6 Insta-Worthy Sunset Views of San Francisco Bay

Mount Tamalpais Sunset, Photo by Jenny Liang

By Juliana Medan

Summer is here, and what better way to celebrate than watching the sunset with family and friends? Visit one of these stunning lookout points and take advantage of all the amazing views our Bay has to offer. You and your Instagram will both appreciate your visit to theses photogenic sunset spots.

1. Peak of Mount Tamalpais – Marin

In the heart of Marin County, Mount Tamalpais has some of the most gorgeous views our Bay has to offer. Its highest point, East Peak, sits above the clouds, ensuring that the view of the sunset is clear even on foggy days. From the East Peak of Mount Tam you can see the Farallon Islands that sit 25 miles out at sea, the Marin County hills, the East Bay, Mount Diablo and of course, San Francisco Bay. On rare occasions, you might even be able see the snow-covered Sierra Nevada.

2. Mount Hamilton Lick Observatory – Santa Clara

Mount Hamilton sits as a gem of the South Bay. At 4,209 feet, it is the highest point in all of the Bay Area. While it is fairly simple to get to the peak of the mountain via a long curving road, you should allow an hour to drive from San Jose to the Lick Observatory at the very top. The journey, however, is well worth it. Witness captivating views of the rolling South Bay hills and explore the Lick Observatory building and all its history. The Observatory is another great place to see the stars after your sunset viewing is over.

3. Mount Davidson – San Francisco

At 927 feet, Mount Davidson is the tallest natural point in San Francisco. It is not only a great option for hiking on a cool day, but for watching the sunset in the evening. Sit perched on one of the many viewpoints and look over stunning, expansive views of the city. Mount Davidson Park itself is open until 10pm, so you can enjoy the view well after the sun sets.

4. Twin Peaks – San Francisco

The top of Twin Peaks in San Francisco is arguably the best place to catch a full 360 degree view of San Francisco, in addition to a prime view of the Bay. The two hills sit in the very center of the city and remain the second highest natural summit in San Francisco. Like other viewpoint options, this spot is open well past sunset, until midnight. Catch a clear glimpse of the city lights once the sun finishes setting. Twin Peaks is easily accessible by car or bus.

5. Bernal Heights – San Francisco

Bernal Heights in San Francisco may be a residential neighborhood, but it offers a wonderful sunset spot with a surprise. At one of its stunning lookout points, a tree swing sits at optimal sunset-viewing position. Take turns with loved ones swinging over the city, and watch the sunset over our Bay. Bernal Heights holds some of the most breathtakingly clear views of San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, downtown San Francisco, the East Bay hills, and San Bruno Mountain.

6. Berkeley Bay View Point – Berkeley

The Berkeley Bay Viewpoint is part of the larger Tilden Regional Park, one of Berkeley’s most scenic areas. It is popular with bikers, hikers, and swimmers, but also offers an incredible place to take advantage of the beauty of a summer night. The Berkeley Bay View Point sits next to the Lawrence Hall of Science and is easily accessible by all modes of transportation. On colder nights, watch the sunset from the warmth of your car and behold a magnificent view of the East Bay and San Francisco.

From any of these viewpoints, you are sure to enjoy the beauty and diversity of our Bay. As the sun dips below the horizon and the city lights begin to twinkle, take in the wonders of the Bay Area and marvel at just how lucky we are to live here.