Driving

10 most Instagrammable weekend road trips

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Ready to hit the road with the windows down and a selfie stick at your feet? Even if you still can’t plan that trip of a lifetime overseas because of COVID-19, there’s still plenty of adventure to be had. And the most Insta-worthy destinations may be closer than you think. Before you plan your next weekend getaway, check out the best cities for your Instagram feed. 

We used several criteria to find the most Instagrammable places in the U.S., starting with the 50 most populous cities. Then we ranked them using the following three categories:

  • Days of precipitation each year
  • Number of Instagram hashtags
  • Annual visitors

Fewer days of rain or snow make for better lighting in your photos (even with a filter). A larger number of hashtags for the city means a larger potential audience, as does more people visiting each year and potentially searching for social media content.

Check out the results, which feature a diverse array of cities across the country. Pack our favorite road trip necessities, then whip out your favorite maps app to start planning your next Instagram adventure.


#1: Los Angeles, CA

Image with text showing that Los Angeles is the most Instagrammable road trip destination

Los Angeles is known for very few rainy days, so chances are you’ll arrive to find sunshine and mild temperatures. No matter what kind of Instagram feed you like to curate, you’ll discover plenty of inspiration. From drone shots of gorgeous ocean views to close-ups of mouth-watering cuisine, Los Angeles offers the perfect blend of nature and culture to enjoy. 

  • Days of precipitation each year: 35
  • Instagram popularity (number of hashtags): 72.4 million
  • Annual visitors: 50 million

Can’t-miss photo op: Get panoramic city views at the Griffith Observatory — plus, admission is free.


#2: Las Vegas, NV

There are few places with such a stark dichotomy as Las Vegas. The infamous strip is a photographer’s dream of blinding lights and constant action. But this glaring oasis erupts from the stark Mojave Desert, with dramatic mountains surrounding all sides. Something post-worthy is always happening in and around Vegas. 

  • Days of precipitation each year: 26
  • Number of Instagram hashtags: 39.5 million
  • Annual visitors: 42 million

Can’t-miss photo op: Create your own Ocean’s 11 moment by snapping a shot at the iconic Fountains of Bellagio


#3: San Diego, CA

Beach and dog shots dominate the #SanDiego feed on Instagram, making this an especially attractive destination if your fur baby loves the ocean. Sunny days abound at the southernmost tip of California. And with the Mexican border just a stone’s throw away, be prepared for plenty of Baja-inspired cuisine to photograph in San Diego

  • Days of precipitation each year: 41
  • Number of Instagram hashtags: 28.7 million
  • Annual visitors: 35 million

Can’t-miss photo op: Balboa Park is home to plenty of gardens and other attractions to explore and get inspired. 


#4: Phoenix, AZ

There’s something for everyone in Phoenix, whether that’s relaxing at a high-end resort or hiking rugged trails with expansive views. And with perpetual sunshine, you’ll have a steady stream of phone shots to document your trip. 

  • Days of precipitation each year: 35
  • Number of Instagram hashtags: 9.3 million
  • Annual visitors: 45 million

Can’t-miss photo op: Capture Phoenix’s mountainous desert landscape with a hike at Lost Dutchman State Park.


#5: New York, NY (tied)

It’s no surprise that New York City makes the list. While it may be rainier than its West Coast counterparts, New York does have the most hashtags — and that’s just for #nyc. With incredible food and world-famous landmarks, you’ll discover inspiration everywhere you go.

  • Days of precipitation each year: 121
  • Number of Instagram hashtags: 132.2 million
  • Annual visitors: 65 million

Can’t-miss photo op: Explore the brownstones of the Upper East Side for some classic New York architecture. 


#5: Atlanta, GA (tied)

Atlanta ties with New York City for our fifth most Instagrammable spot, thanks to plenty of annual visitors and an active Instagram hashtag. It makes sense since the city is ranked as one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation. Those living in the Southeast can take a weekend getaway and enjoy modern street art and a rich civil rights history. Atlanta is home to several landmarks in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., like his birth home and church, plus the Elbert P. Tuttle U.S. Courts of Appeals Building where Brown v. Board of Education ended racial segregation in schools.  

  • Days of precipitation each year: 115
  • Number of Instagram hashtags: 35.4 million
  • Annual visitors: 50 million

Can’t-miss photo op: The Krog Street Tunnel provides a backdrop of street art that’s constantly evolving, so no Instagram post ever looks the same. 


#7: San Francisco, CA

San Francisco is home to some of the country’s most iconic landmarks, from the Golden Gate Bridge to the row of Victorian homes dubbed “the Painted Ladies” across from Alamo Park. Plus, the city’s frequent fog can add a hazy tinge to your Instagram feed.

  • Days of precipitation each year: 67
  • Number of Instagram hashtags: 30 million
  • Annual visitors: 25.8 million

Can’t-miss photo op: Get the best Bridge shots from Baker Beach, especially if you want to include the setting sun.


#8: Dallas, TX

Dallas is a top spot for a Texas roadtrip, especially when it comes to food and shopping. With a wide variety of architectural styles, you’ll discover diverse backdrops for your photos. For a more natural destination, check out the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden for lush plants, ponds and waterfalls.

  • Days of precipitation each year: 79
  • Number of Instagram hashtags: 19 million
  • Annual visitors: 27 million

Can’t-miss photo op: If you’re traveling with your sweetheart, check out the love equation mural in the Bishop Arts District. (You + the open road = love)


#9: Orlando, FL

Orlando tops the chart as the American city that welcomes the most visitors each year. This makes sense, since the Florida city is home to famous attractions like Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld and LegoLand. Even if you’re not interested in a theme park roadtrip, Orlando has plenty else to offer, like nature excursions to swim with manatees.

  • Days of precipitation each year: 117
  • Number of Instagram hashtags: 20.3 million
  • Annual visitors: 75 million

Can’t-miss photo op: You won’t run out of photo spots at any of the amusement parks, especially considering there are over 800,000 posts tagged with #wizardingworldofharrypotter and nearly 14 million tagged with #disneyworld


#10: Chicago, IL

Midwesterners looking for a weekend getaway to post about on social media should consider Chicago. Although winters are long, the city is a cultural mecca. The Art Institute of Chicago has plenty of inspiring artwork to capture on your feed. It’s home to pieces by renowned artists like Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe and Georges Seurat — just to name a few.

  • Days of precipitation each year: 126
  • Number of Instagram hashtags: 50 million
  • Annual visitors: 58 million

Can’t-miss photo op: Snap a photo full of distortions at Millennium Park’s Cloud Gate (known by locals as “The Bean”), easily one of Chicago’s most recognizable landmarks. 

Illustrated list of 10 most Instagrammable weekend road trips

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Methodology

The Zebra pulled three data points to analyze the top 50 MSAs (by population) in the U.S.:

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