One of the most popular places in Pacific Beach for Instagram photos is the bright mermaid mural on Mission Boulevard just north of Dirty Birds. The beautiful mural was painted by Jared Blake Lazer (aka Jared Black Lazer), who is a Southern California-based visual artist, muralist and graphic designer. Lazer painted the mural in 2015 for the shop Daffodil Dresses, which was located there at that time. You can’t say that you have been in Pacific Beach without posting a photo of yourself in front of the mural.
The former bait shack about halfway out on the South Mission Beach jetty is like a doorway to the Pacific Ocean. The exterior has been painted over various times with colorful graffiti, which makes it an interesting backdrop for a cool photo. But be careful walking out on the slick jetty rocks; the shack is not as close as it seems.
Another popular prop for a good photo are the lifeguard towers along Pacific Mission beaches. The white and yellow towers, combined with the blue sky and the light sand, make a perfect California beach photo. There are more than 20 towers all the way from South Mission Beach to Pacific Beach, so there is no excuse for not posting a photo.
Beach Bungalow Hostel
At the end of Reed Avenue, just by the beach, is the yellow, blue, orange, green and turquoise Beach Bungalow Hostel. The hostel is filled with murals, patterns and more colors. Next to the hostel, on the boardwalk, is an ice cream shop that has a mural of a big shark on its north side, which is another popular Instagram spot. The hostel has a very authentic and memorable vibe that gives you the perfect California feels.
There are plenty of places deemed Instagram-worthy to watch the sunset in San Diego, and Mission Beach and Pacific Beach are no exception. Just pick a spot along the Ocean Front Walk to get a stunning view of the latest Southern California miracle.
Another popular location for photos is underneath the 90-year-old Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach (on the pier works as well). The wooden pillars, together with the foaming waves and the bright sand, makes it a fun location for a group photo.
The old wooden roller coaster at Belmont Park with the white, red and turquoise colors, the palm trees in the background, with the beach right next to it, screams for an Instagram shot. The historic amusement ride in Mission Beach, named the Giant Dipper, was built in 1925.
Wings at Cass Street
Pacific Beach has been described as heavenly and it does have a pair of white angel wings to show for it. The mural, originally painted for a photo shoot, is located on a wall on the west side of Cass Street near the PB library. Having a photo taken “wearing” the angel wings is a rite of passage for visitors and residents.
La Jolla Mesa Drive
Head north on Mission Boulevard and then take La Jolla Mesa Drive toward Mt. Soledad. The road gets steep, but on the way up make sure to look in your rearview mirror as the Pacific Beach coastline starts to come into view. Pull over and take a selfie – on a clear day you can see all the way to the Ocean Beach Pier.
What is more Instagram-worthy than a street filled with palm trees on both sides and the ocean in the background? The street severely slopes down to the beach, so stand at the top for a selfie and feed your Instagram account some “California Love.” As an added bonus, find a spot in the parking lot at the bottom of the street, check out the mural on the side of the bathhouse, and then watch the surfers in action.