San Francisco in one day – A photography journey

San Francisco in one day

Do you have only 24 hours to spend in San Francisco? Are you passionate about photography and you are looking for the best sites to visit? This is the San Francisco photography journey you were looking for.

During one of my many visits to USA, I spent a whole day in the San Francisco city and surroundings just taking photos.  While my trip to San Francisco was for business purposes, I made the time to have a day just for the city and myself.

San Francisco is a beautiful city located in the north of the State of California with a lot of things to do and visit. I started my day walking on the piers area where you can find a large variety of restaurants and shops along with the stunning view of the bay. I would recommend going to Pier 39 which is a shopping centre and popular tourist attraction built on top of a pier. At afternoon, you can see a colony of sea lions lying on the docks taking a sunbath.

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While you are walking on the piers area, you will also see the famous Alcatraz island where the popular prison is located. Being a quite popular attraction and having people from around the world, you will find out that some dates can be sell out days or weeks in advance, so I would recommend to book tickets online to avoid the queues and be certain that you will do the tour during the days that you will be visiting the city.

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If you keep walking on direction to the Golden Gate Bridge which you won’t be able to miss it then you will reach the San Francisco Maritime National Park where you can take some nice photos of the city skyline and the Golden Gate.

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Another thing that you must do while in San Francisco is to jump into the Cable Car which is the world’s last manually operated cable car system. It is also a good way to see the city from a different perspective and quite fun since it is open and a fantastic way to capture some amazing photos. I would recommend to get the cable car from the station near to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and go all the way to the city Downtown.

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Finally, I would recommend to drive if possible (or catch a tourist bus) across the Golden Gate to Vista Point where you can get a beautiful view of the Golden Gate and the city (including Alcatraz Island).  If you are driving then you will have an advantage on all the tourists that are not able to reach the next point where you can have a better angle and view of the bridge. It is called Point Cavallo and you have free parking available.

The project AirPano has an awesome 360 degrees view of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge. Quite impressive

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Travel & Photograph Tips

  • Point Cavallo is the perfect spot on sunset for a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge. Not to be missed and don’t forget your tripod.
  • Cable car could be quite crowded by tourists at specific times, so wait for a ride where you can enjoy the view from a window seat.
  • Best time to see the sea lions is at afternoon on Pier 39.
  • Get tickets online for Alcatraz Island tours.
  • San Francisco’s weather could change a lot on a short period of time, so remember to carry an umbrella and a jacket.


The San Francisco photography journey map

Travel Photography Stefano FerroStef Ferro is the founder and editor of MEL365, a travel & photography website made to enhance the travelling experience and improve the photography work.

Stef is a professional travel photographer with past experience in the cycling and film industry. 

Stef runs travel photography workshops in Melbourne and around the world. 


Victor Rodriguez
Passionate photographer living in Melbourne, Australia interested on landscape, studio and travel photography. I would like to share my travelling experiences using the photos as the main tool.

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