If your Instagram posting has taken a backseat to scrolling this past couple of years, you’re not the only one.
In a time of lockdowns and travel bans, there’s not been a lot of inspirational content to post. But with international borders opening up, and travel back on the cards, now’s the perfect time to fire up that feed again and make up for lost time with some double-tap-worthy moments on your ‘Gram grid.
And where better to get the most envy-inducing snaps than the USA – from coast to coast, iconic locations abound.
We’ve put together a handy guide of the stops you need to add to your itinerary to get your feed full of fabulous travel snaps once more.
1. Wynwood Walls, Miami
The Wynwood Walls is the outdoor museum that has brought the world’s greatest artists working in the graffiti and street art genre to Miami.
A large-scale collaboration over the years by artists from all over the world, the Wynwood District in Miami has become one of the best places in the world to wander around to catch a glimpse of graffiti and street art from some serious international artists. While many don’t know about this spot in Miami, it boasts some of the funnest shots in the city.
Leave the beach resort photos behind and head to Wynwood Walls for your Insta captures.
2. Pinnacle Mountain State Park, Arkansas
Arkansas is home to the beautiful wilderness of mountains, caves, rivers, and hot springs in the rugged Ozarks region, as well as trendy restaurants in charming mountain towns.
Once home to American icons Ernest Hemingway and Johnny Cash, you’ll soon discover the pulsing Blues beat of this funky state. Hike to the top of the mountain here for a truly incredible view of the Big Maumelle and Little Maumelle rivers.
3. Bryce Canyon, Utah
Rather than the traditional Grand Canyon, we recommend heading over to Bryce Canyon.
This vast park is filled with a standing army of bright red hoodoos, tall thin rock formations created from erosion. With its breathtaking landscapes, you’ll knock the socks off your Instagram.
4. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan
Michigan is home to spectacular natural views.
Named the Most Beautiful Place in America by ABC’s Good Morning America in 2011, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a given for a “Michigan” aesthetic. Hike the dunes at Pyramid Point, Sleeping Bear Point Trail, or the classic Dune Trail.
If you want to snap the whole scene then hit up Empire Bluff. It’s one of the highest spots on the Lakeshore and gives you an incredible overlook of the dunes. If you want a cool artsy shot, shoot straight down and capture the waves. Then when you’re done head up to Glen Arbor for some classic Michigan cherries or a quick bite at Cherry Republic.
5. Richmond, Rhode Island
In Richmond, Rhode Island, you’ll be dying to get a snap at the Maker’s Mark Hobbit Houses — two hillside haunts on a sporting club and estate’s grounds (The Preserve Club & Residences), inspired by the J.R.R. Tolkien classic.
This is actually an eatery, where you can enjoy a one-of-a-kind culinary experience served at a custom wooden table that’s crafted from upcycled Maker’s Mark barrels. After walking down a flower-lined path, you’ll head into a literal storybook world – each delightful house is designed with tree trunks built into the architecture, a grass roof, and stone walls. There’s also an inviting fireplace and overhead skylights to set a whimsical backdrop.
6. Mountain Lake Lodge, Virginia
Make moves like Patrick Swayze and stage your very own Dirty Dancing moment at Mountain Lake Lodge, Virginia – the original location for the smash hit film, Dirty Dancing.
Explore the ‘Kellerman’ resort and track down the spots where the movie’s most famous scenes were shot, and stage your own versions. You can even book a themed weekend!
7. Times Square, NYC
It’s easy to see why New York is the most Instagrammed city in the world.
With a stunning skyline, loads of iconic landmarks, photogenic street signs, towering skyscrapers, and let’s not forget the eye-catching yellow cabs, practically every square inch of the city is begging to be captured and filtered to perfection. There’s nothing at all wrong with ‘tourist photos’ when you hit NYC.
One location that sure has racked up a lot of hashtags is #TimesSquare. Located in Midtown Manhattan, Times Square is home to one of the largest New Year’s Eve celebrations in the world, yet anytime is the perfect time for a visit.
This little pocket of New York is arguably the most exciting and vibrant square in the world. Bright billboards, busy crossroads, taxi cabs galore, and the awesome M&M‘s World will ensure no Instagram feed goes hungry. Always tag your Big Apple shots with #nyc #newyork #ny or #manhattan + your location if you’re at a landmark like #TimesSquare.
8. Moorten Botanical Garden, Palm Springs
Moorten Botanical Garden is an oasis of cacti in the desert.
A privately-owned arboretum created to share the beauty and extraordinary varieties of desert plants with everyone who visits, this cute little plant paradise in Palm Springs is a perfect quick tourist stop. Originally established in 1939, it’s home to over 3,000 specimens of cacti and other desert plants, as well as a “cactarium” (a greenhouse filled with rare cactus specimens – that’s where you’ll want to get your money shot). Just avoid getting prickled while posing!
9. Paul Smith Wall, West Hollywood
Standing on the corner of a West Hollywood street in Los Angeles is a giant pink building, brutalist in design but strikingly modern in style, and it’s owned by Beeston’s own fashionista Paul Smith.
While the rectangular building is in fact one of his many fashion outlets, the vibrant pink wall – which owes to Mr. Smith’s love of colour and contrast – has become one of the world’s top tourist attractions. The West Coast-based shop in Melrose Avenue opened in 2005. Since then, it has established itself as a landmark. The shop’s vibrant pink façade has made for a perfect Insta backdrop, and it stands out against the brilliant blue LA sky.
10. University Of Michigan, Ann Arbor
With the iconic Big House and beautiful campus buildings set in the midst of the hip and happening Ann Arbor, University of Michigan is Instagram heaven.
If you want a cool artsy shot then look no further than the Law School, or creep quietly into the Law Library for a photo out of a fairy-tale. If you want to go group shot or selfie-style, there’s nothing more iconic on U-M’s campus than the Big House. If you want to snap the whole scene, go to the parking garages — no, really! They make for a great lookout to see all of Ann Arbor and the campus.
Check out all the incredible public art on campus from the top, and don’t forget to stop by their many museums, including the University of Michigan Museum of Modern Art.
11. Frenchmen Street, New Orleans
New Orleans is truly one of the most magical places on the planet.
Between the music, food, architecture, and people, its charm and energy are one-of-a-kind. Aside from Frenchmen Street being one of the best places in the city to listen to live music, it’s also a top spot for taking quality photos. You can’t go wrong with a visit to Blue Nile, Maison, the Spotted Cat, Cafe Negril, or stop by the Frenchmen Art Market while you’re there — the hanging lights are prime for Instagram!
Feature Image: Maker’s Mark Hobbit Houses | @KJP
See more: United States travel