If you're new to the Bay Area or just looking for some new adventures, here are some great spots to take out your camera and get some really amazing shots of the beautiful landscape in Northern California. Disclaimer: bring lots of layers and prepare to encounter Karl the Fog cause it's bound to happen with the lovely instantly changing weather on the California Golden Coast.
The Golden Gate at Sunrise
First of all, there's no better way to see the one and only Golden Gate Bridge than at sunrise. Bring a blanket or two cause it can get chilly. My favorite spot to catch that early morning light is at Battery Spencer in Marin Headlands. The lighting is different every single time, and no matter the amount of fog, you're close enough to see the bridge and hopefully San Francisco in the background.
Early Morning at Muir Woods
After watching the sunrise in Marin Headlands my favorite thing to do is go for a nice walk through Muir Woods National Monument. If you can't tell, I'm a morning person! But I always believe in beating crowds and that the best light for photography can be found in the morning. With the park opening around 8am I like to get there early and be one of the first people through the gate. Watching the early sunlight shine through the huge redwood trees is a must see. There are also tons of incredible surrounding trails if you want to go on a longer hike as well. Depending on the time of year it may be muddy so bring the right shoes to walk around in.
The Classic Northern California Beach: Stinson
Driving along Highway 1, you'll come across an adorable beach town. Here you'll find your classic little Inns and a few restaurants with incredible food, but best of all: Stinson Beach. If you get there when the tide is out a little, I recommend going to the far left side of the beach (if you're looking at the ocean) and snap some photos of the rocky California coastline. Take a food break at the local Parkside Snack Bar for a classic American sandwich or an ice cream treat or spend some time napping on the soft sandy beach.
Experience the Cypress Tree Tunnel
If you head further up Highway 1 into the Point Reyes National Seashore, I highly recommend stopping at the Cypress Tree Tunnel. This giant row of Monterey Cypress trees is iconic for photographers in the Bay Area. If you get there earlier enough you might even catch a glimpse of sun rays through the trees. Have more time? Check out other incredible and historic spots in Point Reyes such as Drake's Beach or the Point Reyes Lighthouse.
Mount Tamalpais for a Sunset Over the Ocean
Just 20 miles north of San Francisco is this breathtaking peak perfect for sunset watching. Take a blanket and a bit to eat for the perfect sunset viewing experience. This place is perfect for scenic landscape photography. With endless viewpoints you can't go wrong here.
Although these are some spectacular locations for photography in the Bay Area, you really can't go wrong anywhere. Some of my favorite memories were found on a spontaneous adventure, where I didn't search the internet or Instagram first. So get inspired and get out there!