I have spent the past six months exploring a new part of California for me: the Bay Area. This is a place I used to venture to only on weekend staycations, as it is about a 6 hour drive or 1 hour flight from my So Cal homebase. While visiting the Bay Area as a tourist, I mostly stayed in San Francisco, without leaving room to explore the amazing points of interest in the 100 mile radius around the city. After much exploring, I have discovered many places in and outside the city that are photo-worthy enough to command their own photo trip.
Check out my top 10 best places for photographing in the Bay Area:
1. Russian River: River famous for craft brews and a forested river where you can stay in cabins and go tubing.
2. Half Moon Bay: The Pacific just south of San Francisco is filled with quaint towns and beautiful untouched beaches.
3. Big Basin: Amazing redwood forest and California's first State Park.
4. Marin County: Across the Golden Gate Bridge is Marin County, with its quaint shops, amazing hiking on Mt. Tam, and boating activities.
5. Aptos: A town situated a few minutes south of Santa Cruz with waterfall hikes and banana slugs.
6. San Francisco's Presidio and Golden Gate Park: Beautiful Area for shots of the Golden Gate bridge. I highly recommend walking/biking/running across the bridge for more amazing views.
7. Angel Island: State Park and recreational Island is in the center of the Bay and can be reached by ferry. It has spectacular hiking trails, picnic areas, and one restaurant with beautiful views of the entire bay.
8. Bodega Bay (and PCH drive North): Bodega Bay is where they filmed Hitchcock's "The Birds". The PCH drive is edge-of-your-seat spectacular.
9. Sonoma/Napa - Wine country, need I say more?
10. Point Reyes - This National Seashore is about 1 hour north of the city and has panoramic unspoiled coastline all the way to the horizon, cows, rolling hills, a mysterious boat in the center of a dried up lake, and hiking trails all the way to the coast.
Hopefully this list will entice you to explore the Bay Area, take the scenic road, and the rewarding hikes. My time in the Bay Area although short, has allowed me to see these beautiful locations, some of which I would not have known about if I hadn't been in the area. I may have just scratched the surface of this amazing location, so stay tuned as I discover more photo shoot locations in the Bay Area.
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We are two adventurous young professionals who turned our passion for travel into a blog to help others travel more.