Visitors to the Bay Area always want to know: what is the best place to view the Golden Gate Bridge? For many, the answer is to head across the water to Marin Headlands.
Just across the bridge you’ll find some of the best views looking back at the bridge with the city of San Francisco in the background. On a clear day, the view from Vista Point of the bridge and the downtown skyline from across the bay is simply stunning. If thick fog is present, it is possible that you won’t be able to even see the bridge. Yet on a sunny day, with views spanning 180 degrees out to the water and out past Alcatraz, it’s hard to imagine a better place to see San Francisco. It is beautiful both during the day and at night, when the city lights are visible. It’s a particularly popular spot for photographers — in fact, many of the iconic photos you’ve seen of the bridge were likely taken from this locale.
Get to Vista Point from San Francisco by driving north on the Golden Gate Bridge. You will see an exit for Vista Point on the righthand side just after crossing. The circular parking lot can get crowded, but it is free for up to four hours. There is a short walking path from the parking lot to the best views. For nearby food, venture to the seaside town of Sausalito — or take a hike in the nearby Marin Headlands.