San Francisco is a beautiful city and my new home. As I’ve been exploring all that this city has to offer, I’ve also found some of the best places to take photos and find sweeping views of San Francisco. You can’t go wrong with finding seaside viewpoints and hills at higher elevation to take in the essence of one of the most incredible cities in the US. Here are 7 of the best and most beautiful viewpoints in San Francisco.
For taking photos of yourself with the Golden Gate Bridge, Kirby Cove is the best. The swing at the end of the beach offers an uncommon perspective and photo-op in San Francisco! You’ll have to drive north across the Golden Gate Bridge and hike down to the water, but it’s worth the trip. This beach is never crowded; on a sunny and warm day, Kirby Cove is a perfect spot to escape the city and get some sun. Many people don’t even know this little hidden gem exists!
Take a long walk through the Presidio and end at Crissy Field. Here is where you’ll find groups of people playing sports outside, enjoying the beach, and cycling on the paths. I equate Crissy Field to Central Park in New York City because there is always something going on in this vast grassy field. Of all the parks in San Francisco, Crissy Field one of the few in which you can see both the city skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge – the best of both worlds!
If you want to go on a short hike in the city, try Lands End. Starting at Sutro Baths, the old swimming pools, and walking along the trails toward the Labyrinth will give way to some stunning views of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a fairly easy hike to the end of Lands End and back and definitely worth taking the time to explore some of the nature near San Francisco.
One of the highest viewpoints in the city, Twin Peaks is a gorgeous place to get a 360 degree view of San Francisco. It feels like you can see everything from here. Though it can get quite windy up there, it’s the #1 viewpoint to go when visiting San Francisco. Make sure to go when the fog has cleared, though! Twin Peaks is also a great sunset spot if you look to the west side.
Billy Goat Hill
If you’re lucky, you might find another swing at Billy Goat Hill. While it wasn’t there when I went, Billy Goat Hill is a pretty hill overlooking the city. It’s a great place to photograph the perfect little San Francisco houses. These houses with bay windows are such an iconic part of San Francisco; seeing them from above street-level is a very unique experience!
My favorite view of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco is from across the bridge at Marin Headlands. The bridge feels so close from here! Finding parking can be tricky, but it’s worth it to jump out of the car and snap some photos on a clear day. A fun day trip is to rent a bicycle, ride across the bridge, and stop at this spot to take photos. This view is also located just above Kirby Cove, so you can knock both of them out in one day! And if you need to rent a car or campervan to get there, check these ideas out.
It’s no wonder why Dolores Park is the place to be when the weather is nice over the weekend in San Francisco. With views of the downtown San Francisco skyline, everyone comes out of the woodwork bringing snacks and drinks for socializing and people watching. Trust me, there’s never a dull moment in Dolores Park, and the views are great!
Which is your favorite viewpoint in San Francisco?