Many San Francisco residents consider September and October to be the best times of year to enjoy outdoor pursuits and Golden Gate views. With wind and fog at a minimum, it’s also the best time of year to walk across the iconic bridge—an activity that, alas, no longer is legal to enjoy with dogs.
But that doesn’t mean that you and your four-legged companion can’t get an eyeful of the city’s most enduring symbol. If you’re visiting the city with four-legged family members, or are hosting someone who is, here are four good Golden Gate Bridge vantage points:
Golden Gate Bridge Visitor Center: Arrive early in the morning to snag a spot in the Merchant Road visitor lot on the San Francisco side of the bridge. There, your leashed dog and accompanying humans can enjoy five acres of gardens and outdoor displays detailing the bridge’s history and construction. A short walk leads to the Fort Point Overlook for views from another perspective. Should your paws be itching for a longer walk, check out the miles of trails in the surrounding Presidio district.
Land’s End Trail: The parking lot at Point Lobos and El Camino Del Mar is your base for a hike along this scenic trail hugging the continent’s edge. At the Land’s End Overlook, you’ll have bridge views worthy of a postcard.
Marin Headlands: If driving north over the bridge from San Francisco, take the Alexander Avenue exit and head up the hill for stellar bridge views. From the Marin side approaching the bridge from the other direction, take the last Sausalito exit. There are many places where you and Fido can pull off and enjoy views from an almost aerial perspective.
Fort Baker: Ramble as you may in Marin County, the Golden Gate Bridge views don’t get much better than in the vicinity of this 19th-century military installation turned five-star hotel, Cavallo Point. Enjoy a drink or a meal on the veranda of Farley Bar and take the stairs past the chapel to the bluff-top trail with panoramic bridge views.