12 Ways to Experience the Golden Gate Bridge

As a local and visitor, there are many ways to see, cycle, walk the international orange behemoth in San Francisco’s bay area. And each viewpoint and journey reveal a new way to see the city and surrounding areas.

Highlights
I discovered this Marin Headlands view of the Golden Gate Bridge on one of my very first trips to San Francisco. In my three-plus years living in the Bay Area, I still haven’t found a view to top it. My favorite time to visit is just after sunset, when most tourists are fleeing from the evening breeze and the lights from the Golden Gate are just beginning to glow. If you’re lucky, you might witness an illuminated container ship as it exits the Bay on its way to Asia. This vantage point is on the North side of the Golden Gate—for the active traveler it’s a lovely green hike after a stroll across the bridge but alternately you can dive up. There’s also a closer view at the base of the hill.
Long Ave & Marine Dr, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
The Golden Gate Bridge is probably the most photographed site in California, but this vantage point never gets old. Explore the hollowed out fort, learn some history, and marvel at the view from the top floor.
Golden Gate Bridge, California, USA
There is perhaps no landmark of San Francisco, and perhaps even the entire state of California, more iconic than the Golden Gate Bridge. This much-photographed bridge spans the Golden Gate, the strait separating San Francisco (to the south) and Marin County (to the north). The 2.7-kilometer-long (1.7-mile-long) bridge was completed in 1937 in one of the most remarkable engineering feats of its time. Although the idea of traversing the Golden Gate by way of a bridge had been discussed for decades, the fear that fog and wind would make the project nearly impossible discouraged planners. In the end, the bridge was completed in four years at the cost of $35 million as well as the lives of 10 construction workers. A pedestrian path along the bridge offers stunning views of the bay and San Francisco as well as an up-close look at this Art Deco wonder.

Marin Headlands, California, USA
If you’ve never been to the Marin Headlands, you MUST go! The views are stellar, but make sure you get there early (well, early enough to get there before all the tourists!) Ht up the headlands for a nice hike and view and then drive to Bar Bocci in Sausalito for lunch or dinner. You won’t be disappointed.
Sausalito, CA 94965, USA
this one in Sausalito, next to the dry cleaners.
2015 Greenwich St, San Francisco, CA 94123, USA
Vantigo tours is a brand new touring company that offers a more unique and personalized to those hop on hop off tours and the very dull Big Bus tours. Erik, owner of Vantigo, your designated driver and tour guide offers city tours, oyster lunches at Hog Island Oyster Farms and Brewery tours of the North Bay area all within his ruby red VW bus and a cooler full of beer, wine and San Francisco inspired road trip snacks. I opted for the Brewery tour which takes you beyond San Francisco and to local hangouts where you’ll try flights of locally brewed specialty beers, eat delicious food and go on brewery tours hosted by memorable characters to say the least. Erik will pick you up and drop you off in downtown San Francisco or wherever your final destination may be in the iconic city. However, as an added option you have the choice to take the ferry back to the city. Why Vantigo? You experience the city through the windows of a VW bus with beer or wine in hand and a local tour guide who gets to know you and tailors the tour to your schedule and interests. He even insisted to make the stop at the Marin Headland look out for a picturesque photo for us Canadians overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge!
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