The Best Views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco (with helpful map)

July 14, 2020

best view of Golden Gate Bridge SF

Are you looking for the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge? If so – keep reading! This blog post has all my favorite views of this iconic landmark, and where to find them.


As someone who is positively obsessed with photography – when we decided to visit San Francisco, one of the things I was most excited for was finding the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge. But, as someone who is neither a local to San Fran, or a Lonely Planet geek, I had absolutely no idea where I was going to get the best view of Golden Gate Bridge!

So after my own trip to the city and tracking down some incredible views and the best places to see the Golden Gate Bridge, I decided to make a list for everyone else! I’m guessing that if I spent hour googling the best places to see the Golden Gate Bridge, that there are other people out there doing it too – so here are all the places I found that offered up the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge!


Your easy map to the best views of Golden Gate Bridge!


I made the little map below to help explain my suggestions for the best view of golden gate bridge a bit more. This map will help you find the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge – and make it super easy!

You can load and save this Google Map on your phone too – so you can even calculate walking and driving times between all these best places to view the Golden Gate Bridge! Whilst you can see all the locations on the map below, you can also scroll through the list to actually see the view points and the views of the Golden Gate Bridge!

To use the map below, just click the little square frame in the top right corner, and the map will open in a larger screen. You can also save it to your own Google account, or screengrab it! 


Best view of Golden Gate Bridge:  Battery Spencer


OK, first up on my list of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge, it’s Battery Spencer! This is my favorite Golden Gate Bridge view point – it’s easy to get to and it’s not too far from the city either!

If you don’t mind the wind, and the hike, Battery Spencer offers some of the most incredible up-close views you could ask for. You’re basically eye-level with the bridge and it’s right there in front of you with no obstructions, and there’s an awesome viewing platform with lots of space (no need to elbow in for the best view). It’s a great place to watch the sunset too – as you’ll get the sun setting over the ocean right next to the bridge.

Quick tip! Remember that San Francisco can often get misty on the more elevated view points! For this reason, if you’re visiting a higher elevated view point, it’s worth waiting for a clear day or good weather, to make sure you can actually see the Golden Gate Bridge! 

best view of Golden Gate Bridge from Battery Spencer


Fort Point


Fort Point is the next Golden Gate Bridge view point on my list! Fort Point was really popular with bikers when we were up there, and it’s a little bit of a walk up, but not a difficult one. Our friends Matt and Nic pushed a pram up and didn’t struggle – so it’s no big deal.

Once you’ve walked up and taken your first bunch of photos, you can then follow a path down and round to Chrissy Fields, which offers a few more picture perfect opportunities along the way.

I recommend this view for those people who want to do a bit of walking – but don’t fancy arriving at the top sweaty and out of breath! The view of Golden Gate Bridge from this spot is beautiful… of course. This has to be one of the best places to view the Golden Gate Bridge.

best places to view golden gate bridge

Marshall’s Beach

Marshall Beach is the next location I’d suggest for the best view of Golden Gate Bridge. These great Golden Gate Bridge view point offers something a bit different to the other views, as it’s from the other side of the bay, and it’s from a beach too!

This is a really great view of Golden Gate Bridge, and it’s a lovely place for an afternoon stroll. 

best places to photograph the golden gate bridge marshalls beach


On a boat tour


On our second night in the city we took a boat tour around the bay and the views were amazing. The boat tour lasted a few hours (there was food and dancing too – click here to book it) and left from Fisherman’s Wharf – which is quite a touristy area and pretty easy to get to.

Because you’re moving around on the boat tour, you get loads of shots of the bridge from a millions different angles, so it’s perfect for people who want to get a massive variety of photos. There is also a ‘Bridge to Bridge’ boat tour which includes both of the impressive bridges in San Fran – the other one is super pretty too! Here’s a slightly cheaper alternative (click here) if you just want a no-frills boat ride.

Just remember to take a coat or a jacket – because holy crap did it get cold once the sun went down!

 

Best places to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge


Chrissy Fields


Next on my list on the best views of Golden Gate Bridge, it’s Chrissy Fields. You could do Chrissy Fields and Fort Point in a couple of hours – so it’s a nice idea to do both of these spots together. If you walk down from Fort point, you’ll end up in Chrissy Fields, so it makes for a nice route to take. That’s what we did anyway 🙂

Chrissy Fields is a beach and public park (don’t worry – you don’t need to pay!) that stretches along the bit of coastline after the bridge, and before you get to the city. It’s beautiful, and there are some lovely lifeboat houses to see, and even a little cafe you can stop at and grab lunch or a drink.

The views might not be as epic as some of the other higher-up vistas, but they’re equally as beautiful. At Chrissy Fields you’ll get photos of the bridge in the context of people and life. Whether it being a couple of dogs playing on the beach, or a few wind-surfers catching waves. This is definitely one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge and one you won’t want to miss!

the best view of golden gate bridge


Marin Headlands Vista Point


Marin Headlands vista point is a lovely viewpoint of the Golden Gate Bridge, located across the Bridge from the big city. The viewpoint is located at a small parking area located on the Conzelman Road that weaves along the Marin headlands. It’s a fantastic option for best views of Golden Gate Bridge.

best view of golden gate bridge

From this view point you have an amazing panoramic view of the city and the bridge and it’s also a great chance to get out into the great outdoors and the open air too! Remember though, because this view point is quite out in the open, it can get a little windy and cold up there! So be prepared!


Alcatraz Island


The one thing I could believe when we visited Alcatraz was how AMAZING the views were across the city and over to the bridge (click here to book tickets to Alcatraz). It was one of the most stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge we found, and it must’ve been torture for the prisoners, to live captive in the prison, having incredible outlooks like that. The phrase ‘so close yet so far’ never rang more true.

When you do the prison tour you get taken out into the outdoor recreational area that the prisoners used. From this area you literally have the most stunning view of the bridge imaginable. Funny how the lowest society in San Francisco once had the best view – money couldn’t even buy. This is definitely one of the best views of Golden Gate Bridge, and it’s a view I didn’t expect to find!

Here’s my review of Alcatraz Island (if you’re interested!).

 


Golden Gate Observation Deck


The Golden Gate Observation Deck is next on my list of the best views of Golden Gate Bridge. The Golden Gate Observation Deck is located a little further inland than Battery Spencer, but because they’re quite close together you can probably time your visit to these two view-points for the same day.

This view point of the Golden Gate Bridge has really great height / elevation, so the views on offer up there are fantastic. You’ll be able to see a little further afield and a little more across the city. The parking is also a bit easier (and generous) so it’s a great place to pull up and explore. It’s a fantastic option if you’re looking for the best views of Golden Gate Bridge.

golden gate bridge observation deck view point


Golden Gate Bridge View Vista Point


Another view point on the other side of the bridge (looking towards the city) . This view is a little different and unique, as it’s from the other side of the bridge (compared the the observation deck above). This is definitely one of the best view of Golden Gate Bridge to explore!

Whilst you won’t see the length of the bridge from this view point, you do get a really lovely unique perspective.


Fort Baker


When you’re looking for the best view of Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Baker is a great choice. Fort Baker is another view point located near the vista point above. Fort Baker is actually a former military training area, so it has some interesting history for sure!

You won’t find the troops here anymore though, and now Fort Baker is a part of the Golden Gate Park Recreation Area and is hands down one of the best view of Golden Gate Bridge!

best view of golden gate bridge san francisco


Drive over the Golden Gate Bridge!


Next up, when looking for the best view of Golden Gate Bridge, just get in a car and drive across it! One of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge is whilst you’re driving over the Golden Gate Bridge itself! If you have the budget to rent a car, it’s a huge experience to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge itself and enjoy the views of the iconic bridge from on it!

If you don’t have the budget for a rental car, you could just get an Uber and go across the bridge in an Uber instead!

best view of the Golden Gate Bridge


Baker Beach


Another beach option in San Francisco, offering up amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge! If you’re visiting Baker Beach in the summer time, then this is one of the most lovely ways to view the Golden Gate Bridge – as there’s nothing nicer than sitting on the beach and enjoying the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Another great option if you’re looking for the best view of Golden Gate Bridge. This view of the Golden Gate Bridge gets top marks from me for sure!

best places to view the golden gate bridge baker beach


Hotel with a view


If you want to wake up to the best views of Golden Gate Bridge, then booking a hotel room with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge is a perfect choice.

There are loads of hotels in the city which offers incredible views of the Golden Gate Bridge. I’d recommend looking on booking websites, and filtering my cit views (to find the best ones). Always make sure you look at the different room types available too – if a hotel has a ‘bridge view’ room it’ll usually cost more – but it’s worth it to have one of the best places to take photos of the golden gate bridge right from your bedroom!

Some of the hotels I would recommend for Golden Gate Bridge views are…

beautiful views of the golden gate bridge


A helicopter ride


Next on my list, if you’re looking for the best view of Golden Gate Bridge, it’s a helicopter ride! Of course, is you want uninterrupted views of the Golden Gate Bridge and you want to combine it with something super romantic and memorable – you really can’t get better than a helicopter ride over the Golden Gate Bridge (click here link to book).

You’ll get so many photographs of the golden gate bridge from a helicopter ride, and it’ll be from angles most wouldn’t be able to. Yes, it’s one of the more expensive options on the list – but if your passion is photography – then this is an amazing way to challenge yourself and take some seriously cool photos. If you’ve got the budget for it, this is a fantastic choice for the best views of Golden Gate Bridge.

I mean… how you can find better (and more awesome) views of the Golden Gate Bridge than this!? 

golden gate bridge best lookout points


A open-top bus tour


The open top bus tour in San Francisco will actually give you loads of opportunities to snap photographs of the Golden Gate Bridge, so it’s worth the small investment to ride around on it for a day. If you’d like to find the best places to take photos of the golden gate bridge, but also do a little sight-seeing, this is a great choice.

Actually, taking a bus tour around the city is a great way to see lots of the best views of Golden Gate Bridge!

A lot of the places on this list are actually stops the bus makes too – so it’s a really easy way to make sure you can get round a lot of them and take as many photographs as possible. Tickets are around $45 – $55 so it’s well worth the money.

You can book tickets here.

best places to take photos of the golden gate bridge


Point Bonita Lighthouse


My last suggestion on this list of the best views of Golden Gate Bridge, is Point Bonita Lighthouse! This view point of the Golden Gate Bridge is a little further afield than the others on this list, but if you’ve got a car then it’s well worth the trip!

Point Bonita Lighthouse is a really beautiful view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and whilst the bridge is a little further away, you get the whole panoramic of the city and the nature surrounding it!

Point Bonita Lighthouse golden gate bridge view points

 


 

Hopefully this list of the best views of Golden Gate Bridge has been useful and given you lots of ideas!


There are so many fantastic places to view the Golden Gate Bridge, and it’s worth exploring more than a couple of them! Especially if you’re into photography (or let’s face it, just want a few good selfies!) you should definitely check a few of these best views of the Golden Gate Bridge off your list!

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6 Comments

  • Reply Photo Post: Beautiful San Francisco and her city streets - The World and Then SomeThe World and Then Some August 18, 2014 at 6:13 am

    […] Below are a few shots from our walk along Chrissy Fields, which has some amazing views of The Golden Gate Bridge, and the beach too. We didn’t get the best weather during this day – but the photos are still gorgeous. There are more photos of The Golden Gate bridge by clicking on this blog post I wrote last week. […]

  • Reply Richie Wagner January 31, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Thank you very much for writing this page! We’ll be heading to SF tomorrow by way of Sacramento.

  • Reply 5 MUST TO-DOs IN SAN FRANCISCO - Home's Spark March 23, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    […] your personal favorite spot from the many for photo ops. There are some great sites here and here that give various places to shoot your […]

  • Reply David Carle May 1, 2016 at 1:38 am

    Awesome post, very useful, thank you !

  • Reply pcpy May 29, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Thank you for sharing!!

  • Reply ian | going places September 9, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    great tips for SFO beginner visitors…

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