The moment you first set your eyes on the Golden Gate Bridge, you will be amazed by the remarkable engineering and thoughtful precision of San Francisco’s iconic tourist attraction. It’s not simply some random structure consisting of nuts, bolts, and miles of cables and steel – it’s a testament to the artistry and genius of man. Thus, it comes as no surprise that it remains a favorite subject of many renderings from paintings to photos to Instagram selfies.
Acting as a gateway to the Pacific Ocean, the Golden Gate Bridge connects San Francisco to the rest of Northern California. For the longest time, it held the record for being the longest suspension bridge in the world at 1.7 miles up to 1964. Still, its immensity allows you to see it from a good number of vantage points in and around San Francisco
For the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge, come to these specific spots:
The land surrounding both sides of the Golden Gate Bridge has a rich military history as this was used as army bases and bunkers during the Civil War and World War II. Nature has since re-claimed Crissy Field and has brought it back to being a dune and tidal marsh habitat. Its flat, hard-packed promenade is perfect for bikers and it even has a dog-friendly beach.
The best time to come and visit Crissy Field would be from sunrise to early morning. You’ll be able to catch a breathtaking view of the dawn breaking over the skyline.
Close to Crissy Field, Torpedo Wharf offers a clear, unobstructed view of the Golden Gate Bridge with bonus points for a stunning backdrop of the San Francisco city skyline. After viewing the sunrise from Crissy Field, you can go gentle strolling at Torpedo Wharf where the Golden Gate looks particularly majestic from early to mid-morning.
If you want postcard-perfect shots featuring our iconic bridge with the sunset as your backdrop, then come to Baker Beach. Situated on the southwest side of the Golden Gate, this romantic viewing spot can provide you with dramatic panoramas of the Marin County Headlands set against the bridge’s blazing orange hue.
You can get to this former military post by crossing the Golden Gate itself via bike, public transport, or car. From Fort Baker, you can see the majestic span of the Golden Gate Strait and surrounding areas of San Francisco. Plus, if you’re looking for other things to do and places to visit here, the Bay Area Discovery Museum is close by.
For a dramatic coastline view of the Golden Gate Bridge, you can hike up the trails through Land’s End while enjoying the hillside. Land’s End offers the “long shot” view of the Golden Gate Bridge, as it’s the farthest point in San Francisco before its coastline curves south. Along the way, enjoy the cypress trees and views of shipwrecks and other smaller beaches. The best time to come here would be during the golden hour, just shy of sunset.
Golden Gate Overlook
Perfect for bike enthusiasts, hikers, and runners, the Golden Gate Overlook is found just above the historic batteries at the southwest side of the Golden Gate Bridge. Apart from being every active individual’s haven, this is also a good, quiet, and serene spot for yoga and deep meditation.
True to its name, you might be able to spot a hawk or two here, as well as other birds of prey like eagles, vultures, and falcons. Of course, its elevation makes it a great vantage point for viewing the Golden Gate Bridge and the strait on which it crosses.
Fancy getting that unique Instagram photo of the bridge from a lofty angle? Hike up to the Point Bonita Lighthouse from here for the perfect aerial shot.
Also popular with tourists visiting San Francisco is the notorious Alcatraz Island, where it was said that once a prisoner enters its walls, they will never get out.
Alcatraz can provide unbeatable 360-degree views of the bay with the bridge in the distance. The best time to catch the views is in the morning when the bridge is clear and unobstructed by fog.
San Francisco at Every Angle
It doesn’t matter if you’re catching the view from below the bridge, from afar, during sunrise, or just before sunset – simply getting a full glimpse of the Golden Gate is an experience that every visitor and resident of San Francisco won’t ever forget.
The majestic views of the Golden Gate are among the many perks of living in San Francisco. If you’re ready for more, our team would love to help you out. Get in touch with Team Hatvany at 415.710.6462 or drop us an email at team(at)teamhatvany(dotted)com