12/05/2012 12:37 pm ET Updated Feb 04, 2013

Five Breathtaking Views Around San Francisco


The Top of the Mark, Coit Tower, Twin Peaks, Dolores Park... It goes without saying that our fair city has no shortage of stunning vistas. And whether it's a quiet stretch at the top of Taylor Street or the crowded Marina Green on a sunny day, we all have our favorite spots to catch our breath and once again feel the awe and pride (and a teensy bit of gloating) that comes from residing in San Francisco.2012-12-05-riversend.jpg

All this magic in 49 square miles means we sometimes forget the glories that await just across the Bay, or down the peninsula. Here, five amazing Bay Area views to remind you why your East Coast friends are (and should be) jealous.

East Bay: Indian Rock Park | 950 Indian Rock Avenue | Berkeley
Beginner and veteran rock climbers alike will go gonzo for Berkeley's magnificent, craggy rock outcrop. But be careful: If the climb doesn't halt your breath, the views might. (
Directions Take BART to the Downtown Berkeley station. Walk to Shattuck Avenue and Center Street, and take bus number 18 toward Albany. Get off at Sutter Street and Hopkins Street and walk north to Indian Rock Avenue.2012-12-05-LaCostaneraRestaurant.jpg

Peninsula: La Costanera | 8150 Cabrillo Highway | Montara
The only thing better than the Michelin-rated Peruvian cuisine at this gorgeous Half Moon Bay restaurant is the beachfront deck, replete with fire pits. (
Directions Take BART to the Daly City station and transfer to SamTrans bus number 110. At the Linda Mar stop, transfer to SamTrans bus 294 and get off at 2nd Street. (Visit for more information.)

South Bay:  Mountain Winery | 14831 Pierce Road | Saratoga
Winery. Music Venue. 12th-Century Spanish Portal... And views for miles. Life is sweet. (
Drive to the winery, and green your trip by carpooling.2012-12-05-sterlingvineyards.jpg

Wine Country:  Sterling Vineyards | 1111 Dunaweal Lane | Calistoga
Gondola rides, Napa Valley's rolling hills, and world-class vino. Need we say more? (
Directions Hop aboard the Baylink Vallejo ferry, and then take the Napa VINE route 10 bus to Calistoga.

North Bay: River"s End | 11048 Highway 1 | Jenner-by-the-Sea
Named for the place where the Russian River meets the Pacific, this unassuming bluff-top restaurant and inn on the Sonoma Coast reminds us that California is paradise. (
Directions Because of its secluded locale, driving is the only way to get there. Consult the map below for directions.

Check out more of the Bay Area's great views, and best photography spots.

Photos: River's End by Jenny Fafa, La Costanera, Sterling Vineyards