San Francisco has some amazing things to see and do, but if you want to see San Francisco, I recommend the following four places; Twin Peaks, de Young observatory, Coit Tower and the foreshore on Treasure Island. These four places will give you amazing views of San Francisco.
|Panorama from Twin Peaks.|
Twin Peaks are two hills located on the eastern side of the city. It has an excellent view straight down Market St. You can see the entire eastern side of the city, across the bay to Oakland and down to southern San Francisco.
I would recommend getting to twin peaks early in the morning to watch San Franciscans start their day. Twin Peaks is a little tedious to get there via public transport alone but can be done if you have your walking shoes on. Otherwise driving is much easier and there are car parks available, though not many.
|View from Twin Peaks straight down market street|
I don’t know if the observatory is free because I also visited the museum that day but general admission into de Young is $10 for adults and $6 for students. However, the first Tuesday of every month is free!
|Images from de Young observatory.|
Coit Tower is located on Telegraph Hill. From the ground level you can see straight up Lombard Street, the Golden Gate Bridge and bay Bridge. From the top of the tower you get 360 degree view of SF. You can see the Trans America Building and the financial district, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz and the best view of the full Golden Gate Bridge, to name a few highlights. Coit Tower is great all day or evening. The tower closes at 5:30 but the car park area stays open all night.
Coit Tower costs $7 for adult to go to the top level, but in my opinion it was worth it because some of those views can only been seen from the tower.
|Images from Coit Tower|
The foreshore of Treasure Island is a great place to finish off the day. If you are there as the sun sets you get a great view of the Embarcadero and Financial District lighting up for the night. The buildings look amazing. You will also get a great view of Alcatraz. There are picnic tables all along the foreshore to sit and watch the city we all fall in love with.
|Day time- San Francisco from Treasure Island|
|Night time- San Francisco from Treasure Island|
I know there are more places to look at San Francisco from but these are my favorites. I always prefer doing these panoramic viewing places after I have gotten to know the city a bit first. It is a lot more special when you can pick out points of interests and places you have been.