Best Places for the Big Picture: A Comprehensive Guide
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


1. Explore the sweeping vistas of San Francisco, California

2. Experience the enchanting landscapes of Sedona, Arizona

3. Discover panoramic views in Denver, Colorado

4. Wander through the skyline of Chicago, Illinois

5. Unveil the stunning views of Seattle, Washington

Seeking awe-inspiring panoramas that offer a fresh perspective? Yearning to grasp the scope of a city, a landscape, or simply, the 'big picture'? You're in the right place! This guide walks you through some of the best places where you can see the big picture, giving you a grand overview that's bound to inspire. Let's kick off our visual journey in the city of San Francisco, California.

1. Explore the sweeping vistas of San Francisco, California

San Francisco, with its dramatic hills and iconic landmarks, offers several vantage points for those who want to see the 'big picture'. Here, you can soak in panoramic cityscapes, stunning views of the bay, and much more. Let's dive into three must-visit spots.

Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is more than a marvel of engineering; it's a prime spot for viewing San Francisco in all its glory. From here, you can witness a stunning blend of natural beauty and urban architecture. The cityscape, the sparkling bay, and the rolling hills—everything comes together to paint a grand picture.

Twin Peaks

Next, we head to Twin Peaks, where you get to see San Francisco from a bird's eye view. These hills provide a 360-degree view of the city, letting you appreciate its layout and geographical features. It's an ideal place to understand why San Francisco is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S.

Coit Tower

Finally, Coit Tower offers yet another perspective. Standing atop Telegraph Hill, this tower offers a panoramic view of the city and the bay. The skyline, the bustling streets, and the distant Golden Gate Bridge all come together to complete the big picture of San Francisco.

Exploring these spots in San Francisco gives you a unique perspective of the city, helping you appreciate its beauty from different angles. It's not just about the view—it's about understanding the city's layout, its character, and its charm. So when you're wondering where to see the big picture, remember to consider these vantage points in San Francisco, California.

2. Experience the enchanting landscapes of Sedona, Arizona

From the urban cityscape of San Francisco, we move to the natural splendor of Sedona, Arizona. Known for its vibrant red rock formations and spiritual vortexes, Sedona offers several breathtaking locations where you can grasp the 'big picture' of its stunning landscapes. Let's explore three such spots.

Red Rock Crossing

First on our list is Red Rock Crossing. Its serene creek, towering trees, and the magnificent Cathedral Rock in the backdrop make this one of the most photographed locations in Arizona. Here, you can truly appreciate the grandeur of Sedona's red rock landscapes. The mix of water, vegetation, and rock formations present a well-rounded picture of Sedona's diverse natural beauty.

Airport Mesa

Next up is Airport Mesa, the only vortex site in Sedona that's easily accessible by car. This spot provides a panoramic view of several iconic rock formations. As the sun sets, the red rocks seem to glow, offering a surreal view that encompasses the magical charm of Sedona.

Cathedral Rock

Finally, Cathedral Rock, one of the most famous landmarks in Sedona. Hiking up to its saddle points, you'll be rewarded with a stunning view of the surrounding desert landscape and the meandering Oak Creek. This view truly captures the essence of Sedona's unique geography.

Sedona's beauty is not just about individual landmarks; it's about how these elements interact to form a harmonious and enchanting landscape. These spots offer a holistic perspective, a chance to see the 'big picture' of Sedona's natural beauty. So the next time you're pondering where to see the big picture, remember these awe-inspiring spots in Sedona, Arizona.

3. Discover panoramic views in Denver, Colorado

After soaking in the natural beauty of Sedona, let's shift gears to the mile-high city, Denver, Colorado. Known for its stunning skyline against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is another fantastic spot where you can see the big picture of urban life knitting seamlessly with natural beauty. Here are three standout locales that offer unparalleled views.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

First, we head to the world-renowned Red Rocks Amphitheatre. This open-air venue is not just famous for its stellar acoustics but also for its panoramic views of Denver's skyline and the Great Plains. A concert here isn't just about the music—it's about immersing yourself in a larger-than-life experience that combines culture, nature, and city views. That's what seeing the big picture is all about, isn't it?

Lookout Mountain

Next, we journey to Lookout Mountain. A short drive from downtown Denver, this mountain offers an exceptional view of the city below and the vast plains stretching beyond. The winding drive up the mountain is a treat in itself, but the real prize awaits at the summit. The view from the top is a reminder of how urban expansion and wilderness can exist side by side, creating a unique tableau.

Denver Art Museum

Finally, let's step inside the Denver Art Museum. Why a museum, you ask? Well, apart from its impressive collection, the museum's architecture and strategic location offer a unique view of the Civic Center and downtown Denver. It's like peeling back the layers of the city from a vantage point.

So, when considering where to see the big picture, don't forget Denver's blend of mountain peaks, city skylines, and artistic perspectives. Each viewpoint provides a fresh lens to appreciate the city's diverse landscape, making Denver a city that truly lets you see the big picture.

4. Wander through the skyline of Chicago, Illinois

From Denver's mountain vistas, let's journey to the heart of the Midwest. Chicago, Illinois, known for its impressive skyline, is the next stop on our quest to find where to see the big picture. This bustling city, with its towering architecture and shimmering Lake Michigan, offers its own unique panoramas. Here are three must-visit spots:

Willis Tower

Our first stop is Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower. It's one of the tallest buildings in the Western Hemisphere, and its Skydeck offers a jaw-dropping view of the cityscape. From the 103rd floor, you can see up to four states on a clear day! The city sprawls below, a tapestry of architecture and waterways. It's truly a place where you can see the big picture of the Windy City.

Next, we venture to Navy Pier, a 3,300-foot-long pier on the Chicago shoreline. The view from the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier offers a different perspective on Chicago's skyline. As you rise above the pier, the city reveals itself in all its glory, framed by the vast expanse of Lake Michigan. It’s a perfect example of how a change in perspective can reveal a bigger picture.

The Bean

Lastly, we head to Millennium Park to see 'The Bean,' officially named Cloud Gate. This iconic sculpture offers a fun-house mirror reflection of the city. It isn’t just about seeing the skyline; it’s about seeing it twist, turn, and morph as you move. It's a playful reminder that the big picture can also be found in unexpected reflections.

Chicago, with its skyscrapers, waterfront, and reflective art, truly embodies the spirit of finding where to see the big picture. The city's diverse viewpoints remind us that there are many ways to perceive the world around us. So why not take a moment to explore and see what big picture unfolds for you?

5. Unveil the stunning views of Seattle, Washington

Leaving the Midwest behind, we travel to the Pacific Northwest, where Seattle, Washington, awaits. Known for its pioneering spirit, unique architecture, and natural beauty, Seattle offers a different kind of big picture. Here are three places where you can soak in the city's stunning views:

Space Needle

No guide on where to see the big picture in Seattle is complete without the iconic Space Needle. This architectural wonder offers a 360-degree panorama of the city. From the observation deck, you can see the glistening Puget Sound, majestic Mount Rainier, and the bustling downtown area. It's a bird's eye view that truly captures the essence of Seattle.

Kerry Park

Next, we head to Kerry Park, a local gem where the cityscape meets nature. With its unobstructed view of the Space Needle, downtown skyline, and Mount Rainier in the backdrop, it's a picture-perfect spot. The sight of ferries gliding across the Puget Sound adds a dynamic element to the scene. It's a place to see the big picture of Seattle, where man-made structures and natural beauty coexist harmoniously.

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Lastly, we visit Chihuly Garden and Glass, an indoor/outdoor spectacle of vibrant, hand-blown glass sculptures by renowned artist Dale Chihuly. While not a traditional viewpoint, the garden offers a unique perspective. The colorful glass sculptures, contrasted against the cityscape, create a surreal and enchanting view of Seattle. It's a reminder that seeing the big picture isn't just about wide vistas—it's also about appreciating the art and creativity that define a city's culture.

Seattle, with its striking landmarks and natural beauty, showcases a different kind of big picture. It's a city where natural surroundings and imaginative human endeavors combine to create a vibrant, multifaceted panorama. So, why not plan a visit and see the big picture that Seattle has to offer?

If you enjoyed our comprehensive guide on the best places for the big picture, don't miss the chance to explore Roberto Bernal's workshop titled 'A Foolproof Fish-Eye Perspective'. This workshop will teach you how to master the art of fish-eye photography, enabling you to capture stunning and unique perspectives of your favorite locations. Dive in and elevate your photography skills today!