Top 5 Sunset Photography Locations in Oakland | Xilo Photography
The Best Golden Hour Goodness in Oakland (and Alameda!)
Knowing where to capture the beautiful sunset photographs in Oakland can be a bit tricky. We have exceptional locations but not all are the best for Family Photography, Maternity Photography, or Motherhood Photography Sessions. This list captures the Top 5 Sunset Photography Locations in Oakland. Not only do they have a gorgeous golden hour, but also a beautiful view and space for unique and diverse photos. Take a look through to see where you should have your next photography session!
1. Knowland Park, Oakland California
Tucked behind and next to the Oakland Zoo, Knowland Park has sprawling hills with a gorgeous view of the Bay and the San Francisco skyline. It is the perfect place for Family and Maternity sessions. There is space for kids and parents to run and play while also allowing a vast amount of diverse spaces to shoot in. Each time I return for a session I capture a different photograph, a different scene, and each sunset is unique.
For dramatic lighting I recommend arriving an hour before the sun sets to walk to your location and settle in. This will allow you to capture the different lighting as the sun gradually sets into blue hour. Don’t forget to capture those sun flares as it dips behind the hills!
2. UC Botanical Gardens, Berkeley California
Sitting atop the Berkeley Campus and hidden amongst the windy road, the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden is an East Bay treasure. Trails wind around the grounds and create separate spaces for each garden. Take a walk in any direction and you are bound to find a secluded setting.
What I love most about this location is that it is great for any time of day. Some gardens are in open sun and others have more shade. Each are short walks away from one another. The plants and flowers are so beautiful that this is a great location to visit in any season and the greenhouses are particularly useful for a drizzly day, they let in a ton of natural light and saturated with unique plants.
Care to capture the sun setting? Climb to the top of the South African garden and you’ll find yourself staring at the beautiful hills as the sun melts behind them.
3. Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland CA
Most cemeteries would not be the best idea for photography locations but this one is a city park! Mountain View is a huge sprawling park that goes in multiple directions. Drive up the hill for 5 minutes and you will find the most beautiful and unique settings to photograph families and couples against the hillsides. If you drive up to the top there is the most spectacular view of San Francisco and the Bay that I have ever seen.
My favorite part of this location are the trees and stumps. It is the perfect place to bring little ones who love to climb trees or to use as a beautiful background. There seem to be thousands as you cruise around the hills and it often takes everything in me to not stop at each one.
4. Crown Beach, Alameda
Alright, so maybe this isn’t actually in Oakland but close enough, right? Part beach, part trail, and a whole lotta beautiful is what you’ll find here. Also a National Park, this location is perfect for the adventurous family who doesn’t mind getting a bit wet and climbing the rocks on the shore. The sunsets here are simply magnificent. I’ve never had a session here that didn’t leave me truly appreciating what the East Bay offers in terms of nature. This one easily makes the list for top 5 sunset locations in Oakland!
Want something to do before or after your session? Check out the Crab Cove Visitor Center!
5. Harbor Ferry Terminal, Alameda
The last on the list is close enough to Oakland and I couldn’t leave it off! A short trail offers a truly diverse setting. A little bit of urban on the dock and even a field, it really creates an incredible space to photograph along the water’s edge. When you’re done on the trail climb down the rocky shoreline to the water (accessible for older kids and adults). The sunset is incredible and I’ve already added this to a list of must-have locations throughout the year!
That’s it for the Top 5 Sunset Photography Locations in Oakland (and Alameda!) with the most diverse, open, and gorgeous locations to capture those golden rays during golden hour sessions.