Detroit Free Press/Tribune News Service
With over 800 million users, Instagram is one of the most popular and important social media platforms today. Everyone from marketers to moms and influencers to high schoolers posts photos of their lives and what they're up to in order to connect with their followers and other users. It's gotten so ubiquitous that one restaurant even banned their patrons from taking photos of their food. One of the most popular types of posts on Instagram, however, are those related to travel.
In this day and age, social media is an inextricable part of our travel experience. With the prevalence of apps such as Snapchat and Instagram, it is easier than ever to share our adventures with family, friends, and followers. Indeed, it's very often half the fun — especially when you're back home and your trip is over. Of course, certain spots are far more eye-catching or interesting, and therefore far more likely to get posted on someone's feed. Here at The Daily Meal, we totally get the rush you feel when the likes start pouring in, comments start popping up, and you even get a few followers because your posts are just that good. But how can you make sure they're that good?
As always, The Daily Meal has your back. We've scoured the country and pulled together a list of the best spot to pull out your smartphone and pull in the likes. So if you're serious about documenting your travels, here are the most Instagrammable places in every state.
Just as it has dominated college football for the last decade, the University of Alabama — one of the best colleges for tailgating — dominates Instagram in the Yellowhammer State. So grab your houndstooth hat and head over to Bryant-Denny Stadium for your perfect pic. Roll Tide!
Sure, Alaska might not have tall buildings or warm, sunny beaches. But it does have North America’s tallest mountain, Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley) at a towering 20,310 feet high. Surrounding that peak are six million acres of beautiful wilderness. So head out and enjoy — just make sure you've packed everything you need.
They don’t call it grand for nothing. About six million people check out the majesty of Grand Canyon National Park every year. The glass-bottomed Grand Canyon Skywalk, in particular, is a ‘gram slam.
Devil's Den State Park features a unique sandstone crevice area that is the largest in the country. We don’t know what that means either, but we do know that the many waterfalls, caves, bluffs and ravines make for some beautiful photos. Devil’s Den is about 200 miles northwest of Little Rock.
There is absolutely no shortage of Instagrammable spots in the sunny state of California. How can we limit ourselves to just one selfie? However, after much deliberation, we're going with Santa Monica Pier. Sure, it’s touristy. But sometimes you have to stick with what works. No one is going to quibble with that sunset.
Music fans have been chilling out at Red Rocks Amphitheater just outside Denver for more than 100 years. The only thing more impressive than the terrific sound in this world-class venue is the amazing view. (Just be prepared for some nasty traffic and some unexpectedly difficult walking/hiking once you finally park your car.)
It's hard to beat a castle, especially one with lots of quirky décor like built-in couches and a moveable table on tracks. Noted (but long forgotten) actor William Hooker Gillette built the castle in the early 20th Century, and the unique fluorishes supposedly point to his “creative genius.” Whatever, dude. At least it makes for some cool pics.
We know what you’re thinking: Dela-where? However, this small state does have some spots worthy of your feed. It helps that the First State is home to the super-rich DuPont family who spent much of their extreme wealth on beautiful estates. Case in point: the Nemours Mansion and Gardens, the largest formal French gardens in North America and nearly 200 acres of scenic woodlands, meadows and lawns. Dela-wow!
Florida is Instagram heaven (especially for those of us from less tropical climes). And Key West has a little of everything: beaches, the Hemingway House, the southern-most point in the continental U.S., and all those kooky South Florida characters. The island has recovered quite a bit from Hurricane Irma, although it does have some way to go. Tourism will only help their recovery, however, so get snapping!
The World of Coca-Cola celebrates Atlanta’s most famous beverage. Snap a pic with the Coca-Cola Polar Bear and a statue of Coke creator, Dr. John S. Pemberton. Try samples of over 100 different beverages, and visit the vault that houses the secret Coca-Cola formula. Hope you're thirsty!
Nothing says “I went to Hawaii and you didn’t” like an Instagram post from Wailea Beach. Terrific swimming and snorkeling, gorgeous sunsets, and amazing views. You might even spot a humpback whale or a celebrity. Lets’s get posting!
These lava fields in central Idaho make for some truly out-of-this-world pics. Apollo astronauts have even trained here before moon missions. And if you’re going, you better go sooner than later, or else this destination might kill you. The average time between eruptions here is about 2,000 years — and it's been more than 2,000 years since the last!
Chicago's Bean in Millennium Park is officially called Cloud Gate. Of course, no one actually calls it that. Completed in 2006, the Bean became an instant Chicago icon, up there with pizza and Oprah. No trip to the Windy City is complete without a social media post of your smiling face in this work of public art that seems especially created for Instagram.
When you think “Instagram," you might not immediately think “Indiana.” But you’ll be missing out if you don’t check out the home court of the Indiana University men’s basketball team. Those candy-stripe warmup pants alone are worth the price of admission.
Does anything say “Iowa” quite like Grant Wood’s American Gothic? The famous 1930 painting — in which a pitchfork-wielding farmer is standing next to a woman in front of an A-frame house — has been re-created and parodied more times than we can count. You can do your own American Gothic pose in Eldon, about 100 miles southeast of Des Moines.
At 16 stories tall, Big Brutus is the largest electric shovel in the world. He’s so big that when they stopped using him to mine coal in southeast Kansas the 1970s, they just left him there and created a museum around him. Take a pic next to one of his massive treads to let your big-city friends see what they’re missing in the Heartland.
Louisville is the center of the Instagram universe on the first Saturday in May. Or it should be. The Kentucky Derby means mint juleps, the Twin Spires, fancy hats, D-list celebrities, and great food at Churchill Downs.
The best thing about social media is showing all your friends how much fun you’re having without them. Welcome to Bourbon Street, where the booze and music are always flowing. I guarantee you’ll get a great pic.
Over 3.3 million people visit Acadia National Park annually, and the National Park Service website literally states that "each takes about half a jillion pictures." It's not hard to see why. The park includes mountains, ocean shoreline, woodlands and lakes. Yep, sounds like a jillion Instagrammable spots to us.
O say, can you see, the spot that gave us our National Anthem. Francis Scott Key wrote the “Star Spangled Banner” here after the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. And patriotic destinations are always great for a photo-op.
Boston's two-and-a-half-mile Freedom Trail includes 16 Instagram-worthy locations key to early American history, from the Bunker Hill Monument to the Paul Revere House. The Instagrammers are coming! The Instagrammers are coming!
The sandy bluffs perched over Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes are crying out for your Instagram feed. At 450 feet above the water, the dunes are the perfect spot for sharing pics of your Michigan summer vacation.
Sure, there are 10,000 lakes in Minnesota, but we’re going with Prince’s favorite. Lake Minnetonka is one of the state’s largest and most popular. Purify yourself in its waters, and make sure you get a snapshot of it too.
Considerably more modest than Graceland, the birthplace of rockstar and foodie Elvis Presley in Tupelo is a tiny two-room shotgun house built by his father, grandfather and uncle. (The home was later repossessed when Elvis’ father couldn’t afford to pay back the $180 that he borrowed to buy materials to build it.) Elvis’ childhood church and a bronze statue of the King at age 13 are also part of the museum grounds.
Party Cove at the Lake of the Ozarks can reportedly draw as many as 3,000 boats and 8,000 partiers on summer weekends. But the lake is big enough to accommodate more peaceful fun on the water too. If you can’t get an Instagram photo here, you just aren’t trying.
Bears, wolves, bison, elk, antelope, waterfalls, and of course, Old Faithful. The pictures at Yellowstone practically take themselves.
That's right; Nebraska has a replica of England’s ancient Stonehenge made entirely out of old cars. Dedicated on the summer solstice in 1987, Carhenge draws over 60,000 visitors per year.
Is it fabulous? You’d better believe it. It was erected in 1959,51 years before Instagram, but it is still the picture of timeless cool that you just have to get if you're spending a weekend in Sin City.
Sure, it’s big and beautiful, with dozens of tiny islands. But you’ll really impress your online friends if you can spell “Winnipesaukee” correctly.
Contrary to popular belief, New Jersey actually has quite a few picturesque spots. At Liberty State Park, in particular, you can get some stunning views of New York City and the Statue of Liberty. Instagram, here we come!
Don’t know a stalagtite from a stalagmite? Don’t worry. All you need to know is that the amazing natural features in this underground national park are Instagram gold.
Who can say no to Lady Liberty? She’s an all-American Instagram All-Star. Click, click, click.
America’s most-visited national park encompasses more than 520,000 acres of Instagrammble goodness. Check out Newfound Gap, Clingmans Dome and a stretch of the Appalachian Trail during a beautiful weekend getaway.
TR loved this part of the country, and you will too. Don’t forget to check out Maltese Cross Cabin, where he stayed back in his pre-presidential days.
The amazing rock formations will have your Instagram followers think you’re visiting some place way more exotic than Ohio. You will not be disappointed by Ash Cave, Old Man’s Cave or Cedar Falls.
You may or may not have a rootin’, tootin’ good time, but you’ll definitely get some rootin’, tootin’ good pics at this museum dedicated to the American West.
This iconic lake was formed by a now-collapsed volcano, and it's just beyond cool. The deepest lake in the country it also might just be the most pristine on earth. And it’s right there in Oregon for your Instagramming pleasure.
This home designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright is an architectural feat and a visual marvel. Such an icon is sure to blow up your notifications.
Thank goodness for the Vanderbilts, that uber-rich family giving us all these cool mansions for all our cool pics. The Breakers was the summer home of Cornelius II. The Guilded Age masterpiece includes 70 rooms and is one of the most visited house museums in the country.
It’s hard to not feel the history at Fort Sumter. The very spot where the Civil War began, it draws about 800,000 visitors per year.
There’s not much that compares to the spooky scenery of the Badlands. Its other-worldly beauty draws visitors to South Dakota from around the globe.
Elvis was born in a modest home in Tupelo, but he lived at Graceland. With lions out front and the famous Jungle Room inside, what’s not to love and Instagram?
They say Fort Worth is where the West begins, and the original brick walkways and wooden corrals of the Stockyards will have you saying “yee-haw” in agreement.
Arches National Park includes more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches. That’s more than 2,000 opportunities for the perfect photo-op with some of nature's greatest artwork.
Take the 30-minute tour of the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory, and you’ll have your Instagram followers eating out of the palm of your hand. It's one of the tastiest places on earth!
Thomas Jefferson began designing and building his iconic home when he was just 26 years old. But don’t let that feed your insecurity. Just enjoy (and share) the architectural splendor.
Seattle’s iconic Space Needle is 605 feet tall. It's also built to withstand winds of up to 200 mph and earthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitude. So if you're afraid of heights, rest easy and focus on your camerawork.
The sheer rock faces of Seneca Rocks are quite popular with over-achieving rock climbers. But don’t worry; you can get plenty of cool shots from the ground.
You don’t have to be a Packers fan to appreciate the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Head out to a game so you can soak in the atmosphere (and the beer and brats).
People of a certain age probably can’t look at Devils Tower without hearing those five tones from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” The unique formation played a central part in that movie… and it’s ready to reprise its role for your Instagram feed. If you want to venture out further in pursuit of some great travel photography but aren't sure you can afford it, check out these 15 Instagrammable destinations you can visit on a budget.