(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

You can learn a lot from Instagram hashtags. When people want to show off their vacation photos there’s always a flurry of hashtags at the end of the post. Which Florida beach did you go to? Which lake in Michigan did you go on a pontoon? Did you go to visit a desert? Florida beaches get tagged a lot, but there’s one beach that gets tagged more than the rest. Making that location the third most picturesque in America.

Experts at Storyboards used Instagram data to analyze the number of hashtags for various landscapes in America to discover which of those are the most picturesque. It makes sense, the more times a landscape is tagged, the more people want to brag about it. Number one on the list, amazingly, is not in Florida. And it’s not a beach, it’s a lake.

Placing first on the list of the most picturesque landscapes in America is Lake Tahoe, with 2,986,225 Instagram hashtags. Situated on the border of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is the clearest lake in the U.S., with a 99.994% purity – plus, there are many outdoor activities to partake in there, from hiking to fishing. The celebrity golf tournament “American Century Championship” happens in July. 

Lake Tahoe, the Most Picturesque in America

The western mountains of Lake Tahoe are shown from the 3rd hole prior to the 2023 American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course on July 12, 2023 in Stateline, Nevada. (Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Clarkson Creative/Getty Images)

If you’re considering a visit to the Most Picturesque, Lake Tahoe, now is a good time.

Above all, peak tourist season brings the crowds. Likewise, hotel rates are higher. The best time to enjoy the beauty and avoid people is April to May and September to November. Now, let’s take a look at the other top picturesque locations on the list.

  • 2. Lake Michigan

    In second place is Lake Michigan, which has a hashtag count of 2,788,904. With a length of 307 miles and a width of 118 miles, Lake Michigan is the third biggest lake in America and the fifth largest in the world – not to mention, it’s home to an abundance of natural habitats. Just remember though, it’s very seasonal. Lake Michigan has some brutal winters. 

    Lake Michigan boaters

    A general view of boats on Lake Michigan in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

  • 3. Clearwater Beach

    Clearwater Beach is in third place with a total of 1,298,877 Instagram hashtags. The white sand is undoubtedly one of the main attractions of Clearwater Beach, located near Tampa in Florida.

    Clearwater Breach Florida

    (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

  • 4. Lake Superior

    In fourth place is Lake Superior, which has 1,157,663 hashtags on Instagram. Known as the largest freshwater lake in the world, which is situated on the border between the U.S. and Canada, Lake Superior contains 10% of the world’s freshwater. Due to little organic material, the water is incredibly clear. 

  • 5. Lake Ontario

    Taking the fifth spot is Lake Ontario, which has 1,007,124 Instagram hashtags. Another of the Great Lakes family on this list, Lake Ontario’s shoreline is 712 miles long when the islands are included, of which there are a staggering 1,864. 

    Lake Ontario

    A cloud of mist rises over Niagara Falls in Niagara Falls, New York. The falls, which have a combined highest flow rate of any waterfalls in the world, stradle the U.S.-Canada border, drawn through the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario. The falls, visited by millions of tourists on each side of the border, are also a major source of hydroelectric power for the region. The aerial view was seen from a helicopter flown by the U.S. Office of Air and Marine, which monitors and patrols the U.S. Canada border. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

  • 6. Waikiki Beach

    Waikiki Beach places sixth, with 969,640 Instagram hashtags. Due to Hawaii’s ocean water being nutrient deficient, places like Waikiki Beach boast magnificently blue water – and on top of this, the beach boasts a tropical climate and an array of palm trees. 

    Waikiki Beach

    (Photo by Kat Wade/Getty Images)

  • 7. Lake Norman

    Lake Norman ranks in seventh place, which has 640,978 hashtags on Instagram. Lake Norman is the largest man-made lake in North Carolina, and the lake has plenty of spots for locals, or even visitors, to dock their boats and view the sunset on an evening. 

    Lake Norman North Carolina

    An autumn scenic of Lake Norman in the Piedmont of North Carolina

  • 8. Lake Huron

    Next on the list is Lake Huron in eighth place, which sees a total of 560,434 Instagram hashtags. Lake Huron, which is the fourth largest lake in the world, has many stunning dunes and wetlands alongside plenty of lighthouses. To make it even more of an Insta hashtag, is home to over 30,000 islands. 

    Lake Huron

    Turnip Rock on Lake Huron in Port Austin Michigan. An underwater view shows rocks under the clear surface of the water

  • 9. Lake Powell

    Lake Powell follows in ninth place, with 456,329 hashtags on Instagram. Located between Utah and Arizona, Lake Powell offers beautiful canyon views with stone sculptures of cliffs and towers. Unlike the Great lakes listed above,  there’s constant sunshine and warm weather. 

    Lake Powell

    (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • 10. Mojave Desert

    In tenth place is the Mojave Desert, which has 429,066 hashtags on Instagram. Occupying over 25,000 square miles, the Mojave Desert is located in Southern California, with other portions belonging to Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. Take selfies with towering mesas, sand dunes, and Joshua Trees, the Mojave Desert is undoubtedly a spectacular location. 

    Mojave Desert

    People walk on the salt flat at Badwater, the lowest point in North America at 282 ft (86 m) below sea level. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)


  • Gavin Glick, Co-Founder of Storyboards, commented: “With the top 10 landscapes being located in various states, including Florida, Hawaii, and North Carolina, it shows that Americans are spoilt for choice when it comes to stunning scenery. However, it’s interesting to see that seven of the top 10 landscapes are all lakes, suggesting that Americans favor this type of landscape over any other.” 

    Mojave Desert

    A man takes a photo near a sign warning of extreme heat danger at Badwater, the lowest point in North America at 282 ft (86 m) below sea level. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Sign me up for the ESPN Southwest Florida email newsletter!

You love listening to ESPN Southwest Florida, now make sure you’re getting all the extra perks. Sign up today to be an ESPN Southwest Florida Insider!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.