The San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge From the Battery Spencer
And so the journey begins, aptly piercing through the Golden Gate Bridge, the gateway to paradise where dreams, riches, and a sense of adventure has always been on the minds of all that’s ventured to this golden place.
One of the best places to view the Golden Gate Bridge is from the Sausalito side of the bridge atop “Battery Spencer”. The views from this high perch is simply spectacular! You are literally on top of the Golden Gate Bridge with a sweeping view of San Francisco in the background. When I first discovered this place back in the late 80′s, I was awestruck by the shear magnificence of the bridge and how human ingenuity really have no bounds. The traffic below looked like ants from this vantage point and I felt I was on top of the world. You can say, it was love at first sight! Looking through the bridge, I could clearly see the City with the Transamerica Tower and the Bank of America Building piercing through the Financial district. But as much as I tried, I was still unable to see my eight story office building along Union Square, I guess an eight story building can be equated to a needle in a haystack! Scanning from East to West, I can clearly make out the long stretch of green trees lining the historic Golden Gate Park and the Presidio until the spectacular sweeping view got to the end of the City where it sat at the Nudist Baker Beach.
Best time to visit this place is on a weekday as there are very few “legal” parking spaces and the roads are winding and narrow. If you do decide to visit on a weekend, you should try to arrive early before 10:00am before the crowds arrive. But even if you do come when it is crowded and even if parking is full, drive around a little and a parking space will surely open up, most visitors stay no more than 30 minutes at a time. If you still can’t find a parking space, drive a little further along Conzelman Road, there are a number of smaller parking areas along that road with similar vistas through the Golden Gate Bridge. And by all means, explore this magnificent treasure of the Bay Area, you will find history in the many Batteries scattered along this area as well as throughout all the San Francisco Bay Area hills. Old Batteries are some of the best places to visit in the San Francisco Bay Area, not only do they have a rich San Francisco history, they also oftentimes are perched atop hills with spectacular views where they were once used to keep the “enemies” out, and now they are used to keep visitors coming in!
The San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge From Hawk Hill
If you keep driving West along Conzelman Road, you will reach another popular look out area where there are equally spectacular views of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge, albeit, from a little bit further distance. But with that further distance, you will also get a wider angle view of the entire surrounding San Francisco Bay Area. Nestled in these hills are another number of Batteries including Battery 129, a historic World War II military installation. But Hawk Hill is better known for it’s diverse numbers of raptors that visit this area:
“It is the lookout point for the largest known flight of diurnal raptors in the Pacific states. Each autumn, from August into December, tens of thousands of hawks, kites, falcons, eagles, vultures, osprey, and harriers are funneled by the peninsular shape of Marin County into the headlands. Hawks avoid flight over water since warm thermals that provide lift are rare. Abundant populations of small mammals protected by the park are one resource that helps maintain the large number of visiting raptors in the Headlands during the fall, but the strong onshore winds hitting the hills of the Headlands provide cold updrafts and hot late summer days provide warm thermals that allow these birds to fly more efficiently.” -Wikipedia
Hawk hill is not only a fabulous place to view the magnificence of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge as well as for viewing raptors in their natural habitat, not to mention the historic Batteries, but it also contains a number of easy to intermediate hiking trails that meander in and out of the Batteries and the surrounding hills. If you go, pack a lunch and plenty of water, you can spend a whole day exploring this area, enjoy a wonderful picnic, marvel at the spectacular views, and get a good workout while you’re at it.
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A few more photographs of The San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge from different vantage points.
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