Finding the best viewpoints in your area or the area you’re visiting can be difficult as not every city has observation decks and notable lookout points to visit. Except for our articles and our world’s best viewpoints map, there’s no easy way to find the best places to appreciate the best view of the city you are in. To make it even easier for people to find great views in their city, we’ve made a step-by-step list of things people should do in order to find interesting lookout points, whether it is to take great shots of your city or just enjoy the breathtaking skyline of your town.
Step 1: Look for Observation decks in your Area
This first step is probably the easiest step on our list. It consists of simply going on Google or any search engine you are using and typing “observation deck in [the city you are in or plan to visit]”. If you live in a big city, you can expect to see at least one result, as most major towns have at least one observation deck, sometimes even more if the city you are in is as big as New York City, for example. The only downside of this method is that most of the time, you’ll have to pay to visit an observation deck, but the view and the experience is probably worth the price to pay. If you can’t find results or are not willing to pay to visit a scenic lookout, you should try step #2.
Step 2: Look for Scenic Spots on Reddit
Step #2 is also pretty simple. It consists of going on Reddit or forums to find special (and sometimes unknown) lookout points in your city or the city you’re visiting. The vast majority of cities with more than 250,000 people have Reddit communities (Subreddit) and nobody knows a city as good as the locals inhabiting the city, so Reddit will often be a gold mine for people looking for breathtaking spots to enjoy a nice view of a certain cityscape.
To maximise your chances of finding great places with this method, you should type “scenic views [name of the city] reddit” on your search engine and click on the first results that pop up. That way, you’ll be able to learn about some new places that you had not heard of before and you could then visit these spots for a great view and a greater experience.
Step 3: Download Google Earth
Step #3 is simply to download Google Earth. Google Earth is an amazing app to find great locations all around the world, as you can use the 3D mode to see where the buildings are, have an easy access to street view and see pictures that people took before you to judge if a lookout point is worth it.
Step 4: Search for Quality Scenic Locations Using Google Earth
Step #4 still involves using Google Earth. When looking for scenic views, what we do is that we open Google Earth and try to look for open spaces to get a clear view of the cityscape we’re trying to capture.
The first thing we do is that we try to see if the city is riverfront. Usually, it’s a good sign if the city is riverfront, because we’ll be able to find green spaces or parks near the river with a great view of the city using Google Earth and pictures that other took before us. If there is no park, you can also look at pedestrian bridges or walkways crossing the river. These spots are obviously not ideal for people just trying to relax and enjoy the view, but they can be the perfect spot for photographers trying to capture the perfect shot of the city’s skyline.
If the city is not riverfront, we will look at mountains or hills that could offer a nice view of the city. To find these spots, we use Google Earth’s 3D mode to find bumps near the city or big mountain chains. If we find something, we will then zoom in on it and see what kind of pictures were taken in this spot and, if we see great pictures of the city’s buildings, it means that we might have found a great place to enjoy the view and take pictures.
If we’re still unsuccessful at this stage (often because the city is on a flat and dry territory), we’ll use our last tactic, which consists of trying to find a large green space, a park or a large street really close to downtown. Most of the times, these places won’t give you the best experience, as they are not lookout points, but, for photographers, it can be worth it to stop by to take photos of the city as the number of photographers with the same (or similar) shot will be greatly reduced and photographers will be able to stand out from “competitors”.
With this step-by-step guide, we can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to find a nice scenic spot in your city, especially if your city is small without many buildings, but we can certainly guarantee that it will improve your chances of finding the perfect place to take pictures or to have a nice time with friends or family. Make sure to check out our world’s scenic viewpoints map and don’t hesitate to share this article with photographers you know.