Best places to take pictures in San Francisco, California
Throngs head to the City by the Bay for its vibrant cultural mix, upscale boutiques and restaurants — and, of course, iconic views for photo opportunities. On a clear day, enjoy views of the Golden Gate Bridge from one of our favourite spots. 🌉 Rows of Victorian Painted Ladies and cable cars running the hilly streets set the scene for a vibrant and friendly coastal city. Read on for the best places to take photos in San Francisco. 📸
1. Baker Beach & the Golden Gate Bridge
For postcard-worthy sunsets and iconic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, there is no better place than Baker Beach… as long as there’s no fog! ☁️☀️ With no entrance or parking fees and insanely beautiful views, Baker Beach is one of the best places for a breathtakingly beautiful stroll in San Francisco. Battery Spencer and Lands End are our honorable mentions for Golden Gate Bridge views, but why not just visit all three? 😉
2. Crissy Field
Once an abandoned military airfield, Crissy Field is now home to some of San Francisco’s most picturesque views, with panoramic views of Golden Gate Bridge backed by the Marin Headlands and, of course, those gorgeous views of the Bay. 🌊 Plenty of open spaces, from beaches to hiking and cycling trails, make this a popular recreation spot for visitors and locals alike.
3. The Palace of Fine Arts
Get lost among the stately columns of the stunning Palace of Fine Arts monument, inspired by Ancient Roman and Greek architecture. Originally built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, this grand building exudes pure romance. This is a great photo location for a scenic stroll with a unique backdrop. 💕
“We are huge foodies so we loved exploring the Ferry Building. When our shoot plans changed because of the weather, our photographer suggested the location change to the Ferry Building. And I’m so glad she did, it was one of our favorite places! Be sure to check it out!” – Chelsea (photographed above)
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See why San Francisco is called “The City by the Bay” at Embarcadero, the eastern waterfront along the San Francisco Bay. Be sure to check out the iconic clock tower, the 1898 Ferry Building, and the gorgeous views over the bay. You can even take a ferry ride from here (which is worth it for the views on the water alone!) to the world-famous Alcatraz Island. ⛵️
5. Pier 7
This picturesque little pier lined with antique-style lamps on the Embarcadero is the perfect spot for photos of the San Francisco Bay. Perched upon Pier 7, take in views of the Bay Bridge and the San Francisco skyline, with Coit Tower and the TransAmerica Pyramid. Stop at one of the many benches that line the pier for a picnic or a quiet moment to take in the views, which are especially picturesque at sunrise or sunset. 🌅
6. Ghirardelli Square
The bustling Ghirardelli Square, located in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf area, is jam-packed with shops, restaurants, and, of course, one of the famous chocolate manufacturer’s most well-known shops. 🍫Catch one of San Francisco’s iconic street cars on the Powell-Hyde line, just one block east of Ghirardelli Square. Other popular San Francisco squares include Alamo Square Park and Union Square to surround yourself with the charming hustle and bustle of San Francisco.
7. Fisherman’s Wharf
Fisherman’s Wharf is home to so much more than just Ghirardelli Square, Pier 7 and Pier 39. At the northern waterfront of San Francisco, this popular neighbourhood is one of the most-visited in the city. Where it truly shines is the abundance of incredibly fresh seafood — seriously, watch the fisherman in the morning and you may just spot the fish you’ll have for lunch! 🐟 It’s also a great spot to watch the sea lions. These noisy but lovable residents provide plenty of entertainment, whether they’re napping in the sun or barking up a storm!
8. Painted Ladies
Alongside the Golden Gate Bridge, the Painted Ladies with the views of the city skyscrapers rising behind them is one of the most photographed spots in San Francisco. 🎨 Across the street from Alamo Square Park, it’s one of the best photo spots to sit, relax, and enjoy a sunny day with a view. While the symbolism of these colourful houses starts with the California Gold Rush, they were more recently made famous by the opening credits of the late-80’s show “Full House.”
9. Lombard Street
Another one of the city’s unique photography spots is the winding Lombard Street. The eight sharp switchbacks are the reason behind the nickname “The Crookedest Street in San Francisco.” 🚘 You can get a beautiful view of the sprawling city below from the top of the winding road, and once you’ve made your way (slowly) down the street, capture a unique vantage point of the street itself from below.
10. North Beach
Known as San Francisco’s “Little Italy,” North Beach is sandwiched next to Chinatown and the Financial District. Packed with history, culture and authentic pizza and gelato, this neighbourhood is the best for a picturesque and snack-filled stroll. 🍕 Live music, antique stores and the Filbert Street steps leading to Telegraph Hill are all a part of the North Beach experience. 🎶
Capture memories in San Francisco, California
The heart of the Bay Area is full of photo opportunities, especially for those with good walking shoes! 👟 For the best photos of this colourful city, we recommend rising early for golden hour to capture a slice of ever-popular San Francisco all for yourself… or book a Flytographer! ✨