In a city defined by its hills, panoramic vista points, city lights, and oceanic landscapes, San Francisco paints the backdrop to many scenic viewpoints. While at most any corner or street you find yourself on, there is a beautiful scene laid out before you, but there are certain places within the city that provide some of the best views around. We’ve gathered up a few of our favorite scenic viewpoints in San Francisco to enjoy during your next visit to the Bay area.
With 360-degree views, one of the highest scenic viewpoints in San Francisco is the summit at Twin Peaks. Named for a pair of peaks that rest in a remote residential area of the city, Twin Peaks is a popular spot for hiking, dog walking and taking in beautiful views of the city. A 64-acre grassy park sits at the top, ideal for a day at the park. Access the summit either by driving to the top or hiking one of the several trails leading to the summit.
Hawk Hill is a 923-foot peak that rests in the Marin Headlands, north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Located within the Golden Gate National Park Recreation Area, Hawk Hill features a series of lookouts providing some of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Not only is this one of the best scenic viewpoints in San Francisco, but it is also the best place to see the fall raptor migration.
Bernal Heights Park
Bernal Heights Park is a hillside park that offers plenty of green space, towering trees, hiking trails, and a beautiful viewpoint that provides one of the best spots to enjoy a sunrise in San Francisco. This park’s views stretch across the sprawling suburbs in the foreground and the skyline of the Financial District and the Pacific Ocean in the distance. Bernal Heights Park is a great alternative to Twin Peaks with its similar views and fewer crowds.
Pacific Overlook & Golden Gate Overlook
Both the Golden Gate Overlook and the Pacific Overlook were built in 2012 to celebrate the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th anniversary. Each of the overlooks provides the most iconic vantage points of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pacific Ocean, and a stunning landscape that makes up the city’s coastline.
Corona Heights Park
Located in the Corona Heights and Castro neighborhoods, Corona Heights Park boasts a hilly landscape, a signature red rock, which makes for the perfect spot to take in scenic views of San Francisco. This park features a nearby museum, grassy park, tennis courts, dog park, playground, and more – ideal for a family day at the park.
A bit of a hidden vantage point, Tank Hill captures much of the city’s views as the popular Twin Peaks does but without the crowds. Tank Hill is located near the intersection of Clayton Street and Twin Peaks Boulevard. The rock outcropping doesn’t offer a 360-degree view but does provide scenes of downtown San Francisco, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Access the top of Tank Hill via a wooden staircase or a dirt path.
As the highest natural point in San Francisco at 928-feet, Mount Davidson is found in the center of the city, which provides stunning 360-degree views that can’t be beaten. The 40-acre mountain-top park provides ample hiking trails all within the middle of the city and is also a great place to see Twin Peaks, Sutro Tower, and downtown skyline.
Stay at the Golden Gate Hotel
Take in these scenic viewpoints in San Francisco and complete your experience with a stay at the Golden Gate Hotel. Located near San Francisco’s Union Square, our hotel offers an excellent location for exploring the city, coupled with old-world charm with friendly surroundings. Choose from our 23 boutique-style rooms that provide a charming atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else in the city. And to top it off, guests enjoy a complimentary breakfast and afternoon tea-time to complete your relaxing vacation. Start planning your San Francisco vacation and book your stay at Golden Gate Hotel today!