California San Francisco Area

10 Locations To Photograph The Golden Gate Bridge

April 7, 2015

With a dash of history and a sprinkle of interesting tidbits,

here’s a visual list of wonderful angles to capture

the most photographed bridge in the world…

the Golden Gate Bridge

Image of Golden Gate Bridge from Cavallo Point

1 | Moore Road, Cavallo Point

Spanish and English explorers landed nearby on the Pacific Coast in the 16th century

And yet the San Francisco Bay remained hidden from European explorers for two hundred years

due to its narrow harbor entrance, foggy conditions,

and islands that gave an illusion there was no bay

In 1769, Don Gaspar de Portola was the first European to discover the bay

– and he found it by land, not by sea

Photo of Golden Gate Bridge from Cavallo Point

2 | Horseshoe Bay, Cavallo Point – grab a drink at Cavallo Pt Lodge

Ironically, the Spaniards focused their attention on Mexico and Peru searching for gold

while the mother lode waited to be discovered under their reign in California

By the time the Gold Rush era began in 1848, California belonged to the United States

San Francisco’s population swelled, making this little military outpost

the largest West Coast city in no time

10 Locations To Photograph The Golden Gate Bridge

3 | Vista Point, above Cavallo Point

After the 1906 earthquake and following fires, the city was in ruins and many evacuated

San Francisco rebuilt but could not reclaim its rank on the Pacific Coast

The Great Depression brought challenges

yet enabled a public works project to ease the demand for ferries

Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands

4 | Battery Spencer

Taking four years to build, the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937

and is considered an Art Deco masterpiece

Spanning 1.7 miles, the bridge was an impressive feat with

the south tower sunken into some of the most powerful currents in the world

It was the world’s longest suspension bridge until 1964

Image of Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands

5 | Marin Headlands

The bridge is named after the Golden Gate Straight,

which was coined circa 1846 by topographical engineer John C Fremont

This California site reminded him of Istanbul’s harbor named Chysoceras (Golden Horn)

possibly due to the surrounding golden hills in summer

Image of Golden Gate Bridge from Marin County

6 | Robin Williams Tunnel

Today, crumbling batteries and forts dot the channel

as a reminder of a long-standing military history since the Spanish-Mexican era (1776 – 1846)

During World War II, the bridge witnessed the departure of

two-thirds of the American troops heading to the Pacific theater

and welcomed Pearl Harbor survivors, orphans and wounded soldiers in 1941

A submerged net stretched under the bridge

to prevent Japanese submarines from entering the bay during the war

Image of Golden Gate Bridge from Alcatraz

7 | Alcatraz Island Ferry


thirty four painters battle the wind, salt and fog to repair corroding steel throughout the year

The color of the bridge is ‘International Orange’ to be more visible in foggy conditions

Sherwin Williams supplies the paint

and ‘Fireweed’ (SW 6328) is the closest color you can buy off their shelves

Image of Golden Gate Bridge from Lands End

8 | Lands End

Foghorns are an important safety element of the bridge,

housed on the south tower pier and in the middle of the bridge

Manually turned on and off by bridge workers,

each foghorn has different tones and timing set by the US Coast Guard

Marine navigational charts provide the ‘signature’ of each foghorn to ships

Image of Golden Gate Bridge from China Beach

9 | China Beach – Gold Rush era campsite for Chinese fisherman

The bridge recently closed in January to install

the Moveable Median Barrier (MMB) system to eliminate lane crossover collisions

A ‘zipper truck’ moves the median to manage the number of northbound and southbound lanes

in each direction, depending on traffic density

Photo of Golden Gate Bridge from Crissy Field

10 | Crissy Field – airfield repurposed for recreation

The bridge is designed to wiggle, sway and vibrate during

earthquakes, heavy traffic, and strong winds

The bridge occasionally closes due to weather, maintenance and visiting dignitaries

Map of best locations to capture Golden Gate Bridge

Numbered photographs correspond to location on map

 Welcoming visitors, immigrants, and residents alike,

this photographic beauty of a bridge provides a historic tale as interesting as its paint color

With so many wonderful locations around the bay,

you readily can find a fabulous vantage point for snapping the perfect image of this iconic bridge

Read more posts about Northern California here

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  • Reply Kelleyn April 7, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    Perfect timing! We will be in SF in July!

    • Reply Travel With Lulu April 8, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      Yay! I hope you love it! There is so much to do here 🙂

  • Reply Amy at love made my home April 8, 2015 at 12:49 am

    The Golden Gate Bridge is one of my favourite places in the world. So great to see your pictures! xx

    • Reply Travel With Lulu April 8, 2015 at 4:44 pm

      Thank you, Amy! I’ve been collecting photos since the summer – there are so many great locations, it took a while to get to all of them

  • Reply Ola April 8, 2015 at 4:25 am

    from any perspective it looks impressive!

  • Reply Elaine April 8, 2015 at 5:05 am

    Wow I love your pics!
    I’m from Scotland and followed your blog while you were living in England.
    California is one of the places on my list of where I would love to visit – maybe one day!!! 🙂
    Thanks for the lovely pics and history of the Golden Gate Bridge.

    • Reply Travel With Lulu April 8, 2015 at 4:47 pm

      Thank you for your sweet words, Elaine! And thank you for following me to my new blog. It is great to have you here.

  • Reply Denise at Forest Manor April 8, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Gorgeous photos, Laura!!! I love, love the one with lots of fog! 🙂 My husband has been to San Francisco, but I have yet to visit. Hopefully someday. The bridge is certainly amazing, and the surrounding countryside looks just beautiful. Thanks for sharing the pictures and history with us; I always learn something from your blog posts.

    Have a great week!



    • Reply Travel With Lulu April 8, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Thank you, Denise! Everyone needs that ‘bridge in the fog’ pic, no? Yes, I hope you can visit one day – it is a lovely area with so much to see and do.

  • Reply anne davis April 17, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    That moment when you come through Waldo Tunnel is the WOW factor.

  • Reply Karin@echoesofela April 18, 2015 at 4:49 am

    The Golden Gate Bridge was love at first sight for me when I came to California in 1983 from my small Bavarian hometown. I lived in Marin County for three years and did the latter part of my military training at Letterman Army Medical Center on the Presidio. How I miss it! The sight of the bridge coming out of Waldo tunnel took my breath away each and every time. I live far away from it now and haven’t been back in 20 years, but I will return!

    • Reply Travel With Lulu May 4, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      Sounds like a wonderful experience while you were here! I hope you get to visit again soon.

  • Reply Catherine April 20, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Beautiful pictures! I lived in SF for 7 years post-college; several of them in the Marina District. The GG was my daily neighbor. I recently returned for a vacation with my husband and 2 boys. We took the kids to Fort Point, a place I hadn’t visited when I lived there so one view of the Bridge that I had never seen. At Fort Point you are up close and personal and can see the “underside” of the bridge. You do not witness the scenic beauty that your photos show, but rather the nitty gritty “workhorse” that the bridge is. Your photos are lovely.

    • Reply Travel With Lulu May 4, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      Thank you, Catherine. I’ll have to check that out 🙂

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