Crossing the strait of the Golden Gate from San Francisco’s Presidio to the Marin headlands is the world-renowned Golden Gate Bridge, easily identified by its globally-knownOrange color. San Francisco’s most famous landmark opened in 1937 and has hence been considered an icon of not only the city but all of USA.
Visitors and locals can enjoy dramatic views of the bridge from several points throughout the city. Viewing spots noted below are all free and open to the public. During the day, the bridge stands as a towering embodiment of architecture, history, and engineering under the vibrant sun. The bridge casts a visual spell with the changing hues of the day going into the night. The experience and visual transformation of the bridge also challenge your perspectives to new opportunities. Here are some of the best nearby spots to view the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge.
Crissy Field, a former military airfield located south of the Golden Gate Bridge in the Presidio, was restored in 2001 and offers wide, fully-accessible walking and cycling trails between the Marina Green and Fort Point. Offering stunning views of the bridge, Crissy Field offers picnic areas and a small beachfront popular among families. Along Crissy Field, visitors can stop for lunch at the Warming Hut near Fort Point.
For an up-close view of the bridge, visit Fort Point, a Civil War-era brick fort accessible via the Marine Drive lot at Crissy Field.
Stretching a half-mile below the rugged cliffs along the Presidio’s western shoreline, Baker Beach offers spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge. The beach offers a picnic area with tables and grills, lots of parking, and restroom facilities.
Located in the Seacliff neighborhood, China Beach is a tiny, sheltered pocket of sand with a picnic area, a sunbathing deck, restrooms, cold showers, and unobstructed views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Eagle’s Point trailhead of Lands End near Lincoln Park offers jaw-dropping views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Near the popular hiking trail, which is also a short walking distance to the Legion of Honor, visitors can walk along a paved sidewalk near the 17th hole of the Lincoln Park Municipal Golf Course. Here, there are several benches and photo opportunities to reflect on and capture the beauty of the bridge.
Glimpses of the Golden Gate Bridge
For slightly obstructed, but dramatic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, visitors can enjoy views from several, unexpected vantage points. So always be on the lookout.
The oldest foot trail in the Presidio, Lover’s Lane, a half-mile, pedestrian-friendly, paved trail, begins at the Presidio Gate at the corner of Presidio and Pacific Avenues in Presidio Heights. As you stroll down the trail, protected by majestic eucalyptus groves, you’ll get a Hollywood-esque glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge, which will eventually disappear as you continue down the trail toward the Presidio’s Main Post.
de Young Museum — Golden Gate Park
Located at the east end of Golden Gate Park, the Hamon Education Tower Observation Deck at the de Young Museum offers dramatic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as spectacular panoramic views of the city and the Pacific Ocean.
Library at the University of California, San Francisco — Inner Sunset
The library at the University of California, San Francisco, offers stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge from its main reading room.
Coit Tower — Telegraph Hill
Coit Tower, a slender white concrete column rising from the top of Telegraph Hill, provides 360-degree views of the city and bay, including the Golden Gate Bridge. The most spectacular views can be seen from the observation deck, which is reached by an elevator.
Golden Gate Bridge through the Waldo Tunnel
As San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge are hidden from the northern approach of U.S. Route 101 by the Marin Headlands, drivers going through the Waldo Tunnel, the unofficial name of the tunnel on U.S. Route 101 between the Golden Gate Bridge and Sausalito, can enjoy the first view of the city and the bridge upon exiting the tunnel’s southbound bore. This view may be one of the most dramatic views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Rooms with a (Bridge) View
For those in search of a room with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, a handful of San Francisco hotels offers rooms with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Located in historic Pershing Hall the Inn at the Presidio offers several rooms with bridge views. Lodge at the Presidio, its newly opened sister property also has rooms with views toward the bridge in this boutique hotel. Union Square, Fairmont San Francisco, and Nob Hill also offer exquisite views of the bridge. The Argonaut Hotel, an easy walking distance to all of the shops and restaurants on Fisherman’s Wharf, offers waterfront views of the Golden Gate Bridge from several of its rooms.