10 best photography spots in Northern California
Yes, I know California is littered with amazing photo opportunities.
Everywhere you go you are in the company of parks, mountains, and beaches.
Being a Californian I certainly have explored California a lot deal more than visitors might be able to.
So here I am going to share some of the spots where it will be rather difficult for you to take bad pictures.
To do any justice to such large state as California I will have to dedicate this post to Northern California locations only.
Look at 10 best photography spots in South California for SoCal locations.
Below the top 10 list, you will find a google map showing all the locations I mentioned in this post
I hope that this map will save some of your googling time.
#1. Golden Gate
This is all time favorite of California visitors and locals alike.
There are hundreds of articles devoted to where to shot the bridge from and I am sure you must have seen tons of shots from all different angles and possible viewpoints.
After taking one of those shots why not try something a bit different.
Like maybe take a boat cruise and shoot the bridge from your boat or take the aerial route and try to get the bridge along with entire San Francisco Bay Area in one shot.
Bird's eye view of San Francisco Bay Area
Aerial view of the Golde Gate, San Francisco
#2. San Francisco
Alamo Square is the perfect place to relax at the local park and also get a great view of these adorable Victorian Houses referred to as Painted Ladies.
If you want to stay away from crowds then head towards Treasure Island. From here you can peacefully admire the city skyline and get some great sunrise/sunset shots as well
Painted Ladies from Alamo Square, San Francisco
San Francisco Skyline from Treasure Island
#3. Big Sur
Drive south and you will soon be driving on Highway 1 - one of the most beautiful and breathtaking drives around the world.
Stop over at Bixby bridge to marvel at this engineering gem and take a few shots overlooking the Big Sur Highway.
Bixby Bridge, Highway 1
Highway 1 going towards Big Sur
#4. Santa Cruz
Where's the beach you must be asking by now? Well, head over to Santa Cruz.
It is where the northern Californians go for all sort of water activities.
If you are afraid of large crowds then head over to Natural Bridges State Park area.
If you find crowds here too then keep walking a bit up north and I am sure you can find your own piece of Santa Cruz beach space just perfect for you.
Natural Bridges State Park, Santa Cruz
Boardwalk, Santa Cruz
#5. 17 Mile Drive
Now I am going to present one of the most photographed tree in America!
Lone Cypress at 17-mile-drive is iconic California scenery. Enjoy these lovely 17 miles and take a shot of this famed tree.
Lone Cypress at 17 Mile Drive
17 Mile Drive
#6. Mount Diablo
If you can't go to see those lovely rolling hills of Tuscany then Mt Diablo may be the next best thing.
It may not be the largest in the world but it certainly is the largest viewsheds in the western USA.
On a clear day, the great Sierra Nevada is visible for you to enjoy and get a few shots.
Mount Diablo State Park
View of the valley at Mount Diablo
Can I talk about California without mentioning Yosemite National Park? No one can and no one should. Please include this majestic park and enjoy one of the nature's greatest gifts to mankind and while there you will get photo opportunities at every bend and turn.
Half Dome at Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park
#8. Sequoia and Kings Canyon
Even if you aren't into giant tall trees you will still enjoy the views once you head into Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.
Again as this is a National Park there will be plenty of photo opportunities amidst these giants of nature.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
#9. Death Valley
Another lesser known gem of National Parks is Death Valley National Park.
Yes it's a long drive and yes it gets so very hot but all that is worth the amazing nature that you will experience and also plenty of landscape photography opportunities.
Death Valley National Park
Sand Dunes at Death Valley National Park
A bit north of Redding lies the Shasta–Trinity recreational area.
Lassen Volcanic National Park is to its east and a little up north-east is Burney Falls.
These falls were called "the Eighth Wonder of the World" by President Theodore Roosevelt, and were declared a National Natural Landmark in December 1954.
Get a perfect view of these falls for your waterfall collection and then head over to Lassen Volcanic National Park to get your fill of Northern California natural wonders.
Burney Falls at McArthur–Burney Falls Memorial State Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Google Map showing all locations I talked about in North and South California together