11 Best Places Where to View the Golden Gate Bridge
With so many options to choose from, it could be pretty difficult figuring out the best places where to view the Golden Gate Bridge. This San Francisco icon is easily seen from many vantage points throughout the City, so knowing which ones are best and why can potentially save you a lot of time. Whether you are visiting with family or coming solo, read below to find out the best locations where to view the Golden Gate Bridge from a San Francisco native photographer!
Baker Beach is the most popular and best place where to view the Golden Gate Bridge and is the most chosen location from my Clients regardless of genre (proposal, family, engagement). With the unique potential of seeing the Golden Gate Bridge reflected in the water during low tide, it offers a memorable view for multiple reasons (it is clothing optional closer to the Bridge FYI!). In addition to having one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge, it has ample free parking divided over two parking lots. If I was asked where to get the best view of Golden Gate Bridge, Baker Beach is my recommendation given all of the above.
Located on the northern end of the Bridge, Battery Spencer is what I call the most Instagramed view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Battery Spencer is one of the more popular spaces of where to view the Golden Gate Bridge and is the most Instagrammed locations on social media. Located in the Marin Headlands, you are greeted with panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay, giving you views ranging from Alcatraz to Ocean Beach and a 180 degree view of the City. With a such a higher vantage point, you can see the Bridge in its full glory and seemingly the closes view of where to see the Golden Gate Bridge out there. The only negative to choosing this location to view the Golden Gate Bridge is that parking in front is very limited although there is a small parking lot down the hill 15 minutes away walking. In addition, a short and easy walk from the street level. 5 minute easy walk from the road is needed to actually get to this vantage point. This entire area is called the Marin Headlands which also includes Hawk Hill and Kirby Cove which you can scroll down to read at the bottom of this page.
Located on the eastern side of the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field offers great location of where to view the Golden Gate Bridge during sunset. With the sun seemingly setting behind the Golden Gate Bridge, this is an open area to allow kids to potentially run around as well. Crissy Field and the Palace of Fine Arts in a 3.9 mile round trip loop trail that offers a variety of views of the Golden Gate Bridge with settings ranging from wonderful beach views to open fields of grass. Personally, I prefer other places where to view the Golden Gate Bridge but if you are going here, you also have surrounding areas to visit such as house of air, which is a fun jump house venue.
Lands End Labyrinth
Lands End is actually a 3.4 mile long area, so for the purpose of this post, I will focus on the western tip located near the Legion of Honor Museum that is Lands End Labyrinth. While the recent vandalism of this area (10/13/21) has left the “labyrinth” non existent, this location still offers a more uncommon and unobtrusive view of the Golden Gate Bridge. It does require a 15 minute hike from the Legion of Honor Museum, but once you arrive to this secluded overlook you will know it is worth it! If you want to hike more and see other SF locations, Sutro Baths is within a few miles away as well.
Golden Gate Overlook
The Golden Gate Overlook is the simplest and most obvious location to view the Golden Gate Bridge since it is located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. Designed as an educational center revealing all things historical significant to the Bridge, this spot is not the most unique but caters to the majority of most views of the Bridge. Best thing about this location is that it is the only location on this list that allows you to walk across the Bridge. If you want to check out the best places to take pictures in San Francisco, not just including the Golden Gate Bridge, take a look at the Best Places to take Pics in San Francisco.
Fort Point offers one of the most unique spots. Fort Point offers one of the most vantage points where to view the Golden Gate Bridge because you are literally viewing it from sea level! Open on weekends and free to the public, Fort Point allows you to visit this historic location and imagine. Gives you up close views of the underside of the Bridge. If you would like to see the Bridge in its entirety, a short walk away from Fort Point leads you to Torpedo Wharf aka Fort Point Pier. Here you can go shoulder to shoulder with fishermen and tourists alike taking in this grand view of the Golden Gate Bridge
Fort Scott is one of the lesser-known views of where to view the Golden Gate Bridge for whatever reason. While these other vantage points listed on this post showcase the Golden Gate Bridge as a profile, showcasing the twin towers to the left and right, Fort Scott showcases the Golden Gate Bridge Towers right in front of you with such a unique and unexpected view of the Golden Gate Bridge, I’ve always wondered why this view is not showcased more. Because this location is lesser known, you are able to get more unique images and more easy free parking compared to other locations on this list.
Another North Bay location on the same side as Battery Spender, Hawk Hill, and Kirby Cove, Cavallo Point is a lesser known location of where to view the Golden Gate Bridge. Becaise of its vantage point, you get to see the Golden Gate Bridge on water level in addition to seeing San Francisco. Located on the eastern side of the Bridge, it is best viewed at sunset. Not the most popular location on this list but is also has a popular hotel for convenience staying outside of San Francisco.
Hornblower Boat Cruise
For a truly memorable and unmatched way of viewing the Golden Gate Bridge, why not see is from the Bay! Hornblower Cruises offer daily trips around the San Francisco Bay, even allowing you to pass underneath the Bridge for the most unique way and experience of viewing the Bridge. In addition to more casual sunset cruises that encourage bringing your own refreshments, they offer more luxurious dining experiences to celebrate for any special occasion.
Hawk Hill is one of my dark horse favorite locations where. Perhaps only suggested by San Francisco locals, Hawk Hill is the farthest drive away from the Bridge itself, yet offers great views of the Bridge, nevertheless. While it does take a little drive and uphill hike to this location, it’s relatively unknown vantage point offers wider panoramic views of the entire San Francisco Bay and the Bridge.
Great for one of the best locations to having the view all to yourself, Kirby Cove is more known for its secluded camping as opposed to its view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Requiring a one mile hike down a hill to get to, Kirby Cove is a tiny beach located a short distance from Battery Spencer, if you are looking for a small hike and a little adventure to your morning, Kirby Cove will definitely guarantees a more secluded Beach view of the Golden Gate Bridge
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