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Cityscape Pics from Top of the Mark, Mark Hopkins Hotel, San Francisco

California is a state full of natural wonders, including many state and national parks. See interesting sites in San Francisco and beyond.

San Francisco scenery viewed from Top of the Mark.

San Francisco scenery viewed from Top of the Mark.

San Francisco Tourism

My husband and I have enjoyed being a tourist in San Francisco, California while on our way to or from the wine country several times. My husband had traveled to that "City by the Bay" on several occasions but wanted me to see some highlights on my very first visit.

So while we were staying at the beautiful Huntington Hotel, he made sure that we walked over to the Mark Hopkins Hotel and went up to their lounge called Top of the Mark for a drink while still daylight. That is where I was able to take these skyline pictures shown here.

The scenery as viewed from the highest point in all of San Francisco atop Nob Hill if the day is bright and clear as it was at the time of our visit is nothing short of spectacular.

We would later visit many places within view from a close-up perspective, like Chinatown, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco Bay, and elsewhere. But for a bird's eye view of this fabulous city, head on over to the Top of the Mark if you find yourself in San Francisco on vacation and wish to see things from this lofty and elevated perspective.

Mark Hopkins, Jr.

Here is a little background information on the namesake of this hotel, Mark Hopkins.

Mark Hopkins, Jr. had the heart and soul of a true entrepreneur. He did many jobs and started numerous businesses. He experienced everything from

  • being a clerk in a post office in the early days
  • to studying law,
  • being a bookkeeper,
  • investing in a company that delivered goods from the east to the west during California's Gold Rush days,
  • opening a wholesale grocery
  • and he also started a hardware and iron company.

Some of these things were more successful than others, but experiences along the way led him to his ultimate accomplishment. Hopkins plus three other people, known as "The Big Four," were investors in the Central Pacific Railroad in 1861.

Particularly in those early days of the 19th century, railroads were responsible for opening new areas and delivering people and supplies more efficiently to the frontier and already settled places. That resulted in "The Big Four" (Mark Hopkins, Jr., Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker, and Collis Huntington) ultimately becoming very wealthy men.

Portrait of Mark Hopkins, Jr. one of four principle investors in the the Central Pacific Railroad, Crocker Museum of Art 1872 #387. Stephen W. Shaw painted over 200 portraits of prominent San Francisco businessmen from 1851 to 1900.

Portrait of Mark Hopkins, Jr. one of four principle investors in the the Central Pacific Railroad, Crocker Museum of Art 1872 #387. Stephen W. Shaw painted over 200 portraits of prominent San Francisco businessmen from 1851 to 1900.

Mark Hopkins Hotel San Francisco

The location is on the same spot of land where a mansion built by Mark Hopkins, Jr. once stood. Unfortunately, the Hopkin's estate did not survive a raging fire that occurred after the significant California earthquake of 1906.

The hotel is now a part of the Intercontinental chain of luxury hotels. The Intercontinental Mark Hopkins hotel has now been in business since 1926.
It is a beauty just judging from the lobby and the lounge at the top and a few other public areas that my husband and I explored.

Top of the Mark

We did enjoy a drink and the ambiance inside the Top of the Mark. But the prime reason for our particular visit was getting to see the fabulous panoramic views and my ability to take these skyline pictures.

Had we been there a little later in the day and gotten to see the twinkling lights of the city, that would have been an incredible sight. Of that, I am sure. But my husband and I had other things planned.

How many wedding proposals have taken place there over the years? I would venture a guess, many!

The Top of the Mark has live music and is an excellent place for dancing.

San Francisco Skyline Views

The first picture below shows the Hotel Huntington on the left. It was where my husband and I were staying during this visit. The green space in front of the hotel is Huntington Park, and Grace Cathedral is situated beyond the park.

An iconic building in the San Francisco skyline is the Transamerica Pyramid centered in the Financial District. At the time of its completion in 1972, it was one of the five tallest buildings in the entire world! It once housed the headquarters of the Transamerica Corporation, thus its name.

With crushed quartz on its exterior, it shines brightly against the blue sky and lapping waters of San Francisco Bay lying just beyond. It is such a recognizable building that the Transamerica Pyramid has become associated with San Francisco, like the Golden Gate Bridge.

Below are a couple more cityscape photos taken while walking around the Top of the Mark lounge. If my husband and I return to San Francisco, it would be fun to return there and take skyline pictures at night. We enjoyed viewing the mesmerizing scenery below and planning our days of vacation that were ahead of us.

Be sure and visit the Top of the Mark if you get a chance, and take your camera!

Free Drink for Servicemen at the Top of the Mark!

Sources:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 01, 2021:

Hi Misbah,

I am pleased that you enjoyed learning the history of Mark Hopkins and the hotel that stands in place of his one-time mansion. He certainly enjoyed some great views from atop that hill in San Francisco. Thanks for your comment. Blessings to you too!

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on April 01, 2021:

Lovely photos, and what a beautiful Hub, Peggy. Thank you so much for creating it! I enjoyed reading the history too.

Blessings and Peace

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 01, 2021:

Hi George,

Whether one enjoys cocktails, coffee, or other libation, the views from up there are stupendous! I am happy that you have gotten to enjoy the Top of the Mark several times.

George on April 01, 2021:

No visit to San Francisco is complete without a cocktail stop at Top of the Mark. I have enjoyed it several times.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 27, 2014:

Hi Au fait,

So glad you liked this article regarding that hotel on Nob Hill in San Francisco. The views are terrific from the Top of the Mark! Thanks for the shares. :)

C E Clark from North Texas on July 25, 2014:

Came back to pin this excellent article to my 'Travel' board and also posted it on FB. Sharing again with my followers too.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 20, 2013:

Hello brownella,

Whenever you make it to San Francisco...and the west coast of the U.S. for that matter, am sure that you will be impressed. There is so much beauty in that part of our country. Nice that you get to do a lot of traveling abroad! Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 20, 2013:

Hello vandynegl,

Some people don't realize the vast distances across America. Many people who live in Western Europe go from country to country and think nothing about it. It would be like going to adjoining states...depending upon how big our U.S. states are in size. It can take an entire day or more of driving just to get out of the state of Texas depending upon where one starts and where one is headed! Perhaps someday you will have a chance to go to the opposite side of the country and get to visit San Francisco. In the meantime, glad that this hub gave you a peek at what is there by way of skyline photos. Thanks for your comment and votes.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 20, 2013:

Hi Au fait,

Too bad that you were unable to visit San Francisco when you lived only a couple of hours away from it. Perhaps someday you will be able to see this fabulous "City by the Bay." We have truly enjoyed our visits there and as you know, there is so much to see and do while there. Appreciate your visit, votes, 5 star rating and the share.

brownella from New England on May 19, 2013:

Great hub :) I travel a lot abroad but sadly still have yet to see most of the western US. San Francisco is on my list though. Loved the pictures, thanks for sharing.

vandynegl from Ohio Valley on May 19, 2013:

Voted up! Very useful information AND beautiful pictures! I would love to see San Francisco! We are on the other side of the country though! Thank you for sharing your experience!

C E Clark from North Texas on May 18, 2013:

Interesting history lesson and beautiful photos as you always provide. Anyone planning a summer vacation should take a look at this hub too. Even though I lived only a couple of hours from San Francisco, I never got to visit there. Looks like there are a lot of things to experience there. Voted up, BUI, and will share! Oh yes, and 5 more stars . . . :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 23, 2011:

Hello AllSuretyBonds,

The Top of the Mark in San Francisco is definitely worth a trip to get to see the surrounding scenery from that height. The lounge is also a great place to relax and have a bite to eat or a drink. Thanks for your comment.

AllSuretyBonds on November 23, 2011:

Someday when I am in San Francisco I would love to visit the Top of the Mark. It seems like a great would be a great place to go.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 16, 2011:

Hello loveroflife,

I agree with you. San Francisco is great and I would also enjoy another visit in the future. Thanks for the comment.

loveroflife on April 15, 2011:

I have not been to San Francisco for several years. Your hub was a great reminder of a great city to visit.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 14, 2011:

Hi James,

By all means move San Francisco to the top part of your bucket list. It will never disappoint. Glad to hear that you enjoyed these skyline pictures taken from the Top of the Mark. Thanks for your comment.

James A Watkins from Chicago on April 14, 2011:

Your photographs are fantastic! And yes, your husband looks quite comfy sitting in the Top of the Mark.

San Francisco is surely a beautiful city. I've not been there but it is on my bucket list. Thank you for this treasure of a Hub. Wonderful!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 11, 2011:

You are most welcome Hello, hello. Seeing San Francisco high up from that perspective was a treat. Happy to be able to share these skyline pictures with you and others. Thanks for your comment.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on April 11, 2011:

That is a wonderful hub and thank you fro showing me around.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 09, 2011:

Hi susannah,

You and me both! San Francisco will hopefully be seen by both of us again sooner rather than later. :-)

susannah42 from Florida on April 09, 2011:

I haven't been to San Francisco in quite a while. This makes me want to go back.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 09, 2011:

Hi Prasetio,

San Francisco is a beautiful place to visit. Hope you can see it for yourself someday. Thanks for your comment and many blessings to you.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on April 08, 2011:

This was amazing. I wish I can visit this place someday. Again, you never cease to amaze me. Well done, Peggy. I give my vote special for you. Cheers....

love and peace,

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 08, 2011:

Hi Om Paramapoonya,

Like you, I love what we have gotten to see and do while in San Francisco. Hope we get back out there someday for another vacation. Thanks for your comment on these skyline pictures taken in the Mark Hopkins Top of the Mark.

Om Paramapoonya on April 08, 2011:

Awesome! It was a fun read, and the pics are gorgeous. So far San Francisco is the coolest city I've ever visited. :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 08, 2011:

Hi AliciaC,

Happy to hear that you enjoyed these skyline pictures of San Francisco. Maybe if you return to San Francisco you will have some extra time to go up to the Top of the Mark and see these views in person. I've been there three times and there are still many things that I have not seen. Would love to return someday! Thanks for your comment.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on April 07, 2011:

I've been to San Francisco once but didn't visit such a high viewpoint as you did on your trip. Your hub is very interesting - I enjoyed the descriptions, the photos and the videos!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 07, 2011:

Hi Cheryl,

It truly was a thrill to see San Francisco from the Top of the Mark in the Mark Hopkins hotel. Hope that you get to take your own skyline pictures of San Francisco someday. Thanks for your comment.

Cheryl J. from Houston, TX on April 07, 2011:

The photos and videos are really lovely of San Francisco. The cityscape is really fantastic. I would love to be thrilled by the Top of the Mark. Another great hub.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 07, 2011:

Hi Simone,

So happy that you liked this hub about San Francisco as viewed from the Top of the Mark. Such a beautiful city! Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 07, 2011:

Hi Genna East,

Oh lucky you if they have extra room for visitors! I can see why San Francisco would be your favorite city. Thanks for commenting on this Skyline Pictures hub from Top of the Mark.

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on April 07, 2011:

What lovely photos, and what a beautiful Hub! Thanks so much for creating it!

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on April 07, 2011:

My sister and her husband live in SF, and it's my favorite city. Great hub!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 07, 2011:

Hi suziecat7,

Agreed! We have loved what we have gotten to see of San Francisco on different visits out that way. Have you seen it from the Top of the Mark?

Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 07, 2011:

Hi Pamela,

Isn't San Francisco great! It is worth a trip to the Top of the Mark in the Mark Hopkins San Francisco just to be able to see and take skyline pictures like this. Thanks for your comment.

suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on April 07, 2011:

I live in San Francisco for many years. The city has changed a lot since then but it is still one of the best cities in the world. Great Hub.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 06, 2011:

I have visited San Francisco but not been to the Top of the Mark. Your pictures are great. Very interesting hub.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 06, 2011:

Hi dahoglund,

San Francisco is a gorgeous city with much to see and do and with a flavor all its own. Glad you liked these skyline pictures taken from the Top of the Mark from the Mark Hopkins hotel. The day was bright and beautiful facilitating the taking of these photos. Thanks for your speedy comment.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on April 06, 2011:

I've never been to San Francisco.It is old and historic and would be nice to visit but it will have to be added to my wish list.Nice Cityscapes.

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