Rising over 900 ft (274 m), Twin Peaks is the most popular – and crowded – spot for sweeping city views. The road to the top is often clogged with traffic, and parking is limited to just 20 minutes.
Check out some of the city’s other, lesser-visited hilltop vistas instead.
South of Twin Peaks, near the city center, Mount Davidson is San Francisco’s highest peak at 925 ft (282 m). The surrounding hillside is part of a municipal park, covered in eucalyptus forest with ivy, ferns, and brambles creating a wilder landscape.
The peak offers grand views to the south and east.
Although it’s smaller and lower in elevation, many locals rate Tank Hill, directly north of Twin Peaks, as having the best view of the city. You can see both the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge, the Presidio and Golden Gate Park. It is also a haven for 60 species of native plants.
Another wonderful, if windy, spot lies to the west on Grand View Hill, also known as Turtle Hill.
Topped by remnants of dune habitat, it offers stunning ocean scenery and a panoramic view that takes in Golden Gate Park.
Buena Vista Park in Haight-Ashbury is one of the finest city parks for its large, beautiful trees and winding paths. The steep bits are worth the climb for the fine city views framed by lush foliage.
Beat the crowds at Coit Tower by walking up Telegraph Hill. Filbert Street leads to the Filbert Steps and Greenwich Steps, which take you past lovely old houses and gardens, and under leafy passages, opening on to splendid views of the bay
Buena Vista Park Haight St and Buena Vista Ave East, Haight-Ashbury
Grand View Hill 14th Avenue at Moraga Street
Mount Davidson Access at Dalewood Way and Lansdale Avenue
Tank Hill Belgrave Avenue, Clarendon
Telegraph Hill Filbert Steps