Calling all Instagrammers! Scroll below for all 10 locations and start snapping that camera. Most locations are completely up to your creative expression, but a few do have some special requirements. Happy sightseeing!
1. Sign Hill—South San Francisco
Welcome to the Bay! That’s the kind of greeting you’ll get at Sign Hill—which reads, “South San Francisco, the Industrial City,” to be exact. Since this is a pretty iconic spot, there are no contest rules on this one, although a selfie with some of the sign’s letters in the background would be ideal. Make sure to also wander around the trails as well; there are five and all offer picture-perfect views of the city below.
2. Japanese Tea Garden—San Mateo
Considered one of the finest gardens in California, the Japanese Tea Garden was designed by renowned landscape architect Nagao Sakurai of the Imperial Palace of Tokyo. Throughout the garden, you’ll see a granite pagoda, a charming tea house, a bamboo grove and the koi pond. Speaking of which, to be considered for this stop, make sure to get a snap of a koi fish in the background.
3. Foster City Lagoon
One of the best ways to tour our area is by boat, and the Foster City Lagoon is the perfect opportunity to do so. For the contest, we’ll want you on (or right next to) the water. There are lots of ways to get moving—whether renting a paddleboard, kayak or windsurfing gear, or getting in an electric boat with your crew. On the off chance you prefer to stay on land, opt for a walk (or bike ride) along one of the paved trails or the boardwalk.
4. The Van’s Restaurant—Belmont
When in Belmont, make sure to stop by The Van’s Restaurant for some flavorful grub. Serving up steaks and other American fare, the two-story setting is a must-see. When taking your selfie, capture some of the restaurant’s panoramic views for a bonus entry. Make sure to save room for dessert; the offerings are pretty tasty, especially the Hillbilly Bread Pudding. Interior or exterior shots are fine.
5. DoorDash Robot—Redwood City
Silicon Valley is basically synonymous with tech, so it’s no surprise that there are now robots delivering food to hungry locals in Redwood City. Owned by DoorDash, the on-demand food-delivery company will be servicing the local community in a brand-new way. While it’s not a good idea to touch the robots, a selfie with one of them in the background would be pretty epic. Plus, your food will arrive in style!
6. HP Garage—Palo Alto
Speaking of innovative companies, Hewlett-Packard was one of the first to make it big. The HP Garage in Palo Alto is not so much a garage as a private museum. Located at 367 Addison Ave., this is the exact spot where the company got its start. In fact, it’s considered the “Birthplace of Silicon Valley.” It might not look like much from the outside, but so much creativity happened behind these doors.
7. Devil’s Slide—Between Pacifica and Montara
Don’t be fooled by this ominous name. Devil’s Slide is one of the most gorgeous lookout points in the area, located between Pacifica and Montara on the San Mateo County coast, and you’ll have unrestricted views of the water below. Granted, the cliffs are jagged and the slopes steep, but the paved path should help you keep your footing while taking a selfie. Devil’s Slide is just south of Pacifica and north of Half Moon Bay, which leads into our next selfie stopping point.
8. Cameron’s Pub & Restaurant—Half Moon Bay
You don’t have to cross the pond to experience a taste of Britain. Try Half Moon Bay hangout Cameron’s Pub & Restaurant, which serves pub grub, beer and several fresh seafood dishes, among other offerings. Best of all is the decor. The walls are lined with eclectic memorabilia, and outside are two double-decker buses straight from London. While here, snap a photo in the telephone booth.
9. Pillar Point Harbor—Half Moon Bay
Also in Half Moon Bay is Pillar Point Harbor, a boat harbor created by a riprap jetty. If you didn’t order seafood at Cameron’s Pub, definitely stop at one of the area’s many restaurants for some fresh fare. Bonus entry if you get some of the seafood on one of the many boats in the photo. There are several hotels as well, in case you decide to spend the night…or a few. Plenty of water sports rentals as well, so plan a couple hours for this jaunt.
10. Pigeon Point Lighthouse—Pescadero
This lighthouse isn’t just a lighthouse—it’s a hostel, too! Located 50 miles south of San Francisco, the hostel is anything but humble; you’ll find a hot tub and unrestricted views of the Pacific Ocean. The lighthouse itself has been here since 1872 and has guided the sails of many ships. Even if you’re not staying as a guest, Pigeon Point Lighthouse is well worth the stop, if only for the view.
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