There is Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, cable cars climbing halfway to the stars, Union Square, the Castro. But nothing says San Francisco quite like the Golden Gate Bridge! And I can assure you, if you have never witnessed that spectacular span in person, you don’t know what you’re missing.
The pictures of it just don’t capture the full grandeur of the Golden Gate Bridge – glistening in the sun one minute, shrouded in fog the next.
With the Golden Gate Bridge turning 75 years old this weekend, here are the top 10 spots to view it – most of them free!
Best Places to View the Golden Gate Bridge
- Your car – the best spot to experience the Golden Gate Bridge is driving across it in your car, preferably a convertible with the top down.
- Red and White Fleet – weather permitting, you’ll sail under the Golden Gate Bridge on this one hour cruise through San Francisco Bay. Prices vary.
- China Beach – at the foot of 100 steps in the upscale Seacliff district, with unobstructed views of the bridge. Pack a lunch. There are picnic tables.
- Land’s End – a short distance from the Legion of Honor, near the 17th hole of the Lincoln Park Municipal Golf Course. Bring your clubs and play a round while you enjoy the views of the bridge.
- De Young Museum – located in Golden Gate Park, the Harmon Education Tower Observation Deck at the de Young Museum offers excellent views of the Golden Gate Bridge. There’s an entrance fee for the museum, but the observation deck is free.
- Lover’s Lane – view of the Golden Gate Bridge as you stroll among the eucalyptus groves in the Presidio.
- Coit Tower – atop Telegraph Hill, this imposing edifice offers spectacular views of the bridge from the observation deck. Entrance: US$5 for adult residents, US$7 for adult non residents.
- University of California, San Francisco – located in the Inner Sunset, the library at the University of California at San Francisco offers excellent views of the bridge from its main reading room. Please no talking!
- Marin Headlands– okay, this is my favourite spot to view the Golden Gate Bridge. The view of the bridge with the city of San Francisco in the background is sublime.
- Claremont Hotel Club and Spa – located in the Oakland/Berkeley Hills, the Claremont Hotel offers romantic views – one of the best spots to watch the sun sink into the Pacific Ocean at day’s end. Fine dining at the Paragon. Poolside snacks at the Bayview Café.
How to Get the Best Out of San Francisco