Best Spots to Instagram the Golden Gate Bridge

One of the most iconic sights in San Francisco is the Golden Gate Bridge. (You may recognize it from Full House)! This bright Red-Orange Bridge connects San Francisco to Marin County, and if you're like me, this is the first thing on your list of things to photograph San Francisco.


Fun Fact: The 1.7 mile Bridge took four years to build, and was complete in May of 1937. Happy 83rd birthday, GGB!

Best Spots to Instagram the Golden Gate Bridge

There are so many incredible places to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge, but a few locations stand out more than others and offer some different perspectives of the Bridge.


1. Battery Spencer


This is my favorite spot for a classic, up close photo with the Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge Best Photo Spots

Directions from SF: To access Battery Spencer, you'll need to cross the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin and take one of the first exits on the right, exit 442 (Alexander Ave). Type in Battery Spencer on Google Maps and it will take you up the mountain to the parking lot!


Parking: On your drive up to the Battery Spencer parking area, you'll notice a few other overlooks before you reach Battery Spencer. Feel free to stop, but you'll want to park as close to Battery Spencer as you can. Parking is extremely limited - you may have to circle around again to find a spot. I'd avoid going on the weekends.


Access: To access the famous viewpoint from the parking area, it's only a .25 mile walk then you can't miss it! There is plenty of space for many people to take photos. Just remember that if you drive across the bridge, the toll charges you on your way to back SF and I believe it's now $8.00


Best Time for Photos: Depends what you're looking for! The sun sets behind the bridge towards Marin, so if you come here around sunset, the sun will be behind you. My photos were taken just before and just after sunset - I wanted those beautiful multi colored skies! Coming at sunrise would be beautiful as you'd be able to capture that in your shot, but any time of the day works fine. San Francisco is extremely foggy, so I'd try to plan around what time will have the clearest skies.

Golden Gate Bridge just before Sunset
View Just Before Sunset
Golden Gate Bridge Sunset
View Just After Sunset


2. Baker Beach


This is more than just a photo spot - you can actually spend the day at this large beach while soaking up the sun (& Golden Gate Bridge views)! This beach is extremely spacious, has epic views, and it's dog-friendly!


Just keep in mind that the most northern section closest to the bridge is Clothing optional


Baker Beach Best Photo Spot golden Gate Bridge

Directions from SF: Type in Baker Beach on Google Maps and you should be good to go! Since this is located in San Francisco, there's no need to cross the bridge and pay tolls to get here.


Parking: You can either park in one of the few free parking lots or park alongside one of the many spots along the road and hike down to the beach. I've heard that it gets really crowded, but I've only been on a weekday and it wasn't too bad.


Access: Depending on where you find parking or which lot you're in, you may have a short walk (or hike!) to the beach.


Best Time for Photos: Sunrise or sunset if possible! Just note that in the morning, the sun will be in front of you and in the evening, the sun will be behind you. I went a few hours before sunset.




3. Golden Gate Overlook


The official Golden Gate Overlook is where you can find the shot with the bridge sandwiched between two trees.


I think this would be a really great shot up close, but I came here by myself so I opted to creepily photograph this couple instead of whipping out my tripod for a selfie.

Golden Gate Overlook Trees

Directions from SF: Close to Baker Beach and Land's End Trail, the Golden Gate Overlook can be found just before crossing the Bridge into Marin!


Parking: I recommend parking in the Langdon Court Parking Lot because it's free and it's only a few steps from this iconic shot! Type in Langdon Court Parking on Google Maps.


Access: After parking, you'll be right at the Golden Gate Overlook photo spot. From here, you'll also have access to both Marshall's Beach and Battery Godfrey Vista Point Trail if you wish to check out those spots too!

Best Time for Photos: Any - I'd just try to avoid foggy days!

Golden Gate Overlook Trees

4. Land's End Trail


One of the best ways to see the Bridge while getting some exercise! The Land's End Trail is one of the most beautiful hikes in San Fran - it's truly a must-do.

Land's End Trail Golden Gate Bridge

Land's End Trail Golden Gate Bridge

Directions from SF: Type in Land's End Lookout on Google Maps - that will bring you to the correct Parking Lot. When I went, I went to Land's End Trail, which is a completely different place to park and it brought us to the middle of the trail.


Parking: Parking at the Land's End Lookout Visitor Center is free, and it's a fairly large lot!

Access: The trail is about 3 miles round trip. From the parking lot, begin the trail on the right. Make sure you wear something comfortable and good sneakers. You'll reach the end once you get to the "maze" with the view of the bridge!

Best Time for Photos: From late afternoon to sunset.



Land's End Trail Golden Gate Bridge
Land's End Trail maze

5. Kirby Cove


This is a much more secluded, less touristy photo spot right next to the Golden Gate Bridge that requires a steep 1 mile walk down to the pebble filled beach.


Kirby Cove is right near Battery Spencer, #1 on this list! You'll park in the same area on Conzelman Road and hike down the path. You'll get a slightly similar shot from Baker Beach, but Kirby Cove offers a view from across the bridge in Marin County. The walk down this path could be considered a hike to some - I'd recommend sneakers since it was a bit steep!

The real beauty is how close you're able to get to the bridge from the beach and bonus is that it's usually much less crowded than any other viewpoints.


Kirby Cove was once known for having an amazing swing right by the water with the Bridge in the background, but unfortunately the National Park Service had to cut down the branch that held the swing. Many different people have been putting up their own swings in new spots, but they are usually only up for a few days before they get taken down again!


If you hear word that the swing is back up, better pack your bags and get there quick!


Directions from SF: To access Kirby Cove, you'll need to cross the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin and take one of the first exits on the right, exit 442 (Alexander Ave). Type in Battery Spencer on Google Maps and it will take you up the mountain to the parking lot! Tip: Visit Kirby Cove and Battery Spencer (Spot #1) on the same day since they have the same parking lot.


Parking: On your drive up to the Battery Spencer parking area, you'll notice a few other overlooks before you reach Battery Spencer. Feel free to stop, but you'll want to park as close to Battery Spencer as you can. Parking is extremely limited - you may have to circle around again to find a spot. I'd avoid going on the weekends.


Access: As mentioned above, this requires a steep 1 mile hike down to the Kirby Cove Beach. The way down is a breeze - keep hiking past the campsite and you'll make it to the beach on the left! The way back up is a bit of a climb, so I'd recommend sandals with backing or sneakers. Zach and I wore flip flops and it was perfectly fine, but it would have been more comfortable with sneakers.


Best Time for Photos: I went in the afternoon for a sunny shot, but I think sunrise would be incredible and serene.


Road to Kirby Cove
The mile-long road that leads to Kirby Cove Beach

Got another favorite spot to Insta the GGB? Let me know in the comments!