What’s Hidden Underneath the Golden Gate Bridge (Historical Fort Point Review)


Did you know that something is nestled underneath the Golden Gate Bridge? Something very old; and one a sunny day in September, I had the opportunity to photograph it.

Even though I’d already walked my butt off going up to Coit Tower and then over to Lombard Street, my feet would not relent. They were dead set in reaching the Golden Gate Bridge on the northern end of San Francisco. And little did I know that I was about to stumble upon a huge historical landmark hiding right underneath the bridge itself!

Rare Treats

It's It cookie closeup

After walking past a pack of wild segways, I followed a street north up to the bay trail which follows the north shore of the San Francisco peninsula.

But before I reached my destination, I passed by a small food stand. Normally, I wouldn’t stop somewhere spontaneously and buy a sugary treat; but I was on a quest thousands of miles from home, so I gave myself permission to treat myself. I chose something called an “It’s It”, and was instantly glad that I did.

If you’re not familiar with what that is (I wasn’t), it’s basically ice cream between two oatmeal cookies and then covered in chocolate; and I sat down in some shade near the beach for a few minutes and savored it. I wouldn’t have one of them every day, but it was a delicious treat after so much walking.

Marines training near Crissy Field

Artist sketching Golden Gate Bridge

Other highlights along the path included: a large group of marines marching around in a verdant field, an artist sketching the Golden Gate Bridge from right on the beach, and the most hilarious dog walker I’ve ever met. Just as I was passing the beach, I noticed a guy who was walking at least 10 dogs from one hand. He was very friendly and even let me take a picture of his outrageous dog walking truck, complete with horns. (You can find that in the photo gallery that accompanies this article.)

Through our interaction, I was surprised to learn that professional dog walking can be extremely lucrative if you find the right clients. This may seem obvious in retrospect, but how many dog walkers do you know that make six figures a year?

Follow Your Instincts to Discover

And then I came to a fork in the path. My instincts said I should explore the lower path first, and I’m glad I did. After walking for a few minutes, I came across Fort Point, nestled below the Golden Gate Bridge.

Civil War-era cannons

I’d never even heard of it before. Have you?

Turns out, this fort had been built in the 1850s, many decades before the bridge was even conceived. It was now preserved as a historical site, available free to the public. And soon I was inside staring at a spacious inner courtyard, complete with authentic nineteenth century artillery.

I took a curving stone staircase to the second floor and happened to run into a small tour group. I tagged along behind them and got to see some interesting things, including a recreation of what the sleeping quarters looked like. Here’s a hint: Not too comfy.

Stone spiral staircase going upwardFort Point Light and blue sky

When you go, don’t miss the lighthouse on the roof. From the top of the fort, you can see the huge superstructure of the Golden Gate Bridge above. In fact, the size of the bridge made this lighthouse, called the Fort Point Light, seem rather small in comparison. And according to a plaque nearby, it hadn’t been lit since the 1930s, when the bridge was completed.

Overall, I’m really glad I stumbled upon Fort Point. It stands as an amazing monument to nineteenth century architecture, and you can check it out completely free of charge! (All photos from this segment are in the photo gallery.)

Golden Gate Bridge spanning across bay

Whereโ€™s Marco?

Just like with every travel photo I’ve released since December 2010, Marco the Spacefarer followed me that day and therefore appears in all 26 photos in the photo gallery that accompanies this article. The “Where’s Marco” game is like Where’s Waldo or “I Spy”, but more challenging. In fact, I’m considering putting up hints that show what he’s near. Would anyone be interested in that?

If you’re new to “Where’s Marco”, learn how to play →

Can you find him in all 26?
Explore the Fort Point photo gallery →

Continue the Journey

Even after that day, there was still plenty I would yet see in the lovely Bay Area of California. But first, strange coincidences occurred, and I was invited to the most hilarious stage show I’d ever seen:

See what happened next →


All photos from this event are in the Fort Point photo gallery. All photos in the Byteful Gallery are under a Creative Commons license. With so much free content on Byteful Travel, why not tell a friend?





13 bits on What’s Hidden Underneath the Golden Gate Bridge (Historical Fort Point Review)

  1. Yeah! That’s a great discovery you’ve got there. I would love to get into that place also some time and I want to try that It’s It that you ate. Looks appetizing. Thanks for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. This really is a great article again. I really like the beautiful pictures you made, too. Keep on posting great articles!

  3. Wow! These are great scenic spots! Hope to visit see this place in person. They are perfect to put in canvas.

  4. Love the photos you have here… Thanks a lot for sharing them.

  5. I haven’t seen this before (then again I haven’t spent too much time beneath the bridge). Very interesting, I’ll have to check it out sometime.

  6. I am hoping that this post can be a big help to other people especially to me as well…

  7. I like all the photos you shared here. Keep up the good work!!!

  8. Great shots! You’re such a professional photographer. You captured every single detail that nobody’s aware of. Just like the first photo.

  9. Who knew! I lived in the Bay Area for a couple of years, and even did the tourist thing of walking across the GG bridge several times with friends visiting. Never thought to go underneath. Now you’ve given me something to go back and visit, so thanks!

  10. I love the photos you have here and i hope this can be an inspiration to all readers…

  11. I love the photos you have here. Looks really awesome!

  12. Pingback Carnival of Cities for 25 January 2012 | Sheila's Guide To The Good Stuff
  13. I’m glad you all enjoyed the articles and the photos. I put a lot of time into writing and post-processing the photos, so it’s wonderful to hear ๐Ÿ™‚

    Fort Point was a big surprise to me. If any of you make it over there, feel free to comment again to let me know what you thought!