Travel & Day Trips

Even Locals Overlook This San Francisco Beach With a Stunning View of The Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco is a tapestry of iconic landmarks, bustling neighborhoods, and hidden gems. Among its many attractions, there’s a beach spot that offers both tranquility and an unparalleled view of the famed Golden Gate Bridge.

Yes, lots of people love Baker Beach. But there’s a more sheltered, family-friendly beach spot in the city that has a lovely Golden Gate Bridge view, and that even many locals overlook.

That’s weird, as the bridge is literally in the beach’s name! It’s Golden Gate Beach, part of Crissy Field in the Presidio.

If you haven’t been to Crissy Field’s Golden Gate Beach, you’re truly missing out.

Golden Gate Beach at Crissy Field in San Francisco, California

Golden Gate Beach at Crissy Field: An Iconic Retreat

Positioned along the northern waterfront of San Francisco, Crissy Field’s Golden Gate Beach offers postcard-perfect views complemented by the former airfield’s historic charm. Here’s what sets this beach apart:

  • Spectacular Bridge Views: The perspective of the Golden Gate Bridge from this beach is nothing short of breathtaking.
  • Vibrant Wildlife: Crissy Field is a hotspot for birdwatchers, with many native and migratory species to spot.
  • Recreational Activities: From kite flying to jogging on the scenic promenade, there’s no shortage of activities.
  • Historical Significance: Once a U.S. Army airfield, the restored tidal marshes and lagoon make it a site of environmental triumph. Although the “field” itself is long gone, there are plenty of historic buildings that give the site a special charm.
Tourists view the Golden Gate Bridge

Tips for Visiting Golden Gate Beach at Crissy Field

Parking at Crissy Field
Park in the East Lot

Make the most of your visit with these handy pointers:

  • Parking: The East Beach parking lot is the closest, but it can fill up quickly, especially on weekends. Arriving early is key. You may need to wait a while. There are parking meters.
  • Weather: As with most of San Francisco, the weather can be unpredictable. Carrying a light jacket is always a good idea. The water is chilly!
  • Dog-friendly: The east end of Crissy Field Beach allows off-leash dogs, making it a paradise for pet owners.
  • Bathrooms: There are bathrooms near the Warming Hut at the west side of the beach.
Golden Gate Bridge from Crissy Field

Other Nearby Attractions

Historic buildings in Presidio near Golden Gate Beach
Historic buildings near the beach

While Golden Gate Beach is a star attraction, the surrounding area has much to offer:

  • Crissy Field Center: An environmental education center with programs for all ages.
  • Fort Point: A historic fortress offering another perspective of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • The Warming Hut: A delightful cafe and bookstore, perfect for grabbing a snack or souvenir.
  • Marina District: Just a short stroll away, filled with chic boutiques, eateries, and the picturesque Marina Green.


Golden Gate Beach at Crissy Field in San Francisco, California
Golden Gate Beach at Crissy Field in San Francisco, California

San Francisco’s allure is undeniable, and spots like the Golden Gate Beach at Crissy Field exemplify the city’s blend of natural beauty and cultural significance. If the idea of lounging on a beach with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge as your backdrop appeals to you, then this destination is a must-visit on your next trip to the City by the Bay.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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