She is an architectural icon, a masterpiece in engineering and probably one of the world´s most reknown man-built constructions ever realized: The Golden Gate Bridge.
The Frommers travel guide describes the Golden Gate Bridge as “possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world.” (Source: Wikipedia) Altogether 1.2 million steel rivets hold the bridge together, allowing her to span over 1,300 m (or 4,200 feet), linking San Francisco with the San Francisco Peninsula.
She was opened for service in May 1937 und remains until today eye candy and not to be missed on any San Francisco photograph.
It is almost scary, that in all my years being a flight attendant and numerous layovers in the city that you “should wear some flowers in your hands” when visiting, I have NEVER made it to some of the most gorgeous viewing points onto this timeless masterstroke.
Until recently… Check out these spectacular locations that will make you stare with enlightment (and will allow you to present your friends with some really, really cool pictures!):
1. The Birdseye View
Unfortunately, this breath-taking perspective lies a little out of your hands. But in those of air-traffic control and those friendly guys in the cockpit. Nevertheless, if your flight arrives or departs from/to overseas during the day, chances are not the worst that you might be able to enjoy this one-of-a-kind panoramic view! Otherwise, CBS has some suggestions for helicopter rentals..
2. Vista Point
Vista Point is well accessible either by car or by bike. This scenic parking lot lies right off the Golden Gate Bridge on the San Francisco Peninsula. On sunny days, you can enjoy amazing vistas onto the bridge itself as well as Alcatraz Island and the skyline of San Francisco. It serves for many people as romantic getaway to watch the sunset and is definitely selfie-mania hotspot. This is also a nice stop if you´re taking a bike tour to Sausalito for a lunchie. From there (Sausalito) you can take the ferry back to the city.
3. Battery Spencer
Just across the highway from Vista Point lies Battery Spencer. It is a highly popular place for visitors and locals, especially early in the mornings or at sunset. Many TV companies use the view that you have from here for national event broadcasts. This place lies almost eye-level with the top of the Golden Gate Bridge North Tower and delivers an eye-popping panorama onto the city through the strings of the bridge. Could get a little creepy after darkness falls, but during the day a highly recommendable viewing point!
4. Golden Gate Viewpoint
Just a little up the hill (Conzelman Road) you will find a few parking spaces to undwind for a few moments at. This is a great place to step out the car and have a seat in the fresh air. Maybe you still have some coffee left to enjoy or a little nibble to finish while enjoying the peaceful scenery as well as the magical view…
5. Hawk Hill
When you think it cannot get better, it can. Even though it is only a few minutes away from Golden Gate Viewpoint, the vista you will get from up here seems so different and will capture your eyes for sure! If you are looking for spectacular, you are right in place. These pics will astonish your friends and family for sure. Marvelous!
6. Coit Tower
This San Francisco landmark is not only a great spot to hang out on sunny afternoons for coffee and a snack, its prime location on Telegraph Hill offers also magnificent views onto downtown San Francisco as well as the Golden Gate Bridge. In my opinion, you don´t necessarily have to buy a ticket to get up to the often cramped viewing platform since the vista from the hill itself is quite nice. Whenever I climb up Telegraph Hill, I always enjoy taking the stairs through the neighbourhood when entering from Greenwich Street (coming from Pier 23).
7. Beach at Presidio
Water, sand, sailing boats and the bridge at full sight? Welcome to the perfect hideway deluxe. This is a gem for a romantic picnic with your loved one (or friends or both) and should absolutely be on your bucket list for the best lookouts onto the Golden Gate Bridge. Could get a little bit crowded particularly on weekends. So pack your bags best weekdays between noon until sunset. Still one of my very favourites and also always a great destination if you want to take a longer stroll around the city!