Grand View Park is one of my favorite view points in the city. You can see all the way from Ocean Beach to the Transamerica building in the FiDi. You can see the entire length of Golden Gate Park, including the panhandle, so you can capture just how massive the park really is. You can see Golden Gate Bridge and Sutro Tower. It's a great place to hike up to the top, take a 360 degree spin, and take it all in. Best of all, don't miss the stunning, whimsical Moraga Street tiled steps, just at the base of the park. It's best to park at the bottom of the steps, hike those and then cross the street, and climb the next set of stairs that will take up to the top of the park. There's a nice bench at the top of the park to stop and relax at and enjoy the views.
If there's only one off-the-beaten-path thing you do while in SF, make it this. Start at the base of the Moraga steps on the west side and prepare for a very long, but oh so scenic, climb. Picturesque views along the entire way up. Keep going up the wooden stairs to the very top and you will find yourself looking at my favorite views of the city, North Bay, and Pacific Ocean. Usually not more than 2 or 3 other people there, tops, and bring a windbreaker.
One shot of the 360 degree views of San Francisco! Photos don't do it justice!
The steps are an undertaking but well worth it for the view!
Grand View Park (also known as Turtle Hill) is not on the radar for most San Franciscans, but to residents of the Sunset district, it's a great workout spot. The stairs leading up to the hill are steep, and I often saw quite a few locals running up and down, Rocky-style. Once you get up to the top, the view - on a clear day, which is rare - is one of the best in SF. You get a fabulous view of both the ocean and the city, and the best part is that there are rarely any other people around to ruin the scenery with chatter. Be careful, though: it is often very windy, and can be a good deal colder than the surrounding area.
Hidden Secret: Best Views of San Francisco