The Most Instagrammable Spots in Tucson
Instagram Friendly Tucson Arizona
What is this millennial talking about now? Instagrammable spots? You may find it odd but Instagram worthy spots are a thing. I'm going to Los Angeles in a few weeks (hometown WHAT'S UP!) and I literally searched "most Instagrammable spots in Los Angeles" to get an idea for murals and spots I'd want to visit to take some great quality photos. Being that it's LA, a ton of results showed up. Why doesn't they show up for Tucson? Well, I'm going to make it a thing since there are SO many spots you have to go to get that perfect Instagram photo here in Tucson Arizona, home of University of Arizona.
This may be a surprising one or seem plain, but our Whole Foods on Oracle is amazing. It has a coffee and juice bar, not to mention a full blown bar that serves food and all the tastiest beer. Everything in Whole Foods makes me want to take photos, including their array of sushi (made daily) and colorful macarons.
Since I've been working out more, and eating healthier, I have been opting for acai bowls and they are seriously so delicious. And obviously they're good for you. Not to mention so Instagram-worthy.
Another spot that has colorful and gorgeous bowls is Goodness, and there's two locations now in Tucson. One on the north side, and one in central Tucson closer to the University of Arizona campus just north of Campbell and Grant.
Tucson Warehouse & Transfer Co. Mural
This mural is located close to 4th Avenue, near downtown Tucson. The mural portrays an agave goddess gazing from the side of the Benjamin Supply building on 6th Street and 7th Avenue. This mural is fairly new and was completed in May 2016. I adore the vibrant colors, and I found that my orange maxi dress fit perfectly with this mural. It's a great spot for some photos. You just need your photographer to position themselves close to you or go across the street. These colors are perfect for the summer time!
Prep & Pastry
My favorite brunch spot in Tucson is Prep & Pastry, hands down and for good reason. Reason number 1 is they have the tastiest Bloody Mary in all of town, and one of my favorite recipes of all. I'd like to think I'm a Bloody Mary expert, and I can make a pretty good one (if I don't say so myself) but I absolutely love theirs. Reason number 2 is there are some seriously delicious pastries. Pastries so good you'll forget the word diet ever existed. If you've never had a cross between a donut and croissant, you are missing out on LIFE itself. It is so delicious, decadent and melts in your mouth, so you will be in food heaven after a few bites of theirs. And number 3 would obviously be the food is all so good! I order the same omelette with goat cheese and top it with their hot sauce. So tasty!
...and everything is Instagrammable, including the chalk artwork inside, the drinks, the food. Enjoy!
Honestly, any trail and any part of Sabino Canyon is going to be perfect for an active and scenic shot. There are some seriously gorgeous shots to be had with cacti, mountains and desert critters. It's so easy to jump up on a rock formation and get some shots from high above, or have a friend take a photo of you from below. Be careful around all the edges because it is high up and it can get dangerous real quick. It's a win if you go for a hike in Sabino Canyon, and then head to Prep & Pastry on the east side (there's also 2 locations now!) because the east side one is just a quick 15 minutes away from Sabino. Double the Instagram fun!
This is a spot my friends and I love to frequent because we love burgers (these are also nice and greasy) and we always choose to sit outside because the weather is perfect in Arizona most of the year. I also enjoy their milkshakes, which are insanely good. You have to try the Nutella shake if you go, yes you heard it here first, a Nutella shake. Life is oh so good! If you sit outside, the lighting will be amazing of all the food, and all the dishes come out so immaculate and ready for your Insta shot!
Rillito River Park
Similar to a lot of the natural beauty in Tucson, the Rillito River Park has miles of gorgeous scenery. Depending on which direction you go, you'll see the same type of scenery with varying houses and city life. It is such an incredible walk or run, whatever your mood may be. Plus it's fun to snap a photo being active in the heart of gorgeous cacti life in Tucson.
Hole in the way type of eateries are my favorite because somehow more often than not, they end up being such gems. This is one of the best Japanese restaurants, and again sitting outside is so nice. Normally I order a chicken teriyaki Bento box, but I've also been loving their noodle dishes because who doesn't want some fried noodles with deliciousness all over them? Everything this kitchen creates is so delicious, and of course the food is ridiculously Instagrammable. Especially if you sit outside in the sunlight.
There's many spots to get photos on 4th avenue, whether it's inside one of the restaurants, bars or alongside the street. One of the best things about Tucson is that it is an artsy town, and there's so much artwork to see and a lot of the funkiest and coolest art is on 4th. I would call this little nook close to downtown an artsy area, with a lot of character, bars with local musicians, and murals on buildings. Even the graffiti seems to tell a story. The homes are adorable and many have fun bright colors, with unique decorations.
Now that we're in the 4th avenue area, thought I'd differentiate between 4th avenue and downtown Tucson. They are different. Downtown has become more hip and come to life over the past few years. Almost a decade ago, those who were around said nothing really happened downtown because there were very few restaurants and not many hip bars. Fast forward to present day, and so much has changed. There are lots of local businesses, some larger, and even a new transportation method (streetcar) that takes passengers from University of Arizona, to downtown and 4th avenue, all the way to the Mercado. Some of my favorite places are down here, (Pueblo Vida for example) but there's a lot of murals all over the place. If you walk through downtown for about 15 minutes, you will find several different murals to snap photos in front of because it's inevitable.
There is so much beauty throughout this outdoor mall, and it's always so clean and bright. Everything looks good in the direct sunshine and there's so many pretty things. There's a MAC, Anthropologie, Lush, Blanco and even The Living Room. All stores and restaurants I really do love, but a lot of gorgeous photos can be taken by this fountain or the grass area. For some reason, any outfit shot I've ever taken at La Encantada has been incredibly well lit and I love all the blooming plants.
Another gorgeous scenic spot close to Tucson (not necessarily in the city limits) is Mount Lemmon. If you're looking to get away from the Tucson heat, you can take a drive up there and feel the temperature cooling down quick as you get higher up into the mountain. It is incredible up there, and it gets so peaceful. I love the quiet, especially when I really need to clear my head.
Every city needs that quintessential, trend and hip coffee shop. Ours would be Cartel, which is a very cute cafe. If I have to drink coffee in Tucson, I always opt to drink it from Cartel because I know the quality is there as well as taste. They have varying flavor notes in their coffee, but all of them have always been so tasty. It's also a great spot to get a few hours of work done. It's got that coffee shop noise, but it's not overly loud which is why I've been opting for this coffee shop over others. Plus if you tell them you want to take some photos for Instagram, they will definitely go above and beyond on their coffee art. I am all about that life.
This is one of the best kept secrets in Tucson, and I'm sharing it with you! This is a local neighborhood in between the Mercado and downtown Tucson, with amazing houses and buildings. Half of this is a neighborhood with gorgeous garage doors, bright colored houses and beautiful desert life. The other half is businesses and abandoned buildings with so much character (think rustic doors, uneven red brick) and honestly the opportunities are endless. I love going to shoot here because I find so much inspiration looking at the yellow, then pink, then green houses. There is no shortage of color, and this neighborhood is truly one of the best in Tucson. It is what makes Tucson unique and authentic.
...and that is it. These are my favorite Instagrammable spots here in Tucson.