During my recent trip to San Francisco, I was so excited to find the best places to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge. This iconic, red beauty makes me so happy, and through trial and error I found some great spots.
I also found out where not to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge (at least not at sunset), which I’ll also mention throughout this post. So you’re welcome in advance. 🙂
The Best Places to Photograph the Golden Gate Bridge at Sunset
Crissy Field – Google Map
I first headed out to Crissy Field. I quickly realized that the lighting was all-wrong and it was making the image dark and the bridge backlit. Below you can see one photo that I took.
Some others that I took below were not bad, but still wasn’t really what I was wanting. From Crissy Field, the bridge is in the distance and quite small.
This is nice if that’s what you’re going for, but I wanted the bridge to be more of the focus and the color of the bridge to be more vibrant.
Torpedo Warf – Google Map
I stumbled upon Torpedo Warf because it’s right next to Crissy Field (where I already was). As you can see, the photo from here is still a bit backlit, but the lighting wasn’t as bad because of the way the light reflects off the water. However, I didn’t stay long because although the photo was nice, it still wasn’t exactly what I was going for.
Are you debating bookmarking this list of the best places to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset? Why not just take it with you instead?! Just click the image below so you can reference it at any time!
Vista Point – Google Map
First of all, let’s talk about how to get to Vista Point because the exit can be really easy to miss.
If you’re crossing the Golden Gate Bridge headed in the direction of Marin Headlands, Vista Point is the first real exit you can get off on. It’s a super touristy spot for taking photos, which is why I almost skipped it altogether. I am so glad I didn’t! I normally like to find unique locations and angles for my photographs, but I am seriously so glad I stopped here. And of course, I recommend you do, too. ☺️
Hey, sometimes touristy spots are the best spots for a reason. Why fight it? 😉 From this location the lighting for sunset was AMAZING, and exactly what I was looking for. Surprisingly, parking wasn’t too bad either.
Marin Headlands- Google Maps
Marin Headlands was the location I was the most excited to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge from. And trust me, it did not disappoint. I headed this way after Vista Point, and my only recommendation would be to come earlier in the evening because parking can be tough.
I struggled with parking, and when I finally parked the sun had unfortunately set quite a bit. A great perk from this location is that as you wind your way along the road, you’ll see there are MANY great spots for photographing the Golden Gate Bridge. Some are actual designated viewpoints where you can conveniently stop, get out, and take a photo.
The above location would have been great for a long exposure shot, but I unfortunately forgot my tripod. Oh well, now I know for next time.
View my favorite tripod here. It’s lightweight but still sturdy. So basically it’s perfect for travel and I seriously take it everywhere!
There are other great locations to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge, but unfortunately I was out of light and out of time. If I return to San Francisco, I’d love to explore Marin Headlands more and hopefully find some more secret spots. I also think photos from Baker Beach look really nice, however, since I didn’t have a chance to go I can’t personally speak on if they’re any good. ?
Having trouble remembering all of the best places to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge? No worries, I’ve put together a PDF so you can take it with you! Just click the image below to download it and print it out!
Are you needing camera tips? I recently switched from a chunky DSLR to a mirrorless camera, and don’t regret it for a second! Read more here about why I made the switch and which camera I went with.
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What are your best places for photographing the Golden Gate Bridge? I’d love to know in the comments below!