Lorenzo and I were lucky to be staying in the neighborhood nearest the Golden Gate Bridge while we were in San Francisco. The Presidio is by all means, not a likely place for a young city-dweller to live, but in my honest opinion, it was the perfect place to spend the week.
Just a short 1.4 miles down the Coastal California path (also great for a foggy morning run) would lead us straight to the pedestrian-filled entrance to the most famous icon in San Francisco.
It was a rather cold and windy day in the city, quite comparable to each of the previous ones we’d experienced in our week in San Francisco, but we were coming to a close on our time and knew that we it was time to make the hike across the bridge. We put aside the fact that we’d already managed to walk nearly five miles that day and mustered up our strength to head down the coastal trail. We followed it along the cliff edge while the wind viciously whipped around us. And in spite of my hatred for the wind, we were afforded some beautiful views of the coast on our way to the bridge.
There was some confusion along the way, as parts of the path were obstructed and redirected due to work being done but we did finally reach the viewpoint. Here we took a breather and I managed to snap this charming photo of the fog enveloping the tall golden cables.
We sat looking out across the water and, on a clear day, the view would have led straight across the bay to the small town of Tiburon. After a few shots of each of us in front of the bridge we headed into the intensely crowded pedestrian walkways of the right hand side of the bridge.
Now, can anyone enlighten me as to why professional road bikers choose to use the Golden Gate Bridge as their practice route? Obviously the paths are going to be clogged and many of the tourists will either not understand when you scream, “leeeefft” at the top of your lungs while simultaneously blowing a whistle/ringing a dainty bell, or they simply won’t move for reasons that can be left to your imagination. In one of the most environmental, tree-hugger friendly cities in the United States, can’t you just go find another path? On second thought, it’s your frustration you have to deal with, not mine. Do what you like.
So, where were we? Oh yes, Lorenzo and I were balancing against the hurricane-like winds in order to snap some famous shots of the Golden Cables.
Both of us had the drawstrings of our hoods pulled tight around our faces as we continued to walk along looking down into the deep water below. More than once, as we couldn’t see the next pillar through the fog, we debated how different the other side just might look that it would be worth the three mile roundtrip. We decided that if we’d come this far we could do it.
We walked until we were standing above the little sea house which juts out on the Tiburon peninsula and that was when we decided that our faces were windburned enough. We snapped some final photos of the other side and headed back as the wind pushed us from behind.
All in all we calculated that we’d walked a total of ten miles that day. That made me fairly proud that we had kept with it and made the trek all the way across the bridge.
So, what would I do next time? Besides jump at the chance to go across on a clear day, I would have made the walk my priority because just on the other side of the bridge are the beautiful Marin Headlands, and arguably the best viewpoint in the entire city. We were lucky that my friend Victoria offered to drive us over another day when the skies were clear, but had we not had that luxury we would have missed out.
Another great activity is visiting the smaller seaside towns across the Bay, notably Tiburon and Sausalito. Easy to get to by ferry or, again if you have the luxury, car; I would recommend a little day trip to Sausalito. Crossing the bridge into this high-end, white-clad town makes you feel as though you’ve stepped into what you would imagine the Hamptons to be like. Everyone seems to be dressed in white sweaters that flow in the wind, clutching fancy cocktails and drip-free ice cream cones. While we were there, instead of feeling like we didn’t belong as I tend to in high-class towns, I simply felt like we were four rich friends, out for an evening walk.
Sausalito is also easily accessible via ferry from the San Francisco Ferry Building (check out the Farmer’s Market first!) for $9.25 with a thirty minute run time.