The 15 Most Beautiful Spots In San Francisco

While San Francisco may be home to a copious amount of high-rises and skyscrapers, this city isn't just an urban jungle. Sitting right next to the Pacific Ocean, it has a lot more to offer outdoors than you may think — from lush gardens and sandy beaches to trails for hikers of all skill sets. Oh, and the jaw-dropping views? Those speak for themselves.

Ahead, find 15 spots you'll want to check out the next time you want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Keep our list going in the comments!



Photo: Courtesy of @nemirah.
Alamo Square
If you're a Full House fan, visiting Alamo Square is probably already on your list of places to see in S.F. The vibrant line of Victorian homes (better known as the Painted Ladies) and the lush grassy area across the way are just a few of the draws to this part of the city. A picnic blanket, a few sandwiches, and some good company are all you'll need to complete the experience.

Alamo Square, Hayes Street, between Steiner and Scott streets.
Photo: Courtesy of @kt_shanno.
Mission Dolores Park
As it turns out, S.F. doesn't have foggy weather all the time. If you're not a fan of sunbathing at the beach, Mission Dolores Park might be the right choice for you. Whether you're taking a leisurely stroll or challenging your friend to a match of tennis, there's something for everybody to enjoy here. The awesome view of the skyline is just an added bonus.

Mission Dolores Park, 19th and Dolores streets.
Photo: Courtesy of @swirvington.
Baker Beach
Ask any S.F.er where to find the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and we'll bet they'll say Baker Beach. This serene spot is also dog-friendly, which is good news for anyone who has a four-legged friend at home. Tip: If you're going to explore the northern area of the beach, beware — it's clothing-optional.

Baker Beach, near Bowley Street and Lincoln Boulevard.
Photo: Courtesy of @saisumaphotography.
16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project
This hidden S.F. gem proves that art isn't only on museum walls. The vivid mosaic featured on 163 steps was completed in 2005 thanks to hundreds of artists and volunteers combining their efforts to make the dream a reality; you won't mind taking the journey to the top with this remarkable view along the way.

16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project, Moraga Street, between 15th and 16th avenues.
Photo: Courtesy of @stubergoober.
Billy Goat Hill Park
One of the most popular features of Billy Goat Hill Park has to be the rope swing overlooking S.F.'s cityscape. While the swing was recently cut down, there are still plenty of spots where you can soak up the view. From hiking to Instagram-worthy backgrounds, this cozy spot is a must for your outdoor itinerary.

Billy Goat Hill Park, Castro and 30th streets.
Photo: Courtesy of @redhairstory.
Filbert Steps
Heading to Coit Tower? Take some time to explore the Filbert Steps nearby. Not only will you get a great cardio workout, you'll also be surrounded by lavish gardens lining the way. Just don't forget your comfy shoes, or you might regret it.

Filbert Steps, between Montgomery and Sansome streets.
Photo: Courtesy of @sfbotanicalgarden.
San Francisco Botanical Garden
This charming outdoor oasis is every garden lover's dream. Located in S.F.'s Golden Gate Park, it's home to a variety of trees and flowers, ranging from redwoods to magnolias.

San Francisco Botanical Garden, 1199 9th Avenue (between Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Lincoln Way); (415) 661-1316.
Photo: Courtesy of @katiezain.
Japanese Tea Garden
Tranquil is the only way to describe the Japanese Tea Garden. The picturesque garden, featuring a tea house, koi fish, and traditional pagodas, is also located within S.F.'s Golden Gate Park. After a visit here, it'll be hard not to feel absolutely relaxed.

Japanese Tea Garden, 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive (between John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. drives); (415) 752-1171.
Photo: Courtesy of @pewpewanthony.
Lands End
If hiking is on your mind when you come to the City by the Bay, you can't leave without first paying a visit to Lands End. While many may find the oceanfront view the best part of the trip, it's really all about the creative labyrinth that awaits explorers. Let's just say the view is something you'd imagine on the front of a postcard (since it probably already is).

Lands End, 680 Point Lobos Avenue (near El Camino Del Mar); (415) 426-5240.
Photo: Courtesy of @devthadude707.
Fort Mason Center
If the sight of a delicious dish gets the butterflies flying in your stomach, you're bound to fall in love with all the tasty selections at Off The Grid. The Friday night food fest is held weekly at the Fort Mason Center in S.F.'s Marina District. Every foodie knows a mouthwatering dish is just as pretty as almost any heart-stopping view.

Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Boulevard (near Laguna Street); (415) 345-7500.
Photo: Courtesy of @presidiosf.
Lovers’ Lane
This dreamy trail located within The Presidio is made for couples wanting to embark on a romantic stroll and get some quiet away from the city's urban jungle. And did we mention the views? You've got nature at its finest.

The Presidio, 103 Montgomery Street, between Sheridan Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard.
Photo: Courtesy of @nameitu.
Palace Of Fine Arts
This is one of those S.F. spots everyone already knows about, but you'll want to visit again and again. The detailed architecture at this local landmark has captured the gaze and hearts of visitors over the years. Fun fact: the Palace of Fine Arts is a wedding hot spot and was even featured in the 2012 film, The Five-Year Engagement.

Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon Street (between Palace Drive and Baker Street); (415) 563-6504.
Photo: Courtesy of @modernsequins.
Ocean Beach
When it comes to Ocean Beach, bonfires are pretty much a must. Be sure to come early to snag yourself a fire pit, because no one really wants to miss out on s'mores. Fido is also welcome in on the fun, since this laidback spot is dog-friendly. Just don't forget your sandals or you might be stuck with sand in your socks.

Ocean Beach, 28 Great Highway (near Lincoln Way).
Photo: Courtesy of @ogjm.
Twin Peaks Summit
Do the striking views in S.F. ever stop? Nope. Twin Peaks Summit is everything you want it to be and more. No matter if you're on a date or just exploring the city with your best friends, you'll have to see this view in person to fully soak in all the beauty.

Twin Peaks Summit, 501 Twin Peaks Boulevard (near Portola Drive); (415) 831-6331.
Photo: Courtesy of @madelinesteel.
Sutro Baths
History buffs are in for a treat with this classic S.F. landmark. The Sutro Baths date back all the way to the late 1800s, when the spot was operating as an indoor swimming complex. Today, the ruins still stand, accompanied by yet another view that will have you falling head over heels.

Sutro Baths, 680 Point Lobos Avenue (near El Camino Del Mar); (415) 426-5240.