Best Places to See the Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco, California
One of the most iconic images of San Francisco is the Golden Gate Bridge and is often a must hit location on the sightseeing agenda. Due to the size and accessibility, there are a variety of ways to catch the perfect photo. Here is a list of places we have visited during our trips out west and some other amazing spots to grab the postcard view in and around the Presidio.
The Bridge Itself
The obvious thing to do with a bridge is drive across it. It is not the best way to get the perfect photo but it is definitely a fun experience if you have the opportunity.
As you can see, the bridge can get quite foggy! “Karl” is the fog that rolls into the bay area- kind of a crazy phenomenon! Can you see the bridge?
For those that want to get those up close views of the structure, there is a walkway that people can walk, bike, jog, etc across the bridge.
Golden Gate Overlook
There are so many areas from the start of the Presidio leading up to the Golden Gate Bridge on the South Bay side to spot and snap a photo. While it is very popular to take the lower level beach walk (such as Baker Beach), you can also take the upper level walk through the historic Batteries leading up to the Golden Gate Overlook.
San Francisco is full of lush parks- one of the reasons we find ourselves returning to this city. It is a great mix of city and rural. Crissy Field is a park that gives sweeping views of both the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. The walking trail around this area is very popular while other people lounge on the grass or sail on the water. There is always a ton of activity in this area!
Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center
This was the first place we visited to get our picturesque view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The walkway around this area has different photos, educational signs, and hands on displays to inform visitors about the history and construction of the bridge. Fort Point National History Center is at the very top of San Francisco right before the bridge for an up close encounter with the structure without the crowds on the walkway.
This spot is definitely our favorite! On a return trip from Napa, we noticed as we got close to the bridge that the signs indicating the toll did not accept cash. Planning on paying cash and unsure if the rental car was equipment with an electronic payment mechanism, we pulled off the last exit before the bridge up Conzelman Road. Quickly ascending up in altitude, my nerves began to set in. A parking lot appeared and revealed one of our best accidental finds of the trip- Battery Spencer at Golden Gate Vista Point.
Unbelievable and spectacular views of the city and the bridge high above the water. We felt so luckily to be up there gazing at the entire San Francisco skyline. Needless to say, we spent a long time up here trying to get the “best photo”. And also googling the bridge toll situation- don’t worry they bill by license plates- all good!
Two additional spots that we have not done (yet!) are the South Bay Beaches (such as Baker Beach) or viewing the bridge from a Boat. Even the view from the boat to Alcatraz gives people a panoramic view of the bridge and the San Francisco skyline. In fact, there are many different types of boat tours or water sport activities that can be done around the bay.
Any way you snap your photo, the Golden Gate Bridge will pose majestically from any angle!
Where is your favorite spot?