San Francisco Places To See

San Francisco Places To See – San Francisco is full of color. Blue oceans, red Golden Gate Bridge, beautiful pastel-painted ladies, street art and rainbows representing LGBTQ rights are ingrained in the city. Almost everywhere you look is an Instagram-worthy moment.

But where can you find the best views of San Francisco? Where you can point your camera in almost any direction and take amazing photos? Here’s a roundup and some maps to help you decide on the best places to stop and enjoy!

San Francisco Places To See

Mountainous place. While that might be bad news for your legs, it’s good news for your eyes and camera.

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Those rolling hills that cover the city are beautiful vantage points for really drinking in and around the city.

Everyone knows that the most iconic symbol of San Francisco is the Golden Gate Bridge. There are many good places to see it such as Battery Point, Fort Point and Baker Beach to name a few.

My favorite photo spot, though, is the Golden Gate Public Observation Deck, which sits above the bridge and city at the Marin Headlands.

If you’re lucky enough to get there on a less foggy day, you’ll have a great view of the bridge and the city that unfolds before you. Think of fog as a smoke machine. If you get there and it’s playing it just adds to the drama!

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This is one you don’t want to miss, guaranteed. The Palace of Fine Arts was built in 1915 and rebuilt in 1965.

With its own artificial lagoon, this is a magnificent “pergola”, finished in a style that would not be out of place in Europe.

San Francisco would not be what it is today without community arts groups and programs. There are many more, but this is by far my favorite.

Tile Steps at 16th Avenue is a mosaic and garden project spanning the steps between Moraga Street and 15th Avenue. They are steep but I recommend climbing them as it’s hard to take it all in from the bottom.

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This neighborhood stretch of Lombard Street is known for its eight hairpin turns on a steep slope.

This is a very popular stop with tourists, so remember to be safe when photographing Lombard Street. It’s easy to forget that this is a busy main road.

As you can see, Coit Tower is an excellent vantage point for photographing the city. But you can also capture towers and surrounding buildings from Embarcadero.

It’s on Telegraph Hill, which also has some great viewpoints. If you’re walking, it’s a bit of a climb up, but worth every second for the view.

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From a young age, you’ll be familiar with the style of painted ladies. A row of Victorian and Edwardian houses surrounds Alamo Park, a tourist hotspot.

When it comes to iconic San Francisco homes, they’re the real deal and some of the most photographed places in the city.

San Francisco has some tiled staircases, and the Lincoln Park steps are some of the prettiest.

You’ll find this staircase in Lincoln Park at the west end of California Street. There are only 52 steps from bottom to top, so you won’t feel out of breath compared to climbing the tiled steps of 16th Avenue.

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Grocery stores, dollar stores, souvenir shops and dim sum restaurants fill Chinatown. But not as crowded as on the sidewalk.

Don’t be put off by the people, there’s always great stuff to see and snap, including some top-notch street art.

One of the best viewpoints in San Francisco, you can choose from two peaks to climb!

This is the place to be for a true 360-degree view of San Francisco that’s almost unrivaled. Be sure to check the weather before your visit. There will be fog along the way.

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I think I really like this photo because of the addition of seagulls floating in the breeze.

Alcatraz is one of the must-see attractions, especially for movie and history buffs. Keep an eye out for the ferry, though.

Besides the gulls gliding in the wake of the ferry, you’ll get some beautiful views of the city from the bay. Boats on the water, bridges that span the line between the peninsula and the East Bay, and Alcatraz itself.

This was a small surprise as it was similar to the view from the Alcatraz Ferry, but much better when visiting in spring and summer.

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When you’ve almost finished your Alcatraz audio guide, you’ll head to the guards’ quarters and hear a little about life as a guard on the island.

This is the view that will greet you when you have the opportunity to step outside. If the weather is clear, there are many sailboats on the bay.

You can’t get past the Castro District for the colour, drama and excitement. The spirit of San Francisco lives in the Castro.

Besides the beautiful houses, which I’ve obviously fallen in love with, there’s always something going on. There’s the Castro Theater, built in 1922, and no matter which angle you look at it, you’ll see a rainbow.

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Mainly because it goes up and down the mountain multiple times a day, and if you arrive at just the right time, you’ll be able to see the sunset and the hustle and bustle of the city surrounding this old world icon.

No trip to San Francisco is complete without a visit to the Fisherman’s Wharf seals! Sure they’re just hanging around, basking in the sun, but can you blame them?

They’re in one of the best cities in the world! They are literally waiting for you to pull out your camera and take a picture of them against the best looking backdrop around.

Union Square is basically the epicenter of big-name shopping in San Francisco. Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton and Swarovski have all set up shop there.

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There’s always something going on in the square, whether it’s the giant tree and menorah for Christmas, or the heart of San Francisco.

I guarantee you won’t find a better view of the Golden Gate Bridge than Baker’s Beach.

Not only will you get to enjoy these views, but you’ll also be able to snap beautiful sunset photos over San Francisco’s rocky coastline.

Then you need to make your own way to Corona Heights Park. It’s just a short climb and you’ll feel like you’re on the clouds.

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It’s also a great place to learn about the land, so to speak. Orienting yourself is easier when the city is right in front of you like a map.

Golden Gate Park is huge. Frankly, there is so much to see and photograph, you could easily spend an entire day there.

There’s the San Francisco Botanical Garden, bison, a fine arts museum with its own sculpture garden, a windmill and a Japanese tea garden. You may also stumble upon this waterfall, as I did while running Bay to Breakers!

Enjoy a picnic lunch or evening beer and sit back and watch the world go by or the sun set. It faces Mission High School, so you can sit back and imagine what that view would be like from the English classroom window.

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San Francisco is not without great street art, and Clarion Alley in Mission is the best place to find it.

The Clarion Alley Mural Project is an artist-run community group that uses public art to give voice to marginalized groups.

You can’t get over pretty flowers to make you happy. Image: Courtesy of School of Flowers

It is the oldest building in the park, but underwent extensive renovations back in the early 2000s. Today, with 1,700 species of plants, it offers plenty to delight the eyes.

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I mentioned that the list of places to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge is long. Here’s another one of those, although that’s not the angle I chose for this photo.

Lands End has a great view of the East Bay and the bridge, and it’s a nice walk to Sutro Baths, not too shabby for a view. Plus, you have a maze to start!

The Sutro Baths site is just off the Lands End Labyrinth, so it’s easy to get to (although parking isn’t easy to find).

It was built in late 1896 as a public salt water bath, but unfortunately it burned down in 1966. The ruins are a reminder of where San Francisco’s rich and poor can go on vacation.

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Standing today is a stunning Academy of Fine Arts building that spans two city blocks and recalls old-world European architectural charm.

Honestly, Battery Point, Fort Point, and Baker Beach are usually pretty crowded because everyone wants to get a shot of the Golden Gate Bridge, and it’s the easiest way to do it.

But if you’re willing to drive a little

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