Oh, San Francisco.
I have always loved road tripping up to San Francisco growing up, and it still stays true today.
San Francisco has it all.
In every corner, it has beautiful views throughout the city!
From colorful art murals in Mission to hilltop views of the city, ocean, and the Golden Gate Bridge, there is something for everyone!
is even more special, because it was our family’s first vacation as a family of 4 during Summer 2020. We road-tripped with our toddler (3.5 years old) and our baby (10 months old). This was a very different trip, not only because it was with kids, but…
We traveled during a worldwide pandemic during COVID.
The time where conversations about masks and quarantine were a daily hot topics.
Call us crazy, but we just wanted to get out and travel safely.
We knew that many things were closed during this time, but we also knew that San Francisco has so many great things to do outdoors for the whole family!
After our trip, many of our friends and family asked how San Francisco was, and we would simply say,
“San Francisco was basically a real life museum that you could drive through and see so many beautiful things! If something really captured your attention, you could stop the car and take photos!”
Below are the best places with the best views in San Francisco!
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TOP 10 PLACES FOR BEAUTIFUL VIEWS IN SAN FRANCISCO!
YES. These places are totally Instagram worthy.
1. Ina Coolbrith Park
Neighborhood: Russian Hill
Taylor & Vallejo Streets, San Francisco, CA 94101
Unfortunately, we were unable to make it to Ina Coolbrith Park during this trip, but I highly recommend it! I think it is totally underrated, and it has one of the most beautiful views of the city!
2. Lombard St.
Neighborhood: Russian Hill
1000-1099 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94133
Our 3.5 year old toddler had a blast driving down Lombard St (also known as the most crookedest street in the world!)
My toddler kept saying it was like a Disneyland ride!!
You can walk Lombard St. or drive through it.
For us, we have kids who like to be held, and constantly say, “Pick me up! I am tired!” so we opted to just drive down Lombard St. LOL.
3. Bernal Heights Park
Neighborhood: Bernal Heights
10 Bernal Heights Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94110
We drove up the hills to Bernal Heights and by the time we got up…the kids were napping, and we did not want wake them up. Instead, my husband and I enjoyed the beautiful view with our hot cup of coffee.
It was perfect!
There was still the beautiful view that you can still see in the car…but, if you can, go and walk to the park and find the swing with this breathtaking view!
4. Crissy Field Beach
603 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94129
How cute is my friend, Paula?! We love taking our little ones here to run around and get their energy out!
Beach. Beauitful Views of Golden Gate Bridge.
What more could you ask for?!
5. Painted Ladies
Neighborhood: Alamo Square
700 Steiner St San Francisco, CA 94117
Another iconic view in San Francisco.
Yes, cue in the Full House theme song!
Not only is it a gorgeous view of these Victorian homes and city, but its also a great park for kids to run around and to have a picnic at!
6. Battery Spencer
Conzelman Rd, Sausalito, CA 94965
TWO PIECES OF ADVICE.
First, come early, this place can get real crowded! We drove by during the pandemic (August 2020) around 11:30 am and it was hard to find close parking.
Secondly, when you get close to the destination, keep an eye out! We past it the first time and then had to go all the way back and around the Golden Gate Bridge.
With this knowledge, our family will becoming back earlier and watch out for signs to get there!
7. Muir Woods Beach Overlook
Muir Beach Overlook Rd, Muir Beach, CA 94965
Okay…Okay…this is not in the city, but it is so beautiful that I had to mention it! If you are crossing over the Golden Gate Bridge, I recommend driving through Marin Headlands (a great spot for photos too!) and then come here. It is gorgeous!
This area reminds me of a mini Ireland in the heart of California!
PS: It gets really cold and windy around here!
8. Grandview Park + 16th
1705 14th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122
This place is a must! Not only do you see the beautiful mosaic tiled staircase, but you will also be treated with another beautiful view of the city right next to the stairs at Grandview Park!
Fun Fact: This stairs was a whole community effort.
Over 300 people in the neighborhood placed their unique tiles to create this beautiful staircase! If you look closely, you’ll see messages on the tiles from the neighborhood residents!
9. Ferry Building Marketplace
1 Ferry Bldg, San Francisco, CA 94111
This place was perfect for our family!
Our favorite meal of the whole trip was here. If you love seafood, you will love Hog Island Oyster Co. Their clam chowder is delicious! For me, I never have the need to go to Fisherman’s Wharf for clam chowder, because Hog Island’s is SO GOOD.
Inside the Ferry Building Marketplace is beautiful, and filled with great restaurants and vendors.
Outside, you get beautiful views of the ocean and bridge. It is a great place to have the kids walk around and also grab a bite to eat!
Honestly, we don’t really go to Fisherman’s Wharf anymore, because we would rather come here!
10. Palace of the Arts
3601 Lyon St, San Francisco, CA 94123
Don’t be like me, and drive by this beautiful place for years!
It is a totally different experience once you are inside the Palace of the Arts!
It’s very stroller friendly and a great place to walk around as a family.
There is something so peaceful about this place that you can’t really pinpoint, but it’s truly an experience in itself.
Other Great Spots for Photos!
My daughter and I were in love with all the colorful pastel homes and buildings! Look up Pastel Alley and simply drive around to see all the colorful victorian homes.
My daughter is convinced that she will live in one of these pink houses here!
Mission can be a little rough on the edges, but its okay! It’s city life, right?
We enjoyed driving through it in our car and looking at the beautiful wall murals!
See one or two you like? Feel free to find parking and take a photo!