My first home base as a new flight attendant was San Francisco. I moved there and lived in a small apartment with 5 other women who would end up being my very best friends. None of us had ever lived in this amazing city before so we did a lot of exploring! My favorite thing about living in San Francisco was getting to see the Golden Gate Bridge. The view never gets old.
Here is a list of my favorites spots to go to get a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge!
Where to Go For the Best Views of the Golden Gate Bridge!
Note: You may have heard that San Francisco is known for its fog. It is true. There are many, many foggy days when visibility is low. See the photos below for proof. On a clear day we would have had a gorgeous shot of the bridge behind us.
If the fog is heavy you might not be able to see the bridge at all from many of these locations. Be sure and watch the weather before you go and keep your plans flexible because the conditions can change quickly.
Believe it or not some of the worst weather is in San Francisco is in the summer. Mark Twain has been attributed with saying that, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” As a southern girl I can relate! I was shocked at how cold and foggy San Francisco was in the summer.
Interesting little tidbit: The color of the bridge is officially called “International Orange.”
I’m going to start with Baker Beach. This is my personal favorite of the places to view the Golden Gate Bridge because I was engaged on this beach! My then boyfriend, now husband, planned a surprise engagement with the help of my best friends. My friends and I had gotten dressed up ostensibly to go take “galentine’s” day photos. Instead I became engaged and it was one of the best days of my life.
But enough about that!
Baker Beach is a gorgeous place with glorious views of the Golden Gate Bridge including the waves rolling onto the beach below. There is a parking lot on the hills above which makes Baker Beach easy to access.
Tip: Go near sunset on a clear afternoon to see the sun setting into the water and causing the colors of the bridge pop even more.
Marshall’s Beach has a similar view of the Golden Gate Bridge as Baker Beach, but it is even closer. The sunset views from here are also amazing. You will be able to see the bridge glowing in the afternoon sun as waves crash on the rocks on this beach. In fact, Marshall’s Beach might win the photogenic award over Baker Beach because of the huge rocks scattered on the beach and in the water.
The only drawback is that Marshall’s beach is a little hard to get to. You will have to do some hiking and the path down to the beach is fairly long and steep which of course means that the walk back UP is also long and steep.
To get to Marshall’s Beach take the Batteries to Bluffs Trail which runs along the ridge from the bridge to Baker Beach. About halfway you will find a detour to take you down to Marshall’s Beach. The advantage of this beach being a little harder to get to is that is typically is a little more secluded.
Note: Because it is more secluded Marshall’s Beach is sometimes used as the nude beach so you might see more “views” than you bargained for.
The iconic photos that you see most often of the Golden Gate Bridge? There is a good chance that they were taken at Battery Spencer. This is the location of the most famous and dramatic view. The bridge will be in the foreground with the city in the background.
From this vantage point you are almost at an eye level with the bridge and there are no obstructions. You will not have any problems getting the perfect photo from here!
Battery Spencer is on the Sausalito side of the bridge. It is an old artillery battery that sits on the cliffs overlooking the northern end of the bridge. This viewpoint is popular and it can be busy but you should be able to spread out a little from the crowds to enjoy the views.
If you go at sunset the sun will be behind you and will bathe the bridge in a gorgeous glow. To avoid the crowds go in the morning.
Tip: These cliffs are known for being cold and windy so dress appropriately!
Fort Point National Historic Site
At Fort Point you will get an interesting perspective of the bridge because you will be below it!
Fort Point is now a National Historic Site. With its position on the bay it protected San Francisco during the Civil War through WWII. The fort is now a museum which you can tour. You can even go on the roof of the fort and look straight up through the delicate but strong lattice work of the bridge.
This is the spot where architecture buffs will want to go to see more of the way the bridge was construced.
Battery East Vista Point
Not too far from Fort Point you will find The Battery East Vista Point. This area was revamped within the last decade with help from a grant given by the Tiffany & Co. Foundation.. There are now bicycle, pedestrian, and accessible paths as well as a concrete plaza with terraced seating which makes it nice for visitors to just sit and and relax and soak up the views.
The views of the bridge from Battery East Vista Point are gorgeous and this is an easy spot to visit!
Crissy Field was once a military airfield and is now a public park. Much of it is a large flat, grassy field. It is a perfect place to spread out a blanket and bask in the sun with a picnic lunch. It is also a stunning place to walk or bike. There is a promenade with iconic views of the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.
The park is on the water and therefore you won’t have a high view of the Bridge, but it is lovely none the less. Make your way down to the beach while you are here to get another view of the bridge from the water’s edge or walk out on the pier for a slightly different vista.
Tip: You can walk or bike from Fort Point to Crissy Field with nice views along the way!
Land’s End is farther away than most of the other places that I’ve mentioned, but wow! This is located on the northwest end of San Francisco and the trails here will give you a wilder view of the Golden Gate bridge with wide open sea and lots of vegetation. At every turn on the trail you will find another stunning view!
Be sure to check out the ruins of Sutro Baths while you are out this direction.
Tip: You will definitely need to pick a clear day if you want a view from Land’s End, but it will definitely be worth it!
Fort Baker is on the Sausalito side and sits near and below the bridge. You can choose to go down to the water to see the Golden Gate Bridge or hike up the hills for a different and stunning view point.
There is even a pier on the shoreline and if you are traveling with kids you might want to check out The Bay Area Discovery Museum at Fort Baker which focuses on San Francisco Bay history and ecology.
This is the Insta-famous beach you might have seen, you know, the one with the swing! Unfortunately the swing is not always there – probably because the instagrammers made this spot a little too popular. Swing or no, this pocket sized beach still has gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
You will have to do a little hiking to Kirby Cove! The path to the cove is pretty steep and about a mile long but you will descend through a pretty wooded area and come out on a small but gorgeous beach with an amazing view of the bridge. Even though it isn’t easy to get to and even though you might not get your perfect photo on the swing this is still a wonderful place to view the Golden Gate Bridge.
Hope you enjoyed this list of the best places to see the Golden Gate Bridge.
Thanks for stopping by!