Tag Archives: San Francisco Bay

Photo of the Week: A Romantic Park Bench SF Style.

Your on a park bench. Your up-top a hill and cliff. You’re in San Francisco. You’re in California. Your sitting where San Francisco Bay flows into the Pacific Ocean. It’s nearing sunset. The Golden Gate Bridge is within view. It doesn’t get much better and romantic then this spot at Land’s End, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Romantic Park Bench, Lands End, San Francisco, Cailifornia

California: The View from Marin Headlands.

Just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco in Sausalito and Marin County are the Marin Headlands. They are a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is a romantic and scenic place go to capture the city, fog, bridges, bay and more all at once.

You hop on the inclined, coastal Conzelman Road right off U.S. Highway 101 and you’ll pass by multiple vistas, parking areas and probably cyclists too. I stopped right where the road becomes one way at Hawks Hill. My rental car is parked below. 🙂

Marin Headlands, California, San Francisco Bay

I immediately saw the bridge engulfed in the fog up-close…

Marin Headlands, California, San Francisco Bay

…and off in the distance the San Francisco skyline!

Marin Headlands, California, San Francisco Bay

As with other stops on this trip, the fog was ever-present. If I was anywhere else I’d be depressed, but when you think San Francisco, you think fog. A lot of the scenes in front of you here are just as beautiful as they are on a clear day. I took the short walk (climb) to an even higher point…

Marin Headlands, California, San Francisco Bay

…and went right up to the old guard rail. Better not lean up against it haha.

Marin Headlands, California, San Francisco Bay

It’s amazing how much of the area you can see. Past the Golden Gate Bridge and further into the bay, you see Alcatraz off to the far right and beyond that the Bay Bridge which connects Oakland and San Francisco. Speaking of Oakland, can you see its skyline and the East Bay even further back?!

Marin Headlands, California, San Francisco Bay

I’m always on the lookout for those romantic park bench spots. The bench might be old and crooked, but I didn’t even notice in the moment as I sat at looked at the view right in front of me.

Marin Headlands, California, San Francisco Bay

Turn to your right, and thought you can’t really tell, but the San Francisco Bay is coming together with the Pacific Ocean.

Marin Headlands, California, San Francisco Bay

Do a complete 180 and wallah, where did the fog go? Just beautiful green hillside and valleys right in front of you and mountains off in the distance. That’s how close to the coast the fog parks itself a lot of the time.

Marin Headlands, California, San Francisco Bay

Marin Headlands, California, San Francisco Bay

Getting back in my vehicle, I continued on the one-way road and parked by the trail that goes to Point Bonita Lighthouse. The tunnel right before it was closed, but it was a scenic walk nevertheless.

Marin Headlands, California, San Francisco Bay

Marin Headlands, California, San Francisco Bay

Marin Headlands, California, San Francisco Bay

While you’re at the headlands, join the cyclists or hike on the miles of trails in the valleys throughout. Checkout the wonderful wilderness or take in one of the many beaches along the coast. Also visit Fort Cronkhite and Barry among others. They are former forts and military outposts.

Who’s that guy who squinted his eyes at the camera haha?! 🙂

Marin Headlands, California, San Francisco Bay

Great times up-top at Marin Headlands. If you’re looking to see hills, mountains, a big city skyline, iconic bridges, a bay and an ocean from a natural up-top location, then this is your spot.

What up-top natural locations would you recommend for skyline and water/ocean views?

Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge on Foot.

I’ve spent lots of time in San Francisco over the years, but one thing I had never done was walk or run on the Golden Gate Bridge. This summer, I changed that, crossing something off my travel bucket list in the process.

I parked at the Vista Point just north of the Golden Gate in the evening and had this view of the bridge as I got out of my car. The well-acclaimed fog made its presence known on this evening.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

It was time to set out on the open bridge. The bridge was packed with cyclists, runners and tourists earlier in the day, but being close to sunset there would be long gaps of alone time.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

The Golden Gate Bridge recently celebrated its 75th birthday, opening for traffic on May 27, 1937. It connects the affluent Marin County and points northward with the San Francisco peninsula and city. It crosses over San Francisco Bay near where it meets the Pacific Ocean.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

I split time between walking and running, capturing photos as I moved along.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Turned around often to see how far along I was. Off in the distance on the walkway you can see the security cart that goes back-and-forth.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

I could definitely make out the San Francisco skyline across the way, despite the fog.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

I loved capturing scenic shots with the International Orange in view.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

After reaching the southern end, I made sure to checkout the bridge itself too.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Checkout the tourist and information center that sits here around the bridge plaza. I didn’t have a chance as everything was closed. Right in front of me were bike paths leading up to the bridge and underneath to the other side.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Some close up shots of the bridge. The bridge was painted the aforementioned International Orange to increase visibility of those passing underneath and to fit in with the natural beauty around it. The cold ocean waters in contrast with the warmly colored bridge, beautiful!

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

My love of travel signs definitely showed during this journey as I captured the different forms of signage on and around the bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge is part of U.S. Route 101 and California Highway 1 (the Pacific Coast Highway).

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

The previously mentioned bridge plaza was for those driving the bridge southbound into San Francisco. You’ll see plenty of signage as you approach. The toll is currently $6 for a standard vehicle. Northbound is free of charge. It’s 7:19 p.m. right now, check.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

You’ll find signage giving some interesting facts about the bridge. The length of one International Orange painted cable is well over a mile long!

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

You’ll get the standard speed limit postings for motorists and…

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

…for cyclists as well! I set it off with my running, but could not get the picture in time. 🙂

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

The bridges walkway is split half for bikers, half for those on foot.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Here’s a big sign detailing other rules for pedestrians and cyclists. Watch out for those high winds! Also be prepared with warm clothes as it’s frequently windy and cool, as it was on this evening. If on a bike, make sure the cyclist speed sign doesn’t flash higher than 15. I definitely wasn’t running that fast haha. 🙂

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

I came across this rule and alert board immediately as I entered on the north end of the bridge. The bridge closes for foot and cyclist traffic at 9:00 p.m.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Really? Someone will make a U-turn? People must have for them to put up a sign. The bridge has six reversible lanes being adjusted as needed throughout the day. It wouldn’t be impossible to do a U-turn because north and southbound traffic are divided by small, manually placed lane markers.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

I completed the back-and-forth journey in about two hours.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

I was back where I started at the parking lot of the north end Vista Point. Parking is at a premium on both sides of the bridge, especially the south end, so get there early or late in the day to grab a spot quickly.

All the motorists have their lights on now and I was about to join them and head southbound back into the city. $6 check.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

It was a great time walking and running across and back on the Golden Gate Bridge. I can check something else off the travel bucket list. 🙂 When you’re in San Francisco, make sure to set some time aside to walk or bike the bridge. The scenery is unreal fog or not and it will be an experience you’ll never forget.

What other bridges have you crossed on foot or by bike in your travels?

Photo of the Week: A San Francisco Bay Sunrise.

Photo of a sunrise over San Francisco Bay along U.S. Highway 101 near Candlestick Point. An early morning out on the open road to explore San Francisco lead to this quick stop and shot.

San Francisco Bay sunrise - California - near Candlestick point