As you take in the sights and sounds of a new city, getting some picture-perfect shots to capture your trip is a must. Of course, you can put it up on the ‘gram for all your adoring followers. But you can also keep it as a memory or even print it out when you get home so you can look at it whenever you need a virtual vacation.
From Bangkok’s floating markets, to Austin’s cool murals to oceanside cliffs in San Diego, here are some of the must-stop hot spots to take incredible photos when you travel.
1. Kirby Cove, San Francisco
Trekking up the hills of San Francisco, can get you stunning shots of the city, the San Francisco Bay and bridges down below. If you’re looking for that true iconic San Francisco photo of the Golden Gate Bridge, though, you want to head to Kirby Cove Beach, just over the Golden Gate in the Marin Highlands. Stand smack center on the beach and you’ll get unparalleled views of the bridge in the background. (Just make sure to go on a clear day or later in the afternoon after the fog clears for the best shots).
2. Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles
Los Angeles is full of ‘grammable spots and celebrities you can spot up close. When you want to see the entire City of Angels from afar, though, the rooftop terraces of Griffith Observatory are where you want to go. Check out the Hollywood Sign terrace for unobstructed photos with the famous sign and then head to the roof deck to take in the city skyline. The observatory is usually open until 10 p.m. so you can go at sunset or at night for some jaw-dropping shots.
3. Sunset Cliffs, San Diego
As you take in the beautiful ocean vistas around San Diego, make sure you stop to hike along Sunset Cliffs. You’ll get gorgeous photos of the cliffs and arch formations. You’ll also see the stairs leading down to the tide pools below. If you go at sunset, you’ll likely catch couples doing their engagement photos or even see a proposal or two taking place in this beautiful spot.
4. “I Love You So Much” Mural, Austin
Laid-back Austin is full of artsy murals, which make the perfect backdrop for you to hold your BBQ, tacos or other food truck fare up against! The most famous of all is the “I Love You So Much” mural located at 1300 South Congress on the side of Jo’s Coffee. Look out for the line of people waiting for their turn to take a shot with the infamous graffiti mural and don’t miss your chance to capture this iconic message for yourself.
5. Glass Ledge Box at Willis Tower, Chicago
If you’re a bit of a daredevil, you won’t want to leave Chicago without taking photos standing inside the glass box on the top of Willis Tower. From the 103rd floor of the tallest building in the Western Hampshire, you can take a shot of the city below and even see out to four states in the distance! But really, you might just want to capture yourself in the box, brave enough to take on this thrilling experience.
6. Miami Beach, Miami
Miami is full of bright spots and Art Deco architecture that makes for some great photo opportunities. You can’t beat Miami Beach, though, if you want to capture the essence of Southern Florida at its finest. Take your shot of one of the colorful lifeguard towers on the beach early in the morning if you want it void of people, or later in the day if you want a shot of the sand dotted with sunbathers in the background.
7. Dumbo, New York City
You might be searching for the best spot to capture New York City’s iconic skyline. One of the most popular spots is in Dumbo, just across the Manhattan Bridge. Stand in the cobblestone intersection on Washington and Water Street, and you’ll have a clear view of the Manhattan Bridge behind you—and can even spot the Empire State Building in the background. Talk about a great location for amazing shots.
8. Tidal Basin, Washington, DC
If you happen to be visiting Washington, DC during cherry blossom season, you can take some great photos of the blooms along the Tidal Basin. Even if it isn’t cherry blossom season, it’s still worth heading to the Basin to get some arty shots of the Washington Monument from over the water.
9. “I amsterdam” Sign, Amsterdam
It’s hard to believe, but one of the most famous spots to take a photo in Amsterdam might actually be at the airport! Don’t exit Schiphol without stopping by to take a photo with the famous “I amsterdam” sign, located Outside Arrivals Hall 1. (There used to be a second set of letters located in front of the Rijksmuseum, but it was removed due to the huge number of people that would gather there to take photos. It might be returned to the city at some point, but until then, don’t miss your chance at the airport).
10. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Bangkok
Bangkok is such a colorful and vibrant city to capture with your (phone’s) camera. One of the best places for photos isn’t on land, but on the water at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Take in the colorful boats carrying equally colorful tropical fruit, vegetables, and sweets, and capture the lively energy of Thailand’s legendary floating markets with a truly memorable image.
What are some of your favorite spots to capture photos when you travel?