From the top of San Francisco hills to the bottom in the beaches, there are so many great places to see the beauty of SF first hand. I had such a blast running around and exploring this city in November! Each of these spots offers multiple shoot opportunities and the views are 360. I can’t wait to continue adding to this SF adventure list in the future!
Wow talk about an adventure. Be ready to get your hike workout on with this San Francisco location, as the closer you get to the action – the further down the hills you climb! Which isn’t bad, until you’re on the way back up 😉 That being said, the views that this spot boasts are unlike any other in the city. 360 degrees with every turn being another breathtaking shot of either the rolling rock-side crashing into the Pacific waves, to the lone rock formations isolated in the endless ocean below, or the million $ mansions on the hillsides above.
Travel Tips: Parking here is not the easiest, especially on weekends during sunset! Be ready to circle the parking lot multiple times before snagging a spot, but its worth the hustle. I suggest wearing comfortable shoes for this venture and changing into anything you want to shoot in – its a hike with some steep little areas. You will also need to climb up the rock-side in order to get the views below.
Cost: Parking is free, Location is free!
Another gorgeous San Francisco view – Bernal Heights boasts views of the entire city with endless peaks and hills to climb. Bernal Heights originally caught my attention because of the iconic swing that used to hang from the tree below, capturing some of those most beautiful outdoor shots with a city backdrop. Queue in Covid 2020 – the swing has been removed since early Spring. But! I promise these views are so good its worth the visit.
Travel Tips: You will have to park at the bottom of the hill and wind your up way along the guardrails but the hike is pretty mild. I managed just fine in these boots and that dress. Although I highly recommend a more comfortable outfit so you can venture all around the many different hills in the park. Views for days!
Cost: Parking is free but is 1st come 1st serve on a pretty small side road in San Francisco. No cost for going in the park!
Palace of Fine Arts
This location is nothing short of STUNNING. The architecture is overwhelmingly beautiful and loops you around to different locations of the Palace. There is a pond with a small fountain running in the front and a walkway that winds around the entire property, lined with benches and grassy areas for groups to get together. You can actually rent out different sections of the building for different events – I even saw a mini wedding ceremony taking place while I was there!
Travel Tips: One big caution – a police officer was rolling by me when I was getting out of the car and was kind enough to let me know that there are a lot of car break-ins at this location. So make sure to lock your doors and take all of your valuable belongings with you! I have visited a couple times and have had no issues, but just passing along the information.
Cost: Parking is free and actually wasn’t too difficult to find, you might have to round about once or twice to find a spot depending on what day/time you visit. Somehow this gorgeous building is free and open to the public. Amazing!
This was my very first stop in the San Francisco adventure series. Twin Peaks is a little bit south of the city (so a tiny bit closer to my house, woo!) and shows off of all the beauty and expanse of the city beyond, with the Pacific Ocean running along one edge, and the San Francisco Bay along the other. I didn’t hike all the way up to the top because I saw this spot and loved it, but you can keep climbing up for even more expansive views.
Travel Tips: This is another park and hike situation! You will have to find parking on one of the small side streets below the Peaks and then swirl up a winding road to the top of the park. There are a lot of people riding bike and hiking in this area so honestly, any time of day will likely be busy – weekends of course more so!
Cost: Nada! Parking and Twin Peaks costs zero dollars.
Golden Gate Bridge
Ahhh the most infamous San Francisco spot – the Golden Gate Bridge. I am so excited to go back and visit the park here again because there are SO many amazing views of the Bridge and all offer a bit different perspective. Below is one shot where I am at the Golden Gate Bridge Park, and the other is actually from Baker Beach- where you get a crystal clear view of the Bridge in all of its glory. Like I said, there are so many more views that I can’t wait to go back and add to this gallery.
Travel Tips: Depending on what perspective of the Bridge you are trying to achieve, your parking is going to differ widely. The park I am at below is incredibly easy to get to, and there are multiple Pay-to-Park lots in the area. I am still figuring out where to go exactly to get some of those far perspective views so stay tuned!
Cost: The parking at the Golden Gate Bridge Park is incredibly minimal, around $1 for an hour, and $7 for the entire day. Pretty crazy considering we are in California 😉 There is also a toll cost if you drive over the Bridge, so be prepared for that.
This is a beach I will definitely be going back to time and time again – especially in the summer! I visited in November and still loved every minute of being able to actually be on a beach… in November. Unheard of for this Midwestern girl! There were so many activities going on from fishing to surfing, dogs running and people just getting outdoors with their families. I mean the best part though, our dog Bagel can come adventure with us! Its the perfect beach for just about everything.
Travel Tips: Parking here is relatively easy to find here. There are a lot of different lots and side streets that you can snag a spot. You do have to walk a tiny bit to get to the actual beach but not far by any means. Again, bring all of your valuables from your car with you – high break in area!
Cost: Nada, Zip, Zilch, None. FREE!
I will continue to post new spots that I explore in the city, I know there are SO many more! I hope you enjoyed a little tour of my favorite shoot spots in San Francisco- make sure to check out my previous post for top spots in the South SF Bay area!