The Best Places to go For Views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge

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The city of San Francisco is so unique, you can’t help but be amazed when you see it from afar (or up close)!  From the well-recognized Golden Gate Bridge to the city skyline, San Francisco has one of the most marvelous city views in the world.  With distinctive structures like the Transamerica Pyramid and the Salesforce Tower, the San Francisco skyline is pretty incredible.  If you’re lucky enough to visit this remarkable city, don’t miss witnessing the best views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.


The Best Views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge


Alamo Square

Go for:  Views of the city (and the Painted Ladies!)

painted ladies with sf skyline

Alamo Square is a park in the Western Addition of San Francisco.  Aside from boasting city views, in front of the city, you’ll see the famously recognized Painted Ladies – a series of colorful Victorian-style houses.  Most people know this scene from Full House, where the opening of the TV series was shot.

Plan to stay awhile at this picturesque location.  Pack a picnic or get takeout.  If you’re looking for a great takeout spot, the Greek restaurant Souvla is less than half of a mile away.


Baker Beach

Go for:  Views of Golden Gate Bridge

Not only will you get up close and personal views of the Golden Gate Bridge, but you’ll also be on one of the most fun and popular beaches in San Francisco.  I suggest spending a day here, bringing a picnic and drinks.  Stay for sunset as crowds start to disperse and the Bridge lights up.


Battery Spencer

Go for:  Views of Golden Gate Bridge + city views

the golden gate bridge with the SF city skyline in back

By far the best San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge view, Battery Spencer is located in Sausalito and gets you up close and personal with the bridge.  At Battery Spencer, you truly feel the enormity of the Golden Gate and all that it would have taken to construct it.  Plus behind the bridge, you’ll catch glimpses of the San Francisco skyline – win, win.  You can drive up, bike up, or walk up, but to get to it from the city you’ll have to cross the Golden Gate Bridge.  There are random parking spots along Battery Spencer where parking is free but limited.  I recommend coming early in the morning or during the week to avoid crowds of people.


Golden Gate Overlook

Go for:  Views of the Golden Gate Bridge

Located in the Presidio, the Golden Gate Overlook gives you a different view of… you guessed it… the Golden Gate Bridge.  I particularly like this view for its different vantage point and for the beautiful, big trees surrounding the area.  I suggest going for sunrise to avoid crowds.


Lands End Labyrinth

Go for:  Views of Golden Gate Bridge

Lands End Labyrinth is a rock structure that overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge and was created in 2004.  It’s located in the northwest corner of San Francisco, in Lands End Park, which has a series of walking trails.  Once you’ve visited the Labyrinth, head down to Mile Rock Beach, a remote beach famous for random stacked rocks along the beach.


Mission Dolores Park

Go for:  Views of the city

mission dolores park

With views not quite as impressive as Alamo Square, Mission Dolores is still a fun place to take a picnic, drink some wine, and veg with the San Francisco skyline insight.  Often referred to as only Dolores Park, it’s located in the Mission District and stretches for 16-acres.  There is an expansive grassy area to grab a seat and soccer fields, tennis courts, and a basketball court too.

Please note that there is an upper and lower grassy field to stretch out in.  If you’re in the lower area, you won’t be able to see the skyline.  Sit up top if you prefer city views.



Go for:  Views of the city (plus bike/drive across the Golden Gate Bridge)

views of the SF city skyline from Sausalito

Aside from the skyline sightseeing of San Francisco, you can spend the day in the charming town of Sausalito eating fresh seafood, visiting boutique shops, and more.  Sausalito is easy to get to from the city, you can drive or bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, or take a ferry.


If you want to make a day of visiting Sausalito, read my complete Sausalito travel guide.


Tank Hill

Go for:  Views of the city

views of the SF skyline from tank hill with a girl in burgendy standing in front

On the way to Twin Peaks, you’ll come across Tank Hill, which offers great views of the skyline.  While it isn’t quite as impressive as Twin Peaks, if you’re on your way to Twin Peaks there’s no harm in stopping at Tank Hill.  Climb up the hill and feast your eyes on the skyline, which only gets better with elevation.


Twin Peaks

Go for:  Views of the city

One of the best views in San Francisco is at 922-foot elevation.  Twin Peaks is in the heart of the city, in a remote residential neighborhood of modern homes.  Once you reach the top you’ll be awarded 360-degree views of the city, including the riveting skyline.  While it’s a nice climb up at any time, I recommend coming for sunrise or sunset to see the city light up in soft pinks and oranges.


Whether you’re a local or a tourist, there’s no denying that San Francisco is one of the most uniquely beautiful cities in the world.  Take advantage of all it has to offer, including the views, so that you can leave the city in awe and appreciate what it took to make it what it is today.  Oh, and if you need help getting around the city make sure to check out 8 Apps You Need for Transportation in San Francisco.


Looking for more San Francisco recommendations?  Make sure to check out my Instagram page and search for #ppincalifornia or check out my highlight reel “San Fran, CA” for the best things to see and do in the city!


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Kylee is a Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) nurse passionate about making travel affordable and accessible to nurses. Inspiring nurses to travel both near and far, Kylee began Passports and Preemies in 2017 while volunteering in Skopje, North Macedonia as a way to reach nurses and advocate for the prevention of nurse burnout by traveling. Kylee is the original creator of the “8 Day Vacay” – a vacation geared towards nurses who aim to take advantage of the potentially 8 days off between work weeks with no need to use PTO.

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