In celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge's 75th birthday this month, we thought of dozens of places to get great views of our big orange beauty in the Bay. But that might max your suspension span (er, attention span), so we narrowed it down to five.
Presidio Pleaser: Choosing a good hike in the Presidio is like picking a great restaurant in San Francisco—there are so many excellent options! This 2.5-mile loop in the Presidio's southwest corner takes you through restored sand dunes and up to a great vantage, with plenty of classic highlights along the way.
Kirby Your Enthusiasm: Just west of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin is one of the Bay's most accessible secluded beaches: Kirby Cove. The gate blocking the 1-mile fire road to the cove can dissuade tourists, but hike or bike past it and make your way down to claim a picnic table or park a blanket on Kirby's coarse sand.
Reach for the Skyline: Caution: Sweeping views of Bay icons (the San Francisco skyline, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge) make it hard to keep your eyes focused in front of you for this scenic East Bay road ride in the hills. The moderate 29-mile loop is enjoyable for first-timers and roadie warhorses alike.
New Bridge in Town!: The Marin Headland's Point Bonita Lighthouse has opened back up just in time for the Golden Gate Bridge's birthday. Every Saturday through Monday you can visit the lighthouse via its brand-new bridge. Point Bonita is also taking reservations for its first full-moon hike of the year, Sunday, June 3. Reservations are required by calling the Marin Headlands Visitor Center (and space fills very fast!).
Trail blazing: Choose from hundreds of hikes, including the deep-forest solitude and mountain beauty of Proxy Falls, where you'll travel along a 1-mile loop trail through open lava fields and dense foliage to two magnificent waterfalls. Find your perfect hike.
Roadie Trip! Some of the best road trips happen without a windshield in front of you. Not only has Portland been rated the number-one biking city in the nation by Bicycling magazine, but Oregon's back roads, miles of trails, intimate inns, and endless dining options make it the ideal state for a pedal-powered adventure—from easy rides along the gold coast to exhausting assaults on 10,000-foot peaks. Favorites include an urban-to-thrills adventure from Portland's Pioneer Square to a tree-to-tree zip-lining park followed by a hot soak and some pints at a lodge; or a food and wine ramble through the countryside of Willamette Valley, Oregon's first scenic bikeway. Find your perfect bike ride.
BONUS: Get your free Travel Oregon guide for the inside scoop on outdoor adventures, people, places, happenings, and more. Giddy up…you've got some exploring to do!
Visit TravelOregon.com for everything you need to plan your trip (including good deals).