The Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate BridgeThe Golden Gate Bridge is THE landmark in San Francisco. Walking or biking across the bridge is part of the San Francisco experience. And, even if you don’t get the chance to cross the bridge, you’ll probably see it during your visit to the city, wherever you are.  Here are the best views, and also what to do when you’re visiting the bridge.

The Best Views of the Bridge:

1)      Hyde Street Pier:  The Hyde Street Pier is a great spot for seeing the Golden Gate Bridge while you’re in the city. Located close to Ghirardelli Square, the pier is home to historic ships that you can tour. Look west from the end of this pier… There’s the bridge!

2)      Pier 39: On clear days, when there isn’t a lot of fog, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge from a distance while visiting Pier 39.

3)      Coit Tower: This Telegraph Hill attraction is a great place to see views of almost every part of the city. Take the elevator to the top of the tower and look to the west to see the Golden Gate Bridge. This only works if it’s a clear day.

4)      Marin Headlands:  For a unique view of the Golden Gate Bridge, drive across the bridge and turn left into the Marin Headlands. This is a popular hiking area. From the parking lot, you can walk to a lookout where you can get a close-up view of the bridge itself. You can also see the city skyline behind the bridge. If you’re a hiker, several of the trails provide nice views of the bridge from different viewpoints.

5)      Either side of the bridge: You can see the bridge from any spot on the bridge or from either side of the bridge. Obviously. One cool thing is crossing the bridge in a car or bus on a very foggy day. You’ll only be able to see parts of the bridge closest to you. The rest will be hidden under the mists.  (Avoid the center land when it’s real foggy.)

6)      From a ferry:  A ferry or a group boat charter is a max experience. When you take a ferry, you can bike one way and ferry back from Sausalito or Tiburon in Marin County

What to do at the Golden Gate Bridge:

1)      Walk across the bridge:  Many people want to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. It is a thrill!  You can see the Pacific on one side and the San Francisco Bay on the other. Also a great view of the city skyline from the bridge.  Look for Sausalito, Angel Island and Alcatraz. Stop and take your classic SF photos from here. Bring a jacket and wear good walking shoes.  The bridge is one mile either way.

2)      Bicycle across the bridge:  One of the most popular ways for visitors to get to the other side of the bridge is to rent a bike and ride it across to the other side. Bike rentals are available at Fisherman’s Wharf. Another time you’ll want a jacket!
Enjoy city skyline views. There are small parking lots on either side where you can view the Bay, ocean, and the Marin Headlands. Take lots of photos while you’re here!

Writer: Meredith Blevins, featured travel writer for the Authentic Wine Country.  Join her for wine-country mysteries, classes, and the untamed west.

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