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Golden Gate Overlook In San Francisco – A Complete Guide

Golden Gate Overlook in San Francisco offers some amazing views that are too good to miss. So here’s all the info for visiting.

How To Get To Golden Gate Overlook

The Golden Gate Overlook is located on the southwest side of the bridge, just off Lincoln Boulevard in the Presidio area of San Francisco.

There are plenty of options for getting around San Francisco:

Bicycle

Cycling is a great way to get around the city at your own pace.

The San Francisco Self-Guided Bike Tour is perfect, as it allows you to rent bikes for up to 24 hours at a time.

Plus, if you tell them how many miles you wish to ride, the staff will even plan you out a great route that includes all the best sightseeing and stops on offer.

The overlook is actually a popular destination for cyclists as well as hikers who traverse one of the three primary multi-use park trails that intersect here.

Public Transport

The city centre itself is linked by Muni.

Muni is San Francisco’s bus and metro system that runs throughout the city, operating buses, trains, cable cars and the F-line heritage streetcar.

For riding any forms of these transport, the best option is to purchase a San Francisco Visitor Passport, and hop on and off between tourist spots.

A Visitor Passport can be purchased at ticket kiosks, or via the MuniMobile App, and at certain sales locations.

Hop On Hop Off Bus

The San Francisco Sightseeing Hop-on-Hop-off Bus lets you explore all the legendary sites such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf.

It’s possible to get off and visit the Golden Gate Overlook whilst the Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus is in that area.

Tour

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

Golden Gate Overlook Entrance Fee

It is free to visit Golden Gate Overlook.

Golden Gate Overlook In San Francisco

Golden Gate Overlook Opening Times

Golden Gate Overlook is open all day, every day.

Golden Gate Overlook In San Francisco

Best Time To Visit Golden Gate Overlook

Spring and Autumn in San Francisco offer some of the warmest temperatures of the year, without the crowds that visit during the summer.

It goes without saying that a clear sunny day is going to give the best views. However, this area is well known for unpredictable fog, so don’t be surprised if it makes an appearance!

Also, it can get a little chilly with the wind blowing off the sea, so I would recommend layering up!

Sunset offers some beautiful warm lighting for photos and once it’s dark, the Golden Gate Bridge, lit up in all its glory, is definitely worth stopping for.

If you want to visit another great viewpoint for the bridge, the historic Battery Spencer in the Marin Headlands gives some awesome views.

What To Pack

Photography Camera

Tripod

Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle

Sunscreen

Lightweight Rain Jacket

Golden Gate Overlook In San Francisco

Golden Gate Overlook History

The relatively new observation points of Golden Gate Overlook, as well as the nearby Pacific Overlook, were constructed in 2012 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

In fact, the Golden Gate Recreation Area, due to the popularity of Golden Gate Bridge viewpoints, has added and renovated various areas around the bay.

Thus providing more and different views of California’s superstar structure for the ever-eager tourists.

Golden Gate Overlook features a beautifully curved, concrete plaza that sits on the edge of a coastal bluff. It was designed to be in keeping with the surrounding military fortifications, whilst also giving some stunning views of the famous bridge.

The Golden Gate Overlook was made possible by a lead challenge match grant from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and matching funds from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and the California State Coastal Conservancy.

Golden Gate Overlook In San Francisco

What To Expect At Golden Gate Overlook

The Golden Gate Overlook is a great place on your San Francisco itinerary to view the bridge from. Furthermore, unlike some of the other view points it doesn’t seem to get overly crowded. 

A gravel parking area and short path lead to the official viewing area, where you’ll find a curved concrete plaza.

Wooden benches placed around the semi-circular viewing point offer you the opportunity to stop and really take in the sights. On a clear day, the views of the coast and, of course, the Golden Gate Bridge are breathtaking.

It’s possible to see the bridge straight-on, which offers up some great San Francisco photo opportunities. As well as walk to the side to see a closer and more on-level view of the bridge. 

There is one particular view of the Golden Gate Bridge, seen through the middle of two tall cypress trees, that has become very popular. Some couples even pose here for their wedding photos – it’s that good!

So make sure the Golden Gate Overlook is on your San Francisco bucket list – you won’t be disappointed!

If there’s a group of you, to keep the cost down, a great full-day tour that hits all the top spots, including the Golden Gate Overlook, is the San Francisco: Muir Woods Giant Redwoods & City Private Tour.

Golden Gate Overlook In San Francisco
Golden Gate Overlook In San Francisco
Golden Gate Overlook In San Francisco
Golden Gate Overlook In San Francisco
Golden Gate Overlook In San Francisco
Golden Gate Overlook In San Francisco
Golden Gate Overlook In San Francisco

Where To Stay In San Francisco

Luxury

St. Regis San Francisco

One of the most sought after hotels in San Francisco. 

Located in the SOMA District of San Francisco, St Regis features a full service spa, an indoor infinity pool and an on-site restaurant. 

This 5-star accommodation is just an 8 minute walk from Union Square, and is super central to everything in the city. 

All guest rooms come with a luxurious bathroom with a soaking tub, and a TV.

Mid-Budget

Cova Hotel

Centrally located in Downtown San Francisco, Cova Hotel offers a free shuttle service to Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf. 

Guests can enjoy a daily continental breakfast at the hotel. 

Cova Hotel rooms include a 42-inch flat-screen HDTV, a French balcony and free WiFi. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer city views. 

In-house guests can enjoy a complementary unlimited wine reception from Monday through Sunday from 17:00 until 19:00 at the rooftop bar.

The hotel also has a 24-hour business centre, a fitness centre, and room service is also available.

Budget

Boston Hotel

Conveniently located in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, Boston Hotel is set less than 0.6 miles from San Francisco City Hall. 

A 20 minute walk from Union Square, the accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage for guests. 

At Boston Hotel all rooms have a wardrobe and a flat-screen TV as well as free WiFi.

A shared bathroom with a shower and a hairdryer is available for all to use.

For more places to stay in San Francisco, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. 

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile. 

Book Your Rental Car

Use RentalCars.com to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.


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Golden Gate Overlook In San Francisco