From the copper-hued towers of the Golden Gate Bridge to the rugged beauty of Alcatraz, San Francisco is a visual utopia for photographers and visitors hoping to capture the essence of the City by the Bay. Whether you explore the colorful streets of Chinatown, trek to the top of Nob Hill, or wander down to Baker Beach, you can snap some amazing photographs of San Francisco from every peak and neighborhood perch.
Golden Gate Bridge – The most photographed tourist attraction in San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge is a breathtaking sight day and night. The iconic bridge can be shot from many vantage points, including Fort Point, Baker Beach and just north from the Marin Headlands.
Alcatraz – Hop on the ferry to Alcatraz Island to snap amazing photos of this infamous prison, including the dark cells and the beautiful rocky landscape. From the Rock, you can take incredible pictures of the Bay and San Francisco skyline at night.
Chinatown & North Beach – Stroll through Chinatown, where you can take awesome pictures of unique shops, restaurants, alleys and markets, colorful signs, and historic churches. Stroll over to the North Beach neighborhood to photograph the neon strip clubs on Broadway, Washington Square Park, St. Peter and Paul. From the top of Coit Tower, you can capture beautiful views of the city.
Twin Peaks – From the top of Twin Peaks, you’ll find one of the most exciting vistas in the world. From this peak, you can photograph the entire city of San Francisco, City Hall, Transamerica Building, Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge and Oakland.
Fisherman’s Wharf /Ferry Building – With its vibrant marketplaces, waterfront restaurants, street musicians and playful sea lions, Fisherman’s Wharf is a fun place to photograph. Snap a few shots of Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square, and the waters of the Bay.
Ferry Building & Marina – Head down to the San Francisco Marina to the historic Ferry Building, with its beautiful architecture and the city’s bustling farmers’ market. At night, the red neon sign on top of the Ferry Building glows “Port of San Francisco” and is the perfect postcard image.
Haight Ashbury & Mission District – Two of the coolest neighborhoods to shoot, The Mission and Haight Ashbury are home to city’s best cultural sites. These hip neighborhoods are where can photographs funky stores and galleries and amazing street art, murals, and graffiti, especially the little alleys off 24th and Mission streets.
Palace of Fine Arts / Exploratorium – Originally built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, the Palace of Fine Arts is an architectural masterpiece that is visually stunning at night. Shoot from inside under the spectacular dome, or get a shot by the lagoon to capture reflections of this landmark in the water.
Grace Cathedral – Photographed by Ansel Adams in 1935, this amazingly beautiful cathedral on Nob Hill features stained glass windows, stunning mosaics and two interior labyrinths. Shoot the magnificent entrance doors, a replica of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise.
The Painted Ladies – An iconic spot to photograph are the Painted Ladies, Victorian-era row houses that sit harmoniously on a hillside. These famous, colorful row houses, with ornate architecture and design, sit right in front of the perfect skyline view.