The Best Spots for Family Photos in the Greater Sacramento Area
It’s hard to believe, but the holidays will be here before we know it. That means now is the time to think ahead about all of the many tasks that need to be done, including getting family pictures taken for holiday cards. For many families, fall is the ideal time to take pictures — the air is crisper, the light a bit more golden, and the leaves are beginning to turn.
While some families choose studio shots, many families opt to have photos taken outdoors to take advantage of the many scenic locations throughout the greater Sacramento area. And they’re not just for families —many sites are also ideal for engagement photos, wedding photos, senior portraits, and newborn photography, not to mention the plain old selfie. From parks to bridges to waterfalls, following are some of the best spots in the greater Sacramento area for family photos.
Please note: some locations require permits for professional photography. Please check with your photographer ahead of time. Also, some of these locations may have been impacted by the Mosquito Fire burning in El Dorado and Placer counties. Check the latest conditions before heading out.
Capitol Park | Downtown Sacramento
The State Capitol building in downtown Sacramento is a city landmark, its bold dome towering over the surrounding park. There are numerous spots here for family photos, including the West Steps or anywhere within Capitol Park itself, which features a rose garden, a camellia grove, a cactus patch and numerous memorials.
Apple Hill | Camino & Placerville
There’s nothing more “Sacramento” than heading up to Apple Hill in the fall for a slice of pie and a bushel of fresh-picked apples. There are also lots of spots to take family photos, from colorful orchards to rolling hillsides. Some spots to check out are Larson Apple Barn, High Hill Ranch and Abel’s Apple Acres.
Davis Arboretum | Davis
Located in Davis, this arboretum and public garden comprises 100 acres along the Putah Creek Riparian Reserve. Visitors are welcome to stroll along the waterside path and enjoy the various collections, which includes an oak grove, pollinator garden, east Asian collection and desert collection — any of which would make a stunning backdrop for family photos!
McKinley Park Rose Garden | East Sacramento
One of the most popular spots for photos in the greater Sacramento area is the rose garden at McKinley Park in East Sacramento. There are dozens of varieties of roses in every imaginable color, plus manicured walkways and a nearby pond.
Miner’s Ravine Nature Reserve | Granite Bay
Miner’s Ravine isn’t the biggest player in town, but nothing captures the beauty of the Sierra foothills like the oak-shaded walking paths within this Granite Bay reserve. There are golden fields, moss-covered boulders, and the light breaking through the canopy makes for a great shot. For more options, head over to nearby Folsom Lake, which has waterside lookouts and beaches.
William Land Park | Land Park
Another popular park for family photos is William Land Park. There’s a scenic pond that makes a lovely backdrop, as well as a shaded walking paths and lawns. One of the most photographed areas is the WPA Rock Garden, with its colorful blossoms, native shrubs, ornamental plants and cacti.
Quarry Park | Rocklin
Searching for a unique spot to take your family photos? Head to Quarry Park in Rocklin. A former granite quarry, this scenic spot has paved walkways, oak groves and ponds, dotted with oversized boulders and historic mining equipment. There’s even an adventure park and amphitheater nearby, so you can make a day of it!
Tower Bridge | Old Sacramento
Sacramento’s most recognizable landmark, the brilliant yellow Tower Bridge, connects West Sacramento with Old Sacramento and makes a stunning backdrop to a family photo. Speaking of Old Sacramento, the historic district is another great choice for family photos, with its historic buildings, antique trains and scenic river views.
Hidden Falls Regional Park | Auburn
Scenic pathways, rolling hillsides, trickling creeks and a rushing waterfall make Hidden Falls Regional Park in Auburn a great bet for family photos. An easy stroll gets you to a lovely footbridge, or you can continue on to access a viewing platform for the falls. Just about every corner of this park makes for a beautiful backdrop! Note: Hidden Falls Regional Park requires parking reservations on most weekends, and is subject to closure on days of extreme fire danger.
River Walk Park | West Sacramento
Overlooking the river and Old Sacramento, River Walk Park in West Sacramento has plenty of options for family photos. For starters, it offers views of the Sacramento skyline from its waterside trail. It also has great views of the Tower Bridge and rustic, historic I Street Bridge. If that weren’t enough, it also has landscaped gardens, lawns, shade trees, and paved walking paths.
Featured photo courtesy Jill Carmel Photography