I had the pleasure of visiting San Francisco several times over a couple years while I was on a project at work. I never got tired of seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, even if I didn’t have the time to take public transportation over, and just viewed from a distance.  The bridge is very photogenic, so it’s not hard to find a good angle to get shots, but here are 5 of my favorite locations to take pictures of perhaps the most well-known bridge in the world.

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1 – Pacific Heights area/other high points around San Francisco

This photo was taken during a bike ride down to the wharf from Golden Gate Park. I was probably taking a break at the top of the one of the many hills that are characteristic of San Francisco streets. This photo includes the palace of fine arts. Using google maps, I was able to figure out the location was near the intersection of Vallejo and Fillmore streets.

2 – Along the shore, east side of the bridge.

If you are coming from downtown San Francisco, once you get to the Pier 39/Fisherman’s Wharf area, you can get a decent view of the bridge all along the shore until you get to the bridge. There are even walking/bike trails most the way.

3 – Fort Point Area/Southeast side of the bridge.

There is a bus stop on this side of bridge, and gardens, gift shop, and cafe. There are trails that take you down to the shore for photos right next to the water. If you plan to walk across the bridge, this is the best place to start.

4 – North side of the bridge.

If you venture over to the north side of the bridge, you can get great views of the Golden Gate Bridge with the San Francisco skyline as a backdrop. The first photo below shows the hill you can climb (via a road accessible by car or bike) to get up to an overlook that gives you an on-top-of-the-world feel, the ocean on one side, and the bridge and San Francisco  on the other.

5 – Southwest side of the bridge

There are walking trails that continue along the bluff on the other side of the bridge. You will no longer be able to see the San Francisco skyline, but if you are willing to walk down to the beach below, you can get some fantastic photos of the bridge accented by boulders jutting out of the water.

For additional information about the Golden Gate Bridge, I recommend checking out Wikipedia’s Golden Gate Bridge article.

For information about the Golden Gate National Recreational Area, including maps of the trails, visit the national park service website here:


One of the coolest things the Hibachi Chefs do at the local Japanese steakhouse is the Flaming Onion Volcano.

The Chef takes slices from the middle of a large onion (perhaps Vidalia), separates the layers, stacks them on top of each other, squirts some oil in there, and then starts it up with a lighter.

They also throw some spice into the flame to make it sparkle. When the flame dies, the volcano smokes, and then the Chef throws some sauce (like teriyaki) and lets it bubble over the top.

If you want to do it yourself, you can find more details here:

How to Perform the Hibachi Volcano Onion Trick

We stumbled upon the Cocoa Beanery cafe while biking a short trail in Hershey this fall. It’s not hard to miss, kind of on the outskirts of town, off Bullfrog Valley Rd, right next to a couple of corporate-headquarters-looking buildings — which house the Hershey Center for Applied Research and the Hershey College of Medicine.

The cafe is a renovated farm house, but it’s spacious and modern, a few different rooms for kicking back. The first time we went, the cafe had artwork on display from a local high school.

Got a hot apple cider and a peach tea smoothie, asked for the largest size, and it came out to about $9. Both were great. You can expect to pay a little more than Starbucks, but the regular coffee and tea was reasonable. They also sell baked goods, salads and sandwiches. We’ll probably make this a regular stop when we are walking/biking trail that runs in front of it.

Cocoa Beanery on the Hershey PA website