You know what they say: Instagram, or it didn’t happen.
The Prada “store” in Marfa, Texas, Sketch restaurant in London, the Rose Main Reading Room at the New York Public Library, Las Vegas’ Neon Museum, or, anywhere in Iceland, Morocco, or Santorini, Greece. What do these locations share in common? Each are bucket-list destinations not simply for what they are, but for what it means to broadcast that you were there through the shared experience of social media.
These days the art of capturing our daily lives in compelling and creative ways is as much an expression of who we are as it is a visual report card of what actually happened, or where you happened to be. In an increasingly proactive effort by cities, businesses, and landmarks old and new, every place from your local art museum to your favorite taco shop are looking to tap into the zeitgeist, attempting to translate some of that cultural frenzy for Instagram bait into attendance, sales and awareness.
For brands looking to harness the power of creating “moments” or experiences in their brick-and-mortar locations that will attract, encourage and capture some of that coveted organic social media engagement of customers while on-property, observing what other businesses or organizations have done successfully will only help provide creative ideas on execution.
The Phoenix area is no exception when it comes to Instagram-worthy hot spots. Most people think of cowboy boots and cacti when they envision what they’ll discover here. That may be true, but it’s only part of the region’s growing—and diversifying—urban story. There’s so much more to explore, including unique restaurants, luxury hotels, cultural hotspots, and stunning views.
Whether it’s your first time in Phoenix or you’re scouting for the buzziest backdrops for your latest TikTok or Reels, this list of local Instagram-worthy spots won’t disappoint.
Destination Phoenix: Top Instagram Spots For Visitors
1. Roosevelt Row
Located just north of downtown Phoenix, Roosevelt Row is a vibrant arts, shopping and dining district featuring countless colorful and hand-painted murals by emerging local artists, as well as popular monthly art and cultural events, in a pedestrian-friendly urban environment.
2. Papago Park
Take the easy hike to the infamous “hole in the rock” at Papago Park and take in the epic city views. Papago Park, located in south Scottsdale, is known for its short hikes, scenic rock formations and destination-worthy amenities like the Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Garden.
3. Gilbert Water Tower
Located at Water Tower Plaza in the heart of downtown Gilbert, the area also features a family-friendly community park, splash pad for kids and hosts the very popular weekly Gilbert Farmers Market.
4. LOVE Sculpture
Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza, an intimate urban parkway located in Old Town Scottsdale, features restaurants, art museums, grassy open areas and fountains to explore. Stop at the LOVE sculpture for a photo!
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5. Pool Mural at Hotel Valley Ho
Hotel Valley Ho is a modern luxury hotel near Old Town Scottsdale with a fun retro vibe. The “It’s Always Sunny In Scottsdale” mural near its main pool area has become an instant classic photo backdrop.
6. Desert Botanical Garden
Beyond the saguaros and barrels, you’ll see all types of exotic cacti at Desert Botanical Garden located in the heart of Papago Park.
7. Camelback Mountain
The reward for hiking up Echo Canyon Trail is a stunning city view at the top. Camelback Mountain is easily one of the most iconic Phoenix area photo backdrops.
8. Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge
Located near Arizona State University, this bridge is a great lookout spot. Capture the architectural beauty by standing on the north or south shore.
9. Tovrea Castle
A castle in the desert? Shaped like a wedding cake? It’s true! If you haven’t been to this historic castle, it’s a must-see when you’re in Phoenix.
Local Bests: Phoenix Photo Spots For Influencers
For influencers who need a little inspiration for their next photography session, check out these photo spots. Bring an outfit change and plan your sunset accordingly.
1. Corral West Horse Adventures
We’re in Arizona after all. High fashion. Old Western. You’ve got yourself a stunning photo series. Located in Estrella Mountain Park. Make a day out of it because you’ll definitely want to tour this horse rescue.
2. Mummy Mountain Mercantile
A mock Western town that’s a true hidden gem. Located at Camelback Inn at the base of Mummy Mountain.
The Resort Vibe
3. The Scottsdale Resort
Pops of bright pink bougainvillea, Santa Barbara-style beams and Saltillo tile. There’s also an outdoor parking garage that’s usually empty if you want that elusive top-floor shot.
4. Sanctuary on Camelback Resort and Spa
Another popular luxury resort for influencers in the area. Recently renovated, it’s worth it to check off your list. The mountainside property offers ample perches for that perfect snap.
5. Hermosa Inn
Tucked away in a quiet Paradise Valley neighborhood, this luxury boutique resort is where you’ll find the Old West charm you’re looking for.
Off The Beaten Path
6. Murphy’s Bridle Path
Known to those who call Central Phoenix home and undiscovered by many. The path is lusciously lined with mature elm trees and gravel pathways next to some of Phoenix’s most iconic historic mansions. Head to Central Ave and Bethany Home Rd.
7. Encanto Park
This picturesque historic city park is popular for its mature trees, lakes and family-friendly play areas. It’s perfect for a family picnic photoshoot.
8. Francine Restaurant
It’s the glamorous, French Riviera-inspired interior that is as big of an attention-grabber as the contemporary food and elevated cocktails. Add a frosted glass of pinot and you’ve got a golden opportunity for some fancy food photos.
For more information about how Commit Agency can help grow your business with social media, and leverage experiential moments to capture the most of your brand experience, don’t hesitate to reach out today.
A version of this post was originally published in October 2019 and has been updated to include more photo spots in 2021.