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Views of San Francisco & Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands

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.

Marin Headlands path to Fort Battery & views of Golden Gate 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).

View of Horseshoe Bay & Fort Baker from Marin Headlands

As you continue walking along the path you’ll start to see more of the city and the bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands

People look so insignificant compared to just a tiny part of the bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands

And at the top of the hill it opens up and the views are incredible.

Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands

Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands

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.

Marin Headlands and the Sea

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.

Battery Spencer, Marin Headlands

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).

Additional Information:

Project Headlands (It has tons of information on roads, videos, more photos, etc.)

Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Maps of the Area


View Marin Headlands View of Golden Gate Bridge & San Francisco in a larger map

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  1. Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach in San Francisco (Photo) | Fine Art Travel Images :: Kim Olson Photography - April 15, 2012

    […] in California, North America, San Francisco, United States  While I’m partial to the view of the Golden Gate Bridge & San Francisco from the Marin Headlands, I’d argue that you can’t really go wrong wherever you take a photo of the […]

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