A coastal hike with golden views of the Golden Gate … yep, that happens right in San Francisco! This 3-mile out-and-back hike along the Batteries to Bluffs Trail has you rising to the occasion with the help of hundreds of steps—some sand-covered, some wooden, some cement from World War II relics. From the Baker Beach parking lot, stroll north on the sand until you reach the infamous “sand ladder.” Ascend this first set of steps, plateauing roadside shortly before turning onto the Batteries to Bluffs Trail, which descends momentarily before challenging hikers with a thigh-burning climb. You might work up a sweat, but it’s worth it for the views of San Francisco, Point Bonita, and the rest of the Marin Headlands. Harbor porpoises splash below and brown pelicans cruise above. When you ascend again follow signs to the bridge, pausing to check out the old batteries for which the trail is named. Though trail restoration is still in progress, you can now continue under the bridge and, if you want, check out the viewpoint at Battery Lancaster (very popular with tourists). Return the way you came, heading west back to Baker Beach.