16 of the Best Golden Gate Bridge Vista Points in San Francisco (with helpful map too!)

April 5, 2021

best view of Golden Gate Bridge SF

Are you looking for the best Golden Gate vista points? If so – keep reading!


Are you searching for the best Golden Gate vista points for seeing the amazing Golden Gate Bridge in all her glory? Maybe you want to seek out the best Golden Gate vista points so you can take amazing photos… Whatever the reason, this guide contains everything you need to know. 

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the best things to see in San Francisco – and finding the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge is such a crucial part of getting the perfect photo! The are lots of Golden Gate vista points around the city – some are better than others. 

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. I wanted to find all the best Golden Gate vista points so I could capture some incredible photos. 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 find info on all the best Golden Gate vista points. 

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 of Golden Gate vista points for everyone else! 

Please note: The city has some ‘official’ vista points (which are included here!) but I’ve also included some other lesser-known Golden Gate vista points that aren’t officially called ‘vista points’ – but still offer great views. That way you can decide for yourself which have the best vistas on offer! 


Your easy map to the best Golden Gate vista points!


I made the little map below to help explain my suggestions for the best Golden Gate vista points a little more clearly. This map of Golden Gate vista points 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 Golden Gate vista points! 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 what the view is like from each of the Golden Gate vista points I suggest. 

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! 


Golden Gate vista points #1:  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 vista 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, the Battery Spencer Golden Gate vista points offers some of the most incredible up-close views of the Golden Gate Bridge you could ask for. You’re basically eye-level with the Golden Gate Bridge and it’s right there in front of you with no obstructions. There’s also an awesome viewing platform with lots of space at this Golden Gate vista point (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 Golden Gate vista 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


Golden Gate vista points #2 Fort Point


Fort Point is the next Golden Gate vista 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. This is a great place to find the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge. I love this choice for Golden Gate vista points. 

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 choice for Golden Gate vista points 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


Golden Gate vista points #3 Marshall’s Beach


Marshall Beach is the next on my list of Golden Gate vista points. This Golden Gate vista point offers some of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge. These great Golden Gate Bridge viewpoint 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, especially in the spring or summer. Or try one of the hikes in this area, for example, the Batteries to Bluffs trail (one of the 12 best hikes in San Francisco!) if you’re feeling more adventurous. This is definitely a top choice for the best Golden Gate vista points.

best places to photograph the golden gate bridge marshalls beach


Golden Gate vista points #4 On a boat tour


Next up on my list of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge, it’s on a boat! A boat tour is an ideal opportunity for Golden Gate vista points. 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 and left from Fisherman’s Wharf – which is quite a touristy area and pretty easy to get to. And because you’re moving around the bay, so many different Golden Gate vista points will present themselves! 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

 


Golden Gate vista points #5 Chrissy Fields


Next on my list of Golden Gate vista points, it’s Chrissy Fields. This is somewhere you can get the best views of Golden Gate Bridge, hands down. 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. It’s also one of the best Golden Gate vista points. 

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, and having that beach in front of the bridge makes this one of my favorite Golden Gate vista points. 

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


Golden Gate vista points #6 Marin Headlands Vista Point


Next on my list of Golden Gate vista points, it’s the Marin Headlands vista point. Some of the best views of Golden Gate Bridge can be found up here, so it’s worth the trip.

Marin Headlands Golden Gate 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 the best views of Golden Gate Bridge.

best view of golden gate bridge

From this viewpoint 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! It’s one of my top Golden Gate vista points. Remember though, because this viewpoint is quite out in the open, it can get a little windy and cold up there! So be prepared! This is such a great choice for the best views of Golden Gate Bridge. 


Golden Gate vista points #7 Alcatraz Island


Next on my list of Golden Gate vista points, it’s Alcatraz Island. The one thing I couldn’t believe when we visited Alcatraz was how AMAZING the views were across the city and over to the bridge.

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. This is definitely one of the best views of Golden Gate Bridge, and it’s a view I didn’t expect to find, which makes it an intriguing addition to this list of Golden Gate vista points. 

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

 

Golden Gate vista points #8 Golden Gate Observation Deck


The Golden Gate Observation Deck is next on my list of the best views of Golden Gate Bridge because it’s a classic choice for Golden Gate vista points. 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, which makes it a great choice if you’re looking for Golden Gate vista points. 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 vista points #9 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.


Golden Gate vista points #10 Fort Baker


When you’re looking for Golden Gate vista points, it doesn’t get better than this. For some of the the best views 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! I love this choice of Golden Gate vista points, because it’s unique and offers a slightly different perspective on the famous bridge. 

best view of golden gate bridge san francisco


Golden Gate vista points #11 Drive over the Golden Gate Bridge!


Next on my list of Golden Gate vista points, it’s the bridge itself! 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 herself and soaking in the views from right below! 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! Either way this is one of the Golden Gate vista points you won’t want to miss out on. 

best view of the Golden Gate Bridge


Golden Gate vista points #12 Baker Beach


Another beach option in San Francisco, offering up amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge is Baker Beach! I love this option for Golden Gate vista points. If you’re visiting Baker Beach in the summertime, 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, it’s one of the most epic and ‘photography friendly’ Golden Gate vista points. 

best places to view the golden gate bridge baker beach


Golden Gate vista points #13 A 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. This is a Golden Gate vista point with a twist – it’s actually where you stop! 

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


Golden Gate vista points #14 A helicopter ride


Next on my list of Golden Gate vista points, 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.

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


Golden Gate vista points #15 An 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. You’ll also drive past many of the Golden Gate vista points on this list and be able to stop off and jump out. If you’d like to find the best places to take photos of the golden gate bridge, but also do a little sightseeing, 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 Golden Gate vista points 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.

best places to take photos of the golden gate bridge


Golden Gate vista points #16 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! This is such a beautiful place and one of my favorite Golden Gate vista points. 

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 Golden Gate vista points has been useful and given you lots of ideas!


There are so many fantastic Golden Gate vista points and 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!

Read more about San Francisco: 15 restaurants open on Christmas Day in San Francisco

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

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

    Awesome post, very useful, thank you !

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    Thank you for sharing!!

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

    great tips for SFO beginner visitors…