Bay Area Photography: Best Sunrise/Sunset Spots(2021)
With great location comes great opportunities, especially for scenic photographic moments. While expanding my Bay Area photography horizons, I’ve had the chance to venture to some of the Bay Areas best sunrise and sunset spots.
These are some of the must visit spots in the Bay Area for sunrise and sunset chasers.
Twin Peaks - San Francisco's Best
Twin Peaks is San Francisco’s #1 sunset/sunrise spot. The 360 degree perspective from the peak combined with easy access make Twin Peaks the ideal spot to end or start the day.
The direct view down Market street to the Ferry building is unmatched. It gets very windy, so pack a jacket and plan accordingly.
Lake Merritt - Oakland's Outdoor Mecca
If you’re in Oakland, Lake Merritt is a must stop for sunrise or sunset. Aside from the beautiful glow that will light up the skyline and create lovely reflections off of the lake, the energy that surrounds this place is why you visit.
The 3.2 mile track that surrounds Lake Merritt make it easy to venture to various spots to experiment with lighting. Lake Merritt is easily one of the top East Bay sunset spots.
Berkeley Marina - Berkeley's Waterfront Harbor
The Berkeley Marina is the closest vantage point to Treasure Island and is solid place to see the sun rise or fall. This is one of my favorite Berkeley photography spots but is much more of an effort to reach than the rest.
Insider tip: grab a Mai Tai from Trader Vic’s before the sun sets and stroll along the waterfront path before the bridge lights up in front of you.
Treasure Island - Bay Area's Hidden Treasure
Treasure Island is arguably the best location in the Bay Area for photography but with recent changes, access to certain spots has limited its draw.
However, the views from the backside of the island facing the the bridge are excellent and if you don’t mind walking or briefly stopping (illegally in the center of the road), the overhead tunnel view shot is majestic.
Mt. Tamalpais - BEST Spot North of the Golden Gate Bridge
Mt. Tamalpais aka Mt. Tam is my favorite spot for sunsets in the North Bay and Bay Area region. With windy roads & unobstructed 360 views depending on where you position yourself, Mt. Tam can’t be missed.
Bring your camera so you can catch the coastal fog lingering on the hillsides or shoot your shot directed at Stinson beach. Follow this if you want to find more about the best Mt Tam hikes
Middle Harbor Shoreline - West Oakland's sleeping beauty
It wasn’t until recently that I’ve made my way here to Middle Harbor Shoreline Park. Tucked away next to Oakland’s shipping port, this lightly trafficked park gives you one of the closest views of the bridge & Treasure Island.
You might feel like you are heading in the wrong direction or in an non authorized area, but keep heading towards your coordinates and the glory will be waiting for you.
Grizzly Peak (Fish Ranch)- Berkeley Hills Landscape Top Spot
Grizzly Peak aka Fish Ranch, is the top place for sunsets in the East Bay. With ridge line views of the surrounding area & into San Francisco, this spot never disappoints unless it’s cloudy. Even when cloudy, still worthwhile to enjoy your time up in the clouds.
The road is very windy and narrow so be careful not too stare too long at your view until you make your way too the top!
SF Bay Area Prints for Sale
So these are only a handful of Bay Area photography spots that I frequent for sunrise and sunsets. Have you made your way to any of them before? I would love to hear what spot is your favorite or if you have more spots that I should add to the list.
Like any of the Bay Area Drone shots from this piece? Most of these spots are apart of the Best places to fly a drone in the Bay Area too. Need an estimate for Bay Area drone services or looking for the Bay Areas best wedding venues? Contact me HERE
Best Things to Do in the Bay Area Today
Need some inspiration for other things happening in the Bay Area? Here are some of the Best things to do in San Francisco and Oakland:
If you need more ideas, please reach out to me as I have far more than just these written guides. I want to make sure your time in the Bay Area is well used and not wasted.
Bay Area Photography Ideas
There are so many other Bay Area photographers who will keep you inspired to see more of the Northern California region. For beginners, roam the city and after that go to some of the National Parks like Yosemite. If you need to keep your energy levels up, here are some of the best Coffee Shops in San Francisco.
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