Favourite Insta Spots From Our Trip To California

1. Hawk Hill

The first spot on my list features just outside San Francisco and if you’re ever in the area, it’s a place that can’t be missed. You will need a car to get there, but it’s certainly worth the drive. The ideal time to go is just before sunset, so we headed off at 6:45pm as it was summer. We drove from San Fran, over the Golden Gate Bridge and about 5 mins up through the hills. There are signs to point you in the right direction, just look out for Hawk Hill. When we arrived at the top, the view was overwhelming. If you looked to your left, you could see the imperious Golden Gate bridge below, with San Francisco city behind shimmering in the sun. To our right was the coastal hills, with the sun setting in the background, and a scenic road leading through. To our amazement, there were also whales to be spotted splashing in the sea below to top it all off. This is a great spot to catch amazing photos, as we did, as well as just relax with friends over an amazing view. So, if you ever find yourself in San Francisco, be sure to not miss this lookout.

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2. Bixby Creek Bridge

This is a slightly harder spot to visit, as it sits about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Therefore, the best way to do it is a road trip between the cities. This is exactly what we did, renting a convertible Ford Mustang and it was one of the best trips of my life. When doing the drive, make sure you take the coastal route up Highway 1, so not to miss out on any of the scenic spots. Bixby Creek Bridge, is along this coastal route and is positioned just outside Monterey. Driving over it is great, but the best part comes when you park just beside it. Once you’re out, the images you can capture will be epic. Luckily for us, we had a drone which makes the experience all the more fun. If you have a drone, I highly recommend flying it out beside the bridge and you will capture some incomparable shots. The whole coastal route between San Francisco and Los Angeles is an amazing experience but this spot is arguably the highlight.

3. Griffith Observatory

This is a slightly more popular and touristy location, but it is still definitely worth a visit. It lies in the hills of Los Angeles, and is easily accessible by car, taxi or if you’re really in the mood a hike. We headed up by taxi on 4th July, to see the view. When we arrived, it was a rare experience. I couldn’t quite believe we were still technically in the city of Los Angeles. It is one of the original charms about the place, you can take a short taxi ride to the hills and suddenly, you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. It is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of city life in LA. From the observatory, there are many mapped out hikes around the hills and we set off towards the Hollywood sign. As it was getting late, we couldn’t make it all the way but we set up in a spot overlooking the sign and the city below. Once again, it was a great place to get some amazing photographs, and footage for our travel video. It is also an ideal spot to go and chill with some friends. As it got dark, we headed back down to the observatory, and experienced a whole new viewpoint. The sun had set, and now all we could see were the stars in the sky and the lights of the city below us. Additionally, due to it being the 4th July, we were lucky enough to see a myriad of fireworks throughout the city, which really was a one-off experience. I know most people like to celebrate in different ways on this date, but if anyone does get the chance it’s a very cool place to go on July 4th .

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4. Urban Light

It is situated at the entrance to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. As you will be able to see from the photos, it is a forest-like display of lampposts and therefore is ideal to view at night. It is very cool to just walk through the installation, as well as taking a step back to appreciate it from afar. You can get a lot of nice shots of people in between the display and you should definitely visit it with friends. The display has been featured in many Hollywood films, and therefore is perfect for any photographers or videographers trying to get some really great content. 

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5. Joshua Tree

This is one of the best spots I’ve been to in California and it came right at the end of the trip. It covers an area of 1,235 square miles, which is larger than the state of Rhode Island. Entry into the park comes at $25 per vehicle. I arrived at around 4pm to meet a friend and drove all the way through the park from the east entrance to the west entrance. The sun was low in the sky, as we drove past continuous Joshua trees and the distinct rocks that make the park so unique. I met my friend just outside the park at Noah Purifoy’s outdoor art installation. It’s a very unusual exhibition and I would recommend checking it out if you do go to Joshua Tree. We headed from the exhibition to pick up some snacks for a picnic at sunset. The national park is spoilt with various different spots to set up for dinner, and we chose one close to the west entrance facing the sun. This time of night, from 7-8pm is perfect for anyone trying to capture a striking shot. The sun sets slowly over the rocks, as the park gains a golden light. The unique rocks glimmer amongst the countless Joshua trees creating a rather surreal environment. I would highly recommend photographers or anyone looking for a quiet, naturally picturesque place to visit Joshua Tree. You can camp at their incredible camp grounds amongst the rocks for $15 a night, as well as use motels nearby. There are also numerous scenic hikes around the park, one of which leads to a beautiful Oasis.

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