The Best Place to Take A Photo of The Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco is one of my favorite US cities. The culture, food, rolling hills and art has captivated my heart since attending the University of San Francisco my freshman year of college. If my path and dream to attend design school hadn’t lead me to Los Angeles, I would have found a way to stay in SF forever. 

Alas, I am not a millionaire, and my dreams of taking residence in the most expensive city in America have been crushed. So I learned how to maximize a quick weekend getaway in order to satiate my thirst for culture, cuisine and creativity without breaking the bank.

One would think that having lived in San Francisco my camera roll would be loaded with photos of the most iconic view point on the west coast – the Golden Gate Bridge. But one would be wrong. I never took the time to scope out the beautiful bridge I saw in the Full House intro for my entire childhood. So on my recent trip to San Francisco, I was determined to visit the bridge and snap a pic, but I wanted to do it from the BEST viewpoint possible. I started Googling the best place to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge and decided Battery Spencer was the place to be and off we went.

Battery Spencer

Driving up to Battery Spencer is a treat in itself, but also very touristy and crowded - be warned! There are several pull-outs along the drive to the top pf the hill. If you’re like me though, and want the big read lady front and center, park at the first viewpoint parking lot. This viewpoint is incredibly popular, so  Dylan and I went for a short walk up the winding road. As you ascend the road about 1/4 mile, you’ll notice a hiking trail that separates from the main road, take it. Wander down the dirt road for about half a mile and you’ll discover beautifully secluded viewpoints overlooking bluffs and unreachable beaches below. Plan your trip around sunset and the bridge will glow the most brilliant orange you’ve ever seen.

DylanHBrown_SanFrancisco-3244.jpg
IMG_1185.JPG

If you’re traveling to San Francisco from out of state, check out my favorite “Instagrammable" hotels and step-up your travel game to the next level.

1.) The Tilden Hotel

I love the design aesthetic inside the Tilden! This historic building from the 1800’s has recently been renovated into a hip, mid-century modern haven. The hotel’s appeal is it’s minimal design approach, it’s affordable price point and it’s surprising location. From a visual perspective, this hotel was designed for Instagram and is very photographable! From the unbeatable natural light pouring in from skylights, the bold pops of color on the velvet furniture, and the cacti watercolor paintings that line the hallways, this boutique hotel is a taste of Palm Springs in San Francisco. It also won’t break your bank, rooms start at $159 a night. The Tilden Hotel is located right in the heart of the Tenderloin, amidst the gentrification of one of SF’s most notoriously “bad” neighborhoods. Despite the neighborhood’s reputation, The Tilden is remarkably safe, conveniently located to the Masonic and walking distance to the Metro station if you’re flying into SFO. End your day at the Hotel’s bar, The Douglas. The cocktails and tater tots are next level!

2.) The Clift Hotel

If luxe is more your style, go across the street (literally) to the Clift Hotel. This plush hotel, which is apart of the SBE group is both quirky and dramatic. The design and experience of this hotel is fantastical – with oversized chairs, a GOT inspired fireplace, a candle-lit purple spiral staircase (say that five times fast), taxidermy animals, and original red wood structuring, no detail is left unintentional. This hotel begs for your attention an curiosity around every corner. Not to mention the views from this city sky scraper are unmatchable. If it’s available, book the deluxe sweet and you’ll seriously feel like you just stepped foot on the set of Mad Men. We stayed here on my birthday and ordered the most incredible breakfast in bed. Berry waffles, bacon, croissants, and champaign, obviously! Before we set out for our day of adventure in the city, we got lost wandering the halls of the Clift which are painted a deep dramatic purple. Between the proximity to shopping, dining and entertainment, our stay in the Tenderloin really paid off.

IMG_0605.JPG
DylanHBrown_SanFrancisco-3140.jpg
DylanHBrown_SanFrancisco-2991.jpg
DylanHBrown_SanFrancisco-3081.jpg

I hope you'll get the opportunity to explore some of my favorite places in S.F.! 

sarah herron