Let’s start with the basics.

What’s an “instagrammable” location you might ask? Whether you’re sharing your photos on Instagram, Facebook, Flickr or even in a text to loved one, the term instagrammable has come to mean so much more than just the app the image is shared on. It means you’ve come across a moment in time that is either so beautiful, so fun, so unique or simply so meaningful to you, that you must capture it insta-ntly to cherish forever!

We are so lucky here in the Bay Area to be surrounded by instagrammable locations. I treasure that this weekend I might be able to take a drive on the coast or into the mountains to “escape reality” in a short amount of time. As a photography enthusiast, I love to drive to new locations, get out of my car, walk a short distance and take photos that might make people outside of California just a little bit jealous.

With the help of a few of my colleagues, I’ve compiled a list of these locations so you too can get out there and capture some great instagrammable memories. Here are our favorites:

Pigeon Point Lighthouse - POST

Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Located between Pescadero and Año Nuevo State Park, this historic lighthouse has always been a favorite stop of mine. Not only is it great to learn about the history of the lighthouse from the 1800s and POST’s involvement in protecting the nearby land, but you also get a front row seat for whale watching. This spot is wildly picturesque (as seen in my group selfie above)!
Driving directions here.

Shark Fin Cove - POST

Shark Fin Cove  

If you’ve ever stopped in the quaint town of Davenport (10 miles north of Santa Cruz), hopefully you’ve also gotten to explore the nearby coastline. One of the most remarkable places near there is Shark Fin Cove, which is about a mile down the coast from town. The first time I saw this giant shark fin-shaped rock jutting out of the sea, I insta-ntly fell in love with this spot.
Driving directions here.

methuselah tree - POST

Methuselah Tree

This tree is huge! I mean like really huge. It’s one of the biggest and oldest trees in the Santa Cruz Mountains and is aptly named “Methuselah.” It’s also conveniently located right off Highway 35, so it’s a quick stop if you’re on your way somewhere and just want to snag a quick shot.
Driving directions here. 

strawberries - POST

Strawberry and Pumpkin U-pick Farms

If you’ve ever visited the coastal farms on the San Mateo Coast, chances are you’ve probably gone berry picking or grabbed a pumpkin or two. But have you ever stopped to take photos of this wonderful perk we Californians have? Capturing moments like this make me treasure not only the beauty of our coastal farms, but also the yumminess of our local produce!
Berry season starts in late spring and pumpkins are available in late September. 

Waddell Beach - POST

Waddell Beach 

Headed north along Highway 1, one spot I always look forward to is Waddell Beach. It’s a big sandy stretch of coastline that’s unique for that part of the coast. And with its magnificent cliffs, kite surfers, birds and ocean views, this spot always proves to be an exciting place to stop. The photos you take at this spot won’t disappoint!
Driving directions here.

Devil's Slide - POST

Devil’s Slide 

If you’re driving south along Highway 1 from San Francisco, you can’t miss parking at the Devil’s Slide area and taking a few photos! This area between Pacifica and Montara is incredibly rugged and offers hiking along a portion of the California Coastal Trail. I love stopping there around sunset to take in all its beauty.
Driving directions here.

Mavericks - POST


This world-famous surf break is just off the coast of POST-protected Pillar Point. When massive winter swells hit this stretch of coast, you can watch brave surfers take on some of the largest rideable waves on the planet. Witnessing these giants is truly a sight to see and the views there are very instagrammable. This wave only breaks in the winter and is a ways offshore, so be sure to bring binoculars and a warm jacket.
Driving directions here (follow the trail south toward the end of the point). 

Natural Bridges Beach - POST

Natural Bridges Beach

If you’ve never been, you need to go Natural Bridges State Beach. This is one of those iconic California beaches that can take your breath away. It’s so instagrammable, it’s ridiculous. I suggest going at sunset or later in the day when the light gets nice and warm—during the “magic hours.”
Driving direction here.

Windy Hill - POST

Summit of Windy Hill

Windy Hill was the first project that POST ever completed, so it’s near and dear to many of us here in the office. Climbing to the summit is a relatively easy walk from the Spring Ridge Parking Area along Highway 35. From the top, you’ll have some seriously instagrammable views in every direction.
Driving directions above and click here for hiking information. 


Photo credits:
Pigeon Point Lighthouse – Lauren Korth, 2019
Shark Fin Cove – Lauren Korth, 2018
Methuselah Tree – Matt Dolkas, 2017
San Mateo County strawberries – Lauren Korth, 2014
Waddell Beach – Lauren Korth, 2015
Devil’s Slide – Lauren Korth – 2018
Mavericks – Teddy Miller, 2017
Natural Bridges – Melfody, 2013 (CC)
Windy Hill – Teddy Miller, 2016

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About Post

Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 87,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more

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