Just over 76 years ago, on 27 May 1937, some 200,000 spectators gathered near the entrance of the San Francisco Bay for the opening of one of the technological wonders of modern times—the Golden Gate Bridge, a stunning engineering and artistic creation completed after five years of construction. At 4,200 feet, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world until 1964 and remains an iconic image in American culture.
You can drive, bike, or even - if you are dressed right – walk across the world’s most beautiful bridge. It’s 1.7 miles across. (You can catch a bus back – though some visitors just walk half-way across, take in the scene, and return.) The walkway is on the eastern side – facing the bay and Alcatraz – so it’s hard to get much of a Pacific view through the traffic. It’s not open to pedestrians 24 hours; check the website for opening hours
Taking in the view of the Golden Gate Bridge from any angle and from either the south end or the north is something you will remember for a long time. And, if you are lucky, you will see it on a day when the fog and low clouds are allowing a full view. I have been there many times being a California native and have only a few times seen the entire bridge.
The Golden Gate Bridge is not only a symbol of San Francisco but a symbol of the United States .... Mysterious at night when covered in fog, Magical at sunrise or sunset and breathtaking during the day ..... A must see in person in order to understand it's beauty. This is a must do for any world traveler or anyone visiting the Bay Area .....
If you have a car stop at Vista View the first exist as your going North and get off and admire the city from afar. Then walk the bridge to it's mid point and marvel at engineering at it's finest.
Also if you have a car go thru the underpass and go up Bunker Hill where you'll be able to see the entire bridge at it finest !!!!!!
Well worth the time you will spend here !!!!!!!
But be warned .... this might be the coldest part of the entire Bay Area ... bring a jacket !!!!!
Everybody knows this bridge, but for a Portuguese is... "I think I've seen it before". And that's because the bridge has a twin in Lisbon.
I know, that this one is a little bigger and older, and the technical problems are always stronger in first model than in second one, and the rough sea is a challenge that Lisbon doesn't face.
So... not too impressed, but... respectful.
(Allow me one confession: the three days I spent in San Francisco, each time I looked at the bridge, made me appreciate more the light of Lisbon. Quite a difference...)
Any Description of Places to Go in San Francisco should include this photo spot. It is always awesome with the fog and being ABOVE the bridge. Don't leave this out of your itinerary!
Here are some photos of the bridge from the north side of the bridge. There will be an exit just across the bridge which will take you to a large parking area where you can get out and take pictures. This is well worth the few minutes to stop and see this amazing bridge up close. You will also see old bunkers for artillery to protect the city.
No food to be purchased here
See my tips called "5 Star View", etc., and also "off the beaten path" for more photos of the bridge.
This will give you an idea of whether you want to take several hours and take photos, etc.
It can be chilly and windy, plan accordingly.
It is barely connected to Baker Beach around the corner, but I have also heard it called Marshall's Beach and Golden Gate Bridge Park....steep trail down and also back up (from the parking lot).
There was one couple there when we looked down from the trail, and from what I hear it is mostly gay men and a few hetero couples on weekends when it is warm enough.
go Thru the toll booth and turn right on the 1st street---Lincoln Blvd west 1/2 mile to Langdon Ct
turn rt, look for parking lot across from Fort Scott, then take the beach trail down lots of steps to the beach and go to the right.
The Golden Gate Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the world and one of the major symbols of the United States.
Walking across the Bridge on a clear day gives you some different -- and sometimes spectacular -- views of San Francisco and the Bay. However, it's generally foggy and cool, so forget wearing shorts.
You can also bicycle across the bridge. And it's free!
It's a bit like a beacon for tourists and locals though these days the Bay Bridge has much more significance in terms of transport.
Still, the opportunity arose for me to ride a bike over the bridge and I snapped it up with both hands. Bike hire places are common in the pier area so renting one is no problem. I got one model below a racing bike because that's what I'm used to and set out on a fine, slightly cloudy day.
I rode past the unforgettable Palace just after a steep little pinch.
I have always been fascinated by bridges. Maybe the fascination began when I was a young boy and my parents took my sister and I across the Mackinac Bridge in Upper Michigan or maybe the time on another family vacation when we crossed the Chesapeake Bridge in Virginia. Whatever event it was that sparked this wonderment, the one bridge that captures the inner child in me has always been the Golden Gate Bridge.
I probably saw the Golden Gate Bridge in picture books as I was growing up and then when I finally made it out to San Francisco in 1985 at the age of 33 and saw my first glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge from Fisherman's Wharf I was hooked.
On that first visit in 1985 I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge a couple of times. The first was just a one way trip in a stranger's car coming back from Sausalito with a co-worker/student of mine. That's a story for another day. Then the very next day when I had my own rental car for a day I crossed back over it in its famous fog enshrouded cover. What struck me and what I can still envision from that ride over was the fog literally boiling over the foothills like the steam coming over the side of a witches boiling cauldron.
I've been over the Golden Gate Bridge numerous times since then, but they have only been by car. We had planned to either walk or ride bikes across this past trip, but again 3 days in San Francisco is just way to short to do everything in this wonderful town. At least it gives me something to do on my next trip out here.
We decided to "Bike the Bridge" on a Sunday morning and it was great fun.
After a hearty breakfast, we headed down to Fisherman's Wharf and quickly hired two bikes, with helmets, from the super efficient Blazing Saddles at Pier 41.
We then took a leisurely ride along the coastal path, stopping at the off at the beach and Fort Point to take some pictures. It was then the bridge crossing itself to take on. As it was a Sunday we went down the left hand side bike lane and the only thing really to keep your eyes open for are the local cycling pursuit teams that seem to hurtle along in the opposite direction. Didn't they realise that I was on holiday.
At the other end of the bridge we stopped in the car park for some more photo opps. We decided that before we headed of to Sausalito and lunch that we would take detour left and up the hill. We could see some people up there and it seemed another good place for a photo. The view of the bridge from this spot was spectacular and was well worth the walk up dragging the bikes behind us.
I had research a good place for lunch in Sausalito called Fish and so after a short rest admiring the view, we got back on the bikes and pedalled into the small picturesque place. the restaurant was about a mile and a half past through the main street. I thought that we dad missed the turning, but when we stopped to recheck the directions we found that I was virtually leaning on the sign for Harbor Drive where we needed to turn right. We had an excellent late lunch before taking the heading back to town. Blazing Saddles provide, as part of their service, a ferry ticket for you to use if you don't feel like cycling the round trip back. You only pay for the ticket if you use it. Most people do use it and there were hundreds of bikes all crammed together on the ferry. the ferry company seemed to have their system all sorted out and we amazingly got our correct bikes back. It was really great fun.
The day cost about $100 for the two bikes and the ferry ride. We picked the bikes up about mid morning arriving at Fish at about 15:00; 18:00ish ferry back.
The Golden Gate Bridge is the first thing that most people think of when someone mentions San Fransisco. It is truly an iconic figure in the U.S. The best part about it (aside from it's majestic beams) is that it is completely free! You can bike, run, drive, or walk across it, and it won't cost you a penny (except the gas if you choose to drive.) I went with my family in 2005, and not only fell in love with the city (I really did leave my heart in San Fran!) but I fell in love with this architectural masterpiece! I have blown up a few of the pictures from San Fran and hung them around the house... as well as blowing up a huge poster size pic of the bridge in black and white. We drove across it and walked, and as I walked across, I was truly overwhelmed by the beauty and charisma that the bridge is so well known for. I hope this helps, and I hope that others continue to appreciate the bridge the same was I have!
Yes, you can ride the bike path over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito/Tiburon and return via ferry! Blazing Saddles is a bike rental company that has a kiosk at Pier 39 (pics 3-4). It’s really easy and nice to ride from the pier to the bridge and then use the bike lane, so no hassles before you go downhill into Sausalito. At the end you can catch the ferry back to SF or continue along the Bay to the picturesque town of Tiburon (there’s also a ferry there). The prices depend on the type of the bicycle, a standard mountain costs $28 while a comfort mountain $32. They also have guided tour but they cost more of course and the don’t take you after the bridge (you can keep the bike and continue on your own though) Check their site for more info: http://www.blazingsaddles.com/
Golden Gate Bridge (pics 1-2) is by far the most famous landmark of SF. It was built in 1937 to connect San Francisco and Marin County and it is 1.7 miles long (at that year it was the longest suspension bridge in the world) and its located at the opening of the San Francisco bay onto the Pacific ocean. Every one can recognize the bridge because of its red color and elegant design. Some days you may see it covered by fog which is also nice, actually only the towers can be seen then. And it’s almost always windy and cold up there, even in summer. You can walk along the bridge on a pedestrian lane (at specific hours) or use the bike lane as I suggest above. A lot of suicide jumpers seem to prefer this bridge too…
WE visited the Golden Gate bridge twice - second tiime by accident. That saying, I was delighted that we did as the first day it was bright and clear and the following day we saw the bridge through the legendary San Francisco fog.
It is said that the bridge is the most photographed thing in the City and I can well believe it. We took the open topped bus as far as Vista Point and got some great shots of the bridge and the bay from there. Vista Point is perhaps the best sightseeing point for the bridge at the Sausalito side. There's plenty of parking space for cars and buses and even rest rooms.
Contrary to its name, the bridge is not Golden. It's a kind of russet red/brown. It seems that it is continually being painted. They start at one end and paint to the other. By the time they reach that end they need to start at the other again.
At one time it was the longest bridge of its kind in the world, but not any more.
Although we didn't do it, I would recommend that you take one of the boat trips that take you out under the bridge as well as a trip over it.
Be wary that it's really windy on the bridge and, in the winter, it' bitterly cold.....so wear a hat, and hold onto it!
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the icons of San Francisco and easily it's most recognizable symbol, one that most Americans can identify even if they've never been to San Francisco. If you've ever seen a picture of the bridge, you'll know that it looks red, the official color is International Orange. The name comes from the Golden Gate strait that the bridge spans and not it's color. It was built in the 1930s to connect San Francisco to Marin County.
During our 5 day visit, the bridge was partially or completely fogged in so I never got any really good pictures of it nor did we bother making the trip out there for the view since we assumed there wouldn't be one. We did cross over it by car on our way to Muir Woods but we ditched plans to ride bikes over it to Sausalito which is a popular tourist activity even though you encounter some inclines along the way. Lots of people also walk across it at least part way for the views.
One disturbing fact about this beauty of a bridge is that it is a very popular place for suicide jumpers, some sources say it's the #1 spot in the world. I think I read that they stopped keeping an official tally around the time it was to hit 1,000 as not to encourage people to try to be that milestone jumper but I did see a graphic from the San Francisco Chronicle that had the number at over 1,200. Some people have survived the jump but most are killed by the impact or the cold temperatures.
At the time it was completed, in May 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge became the longest and tallest suspension bridge in the world. But perhaps the real miracle is that it was finished within the 4-year plan devised for its construction, and it cost LESS than the anticipated $35 million! Thanks to its distinctive colour and elegant design, the Golden Gate Bridge has become one of the world's most famous landmarks. Whether you see it from the shore, drive, walk or bike across it (there are special sidewalks reserved for bicycles and pedestrians at specific hours), it's certainly worth getting closer to take a few pictures. It's not unusual for the bridge to be surrounded by a thick white fog, with only its two towers sticking out - that was the case when we drove across it, and the view of downtown San Francisco was spectacularly eerie. I'm sure glad I wasn't the one driving because I was so excited and busy taking pictures, it would have been impossible for me to watch the road!