Without a doubt, Golden Gate Bridge is the most popular icon of our beloved city. There are, of course, many vista points marked in tourist’s guidebooks. However, not many tourists know that viewing the bridge from different locations and angles is even more amazing than standing in a crowd at the suggested sites featured in the books. Here is an exclusive list of the best viewing spots, recommended by true locals.
Have you ever wondered where most of the pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge are taken? Marin Headlands is the best answer. Don’t be surprised if you see a lot of photographers with their professional equipment hanging out there for hours. This hilly peninsula not only offers perfect views of the bridge but also San Francisco. Located in Marin County, this spot gives you the best experience of seeing the enormous length of the bridge and the beauty of the bay. Beware: this route requires a toll fee.
Baker Beach is absolutely a must-visit point in the city, thanks to its location. San Francisco locals are very familiar with this place, as the beach offers a picnic area with a lot of parking. Other than that, the view of the Golden Gate Bridge is completely outstanding. If you are lucky enough to visit the beach during sunny days, then you can enjoy the smell of the beach, the beautiful view of the bridge and the amazing site of whales. Located a bit closer to the bridge, Marshall Beach offers the same view but with more rocks and wilder nature. The parking is limited at Marshall Beach; however, the closer view of the bridge is to die for.
Another spot that is very popular to photographers plus fishermen is Fort Point, a former military fortification. This site provides an up-close view of this iconic bridge, as you can view it from the very bottom. Located close to the ‘touristy’ vista point, Fort Point offers a much better view but with a good amount of visitors. You might want to check its calendar to enjoy its annual events.
Fort Point, Marine Dr, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 556 1693
This area is a former military airfield (Crissy Field) and currently features businesses and residences. Not only does the Presidio offer a great picnic area but also one of the most stunning views of the bridge. You can walk along the Crissy Field, or even visit the Walt Disney Family Museum, which offers a spectacular view, from its upper level, of the bridge. During weekends, this is also a popular place for local events and picnics. Feel free to grab anything you’d like from various food trucks, and sit on the grass to enjoy the views.
Crissy Field, 1199 E Beach, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 561 7690
Of course, we try to offer you the most affordable options while visiting this expensive city; however, there are other experiences (albeit a bit more expensive) that are worth checking out. Taking a cruise is one option. Adventure Cat Sailing Charter is one of the most popular boating services that offer incredible views of not only the city but also the bridge — the cruise will take you underneath it. Departing from Pier 39, the boat offers an exclusive 1.5-2 hour tour around Alcatraz Island and beyond. Whether it is a sunny day or a foggy day, you will not forget visiting the Golden Gate Bridge while floating on the ocean.
By Phuong Pham
Phuong Pham is a Vietnamese MBA’s graduate and fell in love with San Francisco city at the first sight. She has a big sense of curiosity about everything, which makes her passion for travel, languages and food grow bigger and bigger. She writes about little things that she found interesting in her personal blog “The dreamer’s wild tales”.