What to Do on a Sunny Day in San Francisco

a sunny day in San Francisco

A sunny day in San Francisco may not happen as often as we would like. The weather is unpredictable and can be colder in July than in December! I’m certain that you have heard the famous Mark Twain quote “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”. According to several sources I have found he never actually said it! He said something similar to this, but not that exact phrase.

I have traveled to the City by the Bay many times and have experienced every type of weather. But when it is a sunny day in San Francisco, when the skies are bright blue and the sun is happily shining, it is time to make plans and get out of town.

I don’t mean out of town, but rather to travel to the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge and enjoy the spectacular views of the city from the other side of the bay. San Francisco is one of the prettiest cities in the U.S. with its tall buildings, enormous hills, beautiful architecture (old and new) long rocky coastlines and spectacular bridges.

At the suggestion of knowledgeable local residents, our son Nick and his girlfriend Kylie, we drove just a few minutes over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge to see the Point Bonita Lighthouse. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and FREE!

a sunny day in San Francisco

A sunny day in San Francisco with views from the other side of the bay~

Point Bonita Lighthouse ~

Built in 1855 during the Gold Rush, the lighthouse is at the southwest tip of the Marin Headlands and is still active and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. It is also part of the Golden Gate National Park and the National Park Service who provides access and tours.

a sunny day in San Francisco
One of the many views of the Golden Gate Bridge from the lighthouse.

Getting to this spot can be challenging and the parking is limited. However, we went on a busy Sunday and were still able to get a spot. You must plan your trip just right because it is only open on Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 12:30-3:30!  The 1/2 mile walk is steep and a bit precarious in spots, but don’t worry there are places to rest as you walk up and down the steep path.

The lighthouse is perched on a rocky island off the coast and you must walk through a tunnel created in the rock and across a suspension bridge. The wind was powerful and made taking photos and walking on the bridges quite exhilarating! Truthfully with the addition of the strong winds, the bridge was a little scary if you have a problem with heights. Watching the waves crash on the rocks below can certainly speed up your heart rate! Did I say we all loved it?

The lighthouse is now equipped with a Fresnel Lens along with an electric fog horn that you constantly hear along the coast on a typical foggy day in San Francisco. It's still in operation to this day and is maintained and run by the US Coast Guard. It is also part of the Golden Gate National Park and the National Park Service provides access and tours. Most are volunteers and former lighthouse keepers who can't seem to get away from this place. Who can blame them since the place is gorgeous.

a sunny day in San Franciso

a sunny day in San Francisco

This place at the “world’s end,” is ruggedly beautiful. You feel like you are at the edge of the world, with amazing views in every direction!  Nearby, old army buildings are used for environmental education programs. The quaint rusty lighthouse just beckons you to come over.

a sunny day in San Francisco

The added bonus of a sunny day in San Francisco created a once in lifetime opportunity for our time at the lighthouse. Lucky us!

a sunny day in San Francisco


Have you had the opportunity to visit the Point Bonita Lighthouse?

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