Where to Find the Best Views in San Francisco
Even though it’s a city, you might want to get out your hiking boots for a visit to San Francisco. The maps won’t tell you the truth: the dozens of hills around town make walking more exercise than a leisure activity. These hills can reach hundreds of feet in height, but if you’re looking for amazing views, there’s no other place like it.
You can trek to the top of Lombard Street to see some interesting driving maneuvers by the multitude of cars trying to get down the street or take the famous trolley from hill to hill with no exertion on your end. If you’re up for an adventure though, check out these amazing views on your next trip into town.
No, it’s not named after the paranormal mystery drama with the same name, but the views may seem otherworldly from this vantage point. At the top of the summit, you’ll have panoramic views of the city, from the top of the Golden Gate Bridge to the bay. Stroll along the pedestrian walkways around Twin Peaks Boulevard for even more spectacular views.
You can get vastly different perspectives throughout the day and evening with the bright lights that come on during the evening and illuminate the whole city. Visitors suggest coming on days with little or no fog for the best experience.
Top of the Mark
What’s better than a view? A view with some bubbles! Top of the Mark sits on the 19th floor of the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins hotel. From this vantage point, you’ll have 360-degree views of the city and can glimpse the famous city skyline with the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop.
- 10 minute walk from San Francisco City Hall
- In an Art Deco building dating back to 1932
- Free Wi-Fi and close to major attractions
The Embassy Hotel in San Francisco
- Trendy Nob Hill neighborhood near Union Square
- Free bike rental to explore the city
- On-site restaurant with extensive buffet & cocktails
Stanford Court in San Francisco
- Boutique hotel five-minutes from Union Square
- En-suite bathrooms with plush bathrobes & bath amenities
- Walk to fun nightlife hotspots & restaurants
Axiom San Francisco
- Continental breakfast for two daily
- 5-star hotel w/ spa
- Rooms feature butler service, mini bar & luxury linens
The St. Regis San Francisco
- Full breakfast for two daily
- 5-star hotel w/ pool & spa
- Sunday brunch w/ some of the city’s finest jazz musicians
The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco
- Free continental breakfast & WiFi
- Just minutes away from Golden Gate Bridge
- Evening wine & charcuterie reception
Inn at Union Square in San Francisco
- Free WiFi
- On-site spa, gym, restaurant, & bar
- 4-star pet friendly hotel
The Marker San Francisco
- Between Fisherman's Wharf & No. Beach
- Newly renovated with cozy onsite lounge
- 233 rooms just blocks from the Bay
Pier 2620 Hotel Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco
- In downtown area near Chinatown
- Daily Grill Restaurant onsite
- Sauna & outdoor swimming pool w/ sun deck
Handlery Union Square in San Francisco
- Six-minute walk from the bustling Union Square
- Boutique luxury hotel with Egyptian cotton sheets
- In-room spa services, valet parking, and Wi-Fi available
The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel in San Francisco
- Boutique waterfront hotel with nautical theme
- Rooms and suites with porthole windows
- Camper food truck in hotel courtyard
Hotel Zephyr in San Francisco
The swanky restaurant is open every day and offers scrumptious dinner and brunch bites including marinated olives, loaded crab nacho, and smores fondue. On weekends, treat yourself to a champagne brunch at a table next to the floor-to-ceiling windows surrounding the restaurant.
Take a casual hike through this park right on the bay. You’ll find numerous paths along the cliffs and around the shore to choose from. The stunning views of the bay are breathtaking and during spring, you may even see some whales hanging out by the Golden Gate Bridge. During low tide, you can glimpse numerous shipwrecks in the bay for some unique photographs.
Within the park are numerous landmarks and historical sites you can easily walk to. The ruins of the Sutro Baths lie just off the coast and were originally opened in 1896. After an arson in 1966, all that remain of the baths are stairs, passageways, and walls.
Bernal Heights Hill
A short climb to the top of this hill gives you great views of the surrounding Mission District and rolling hills. This hill is perfect for a picnic on a breezy day. Just down the hill you’ll find fun restaurants, bakeries, salons, and a wine and beer store if you want your picnic to be extra special.
The area has hosted a farmers’ market every Saturday since 1947, so make sure to go on the weekend and browse through a variety of stands and businesses selling everything from vintage furniture to exotic gems.
By: Devyn Woolsey
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