The Golden Gate Bridge is intrinsic to San Francisco’s history. It spans the Golden Gate, a strait that connects the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay. The incredible Golden Gate Bridge features 756-foot tall towers and a distinct orange color that helps create its iconic look.
Over 10 million people visit this landmark annually, exploring the bridge via various methods such as biking, walking, or driving. As one of the top attractions in the world, it’s necessary to find the best Golden Gate viewpoint options to enjoy the bridge in its entirety.
Golden Gate Viewpoint: History of the Golden Gate Bridge
This glorious structure was built to help connect San Francisco and Marin County, stretching two miles between the two locations. The building of this iconic bridge commenced in 1933, with construction crew members braving their lives to bring this masterpiece to life. It opened to the public only four years later, boasting the title of the tallest bridge until 1993.
This bridge was built in an art deco style, helping create a unique and memorable look for visitors and locals. It has withstood natural disasters like earthquakes throughout the years. Named one of the most photographed bridges in the world, the Golden Gate is an iconic site that continues to hold importance to many people. It’s even referred to as one of the seven civil engineering wonders.
Golden Gate Viewpoint: Best Locations to See the Infamous Bridge
Luckily, there are many viewpoints and areas to view the Golden Gate from, with some of the top options below.
This fort was built before the Civil War in 1853. Its location at the same level as the bay provides a unique perspective of the bridge. The outside of Fort Point is open 24/7 to visitors, though the fort’s interior is only open on the weekends.
Golden Gate Observation Deck
The Golden Gate Observation Deck is an excellent spot to view the bridge, with a pretty easy-to-access parking lot. Offering an incredible Golden Gate overlook, the observation deck sits at a higher elevation offering a panoramic view of the bridge with the city skyline behind it.
Point Bonita Lighthouse
This Golden Gate viewpoint is ideal for those traveling by car, as it’s a bit further than other viewpoints. However, the travel is well worth the incredible views of the bridge. Since the Point Bonita Lighthouse is further away from the bridge, you can also see the whole city and the beautiful surrounding nature.
Golden Gate Vista Point
Take the tour bus to the Welcome Center, and you’ll find that Golden Gate Vista Point is the next stop. This incredible spot provides views of Angel Island, Alcatraz, the city’s skyline, and the Golden Gate Bridge itself.
Fort Baker was once an army post in the early 1900s. After WWII and the Cold War, it was donated to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Now, it’s a fun place to explore and offers incredible Golden Gate viewpoints.
Golden Gate Viewpoint: Tours of San Francisco Bay
There’s no better way to view the Golden Gate Bridge than cruising directly under the famous structure. These tours will help you achieve some of the best photographs and Golden Gate Bridge Views.
The Bay Discovery Cruise is a 90-minute cruise that takes you on an exploration of San Francisco Bay. During the cruise, you’ll learn about the National Parks in the Bay Area and the history of Alcatraz Island. Some of the major landmarks you’ll view during this experience include the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Angel Island, Sausalito, and more.
The San Francisco in a Day: Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf & Scenic Bay Cruise is another excellent option that provides stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge. View some of the most iconic landmarks on this cruise like Nob Hill, Chinatown, and Fisherman’s Wharf. During this hour-long excursion, you’ll be taken on a San Francisco cable car ride for even more incredible views.
Planning a Visit to Golden Gate Viewpoint Options
Part of planning a visit to the famous landmark includes knowing what time of day to visit. During the day, there are vast numbers of cyclers who cross over the bridge. On weekday afternoons, the cyclers cross on the west side of the bridge. This shift allows the perfect opportunity to view the bridge by walking tour or simply by crossing the bridge solo. The lighting is perfect at this time (except for foggy days), offering the perfect photo opportunity.
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Where Is the Best View of the Golden Gate Bridge?
The best Golden Gate Bridge viewpoint is Hawk Hill. This option provides stunning views of the bridge and the city of San Francisco. Found off of Conzelman Road, you’ll need to hike up to this viewpoint to experience the infamous suspension bridge.
Where Can I Take a Picture of Golden Gate?
There are quite a few spots that offer excellent photography opportunities. Some options include the Golden Gate Vista Point South, Golden Gate Vista Point North, Fort Point National Historic Site, Baker Beach, and the bridge itself.
What Beach Can You See the Golden Gate From?
There are multiple beaches nearby the bridge that provides fantastic Golden Gate bridge viewpoints. One of the top options is Marshall’s Beach, as it provides a picturesque setting to enjoy the bridge views. Keep an eye out for views of the Pacific Ocean and the Marin Headlands from this Golden Gate viewpoint.
How Do I Take Pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge?
Many people wonder how to take exquisite Golden Gate Bridge views and have them transfer over to photography. The key to capturing the bridge’s beauty is using a wide-angle lens. Consider bringing this option with your camera during a visit.
Can you see the Golden Gate Bridge on a City Cruises boat tour?
Absolutely! Many of the cruises actually go under the bridge. Offering a truly unique perspective of the Golden Gate Bridge. You can see all of the bridge’s details up close while cruising underneath it. It’s an experience you won’t forget!