The 15 Most Instagram-worthy Places in the Bay Area


Hands up!

San Francisco’s sheer number of picturesque locations will amaze you. Here’s where to go when you want to pad up those Instagram feeds – or better yet, build an impressive photography portfolio after checking out great parks in San Francisco:

The best views of the Golden Gate Bridge

  • Baker’s Beach
    A photo walk and a beach trip on the same day? Who can say no to that? If you want to take a classic sunset photo with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, this is where you’ll want to go.
  • Fort Point
    This spot offers the closest views of the Golden Gate Bridge without having to be on it. Enjoy taking snapshots of the bridge disappearing into the fog or of San Francisco Bay water splashing onto the rocks below your feet.
  • Hawk Hill
    Get a high vantage point on the Marin Headlands for a classy portrait with the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco cityscape in the background.
  • Land’s End
    Stretch out those legs and enjoy a casual walk around the Land’s End Lookout. You’ll get excellent shots of the Golden Gate Bridge here, with the stunning Marin Headlands in the background.

Icons and landmarks

  • Financial District
    Feeling dwarfed by all the towering skyscrapers in the Financial District? All you need to do is look up and snap a photo. You’ll be impressed with the results.
  • Powell Street
    Looking for the iconic San Francisco trams and cable cars? Head up to Powell Street, specifically near the Market Street end of the line. Here, you can capture unique shots of empty cars while parked and waiting for their turn to take passengers.
  • San Francisco City Hall
    If you’re looking for a serious or formal background, head to City Hall. An air of sophistication exudes from its stone wall façade, marble interiors, and intricate gold detailing.
  • The Painted Ladies
    This colorful row of Victorian houses in the Alamo Square neighborhood is a genuine San Francisco icon.
  • The Palace of Fine Arts
    Built in 1915, this SF landmark will create gorgeous backdrops that seemingly send you back in time. The facility was renovated in 2009 to improve its lagoon, walkways, and structural integrity.
  • The Sutro Baths ruins
    A public saltwater swimming complex built in the late 1890s, Sutro Baths burned down in 1966 and is now one of the most compelling locations for a moody shoot.
  • Culture and personality on display

    • Castro District
      From the rainbow-colored crosswalks to the lively personalities you’ll encounter along its streets, the Castro District is guaranteed to showcase its hometown pride as San Francisco’s LGBT center.
    • Chinatown
      Street photography enthusiasts will love the explosion of color and culture here. Check your calendar for landmark cultural events like the Chinese New Year Parade to make the most out of your photographic tour.
    • The Technicolor House on 24th Street and San Jose
      Looking for a splash of color? This fun Mission District house delivers in spades. Just be sure not to be too rowdy or intrusive – it’s still someone’s home, after all.

    Revisiting San Francisco’s maritime heritage

    • Fisherman’s Wharf
      Boats. Sea lions. Seafood. Tourists. Tourists taking pictures of boats, sea lions, and seafood. The possibilities are endless here at Pier 39. If you’re bringing a camera with a powerful zoom lens, you can even capture Alcatraz Island across the bay.
    • Pier 7
      This dock offers a beautifully symmetrical row of street lights, punctuated by the towering Transamerica Pyramid at the end. It’s not as well-known as Pier 39, so you won’t be competing with big crowds for that excellent shot.

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