There are plenty of great places to view the Golden Gate Bridge, and if you’re determined to see the iconic orange structure from every angle possible, you’ll want to include a visit to the Presidio, and Fort Point.
As you drive along Mason Street, you’ll pass a wide grassy area known as Crissy Field. At the west end of Crissy Field is a beach area and a pier, which gives you a great chance to get up close with some seagulls (as above)…
… or look out onto downtown San Francisco in the distance. The best pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge, however, are just a little further up the road, toward Fort Point. So keep driving…
… until you’re practically underneath the Golden Gate Bridge.
As of 2007, a major work project is underway, underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Workers are retrofitting the old structure to make it more earthquake-proof. During my visit, Fort Point (the actual building) was closed to the public…
… but you can still get a good view of the inside, from the pedestrian path on the bridge.
A walk across the Golden Gate Bridge is something every able-bodied visitor should attempt. This was my second time (you can take a look at my first walk across the Golden Gate Bridge in 2004 by clicking here).
You gain a great appreciation for this awesome structure, as you walk across it. The giant bundles of support cables are close enough to reach out and touch, or stand underneath. All the while, cars whiz by on the other side of the railing, on their way to Marin County.
Nice to know some things are still made in the USA.
Actually, this was my attempt to recreate a cool picture I took during my 2004 visit to the bridge. I did a better job then, than I did this time.
Once you’re done walking, take the Presidio’s back roads underneath the bride, to the western side. There’s a turnout along Lincoln Boulevard that provides yet another great view.
At this point, I had accomplished about all my goals for my day in San Francisco. Okay, there were actually a lot more on my list, but I still had to drive to Lake Tahoe for the night, so I had to stop at some point. So I headed out of the Presidio, with hopes of exploring one more area: El Camino Del Mar–a street that runs through Lincoln Park, at the northwestern-most corner of San Francisco.
I didn’t find any extraordinary views of the ocean or Golden Gate, but I did stumble upon something I didn’t even know existed: the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. Known simply as the Legion of Honor by locals, the classy structure is a 3/4 scale recreation of a similarly named building in Paris. Inside you’ll find a collection of mostly European art.
There’s also this big red thing (Pax Jerusalemme, by Mark di Suvero), standing in the middle of the parking lot. There’s also a memorial to victims of the Holocaust nearby.
After wandering around the streets of San Francisco, then patiently navigating my way through a horrific traffic jam on both sides of the Bay Bridge, my experience with San Francisco was over.
Note: This trip was first published in 2007.