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Apr 3, 2024

Seven Best Views of the Golden Gate Bridge in the Presidio

Experience unforgettable views of the Golden Gate Bridge around the Presidio of San Francisco.  

Embark on a journey to discover the most captivating views of the Golden Gate Bridge nestled within the beauty of the Presidio. Whether you’re a San Francisco local or a first-time visitor, the Presidio offers many vantage points to marvel at this iconic American landmark.

1. Presidio Tunnel Tops  

Presidio Tunnel Tops offers breathtaking Golden Gate Bridge views and a vibrant community space. Explore the Presidio Visitor Center, Outpost playground, and the Field Station. Indulge in diverse cuisines at Presidio Pop Up or stop by Il Parco for focaccia-style pizza and discover your perfect picnic spot with a gorgeous backdrop.

2. Battery Bluff 

Located along the Presidio Promenade and sitting atop the western set of Presidio Parkway tunnels, Battery Bluff offers an up-close and unobstructed view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Adjacent to Presidio Tunnel Tops, this spot is more than just a picnic area – it holds historical significance with four recently restored gun batteries that once defended San Francisco Bay during the Presidio’s military era. Battery Bluff offers a blend of history, nature, and recreation in a unique site that brings the past and present together. 


3. National Cemetery Overlook 

Situated above the San Francisco National Cemetery, the National Cemetery Overlook provides a peaceful spot for reflection. With a high vantage point, it offers views of the 28-acre military cemetery, where 30,000 soldiers and family members rest, extending to the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay. Pause on the benches by the stone walls etched with poetry, and take a moment to contemplate the service of veterans from the Presidio’s U.S. Army era. 


4. Batteries to Bluffs Trail 

Explore the Batteries to Bluffs Trail, a scenic route along the Presidio’s western shoreline that feels far from the city hustle. Starting from either of the two trailheads near Lincoln Boulevard (off the California Coastal Trail), you’ll get a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge with coastal bluffs below, leading down to the Presidio’s rocky shore. Keep an eye out for dolphins or maybe a grey whale and notice native plants and wildflowers along the trail. The path leads to Battery Crosby, a historic gun battery, and connects to Marshall’s Beach or Baker Beach via the Sand Ladder for a range of coastal experiences. 


5. Baker Beach  

Explore Baker Beach, one of San Francisco’s top beaches, which features a mile of sandy shoreline and fantastic views of the Golden Gate Bridge. With amenities like picnic tables, grills, and restrooms, it’s a great spot for beach activities, sunset views, or the start of your coastal trails hike. Easy to reach by car, bike, bus, or Presidio GO Shuttle, Baker Beach offers convenient parking and stunning vistas of the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands, and the Pacific Ocean. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, Baker Beach has it all. 

6. Golden Gate Overlook 

Discover the Golden Gate Overlook, a curved concrete plaza along the coastal bluffs designed to mirror former military fortifications. Grab a seat on the wooden benches for a clear view of both Golden Gate Bridge towers framed by historic cypress trees or look downhill for a glimpse of native flora and footpaths. Beyond the iconic bridge view, the Overlook serves as an entry point to the California Coastal Trail and Batteries to Bluffs Trail, where you can explore historic gun batteries from the Presidio’s Army era. Enjoy straightforward views, a touch of history, and access to scenic trails at the Golden Gate Overlook. 


7. Crissy Field  

Explore Crissy Field along the San Francisco Bay shoreline, which offers beaches, picnic spots, and easy trails for various activities. With stunning Golden Gate views from the West Bluff and East Beach, nature enthusiasts can visit Crissy Marsh and Quartermaster Reach Marsh for birdwatching. Discover the area’s history at the Military Intelligence Service Historic Learning Center, and don’t miss the nearby Golden Gate Promenade/Bay Trail for a straightforward stroll or roll. Crissy Field is accessible and offers amenities like parking and picnic areas, welcoming all to enjoy its scenic wonders. 


Bonus: Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center  

Located at the southern end of the Golden Gate Bridge and up above Fort Point Historic Site, the Golden Gate Plaza and Welcome Center provide unmatched views of the iconic bridge and are the northernmost entrance to the Presidio. It’s a great place to capture your selfie, take a coffee break at Round House Cafe, and take in epic views of the entire bay. The Welcome Center is also a great place to visit – it tells the story of San Francisco’s most beloved icon and offers history exhibits and the chance to chat with helpful staff. You can pick up a map of the Presidio there and buy a souvenir to remember your adventure.