Looking for some thoughts about a photo walk across the Golden Gate

doobs

All-Pro
Location
Williamsburg, VA
Name
Chris
So,

I managed to finagle myself a boondoggle at work. We have some business in Sacramento, so I'm going to fly into San Francisco on a early (relatively) flight.

Before driving to Sacramento, my plans are to do a photo walk across the Golden Gate.

Doing some innerweb spelunking, it looks like there is parking on both sides. Any reco's for one vs the other?

I'm planning on bringing the Fuji X-T2 w/18-55, a 10-24 and a 55-200 all in a Think Tank Retrospectives 7. Should those suffice? Will I need (want) all of them?

Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.

I'm still kicking myself for going to Europe in March and not bringing the UWA.

cheers!
 
Did you say (choke) San Francisco?!?!? GG bridge...by yourself?!?!?

Not peddling fear personally, but you might want to carefully consider that specific hike (see Marin Headlands):



It's seriously a huge problem right now.

In better news, if you have time while you're in Sacramento, I could show you around myself, or at least give you tips about places/things to see depending on your interests and how much time you have. If it's birds, you're in special luck 😺
 
The parking lot to the right after going across the bridge away from SF is probably the easiest one to duck in and out of. To @CatsAreGods point, theft has been ridiculous for a few years now, so if you have all your luggage and what not in the rental, be sure it’s hidden away well and don’t leave anything valuable in the car. But that’s usually my go-to lot. However the one before going across and on the left is nice too, but that’s more for views of the bridge and the old barracks and stuff which are cool to see. I feel like there isn’t actually bridge access from that one though, but it’s been awhile.

Now once you get to Sacramento, be sure to visit old town! Wonderful spot to wonder around the boardwalks and take photos as well.

Enjoy and good luck.
 
The parking lot to the right after going across the bridge away from SF is probably the easiest one to duck in and out of. To @CatsAreGods point, theft has been ridiculous for a few years now, so if you have all your luggage and what not in the rental, be sure it’s hidden away well and don’t leave anything valuable in the car.
My wife's cousins visited almost 30 years ago and we all went to that lot. Even back then, there were signs warning people of smash-and-grabs, and that was for people just parking and taking pictures from that area...their cars would be broken into within 15 minutes if anything was visible. Leaving a car there now and walking across the bridge would be...quite an adventure.
 
The parking lot to the right after going across the bridge away from SF is probably the easiest one to duck in and out of.
That would be right next to Alioto's restaurant? Their seafood is magnificent (was, 1968). Even had Queensland mud crabs!
To @CatsAreGods point, theft has been ridiculous for a few years now, so if you have all your luggage and what not in the rental, be sure it’s hidden away well and don’t leave anything valuable in the car. But that’s usually my go-to lot. However the one before going across and on the left is nice too, but that’s more for views of the bridge and the old barracks and stuff which are cool to see. I feel like there isn’t actually bridge access from that one though, but it’s been awhile.
Is that the one called Battery Point? We never went to it, unfortunately. Young, and in lust ...
Now once you get to Sacramento, be sure to visit old town! Wonderful spot to wonder around the boardwalks and take photos as well.

Enjoy and good luck.
Nice wineries in the area too, if memory serves me correctly.
 
@John King - no restaurant by the parking lot. It’s on the Marin Headlands side, and it’s just a highway pullout/rest area for the views.

As for “Battery Point”, I think it’s called Fort Point or something like that, but yes, all the old batteries are along that side and it’s definitely a cool spot.

As for the wine, damn near anywhere in the area will yield it. Sonoma and Napa Valley area are about half way between the two spots and very famous for the wine.
 
@John King - no restaurant by the parking lot. It’s on the Marin Headlands side, and it’s just a highway pullout/rest area for the views.
I remember that pull out. We stopped there, either before or after lunch. This is the one I was remembering:


Sadly, now closed until further notice :( .

Driving back across the GG in the afternoon, there was a howling gale, plus rain. Talk about hair raising!
As for “Battery Point”, I think it’s called Fort Point or something like that, but yes, all the old batteries are along that side and it’s definitely a cool spot.
Thanks for that info, Chris.
As for the wine, damn near anywhere in the area will yield it. Sonoma and Napa Valley area are about half way between the two spots and very famous for the wine.
Yeah, we all got pretty drunk, even the designated driver! Other times, other customs.
 
I remember that pull out. We stopped there, either before or after lunch. This is the one I was remembering:


Sadly, now closed until further notice :( .

Driving back across the GG in the afternoon, there was a howling gale, plus rain. Talk about hair raising!

Thanks for that info, Chris.

Yeah, we all got pretty drunk, even the designated driver! Other times, other customs.
That’s a shame about the restaurant. Never been, but looks like another pandemic victim.
 
That’s a shame about the restaurant. Never been, but looks like another pandemic victim.
This is the menu they kindly gave me, as an international visitor.

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Prices were between USD 2.00 and 8.00!!
 
Well, if you are willing to drive about 12 miles north of the GG bridge to San Rafael, I have nothing but good things to say about Sol Food - an excellent Puerto Rican restaurant. There is a lot of good food all over the bay, but when I am there, this is the place I try to get to.

Per the web site at Solfood they have a closer option in Mill Valley (home to Captain B.J. Hunnicutt from M.A.S.H) but I never tried it.
 
When I lived in Palo Alto the GG trip was to cross to the north end and take the exit right there and then drive under the highway, 101, and west into the Marin Headlands. You can park anywhere along the road which rises as it travels west. Many good shots of SF from outside the bridge looking back into town and SF Bay. The view is magnificent. I would not dawdle, take the shot(s) get back in the car and move on. Make sure you have insurance for full replacement. It was never this way when I lived there in the 80's and 90's. But the views are worth the risk and I would try it myself. Good luck and happy shooting. marin headlands at DuckDuckGo
 
I'd make the drive out to see. If it looks iffy you can just come home. But the views are gorgeous and the best of SF that you are going to find. You can shoot from your car. Another good place is Treasure Island in the early morning when the early morning sun is striking the city. That is also a great view that few know how to get. Just hop on the Oakland Bay Bridge and get off at Yerba Buena/Treasure Island and head to Treasure Island, the north end of the island. The big hall there was used in the first Indiana Jones movie.

Whatever you do, have fun. SF is a fun town and folks there love to see out-of-towners enjoying themselves. Chinatown for dim-sum and Portsmouth Square for photos. Parking underneath if you are early. Enjoy yourself there.
 
Totally second the stop by Treasure Island. You have to drive by the exit anyway on your way to Sacramento. It sneaks up fast, so keep an eye out. Most people don’t expect an exit while you’re on a bridge. But you’ll get great views of the city, the bay bridge, and even Alcatraz. GG will be in the far distance too. It’s truly a quick in and out. Even if you do nothing but go to the main parking lot, stop and stretch your legs and grab a couple pics. Chances are they’re won’t be many people out there.
 
If you do do the Treasure Island stop, and you really should, get there early so you can see SF in the morning light. You are looking at the east side so it lights well. Take a lot of pictures. You can pick and choose from what you have. A late afternoon visit to the Marin Headlands is worth a shot as the light will be great. Take a look and if it looks safe you can find a place to shoot from your car. If it does not look safe you at least got a great view of San Francisco, a beautiful town.
 
I grew up in SF. I would recommend paring at the south end of the bridge. On the west side. If going north you can drive under the bridge through a tunnel and there are several parking areas. If traveling south across the bridge, stay in your right land and as soon as you go through the photo toll, take the imediate right. From here you can walk back under the bridge and walk across the bridge if you want. It also provides a view of the underside of the bridge which is interesting. It is interesting to get up close and personal with the bridge, but it is cold out on the bridge and can be very foggy. So I recommend walking about 1/4 or 1/2 way across the bridge and then back. If it is a clear day, there is a paved very wide trail from the bridge that heads west almost all the way the cliff house. This will provide excellent views of the bridge and Marin Headlands. The cliff house also provides some excellent photograph options. You can also drive west from the bridge to the cliff house if walking 5+ miles is not in your plan. Again, don't leave anything you are not willing to part with in your car. This is the fact in any large population area not just SF.
 
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