7 California places that Instagram has put on the beaten track

Some are exploiting it, some are bemoaning it: the power of Instagram to drive throngs to formerly off-the-beaten-track attractions.

The phenomenon was cited this week as California parks officials announced a plan to require reservations for peak-time visits to Point Lobos. “We have had these huge jumps, as social media highlights areas that were less visited in the past,” said Anna Patterson, executive director of the Point Lobos Foundation, a nonprofit partner to the Carmel-area reserve.

Here are seven other California sites that in the past few years have seen their visibility rise, at least partly because they’re photogenic backdrops for the look-at-my-beautiful-life shot.

Potato Chip Rock. A thin flake of rock juts out from the summit of Mount Woodson, 25 miles northeast of downtown San Diego. It’s a hard hike, and hot most of the year, but for some the photo op is irresistible.

Salvation Mountain. This hulk of folk art near the Salton Sea got a pre-Instagram cameo in the movie “Into the Wild” and since then has been the backdrop for a spate of music videos.

Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. The state natural reserve on the way to nowhere has always been a seasonal favorite of serious landscape photographers, and it got a big boost from the “superbloom” of 2017.

The Point Reyes boat and the Point Reyes tree tunnel. The picturesquely decrepit fishing boat, conveniently displaying the name “Point Reyes,” is behind the Inverness Store. A six-mile drive away, on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, is a cypress-lined lane leading to the old KPH radio building.

Sutro Baths. They were always in the guidebook but a second-tier attraction, thanks to their location on San Francisco’s rocky edge. Now the ruin is the go-to place for engagement photos and fashion shoots.

The Hollywood sign. For decades, most tourists gave the iconic sign little more than a squint through the smog. The influx in recent years — aided by GPS and Google Maps — has neighbors fuming and seeking court orders to keep the selfie sticks at bay.

Paul Smith’s Pink Wall. The Los Angeles boutique’s bright pink wall was defaced last month with a graffito suggesting an alternative activity for the hordes of Insta-seekers.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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