San Francisco has no shortage of vantage points, but these are the ones we think we can enjoy the best views in San Francisco from these viewpoints. The city combines the dynamism of a big city with picturesque walks in nature along the Pacific Ocean. And it is this extreme diversity, in a very small area, that makes San Francisco a city that is both fascinating and quite unique.
As you can imagine, most of these photogenic places are very popular. Impossible to leave without having immortalized the Golden Gate Bridge, for example. You will therefore have to take your troubles patiently and agree to stand in line to take the perfect photo. In any case, it is better to get there early.
Here we will guide you about 8 best viewpoints to see in San Francisco:
1. Twin Peaks Summit
Enjoy the best views in San Francisco.
Twin Peaks is one of the highest viewpoints in San Francisco. In the heart of a residential area close to the city center and accessible free of charge, it is a popular place for hiking, walking dogs, and enjoying the breathtaking view.
From the top, the panorama embraces several of San Francisco’s most famous landmarks, with the Pacific Ocean on the horizon. This view is extremely popular even at night, but it is best to dress warmly as it is chilly there.
Where: 501 Twin Peaks Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94114, USA
2. Coit Tower
Enjoy great views in San Francisco from this 1930s Art Deco tower.
The Coit Tower towers over the trees of Pioneer Park but is not a skyscraper. From its height of 64 meters, it offers a surprisingly clear panoramic view of the rooftops and the bay of San Francisco. This monument was constructed as an honor to firefighters who died in the line of duty, which is why it looks like a fire hose.
The ground floor also houses admirable murals by famous artists, depicting scenes from everyday life from the beginning of the 20th century.
Where: Telegraph Hill Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
3. Golden Gate Overlook
The Golden Gate Bridge, the eternal symbol of San Francisco
Located in Battery West Park, the Golden Gate Overlook is one of the top viewpoints in San Francisco, as it can be reached by the free Presidio shuttle from many locations around the city. The view itself, almost parallel to the bridge, differs from the side perspective offered by most other popular sites.
Where: Langdon Ct, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
4. Hawk Hill
Take in stunning views of the Bay Bridge.
Hawk Hill is a Golden Gate National Relaxation Area that offers astonishing views in San Francisco’s most popular bridge, as well as Lands’ End and Ocean Beach, as long as there is sufficient visibility.
You can easily go there by car, but traffic can be heavy on weekends. In the fall, this is a good place to watch falcons and other raptors migrating south. The area is also popular with hiking and biking enthusiasts, despite the strong winds. A word of advice: as there is no store on site, it is better to bring some provisions before leaving.
Where: Hawk Hill, CA 94941, USA
5. Alcatraz Island
See San Francisco from the perspective of the prisoners.
The famous Alcatraz Prison Island is just 15 minutes from San Francisco by ferry. The former detention center, nicknamed “The Rock”, is now occupied by a museum exhibiting many objects. Several places on the island also reveal breathtaking views. Many stops along the various trails allow you to take panoramic photos of San Francisco, across the bay.
Where: Alcatraz Island Light, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Telephone: +1 415-561-4900
6. Lands’ End Park
A point of view for those with vertigo
A popular recreation area northwest of San Francisco, Lands’ End Park is crisscrossed by miles of coastal and walking trails offering views of the Golden Gate Bridge as well as several wrecks of ships that washed up centuries ago. The Lands’ End Labyrinth is particularly popular with families. This fun stone puzzle is located right by Mile Rock Beach. As the trails in the area can be quite steep, it is recommended to be at a minimum in shape and to wear suitable footwear. However, you can relax over lunch or a drink at the legendary Cliff House restaurant, down the road.
Where: 680 Point Lobos Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA
7. Bernal Heights Park
A beautiful point of view, without the crowds
Bernal Heights Park is a stretch of grass dotted with a few trees located on top of a hill overlooking the western suburbs. This is an amazing place to see the sunrise over San Francisco. While Bernal Heights offers a view similar to that of the popular Twin Peaks, you will pass far fewer people there and enjoy a magnificent panorama of the sprawling city in the foreground, preceding the skyscrapers of the business district contrasting on the Pacific Ocean in the distance.
Where: 3400-3416 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
8. Alamo Square Park
The past and the future at a glance
This offers the most astonishing views in San Francisco. This seen has been famous in movies, TV shows, postcards, and also in souvenir plates. The panorama of the row of beautiful Victorian and Edwardian wooden houses in the front and the towering high rise buildings in the back illustrates the mix between old and modern that characterizes San Francisco. Easy to find, Alamo Square Park is just a few miles from the Financial District and Fisherman’s Wharf.