Boasting natural beauty, candy-coloured Victorian homes and snapshot-worthy scenic lookouts, San Francisco is one of America’s most enchanting vacation destinations. Once referred to as “the bridge that couldn’t be built”, the Golden Gate Bridge is now one of San Francisco’s most famous landmarks. Sitting in the Golden Gate strait, the majestic orange arches of this crimson bridge is one of the West Coast’s most enduring symbols.
With the help of over 400 million visitors per year to HotelsCombined, we’ve highlighted nine San Francisco hotels where you can enjoy impressive Golden Gate Bridge views. We’ve also tracked down some of the top lookout points throughout the city to see the famous fog tumbling over the Golden Gate, along with an exciting lineup of the most popular lookout points to capture San Francisco’s most iconic landscapes.
San Francisco Hotels with Impressive Golden Gate Views
Located in the Financial District, treat your senses to a unique point of view at Loews Regency San Francisco Hotel. Positioned in the top 11 floors of a 48-storey tower, here you’ll find 162 spacious rooms and suites featuring captivating vistas of the San Francisco Bay. With fresh and airy interiors, the rooms luxurious pillow-top beds and marble bathrooms and pastel blue and beige decor are soothing as you reach new heights.
Have a guilt-free dinner with locally grown ingredients at the on-site Brasserie S&P before enjoying a homemade craft beverage at the intimate cocktail bar. Feel like you’ve indulged in one too many San Francisco treats? Head to the 24-hour fitness centre or let your worries melt away at the luxurious spa and relaxation lounge.
Star Rating: 5*
Price: US$343 – US$629
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: 222 Sansome Street, San Francisco, CA, USA
A combination of a luxury vacation rental with an upscale hotel, Fairmont Heritage Place Ghirardelli Square offers residence-style lodging in the city. Perfect for families, these spacious one, two and three-bedroom units feature a gourmet kitchen, living room with a fireplace and dining area.
Not only do you get the comforts of home, but you’ll also find personalised services and perks such as a 24-hour butler, late afternoon wine and cheese reception, and pre-arrival itinerary planning and grocery shopping. Book an in-residence massage treatment, or simply relax and watch a sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge from your outdoor terrace. A handy tip for dessert lovers, head to the original Ghirardelli Ice Cream nearby for a legendary San Francisco treat.
Star Rating: 5*
Price: US$929 – US$1347
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: 900 N. Point Street, San Francisco, CA, USA
A world-renowned hotel, The Fairmont San Francisco offers turn-of-the-20th-century decor mixed with luxury amenities. Located atop Nob Hill, HotelsCombined travellers rave about the 592 well-appointed guest rooms and suites that offer high-quality linens and elegant decor along with some of the city’s best skyline and Bay views. Looking for the ultimate luxury experience? Book the ritzy three-bedroom Penthouse Suite, as it spans the entire eighth floor of the historic Main Building.
You’re spoiled for choice with three on-site dining options, from fresh seafood and one-of-a-kind wines at the upscale Laurel Court Restaurant & Bar to Caffe Cento, a European-style coffee shop with light snacks. You’d be amiss if you didn’t visit the legendary on-site Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar, where exotic Asian cuisine and the city’s best Mai Tai’s are served in a unique tropical rainforest setting.
Star Rating: 5*
Price: US$192 – US$976
Guest Rating: 9.0
Address: 950 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA, USA
A modern 32-storey hotel located in SoMA, InterContinental San Francisco is a short walk from the Museum of Modern Art, the upscale shops in Union Square and the Moscone Convention Center. A relaxing haven from the hustle and bustle of the city, enjoy the guest room’s spacious design, calming tones and high-end electronics, while floor-to-ceiling windows offer dazzling views of the city.
A perfect destination for foodie enthusiasts, the on-site Michelin-star restaurant Luce offers a nine-course seasonal tasting menu of modern American cuisine. Afterwards, head to Bar 888 to sip on your choice of over 100 grappas, a smooth Italian grape-based brandy that is mixed into an array of inventive cocktails.
Star Rating: 5*
Price: US$175 – US$559
Guest Rating: 9.0
Address: 888 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA, USA
A converted fruit canning factory from 1907, Argonaut Hotel, A Noble House Hotel is full of seaside character, located across from the waterfront at Fisherman’s Wharf. Practice your best “Ahoy Matey!” at this nautical-themed hotel, where you’re first welcomed by doormen in bright sailor uniforms before entering your room or suite adorned with sailor-striped walls with star-shaped pillows. What makes this hotel stand apart, aside from its love for seafaring decor, is the stunning San Francisco views found throughout the property.
Travelling with your four-legged friends? You’re in luck, as this hotel is one of the top pet-friendly accommodation choices in the area. Pair your meal of steamed mussels and homemade chowder with an oceanfront ambience at the on-site Blue Mermaid Restaurant, or pamper yourself with in-room treatments such as a soothing body wrap with lavender.
Star Rating: 4*
Price: US$199 – US$581
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: 495 Jefferson Street, San Francisco, CA, USA
Nestled a block west of Union Square, JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square places you in the heart of San Francisco. Twice as big as the average hotel room in the city, you’ll find ample space in these sophisticated havens, along with a marble bathroom and pillow-top king-size bed to add a touch of luxury. Need something? Just tap that button on the wall at any time of day, and a butler will be at your room faster than greased lightening.
From here, you only have to walk a few blocks to access shops like Niketown and Neiman Marcus in Union Square, while a tram or cable car can take you to the city’s top sights, such as Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghiradelli Square and Lombard Street. Flanked by a cosy fireplace, rest your feet after a day of sightseeing at the on-site Level III Bar, where courteous bartenders whip up custom cocktails at one of the most distinguished bars in the area.
Star Rating: 4*
Price: US$218 – US$644
Guest Rating: 8.7
Address: 515 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA, USA
Perched atop Nob Hill, InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco is a historic hotel with a distinct architectural presence that towers over the city. You’ll be greeted to an elegant, old-fashioned feel in its stately entrance and lobby, before being whisked away to one of the spacious guest rooms or suites adorned with neutral tones, pillow-top mattresses and impressive city views.
Make sure you lace up your shoes because the view at the hotel’s on-site Top of the Mark will knock your socks off. HotelsCombined visitors gush about the sparkling city views at your feet at this legendary sky lounge, where you’ll find 360-degree vistas of the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz. Easily the hotel’s best-known feature, pair the penthouse view with an evening enjoying the signature martini menu and live jazz performances.
Star Rating: 4*
Guest Rating: 8.5
Address: Number One Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA, USA
Nestled amongst the high-end shops in Union Square, The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square is just a short walk from the Financial District, Chinatown and Moscone Convention Center. The hotel has a long list of hotels and suites to choose from, offering turn-of-the-century charm with crystal chandeliers and modern comforts including Heavenly Beds and signature Westin brand bath products.
History enthusiasts will love the classic details of this hotel, including the on-site Clock Bar where seasonal menus are inspired by a specific era, from 1904 San Francisco to 1920s Paris. Back in 1913, the Men’s Bar at the now Oak Room Restaurant was a gathering point for locals to smoke cigars and play dice. While it has retained its beautiful wood-paneled decor, these days it offers an innovative menu of American favourites to all guests.
Star Rating: 4*
Price: US$126 – US$1610
Guest Rating: 8.3
Address: 335 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA, USA
Perfect for budget conscious travellers, save your money by staying at Comfort Inn by the Bay so you can spend the rest on California wines, Ghirardelli chocolates and Golden Gate Bridge sweatshirt souvenirs. Nestled in a sea of multi-storey Victorians, the hotel’s most famous feature are the unobstructed views of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge from its large windows.
A convenient location to explore the city, lush landscaping surrounds this hotel, where tree-lined sidewalks lead to the waterfront and Ghirardelli Square is less than a 10-minute walk. Start your morning off right with eggs and waffles at the hotel’s breakfast buffet, where the complimentary coffee flows like water and fuels you up for another day of adventure.
Star Rating: 2*
Price: US$122 – US$299
Guest Rating: 7.7
Address: 2775 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA, USA
Best Places to Capture Golden Gate Bridge Views
Offering you some of the most photo-worthy views you can ask for, Battery Spencer is the place to take that postcard shot you’ve been looking for. With unobstructed views of the bridge, you’ll also get a bonus San Francisco skyline in the background. The perfect place for a romantic sunset view, you can watch the warm sunset colours illuminate the ocean next to the bridge.
Stretching along the south-west corner of the Presidio, Baker Beach is a kilometre-long sandy shoreline that offers impressive outside-the-gate views of the bridge. With picnic areas, tables and grills, this lookout point is perfect for a day of sandcastle building, fishing and spotting sea lions. Nature lovers can get a glimpse of sea stars at low tide, or find the perfect lounge spot for a meal to complement the gorgeous landscape.
Fort Point National Historic Site
Best viewed in the morning, Fort Point National Historic Site puts you in a unique perspective to appreciate the sheer scale of this landmark. While tourists are snapping photos from the top of the bridge, how about viewing it from below? Feel the mist from the bay waves crashing ashore, or combine this view with a short walk to Crissy Field for the perfect collection of Golden Gate Bridge shots.
Walk down from Fort Point to reach Crissy Field, a family-friendly beach and public park area that stretches along the coastline. Set up a picnic and sprawl out on the sweeping fields of grass as you capture swoon-worthy views of the bridge along with local windsurfers catching waves. Accessed by private vehicle or public bus, this lookout point is ideal for travellers without a car.
Located in the northwestern corner of San Francisco, Lands End offers a series of short and windy trails with stunning views at every turn. Spot shipwrecks coming up from the waves, hike the well-trodden Coastal Trail or take a break at Lands End Lookout. An on-site picnic area features bridge and bay entrance views, along with dramatic landscapes of the rocky cliffs descending into the crashing ocean below.
Most Iconic San Francisco Viewpoints
Telegraph Hill and Alamo Square
An iconic San Francisco landmark, climb atop the white concrete Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill for 360-degree views from its observation deck. See the entire city and bay spread out just below you, and if you’re lucky, you might capture a glimpse of the flock of wild parrots that live here. Avid Full House fans will recognise the famous postcard image found at Alamo Square, where the Painted Ladies, six pastel-hued Victorian houses that sit against the backdrop of the Downtown skyline, are best seen in the late afternoon and sunset for its rose-tinted evening lights.
Hawk Hill and Twin Peaks
Perfect for a picnic lunch, pack your windbreaker and binoculars and head to Hawk Hill. A 620-metre perch above the city, here you’ll feel like an eagle as you soak in the entire 2,700-metre-long span of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco skyline. One of the most rewarding views of the city, hike to Twin Peaks, where on a clear day you’ll get a picture-perfect view of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Farallon Islands and Main Headlands. See the grid of twinkling lights through one of the on-site telescope viewers and watch as the fog blankets the city.
Alcatraz and Mission Dolores Park
Once home to Al Capone and “Machine Gun” Kelly, Alcatraz is not only a former maximum security federal prison, but one of the best places to find San Francisco views. Take time to appreciate the various vistas when touring the nine-hectare island in the middle of the Bay, with Golden Gate Bridge and skyline views found throughout the property. On a sunny day in San Francisco, the views at Mission Dolores Park are simply unbeatable. Ideal for a day of picnicking, this local spot is where families and friends gather to soak in the sunshine.
Lombard Street and Powell-Hyde Cable Car
The “world’s most crooked street”, Lombard Street is a must-see when in the city. Comprised of eight tight turns, here you’ll find Coit Tower and scenic bay views before you. Just make sure to look back up when you’re at the bottom for a fantastic photo opportunity. A unique way to capture San Francisco’s top sights, hop on the Powell-Hyde Cable Car, the city’s most famous 3.3-kilometre-long route where you can find scenic views of Russian Hill, Lombard Street and the Golden Gate Bridge as you whiz through the city and down a series of steep grades.
What is your favourite view in San Francisco?
One of the most photogenic cities in the world, San Francisco lures you in with its waterfront location, iconic bridges and charming architecture. A hilly peninsula with captivating attractions and exhilarating panoramic views, this city has the winning combination for creating fantastic travel memories.
At HotelsCombined, we see a lot of travellers opting for hotels in San Francisco that boast modern luxuries, convenient access to top attractions and on-site eateries that provide a taste of the city’s nightlife. Hotels in San Francisco that offer views of the Golden Gate Bridge are the cherry on top, as this five-star amenity is the most sought after in the city.
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What is your favourite view in San Francisco? Let us know if you’ve been to San Francisco and where you think is the best place to soak in the city’s skyline.