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SF's Insta-worthy photo-op locations

Updated: Jul 23, 2022

San Francisco is a haven of great photography spots - you just have to know where to look! Grab your favorite model and head to any of the places below to take some great photos.


>> Got a question about any of these SF Photo locations that you need answered quickly? DM me on Instagram @SolaraStills and I’ll be happy to help! I only accept DMs from followers, so hit the follow button before sending.


Bernal Heights Park:

Bernal Heights Park is a small hillside park nestled in a South San Francisco neighborhood that offers 360 degree views of the city. There are many small ledges that give the illusion of one sitting at the edge of a cliff, with the entire city in the background. The short climb up this hill is definitely worth it for the views and the photos.

Mildred Howard's Frame:

Located behind the Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard, this art installation frames a view of the Bay Bridge with the ships in front of it. It is an enlarged version of an antique Rococo style frame. This unique piece of art will beautifully frame any model.

Andy Goldsworthy's Woodline:

There is a small eucalyptus grove in the Presidio in San Fran which has been made famous by Andy Goldsworthy's Wood Line. This unique outdoor art installation of fallen eucalyptus wooden branches laid in a zigzag pattern gives the whole area a magical atmosphere.

Son & Garden Restaurant :

This restaurant, on Polk St, is all about the visuals. The atmosphere is fun, the decor is very feminine and fancy, and the food is equally pretty. The flower wall is the most popular spot in the restaurant to take pictures.

Mission Dolores Park:

Dolores Park, located in vibrant Mission District, is one of San Francisco's most popular parks. It is a great spot to have a picnic lunch with view of the impressive city skyline in front of you.

Legion of Honor:

Legion of Honor is an art museum located near Lands End. While the inside of the museum has a vast collection of impressive artwork, the exterior of the museum is just as beautiful. The Grecian columns provide an elegant backdrop for photos for any occasion, and the museum is located on a hill that overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge. Whether it's a prom, birthday, or wedding photoshoot, this location should be at the top of your list.

Mosaic Steps:

It is no secret that there are many beautiful mosaic tiled staircases around San Francisco. You may have seen the 16th avenue stairs of San Francisco. You may have even seen the lesser-known Hidden Garden stairs. But did you know there were 5 other such stairs hidden all over the city?

Lincoln Park Steps

Location: 32nd Avenue, between California Street and the Lincoln Park Golf Course

My favorite of all the stairs, due to the vibrance and clarity of the design. This was the shortest and the widest of the 7 mosaic steps. This was first built in the early 1900s but has been redone since. The artwork on the tiles represents plants and trees surrounding the stairs.

Athens Avalon Greenspace

Location: Avalon Avenue and Athens Street

This colorful staircase with a simple design is nestled in a quiet neighborhood and is surrounded by a lovely garden to complement the stairs.

Tompkins Stairway

Location: Nevada Street and Tompkins Avenue

We loved the pop of colors in this zigzag pattern of tiles. This project, called “Created by neighbors — for neighbors,” transformed a “once trash-covered hillside” into a safe park that serves as a community green space in Bernal Heights.

Kenny Alley

Location: Mission Street, between France and Italy Avenues

Although not very well maintained, it is yet another short flight of stairs (47 steps), the design depicts a waterfall. Can you see it?

Flights of the Fancy Steps

Location: Innes Ave and Arelious Walker Street

This beautiful flight of stairs, found in an underdeveloped, industrial area of the city (Hunter Point) was the most poorly maintained of all the 7 stairs. The tile designs represent Native American and Central American artwork.

Hidden Garden Steps

Location: 15th Avenue and Kirkham Street

The second most popular stairs in the city depict our world’s colorful nature, with a combination of vivid flowers and insects. The entirety of this set of stairs is hidden between several buildings, earning its name of hidden garden steps.

16th Avenue Tiled Steps/Moraga Steps

Location: 16th Avenue and Moraga Street

Last, but not least, this is the most popular of all the 7 stairways and has now become a major tourist attraction. Inspired by similar stairs in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, the mosaic panels depict the world: starting from the ocean at the bottom, climbing all the way up to the sun, detailing animals, fish, and shells along the way.


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