In Part 1, I pointed out attractions that are usually on people’s checklists. If you noticed the Golden Gate Bridge wasn’t mentioned there, well, good for you. Your visit to San Francisco wouldn’t be complete without seeing that beautiful bridge, and I talk about it in this post.
So let’s do this.
Day 2: All of the Views
If you decided to rent a car, this would be the day to use it. If not, you can use public transportation or order an Uber or Lyft because these locations are far out. Make sure to bring a jacket—it gets windy out there.
Presidio + Crissy Field
Let’s start the day at Crissy Field. It offers scenic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and a lot of space for running and picnic-ing. There are picnic tables you can use, but if they run out (people come and save spots on the weekends), you can lay your picnic blanket on the grass, whatever. From Crissy Field, you can walk to Fort Point and get a view of of Golden Gate Bridge from a different angle.
Golden Gate Bridge
So you’ve seen the Golden Gate Bridge and want to cross it. Good idea. You can choose how: walk, bike, or drive. At the other end of the bridge (Marin County side). There’s a vista point from where you can take pictures of the bridge from yet another angle. It’s always beautiful when the sun is out (and Karl the Fog is at bay), and I love, love, love the view!
Since you’re already in Marin, might I suggest a visit to Sausalito or Muir Woods? Look them up! The town is just across the bridge and is accessible by driving and by ferry (and by bike if you’re up to it). Muir Woods is a bus ride away from Sausalito, but you can also drive there if you were able to reserve a parking spot in advance.
Sutro Baths + Land’s End
Sutro Baths is a historic bathhouse with views of the Pacific Ocean. Of course, there isn’t a bathhouse at the bottom of the stairs anymore, but you see the remnants of it. It’s right by the Cliff House in case you get hungry.
And then you can walk the Coastal Trail in Lands End all the way to Baker Beach. The trail is not very long nor difficult, and there are a lot of stopovers you can make. There’s Mile Rock Beach, which involves a lot of stairs—don’t push it if you’re not feeling the stairs. There’s also Legion of Honor, an architectural masterpiece and art museum where people take all kinds of photo shoots. There’s China Beach and then Baker Beach, both of which have views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
To me, Twin Peaks provides a better view of the city compared to the typical tourist spots. Because Twin Peaks is located in the middle of San Francisco, you see pretty much all of the neighborhoods, not just downtown. You can see where Market St cuts through the city, which I’ve always thought to be cool. Plus points if you can identify the surrounding neighborhoods, too!
Since we’re already talking about views, my favorite view in San Francisco is actually close to Twin Peaks. I’ve never been able to take pictures of it because I’m always in a car driving by. But that’s part of its charm—it’s a beautiful driving view, and it’s best seen at night. If you’re driving down Portola Dr, the spot is right when the road turns into Market St. It’s 3 seconds of beauty, and then it’s gone.