Want to know where the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge are? I’ve got you covered!
Nothing symbolizes San Francisco more than the Golden Gate Bridge. The iconic red bridge is a breathtaking sight no matter where you see it from, but some views are better than others. Have you wondered where to find the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge?
Having lived in San Francisco for almost 9 years, I have spent a lot of time scouting out the best locations to photograph the bridge. There are many places where you can see the bridge and like I said, there is never a bad view of it, but not all views are created equal. So, I now share with y’all favorite spots for the best views of Golden Gate Bridge!
1. Battery Spencer
You know that postcard shot of the Golden Gate Bridge, with the panoramic view of the bridge with San Francisco in the background? This is where you get that shot. Up in the Marin Headlands off Conzelman Road, Battery Spencer was one of the main protection points for San Francisco in the 19th century, and you can see the remains of the military site today, but what you are coming here for is that jaw-dropping view.
There are always people here, but there is plenty of space for you to get that perfect shot. The bridge always looks larger-than-life to me here, and that to me makes it one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Keep in mind that it gets super windy and chilly up here, so bring a jacket – or just suck it up suffer through the wind and freeze, which I’ve also done, cuz sometimes you’ve gotta look cute in photos.
2. Battery East
Battery East is a trail in the Presidio that begins just underneath the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center. From here, there are spectacular views of the bridge, with beautiful greenery in the foreground.
You can also see a perfectly situated view of the coastline and Fort Point from here as well. Another plus – it is much less crowded than the viewpoint at the Welcome Center, making this a much better spot that has one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge. This is a great place to take in the sunset.
3. Baker Beach
Ok, so the beaches in San Francisco suck in the sense that they are always cold (and covered in fog half the time), and you can never go in the water and have a “beach day” in the traditional sense. But come on, in what other place can you find a beach that has one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge? Yeah, didn’t think so.
PS – Baker Beach is a nude beach, so if you see some, uhhh, sausages, don’t be alarmed. Also, Baker Beach is super pretty and super peaceful around sunrise, if you manage can to get out of bed for one.
4. Fort Point
The beautiful brick Fort Point defended San Francisco from the Gold Rush into World World II, and offers a unique vantage point of the bridge because it seems like you are so close to it and it seems like you’re almost underneath it.
Keep in mind that the hours are kind of limited (it is only open Friday-Sunday 10am-5pm), but if you can, definitely stop by for a walk around through the gorgeous brick halls (the light is always perfect for photos), and up the spiral staircase for one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge. However, even if the fort is closed, you can still find a pretty awesome view right outside of it (although you don’t get the unique perspective of being underneath and up close to it – but can’t complain).
5. Coastal Trail
One of my favorite urban hikes in San Francisco is the Coastal Trail, which takes you from the Golden Gate Bridge to Baker Beach. Just after you start the trail from the bridge, you will encounter a unique vertical perspective of it, with the towers stacked over each other.
There are two spots of note: One, you will find just walking a little while on the trail from the bridge itself. After walking a bit, you will find a grassy hillside that is perfect for photos. Another spot is with two trees that perfectly frame the towers of the bridge. If you are using GPS to navigate to this second spot, a good address to use is 1600 Langdon Ct. (you can also find parking there). There are also some of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge further down the trail!
6. Marshall’s Beach
Marshall’s Beach is one of my absolute favorite places in San Francisco. You can’t go wrong with that breathtaking coastline combined with the vibrant red orange of the bridge. If you continue on the Coastal Trail as mentioned above, you will spot a turn off for steps leading down to Marshall’s Beach. Even if you don’t go all the way down to the beach itself (the steps can be strenuous and the tide is often high), you can still enjoy one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge from the top of the steps.
7. West Bluff Picnic Area
I love this spot because of the grassy hills, along with the perfect view of that cute little house and the bridge. So perfect. I would advise coming here during the week, or early in the morning on weekends, because it is a picnic area and there are lots of people around on weekend afternoons. If you are there when there are no other people around, it is definitely a spot with one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
8. Fort Baker
I actually discovered Fort Baker while running a half marathon – such a beautiful part of the course! You will find everyone else clamoring for a perfect shot at the Vista Point. Instead, take the trail down the hill, which will lead you to Fort Baker. It is much less crowded, and the what you’ll find is one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge, with those bluffs and a the hills of San Francisco in the background.
9. Crissy Field
I have a thing for frolicking in wide open green spaces so naturally I am drawn to Crissy Field because you get that with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. On a clear day, the bridge with the green grass is pretty magical (unfortunately, I happened to catch it on a hazy day when I took this photo, but it’s still pretty beautiful). You can also gaze at the bridge from the beach. This is one of my favorite places to hang out on a sunny day. There is also a promenade trail that is a super nice walk with great views of the bridge – and also one of my favorite spots to go for a run (one of my favorite things about running races in San Francisco is that most of them go through this spot). Run around, frolic, or lay out with a book and enjoy one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge!
10. Hawk Hill
Hawk Hill is such a magical places to see the Golden Gate Bridge because you get to see it from above, and in a way, it’s almost like you’re standing above the bridge. It’s such a cool perspective. Plus, you can’t go wrong with the contrast from the rolling green hills, the blue of the Pacific Ocean, and the urban landscape of the city of San Francisco off in the distance. It really makes the iconic reddish orange color of the bridge pop, making it one of the best Golden Gate Bridge photo spots.
11. Kirby Cove
Kirby Cove is a popular Golden Gate Bridge photo spot because there is sometimes a swing there, and if it’s there, you get a perfect shot of yourself swinging with the bridge in the background. Unfortunately, this gets taken down often, and I’ve never been there while the swing was still up – I have a bit of FOMO because I’ve never been able to get *the shot* here. However, it is still a beautiful places to see the bridge, with the cove and the beach, with the city in the background. It’s a perfect place to sit and hang out and enjoy the view. Even without the swing, I think it’s still one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
12. On the bridge
I mean…you just have to see it up close and personal. Even if you don’t walk the entire span of it, I highly recommend just walking to the first tower and admiring that iconic red orange up close. You also get pretty spectacular views of the rugged coastline and of the San Francisco skyline, just sayin’.