Things to do in
Golden Gate Bridge

Whether by bike, foot, or boat, there are endless ways to enjoy Golden Gate’s majestic splendor.

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Golden Gate Bridge: Our most recommended tours and activities

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bay Cruise

1. San Francisco: Golden Gate Bay Cruise

Cruise around the Golden Gate Bay on a boat tour. Enjoy informative commentary, see sights like Alcatraz Island, and purchase food and drink from the onboard bar. Launched in 1939 as part of the Golden Gate International Exposition, this 1-hour cruise has been a highlight of any visit to San Francisco for over 75 years. With 8-14 departures daily from Fisherman's Wharf, you will sail along San Francisco's breathtaking waterfront, under the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, and close to the notorious Alcatraz Island. Discover San Francisco's fascinating history, brought to life through audio commentary broadcast in 16 languages via personal headphones. Look out for wildlife along the way, including pelicans, sea lions, and even dolphins and whales. Sail past the lively neighborhood of North Beach, the famous swimming clubs of Aquatic Park, the historic vessels at Hyde Street Pier, and San Francisco Maritime National Park, before heading west towards Golden Gate Bridge. Enjoy views of Crissy Field and the lush hillsides of the Presidio, before cruising under Golden Gate Bridge. Steam back into the Bay, traveling past the wildlife reserves of the Marin Headlands, and the legendary town of Sausalito, once home to the 1960s’ flower generation. With Angel Island State Park to your left, cruise around infamous Alcatraz. After a full hour of exciting sights, the barking sea lions at Pier 39 welcome you back to Pier 43 1/2. A full bar with drinks, snacks and merchandise, including logo wear, is available at reasonable prices on board the iconic red and blue sea vessels.

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San Francisco: 1-Hour Bay Cruise by Boat

2. San Francisco: 1-Hour Bay Cruise by Boat

Enjoy a 1-hour journey along San Francisco's historic waterfront and experience the thrilling history of the San Francisco Bay, with all the sound and glory it deserves. The 1-hour non-stop Bay Cruise takes you past the famous PIER 39 sea lions and along San Francisco’s historic waterfront, revealing the city’s fascinating skyline. Relax in comfort, with both indoor and outdoor seating, and enjoy a full narration describing major landmarks as you sail by. See sights like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the iconic San Francisco skyline as you go. Whether it’s your first time to San Francisco, or your 10th visit, the Bay Cruise is something you should experience at least once in your life. You will get a complimentary souvenir map, which is available in nine languages, and if you get hungry, there’s a full-service snack bar on board with food and drink available to purchase.

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San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off: Classic, Premium or Deluxe

3. San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off: Classic, Premium or Deluxe

San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Loop: Stop 1: Pier 41 (End of Powell St), Fisherman's Wharf Stop 2: Washington Square – Corner of Columbus and Union StreetsStop 3: Embarcadero Center – Corner of Clay and Battery StreetsStop 4: Ferry Building - 1 Market Street, between Stuart and Spear StreetsStop 5: Union Square South – Geary Street across from Macy’s Entrance Stop 6: Hilton Hotel – Corner of Mason and Ellis Streets Stop 7: Civic Center - Fulton Street between Larkin and HydeStop 8: Alamo Square/Painted Ladies - Corner of Fell and Pierce StreetsStop 9: Haight Ashbury - Corner of Haight and Shrader Streets Stop 10: Golden Gate Park - Music Concourse Drive Golden Gate ParkStop 11: Golden Gate Bridge- North Vista Point Main Parking AreaStop 12: Palace of Fine Arts – Corner of Richardson Ave and Francisco StreetStop 13: Marina Neighborhood - Corner of Lombard and Gough Streets Stop 14: Lombard Street Corridor - Corner of Lombard and Gough StreetsStop 15: Pier 35 Cruise Terminal – The Embarcadero Stop 16: Pier 39 Fisherman’s Wharf Stop 17: End of Tour - 99 Jefferson Street Hop aboard a sightseeing bus for a tour of the 'City by the Bay' and delve into the fascinating history of San Francisco and its legendary sites, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39, and Fisherman's Wharf.  The hop-on-hop-off route stops at key points of interest all around San Francisco. Experience the diverse culture, beautiful parks, stunning architecture, and picturesque views from the top of an open-air sightseeing bus. Hop off and back on at your leisure to create your own customized itinerary around the city. Explore 3 routes depending on your ticket purchase. San Francisco City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour Explore San Francisco’s famous landmarks on a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour. Sit back and enjoy the ride as you cruise through the city on an open-top bus and learn about San Francisco's unique history. You have the choice of a personal recorded commentary available in 10 languages. This is the best way to discover all that San Francisco has to offer. This unique city tour has 17 stops for guests to hop on and hop off at. From Fisherman’s Wharf to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, immerse yourself in San Francisco’s diverse culture, beautiful parks, stunning architecture, and picturesque views. Panoramic Night Tour Board the bus at Pier 41 at the end of Powell St in Fisherman's Wharf to explore the dazzling city of San Francisco at night. Climb up the historic Nob Hill for a stunning close-up view of the magnificent Grace Cathedral. Then, make your way across the grand Bay Bridge for picturesque views of the city skyline from Treasure Island, the site of the 1939’s World Fair. Heading back into the city, continue along the Embarcadero to view the glittering lights on the Port of San Francisco.

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San Francisco: Escape from The Rock Bay Cruise

4. San Francisco: Escape from The Rock Bay Cruise

Hop on board a boat and cruise around Alcatraz Island and other sights of San Francisco Bay on this round trip journey. Benefit from a straight-to-the-gate access ticket and informative commentary as you go. Cruise San Francisco Bay and sail under the Golden Gate Bridge on a 90-minute narrated tour by boat around Alcatraz Island. Skip the box office line and go straight to the gate with your ticket. See Alcatraz island from the water while listening to accounts of the chilling escape attempts and the notorious criminals that called Alcatraz prison home. Enjoy a cruise with food and drink available to purchase onboard. Cruise full circle around Alcatraz Island, allowing you to view every angle of this mysterious island, which housed famous inmates such as Al Capone, Billy Cook the Killer, and Clyde Johnson, whose escape attempt is legendary. Gain a clear picture of what life in this maximum-security prison was like when it was the most feared institution in the American penal system.

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San Francisco: Bridge to Bridge Cruise

5. San Francisco: Bridge to Bridge Cruise

See both the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on a single boat tour with personal headphone audio included. Explore San Francisco's famous landmarks, history, natural history, architecture, and Native American culture on board this unique bay cruise. During the 90-minute round trip cruise you'll depart from Fisherman's Wharf, one of the city's busiest tourist attractions. From there, sail under the Golden Gate Bridge. Completed in 1937, the Golden Gate is one of the world's most famous and beautiful bridges, and was at one point the largest suspension bridge in the world. Cruise past Alcatraz Island, once home of one of the world's most infamous prisons, and take the chance to enjoy the stunning San Francisco waterfront. The boat will pass along the harbor before heading under the colossal San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Then it's time to head back to the charming city of San Francisco by the sea.

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San Francisco: Half-Day Wine Country Excursion with Tastings

6. San Francisco: Half-Day Wine Country Excursion with Tastings

Discover some of San Francisco's best wines on this half-day outing. Visit 2 wineries and 3 to 5 tastings. Enjoy scenic views from your comfortable coach. Start your day in the afternoon, as you head north to the Golden Gate Bridge. Enjoy a scenic drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and marvel at the San Francisco skyline in the distance. Next, drive through the beautiful town of Sausalito, a seaside Mediterranean-like village harbored across the San Francisco Bay and famous for its sweeping views. As the vine-covered hillsides come into view, you will visit 2 favorite wineries of the region for wine tastings and an exclusive estate tour. Experience the inner workings of the wineries and their family history in Napa and Sonoma Valley as an expert wine host walks you through the fermentation process, barrel-aging, bottling, and, of course, tastings of some award-winning varietals. At each winery, enjoy up to 3-5 tastings of their signature blends. Your day concludes with a scenic drive back over the Golden Gate Bridge and into San Francisco as the sun slowly starts to set into the Pacific Ocean.

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San Francisco: Muir Woods Redwoods and Wine Country Tour

7. San Francisco: Muir Woods Redwoods and Wine Country Tour

See the giant sequoia trees at Muir Woods National Monument and discover California’s Wine Country on this San Francisco day trip with pickup. Walk in the shadows of the world’s tallest trees, before enjoying wine tastings at 3 wineries in the Sonoma and Napa valleys. After a pickup from your San Francisco hotel, your first stop is Muir Woods National Monument (entry tickets not included). Spend 1 hour hiking through the old-growth forest here to admire the famous coastal redwood trees.  Next up, continue onto Glen Ellen in the Sonoma Valley for your first wine tasting session. Learn all about the history and craft of winemaking as you tour the vineyard. Afterward, enjoy some free time to enjoy lunch (at your own expense) in Sonoma Plaza. In the afternoon you’ll savor 2 more tasting sessions at wineries in Napa and Schellville. Savor the chance to taste wines produced from a variety of grapes, specialties, and wine-making styles.  Last but not least, finish off your trip with a photo stop at the Golden Gate Bridge, before being dropped back at your San Francisco hotel.

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San Francisco: California Sunset/Twilight Cruise

8. San Francisco: California Sunset/Twilight Cruise

On this relaxing 90-minute cruise, enjoy spectacular sunset views, as you sail on beautiful San Francisco Bay. In the winter months, take in the serene views at twilight instead of sunset. Admire modern skyscrapers, historic landmarks, and the natural beauty of the bay as you sail. Along the way, view numerous National Historic landmarks and San Francisco sights, including Coit Tower, the Transamerica Pyramid, St. Peter, and Paul's Church, and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. As the sun begins to set over the Marin Headlands, cruise past Alcatraz, Angel Island, and the shorelines of Tiburon, Belvedere, and Sausalito. Watch the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean, as you sail west towards the Golden Gate. On your way back to Fisherman’s Wharf, see many more famous sights, including the Presidio, the Marina District, and Fort Mason.

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GoCar Tour: Golden Gate Bridge & Lombard Loop

9. GoCar Tour: Golden Gate Bridge & Lombard Loop

Zip around in a GPS-guided, talking GoCar, which will be your guide on an exciting loop of San Francisco's breathtaking Golden Gate Bridge and Lombard Street. GoCar allows you to experience the beauty of San Francisco and visit places tour buses cannot go – all at your own pace. Go off the beaten path through San Francisco's iconic parks on your way to the Golden Gate Bridge and back. Snap amazing photos along the Pacific Ocean and see the Golden Gate Bridge up close from above and below. You can even park and take a stroll along the span of the bridge if you choose. On the way back, explore the boutique shopping districts of Chestnut and Union Street, then fill the trunk with the latest fashions, or stop for a bite to eat. Finish your tour by winding your way up Russian Hill to take an exhilarating ride down notoriously crooked Lombard Street.

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San Francisco Vista Helicopter Tour (15-20 minute tour)

10. San Francisco Vista Helicopter Tour (15-20 minute tour)

Take in an aerial view of San Francisco and the Bay Area with the Bell Jet helicopter. Choose between 3 departure times and pickups at Union Square, Nob Hill, or Fisherman’s Wharf. Relax on the ride to the launch pad. After a safety briefing, climb aboard and see a vista of the world-famous city.   Admire the city's landscape and see landmarks like Alcatraz Island, the Transamerica Pyramid, the Ferry Building, Ghirardelli Square, Coit Tower, and AT&T Park. View both the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge; if you're lucky, fly over and under the Golden Gate Bridge. Throughout the 15 to 20-minute flight, enjoy inspiring background music and live narration from your pilot. After touching down back at the launch pad, you will be transported back to your original departure point.

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Planning Your Visit

  • When should I go?

    Northern California enjoys more temperate weather than its southern counterpart, but it'll still be quite warm. Check the forecast - you don't want your trip to be spoiled by rain!

  • Do I need a ticket?

    If you're planning to view the Golden Gate Bridge from Alcatraz Island, please be aware that Alcatraz is a separate attraction and you'll need to buy a ticket for that in itself. Otherwise, all viewing spots are a matter of navigating public transportation!

  • How long does a cruise take?

    Most of them take around an hour and a half, although you may need to get there 20-30 minutes before departure time to ensure your place.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    The views are available all day, year round! Traffic restrictions may prevent crossing the bridge at certain times.
  • Is it expensive?
    It's always free to view the bridge, but we suggest looking at a few architecture tours to better comprehend the engineering.
  • Will I need a guide?
    No -- but here's one idea: book a cruise through San Francisco Bay, and you will be able to take some amazing photos from the water.
  • How to get there
    There are many public transportation options available, so take a look, as routes vary depending on the starting point.
  • Additional information

    • Parking in the area is extremely limited, so take public transportation if you can.

    • Make sure you look out for construction alerts (available online or at any tourist information center), in order to avoid scheduled bridge closures.

Other Sightseeing Options in Golden Gate Bridge

Want to discover all there is to do in Golden Gate Bridge? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Golden Gate Bridge

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 9,155 reviews

Fred, our driver and owner of dingo tours is the best! Highly recommend. He’s very knowledgeable and accommodating. Took us to everything we wanted to see and more! He even stopped for us to get a hot dog. Best 4hours of our entire trip while we were in San Francisco. Worth every penny!! We don’t like crowds and we love being driven around. This was perfect!! Please book with Fred. You won’t regret it. You might think the price is high but the value is worth it. Much better than the big tour bus. Fred is the best!!! We would book him again. Thank you for making our trip memorable!

Our minibus tour was very informative and covered many of the famous landmarks in the Bay area. Would definitely recommend to others and will likely take another tour with Dylan's myself in the future.

The your was great. The information given in the tour was amazing. The fact you could get off and on was a great was to take in the atteaxtio a of the city!

Relatively easy to get onto abs great on-ship food prices. Overall great experience for the price and an easy thing to add to your to-do list.

It was a lot of fun! People were so nice. Highly recommend!