. Awa’awapuhi Trail
For incredible above-the-clouds coastal views on Hawaii’s big island, look no further than the Awa’awapuhi Trail. The hike is about 7 miles roundtrip, so it’s a great day trip, just be prepared for some mud and steep sections. The views at the end will make it all worth it!
3. The Chicago Bean aka Cloud Gate
Is this the most popular spot for a selfie in the US? Quite possibly yes. If you’ve never snapped your own selfie with the iconic Chicago bean (officially named “Cloud Gate”), it’s time to make your way to Chicago, ASAP.
4. Escalante, Utah
Utah’s Grand Staircase—Escalante National Monument is a vast and still super-remote wilderness filled with natural wonders like slot canyons, rock bridges and formations and some of the best sunsets around. (To snap some pics in this particular spot, head out on one of the trails in Coyote Gulch that brings you to Jacob Hamblin Arch).
5. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
For a whimsical weekend filled with hot air balloon rides, fireworks and skies dotted with colorful balloons, head to Albuquerque in the fall for the annual hot air balloon festival. Colorful? Check. Fun festival events? Check. Magical backdrop for all your pics? Check.
6. Big Sur, CA
If there’s one section of the US that’s known for its insta-worthy views, it’s Big Sur. This coastal region of California is frequented by anyone planning a Pacific Coast Highway road trip. With hundreds of miles of scenic ocean views, sweeping cliffs and vistas, forested hikes and waterfalls that fall straight into the ocean, Big Sur is a photographer’s paradise.
7. Grand’Rivière, Martinique
This French island in the Caribbean is the perfect blend of all things French and Caribbean—and just 3.5 hours from Miami! Head there for the white sand beaches, the lush green mountains and an island paradise that looks (and feels) a lot further away from the US than it actually is.
8. Inyo National Forest
While many travelers to California head to either Yosemite or the coast (both amazing options), Inyo National Forest offers some of the most stunning views in the state. From insane mountain vistas, turquoise lakes and plenty of hiking and swimming options, you’ll have no problem finding some incredible views to explore—and to spice up your Insta.
9. Acorn Street, Boston
As one of the most photographed streets in the US, a quick visit to Acorn Street is a must if you’re visiting Boston. From brick apartments with ivy, original cobblestone from the 1800s and picture-perfect lampposts, this is the quintessential All-American historical street.
10. Ne Pali Coast, Kauai
If you’re up for a hike, the Ne Pali Coast in Kauai offers up some of the best views in Hawaii—or pretty much anywhere. Hike the whole Ne Pali Coast (Kalalau) Trail as a weekend backpacking trip—it’s 22 miles long—or just hike a section of it. Either way, you’ll have incredible views!
11. Tulum, MX
Is Tulum one of the most instagrammable destinations in Mexico? Yeah, probably. But just because it’s kind of basic to take your picture in a beach swing in Tulum doesn’t mean you don’t kind of want to do it. So why not indulge yourself? Beach swings, white-sand beaches, cenotes, rope swings and more make Tulum the perfect playground—and the perfect place for some insta-worthy pics.
12. Angel’s Landing, Zion National Park, UT
The Angel’s Landing hike in Zion National Park is famously not for the faint of heart. With a very narrow passageway thousands of feet above the canyon floor—with some chains to help you keep your balance—anyone afraid of heights may think twice about this hike. But the 360-degree views of the canyon from the top are unparalleled.
13. The Baths at Virgin Gorda, BVI
Volcanic eruptions left these boulders on the beach in Virgin Gorda, creating natural pools, caves, grottos and a stunning backdrop for your insta pics, all with turquoise water for swimming around and through them. For a super unique Caribbean setting, the baths are the perfect spot for a day trip in the British Virgin Islands!
14. Kenai Fjords National Park
Whether you’re kayaking past giant icebergs, whale-watching from the boat or simply admiring the fjords from sea or land, Kenai Fjords National Park is an otherworldly experience you can have without even leaving the country. Located just a few hours drive from Anchorage, you can drive to the park or take a scenic train or a boat to see the fjords up close.
15. Top of the Rock, NYC
If you’re in New York, there’s no better place to see the skyline—and snap some pics—than from Top of the Rock. Go at sunset for the best lighting, but any time of day will do. Make sure you purchase tickets in advance, as it’s quite popular and peak times sometimes sell out.
16. Secret Cove, South Lake Tahoe
Secret Cove is quickly becoming less of a secret, but as far as Lake Tahoe beaches go, it’s certainly less touristed than some of the more popular spots—meaning quieter beach days and more space for you to explore or snap some pictures to your heart’s content. Tahoe’s bright blue water and rocky coves make the perfect backdrop for summer adventures and pics.
17. Multnomah Falls, OR
Multnomah Falls is one of the most photographed waterfalls in the US, and for good reason—at 620 feet, the drop is pretty incredible to see, and it’s easily accessible. Nearby hikes and an observation bridge means you can see the falls from above, below or even in the middle.
18. Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park
Is this one of the prettiest roads in the US? We think yes. Pretty enough to make you forget about even taking some pics as you drive down it? Probably not, as you’ll definitely want to savor these views for a while. With dramatic mountain scenery and stunning sunsets and wildflowers in the summer, Going-to-the-Sun road is a must-drive if you’re in Glacier National Park.
19. LACMA, Los Angeles
One of the most instagrammable destinations in LA is definitely the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (aka “the LACMA” for short). The rows of lamp posts are definitely the most famous, but there’s plenty of outdoor art installations for all your backdrop needs (that are totally free to visit). The indoor museum is pretty awesome too, and just $16 for students with an ID.
20. Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
Although Lake Winnipesaukee is most popular in the fall, a summer trip to the region surrounding this lake is the perfect chance for kayaking, boating, hiking or just soaking in the views. Rent a tiny cabin around or even on the lake itself for an unforgettable weekend in a perfectly instagrammable destination.
21. White Sands National Monument
For a spot a bit more off-the-beaten-path, the White Sands National Monument is the perfect spot to snap some otherworldly pics. Just an hour and a half from El Paso, Texas are mountains of white sand dunes, perfect for sledding, exploring and of course, an impromptu photo shoot.
22. Sandstone Peak, CA
If you’re in need of a sunrise (or sunset) hike with amazing views, Sandstone Peak is a great choice. As the highest peak in the Santa Monica mountains, it offers sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and the nearby ocean, but the trail is super doable—just 1.5 miles to the top.
23. Wynwood Walls, Miami
The ever-changing graffiti art murals that are the Wynwood Walls make the perfect backdrop for your next ‘gram. These street art murals celebrate Miami’s diverse culture and are considered an outdoor museum. During COVID-19, you’ll need to pre-purchase tickets in advance for a 1-hour time slot to allow for social distancing—tickets are $5 with a student ID.
24. Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton is one of the most beautiful National Parks—and the stunning and iconic Grand Tetons that set the backdrop for the park are also the perfect backdrop for this summer’s Instagram pics. Summer is the perfect time to visit the Grand Tetons, with sunny skies and wildflowers all throughout June-September.
25. Skydeck Chicago
Once you’ve taken your selfie with the Bean, head to Skydeck Chicago for one of the best observation deck views in the US. The glass-floored observation deck may feel terrifying, but it’s perfectly safe. Make sure you make reservations online in advance as it’s a pretty popular spot—tickets are $26.
26. Austin, TX
Austin, Texas may just be one of the most instagrammable destinations in the US! From retro diners and pizza places to instagrammable cafes and taco trucks, hot springs pools within the city (looking at you, Barton Springs), street art and murals around the city and more, just strolling around downtown Austin provides plenty of insta-worthy inspiration.
27. Saint Mary Lake, Glacier National Park, MT
Crystal-clear alpine lakes surrounded by stunning mountains? Sign us up. You’ll find dozens of them in Glacier National Park, but Saint Mary Lake is one of the prettiest, with views for days that you won’t be able to stop staring at.
28. Yosemite National Park, CA
One of the most famous National Parks in the world? Yup, and for good reason. Head to Tunnel View or Glacier View for the best lookouts or set out on a trail like Upper Yosemite Falls or Mist Trail. Wherever you go, Yosemite has tons of gorgeous views and Insta-famous shots.
29. Golden Gate Bridge
If you’re headed to San Francisco, your Instagram feed is in for a treat. Of course, the Golden Gate Bridge is the most iconic shot in the city, but there’s plenty more instagrammable destinations in San Francisco to check out as well.
30. Cadillac Summit, Acadia National Park, Maine
Cadillac Summit sees one of the first sunrises in America from its lookout in Eastern Maine, and is well-worth the early morning wake up call to see it! Make sure to bring headlamps if you’re hiking to the top pre-dawn.
31. Badlands National Park
This little-known National Park in South Dakota is actually a must-visit if you want a super unique experience this summer or just some incredible pics. The dramatic rock formations and canyons will seriously make you feel like you’re on another planet. Plus, it’s an incredible place to stop in the Midwest on a cross-country road trip.
Ready for a summer adventure? Book cheap flights now and plan something for this summer to look forward to.