A Bird's Eye View of the Bay Area

Ana Picazo - San Francisco Bay Area
September 25, 2017

Look, up in the air... it's a bird... it's a plane... it's me!  Every child dreams of flying high in the sky, soaring through the clouds and looking down at the tiny people and places below.  While we can't give our child wings or a cape, we can take him to a tall tower or a high mountain, up above the city lights, where he can climb to the top, enjoy the views, and dream.

Here are five places around the Bay Area where you can take your high flier to the top of the world:

Marin Headlands, Marin

The Golden Gate Bridge is often shrouded in fog, and it can be difficult to get a view of the top of the bridge. The secret to a spectacular Golden Gate Bridge view is to drive up to the Marin Headlands and find a parking spot near the vista points along Conzelman Road, between the north end of the bridge and Point Bonita. You'll find yourself above the fog line, looking down at the Golden Gate Bridge, enjoying the picture-perfect view of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay beneath it, and the City behind it.

Coit Tower, San Francisco

Rising from the top of Telegraph Hill, Coit Tower is visible from nearly everywhere in San Francisco. At 275 feet above sea level, even the Coit Tower parking lot offers great views. Visitors who take the elevator up to the observation deck will enjoy even more splendid views of the city and the bay, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Pier 39, Angel Island, Treasure Island, and the Bay Bridge.

Hoover Tower, Stanford

Located in the heart of the Stanford University Campus, Hoover Tower is a landmark for the Stanford and Palo Alto community. Visitors can take an elevator to the top of the 285-foot tower and enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views of the Stanford campus and the surrounding Bay Area.  On clear, sunny days, views stretch as far as the Bay Bridge and the distant San Francisco skyline!

Star Tower, Santa Clara

At 200 feet, Star Tower towers above most other attractions in California's Great America and the surrounding neighborhood. This relaxing family attraction consists of a large circular cabin with windows all around.  Families board the cabin and enjoy 360-degree views as the cabin slowly rises to the top, rotating all the while. If you prefer a more thrilling view, try Great America's other tower attraction, the Drop Tower: Scream Zone. This ride takes riders up to 224 feet before dropping them all the way back down.

Lick Observatory, San Jose

Located high atop Mt. Hamilton, Lick Observatory is more than 20 miles from downtown San Jose, but the view of the Santa Clara Valley at 4209 feet makes the long, windy drive more than worth it. Visitors can view the exhibits in the main Observatory building, check out the Shane Dome and the Shane Telescope, or take a look at the Great Lick Refractor. In the summer, visitors are allowed to peek into the refractor and view the heavens above. Don't forget to pack a picnic lunch and extra sweaters!

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