Known as the "City by the Bay," San Francisco
is a great location for sightseeing. With views of the city from high atop Nob Hill and its inspiring architecture in buildings like Coit Tower and the TransAmerica Pyramid, San Francisco offers a perspective that you won't see anywhere else. Vantage points like the Twin Peaks and Golden Gate Bridge provide amazing views for picture taking or just enjoying the scenery.
Top of the Mark at the Mark Hopkins Hotel
Opened in 1939 on the 19th floor of the Mark Hopkins Hotel on Nob Hill, the Top of the Mark has been a very popular location from the very beginning. Originally opened as a cocktail lounge, it was soon expanded to include a full scale restaurant and buffet. The Top of the Mark features one of the greatest views of San Francisco available with a gorgeous 360-degree panorama, giving you a complete view of the city from the Embarcadero ports all the way around to Golden Gate Park. You can see the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, the Presidio, Coit Tower and all the famous landmarks of San Francisco from the comfort of this room, while enjoying a great meal.
Top of the Mark
Mark Hopkins Hotel
999 California St.
San Francisco, CA 94108
Rising above San Francisco at an elevation of about 932 feet above sea level, the twin peaks are located almost exactly in the center of the city. Offering a complete 360-degree view of San Francisco and the surrounding area, these two mountains are the perfect place to get away and enjoy the beauty of the area. Not only does it provide an amazing panorama, but it also is home to many wildlife animals like raccoons, redtail hawks, opossums and more. Twin Peaks also includes several hiking and bike riding trails and you can get to the summit by car, bike or on foot if you prefer. The entrance to the Twin Peaks is at Twin Peaks Boulevard, just off of Portola Avenue. Portola runs north and south through the city and intersects Market Ave., a popular east and west thoroughfare. The Twin Peaks are accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Entrance is free.
Golden Gate Bridge
As one of the most widely recognized landmarks in San Francisco, the Golden Gate bridge also provides some fantastic views of San Francisco and the Bay. The bridge is open not only to vehicles, but also pedestrians during the daylight hours. There are several vista points along the bridge that will give you the chance to stop and take in the amazing scenery of this special place. The South Vista Point on the San Francisco side of the bridge provides restrooms, a gift shop, restaurant and even a special exhibit which features the history of how the bridge was built. Guided walking tours are also provided across the bridge to offer some further information about its daily operations. Access to the Golden Gate Bridge is from U.S. Hwy 101 in San Francisco or across the bay in Marin County.
Carl Pruit has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in service journalism and travel. His work has appeared on various websites. Born and raised in California, Pruit attended Contra Costa Community College in San Pablo, Calif. and received an associate degree in the administration of justice.