The Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic San Francisco structure that has been captured in countless photographs for decades. For travelers vying for the perfect snapshot, visit Vista Point for views of the bridge and San Francisco skyline in the distance.
Set on the Marin Headlands, Vista Point is a scenic pitstop for travelers headed north out of San Francisco. Once you’ve crossed the Golden Gate bridge, pull off to the viewpoint to snap a picture—be sure to take the short walking path down from the parking lot for an unobstructed view. On clear days the turnout offers 180-degree views of the water and city, and maybe even a glimpse of the isolated Alcatraz Island. Some bike tours take visitors on a ride across the bridge and stop at Vista Point for a photo-op, while tours to neighboring Sausalito typically stop for a quick picture as well.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Bring warm layers as it gets quite breezy along the water and near the bridge.
- There is an automated toll on the bridge for those driving southbound towards San Francisco.
- While the lot can be busy, onsite parking is free for up to four hours.
- Restrooms are available to the public.
- Note that due to the city’s famous fog, there is a possibility that the bridge will be obscured from view.
How to Get There
Head north along the Golden Gate Bridge away from San Francisco towards Sausalito/Marin. Take the Vista Point exit on the right-hand side just after crossing the bridge.
When to Get There
Skies are typically clear throughout October, providing optimal sightlines. Mornings are your best bet for good lighting and clarity on the north side of the bridge, while you can also arrive after dark to beat daytime crowds and see the illuminated cityscape behind the bridge.
Things to Do Near Golden Gate Bridge
After capturing the perfect moment in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, drive back into San Francisco or take a detour into the Marin Headlands for beautiful hiking trails, beaches, and wildlife. Alternatively, the little seaside town of Sausalito offers great seafood, cute galleries, local boutiques, and scenic boardwalks.