Best Views of the Bay Area
Collected by Samantha Juda, AFAR Staff
Climb high to find the best vistas of the San Francisco Bay
I discovered this Marin Headlands view of the Golden Gate Bridge on one of my very first trips to San Francisco. In my three-plus years living in the Bay Area, I still haven’t found a view to top it. My favorite time to visit is just after sunset,...
Alamo Square, San Francisco, CA, USA
Alamo Square is home of the "Painted Ladies," eclectic musicians, and some of the most incredible views of San Fransisco. The trolleys won't take you all the way there, but cabs are easy to catch. We couldn't have chosen a better way to burn the...
Twin Peaks, San Francisco, CA, USA
The best views of San Francisco are from the top of Twin Peaks, the two hills that are located in the geographic center of the city. Only from Twin Peaks can you get a 360-degree view of the entire city. If you are lucky, on a clear day you can...
Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA, USA
Treasure Island is still technically located in the city of San Francisco, but you probably wouldn't venture to the island unless you're making a trip over to Oakland and the east bay. I have often noticed the great views of SF from the bay...
Pier 7, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
Pier 7 is a secret. I have found myself there many times and never understand why there are rarely any crowds. At sunrise or sunset with your back to the city you can get gorgeous photos of the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island. The beautiful wooden...
3400-3416 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Bernal Heights is one of my favorite neighborhoods in San Francisco. It's a little off the beaten path, but on a clear day the park at the top of the hill offers an amazing view of the city and the bay. On a foggy day, the park feels like the...
One Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
If Chinatown is one of San Francisco’s most historic neighborhoods, continue walking for another ten minutes and you’ll arrive at one of its newest attractions, the Ferry Building. Actually, the building itself is not new, having been completed in...
San Francisco, CA, USA
The best of both worlds at Baker Beach with the Golden Gate Bridge just to the right along the bluffs and the sun setting beyond the Pacific Ocean straight ahead. A defense artillery built in the early 1900s, Battery Chamberlin sits above Baker...
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
The de Young Museum, with its perforated copper facade and spiraling tower in the center of Golden Gate Park, is as dramatic outside as it is inside. Follow the widening crack in the sidewalk into the atrium. It's an Andy Goldsworthy–created...
1 Telegraph Hill Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Since it was constructed at the top of Telegraph Hill in 1933, Coit Tower has been an integral part of San Francisco’s downtown skyline. Named after a 1920s patron to the city’s firefighters—but not designed to resemble a firehose, as the urban...
19050 Bay St #683, El Verano, CA 95433, USA
One of my favorite things to do in San Francisco is search out the beautiful places that not many tourists would know about. One of those is definitely Kite Hill, hidden in plain sight in the Castro neighborhood of the city. I walked past this...
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