You wanna know where one of the best places to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge is? From the Marin Headlands.
Because of the way the bay is shaped, there are a few different spots where you can go to photograph the bridge and San Francisco, but this one is one of my favorites. By car, it’s very close to San Francisco and you don’t have to venture far from the parking lot for the great views. The path is short and relatively flat so it’s pretty accessible for most people.
After parking in the lot (or alternately, hiking or biking up the hill from the bridge), you’ll find this well-groomed path that leads you towards the bridge.
The path forks and if you take the left fork, you’ll have great views to the east. The cove down below is Horseshoe Bay and off in the distance in the upper right corner is the tiny island that is home to Alcatraz (another great place to visit).
As you continue walking along the path you’ll start to see more of the city and the bridge.
People look so insignificant compared to just a tiny part of the bridge.
And at the top of the hill it opens up and the views are incredible.
If you walk away from the city towards the west, you’re also rewarded with views of the headlands towards the open sea. It’s so untouched and natural that it’s hard to believe it’s just across the bay from San Francisco.
After soaking in the panorama of the city and the bridge, you can head back to the car through Battery Spencer, an old post built in 1897.
To Sum It Up…
Truly one of the best places to photograph the bridge and with sweeping views of San Francisco and the bay.
And since you’re already on this side of the bridge, don’t stop here. There’s lots of other fun to be had outside of the city. Be sure to drive all along the roads throughout the headlands. You can admire the ocean view, stroll along Rodeo Beach or hike/bike along the trails criss crossing the land.
You could also head into Sausalito, a charming seaside town that inspired the song “(Sitting On) The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding & Steve Cropper (Redding was staying on a houseboat there at the time).
Project Headlands (It has tons of information on roads, videos, more photos, etc.)
View Marin Headlands View of Golden Gate Bridge & San Francisco in a larger map