Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 249 Reviews

Northwestern Tip of San Francisco Peninsula (415) 921-5858

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  • Golden Gate Bridge
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    by wilocrek
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    What a view !!!!!
    by jlanza29
  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    Golden Gate National Recreation Area

    by richiecdisc Updated Nov 15, 2005

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    the city as seen through the Golden Gate Bridge
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    The Golden Gate National Recreation Area was set aside by the National Park system to protect the gorgeous area surrounding the bridge. There are many scenic outlooks, drives and trails to better appreciate the natural beauty so go beyond snapping a photo at the Toll Plaza lookout. Start off by walking to the other side of the bridge. It’s free and only two miles. Give yourself some time as there are great views of the city and bay. There is a view point on the right as you enter Marin County but the more spectacular views are on the left. There is a foot passage going under the bridge from the crowded viewing area. Head to the other side and you’ll see a sign leading you to the Coastal Trail. It climbs steeply to a parking area for those less physically inclined. From here, you’ll see not only the remnants of a battement but also awe inspiring views of the city, bay and the bridge so close you feel you can reach out and touch it. The road beyond this view point offers amazing vistas with every turn.

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  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    Golden Gate Bridge

    by richiecdisc Updated Nov 15, 2005

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    did they say, flowers in your hair?
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    Though the Golden Gate Bridge remains San Francisco's signature sight, it symbolizes not only the city but also an era when California was viewed as the culmination of Western Civilization. It's an impressive sight spanning some two miles between the exclusive Presidio neighborhood of the city proper with scenic Marin County to the north. It was the longest suspension bridge in the world at its completion in 1937 so you can imagine the clamor to see it. Any bridge set between these two impressive chunks of land would have garnered attention but painting it red seems to have sealed its fate, and periodically enshrouding it in fog has raised it to near mythic proportions. We were on the city bus over to the Toll Plaza viewpoint and there were two young German girls excitedly waiting to see the bridge evidently for the first time. When it came into view, they high-fived with huge smiles as if one more of the world's wonders had been conquered. Such is the power of this mass of steel painted red. I believe it is the fog that makes it so special as you're never quite sure if you'll see it all. From the Wharf, you often see either none or just pieces of it jutting through the mist. It is easily accessible by MUNI bus 18 that stops at the Toll Plaza viewpoint, but the most dramatic way of getting there is to walk along the Bay coastal trail and let the bridge come progressively closer. Once at the Fort Point Lookout, there is a trail that runs up through a rocky outcropping to the Toll Plaza viewpoint with various views along the way, including a nice area with picnic tables away from the masses at the top. The classic view if from up there and there are some nice gardens to frame the bridge too.

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    bike the Golden Gate bridge!

    by mindcrime Written Jan 20, 2010

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    Golden Gate bridge
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    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…

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    Fort Point - SF's most underrated attraction?

    by Karnubawax Updated Sep 23, 2005

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    Fort Point makes my list as San Francisco's most underrated tourist attraction. I think it's a must see; so many folks go to see the GG Bridge, but right down the hill stands this gem. Fort Point is located directly underneath the bridge on the SF side. Chief bridge engineer Joseph Strauss toured the fort when plans were being made to demolish it to make way for the Golden Gate, and said, "While the old fort has no military value now, it remains nevertheless a fine example of the mason's art... it should be preserved and restored as a national monument." He then designed the archway allowing the bridge to be built over the fort.

    While many believe it is a "civil war" fort, that is not technically accurate. The fort was started in 1855, to guard against Spanish and French ships who might be after California's newfound gold, and only coincidentally was finished in time for the Civil War.

    Two events very nearly shifted the balance toward the Confederacy. A group of Confederate sympathizers approached commander Albert Sydney Johnston (a Kentuckyan) and asked him to help lead a revolt. Johnston - a man of the highest honor - refused, dispite his feelings, citing his allegiance to the Union and the job he swore to uphold. He later resigned his post to become a Confederate officer, and was killed in the Battle of Shiloh in 1862.

    Later, the CSS Shenandoah was on its' way to attack San Francisco, in what promised to be a fierce fight, only to learn from a passing French ship that the war was over.

    Since 9/11, Fort Point has often been closed due to terrorism comcerns, because of its' location directly under the bridge. At the moment, it is only open Fri, Sat, & Sun, from 10-5. Bring warm clothes - it can get very chilly on the water, even when the sun is shining all around.

    Best of all, admission is FREE!

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  • Callavetta's Profile Photo

    Golden Gate Bridge

    by Callavetta Updated Jul 3, 2005

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    Gazing up as we cross the bridge on a sunny day

    I recently ran across a discussion on another travel talk board debating what is the "most famous bridge in the world". The opinions seemed to be split between the Tower Bridge, in London, and San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. A slight edge gave San Francisco's span the victory in that discussion.

    The bridge certainly is a symbol (if not THE symbol) of the City. Many are shocked at first glance to find that it is not gold. "It's orange!", they cry out... feeling slightly betrayed! (It's actually painted continually with a rust preventative coating).

    The name Golden Gate actually refers to the opening to the San Francisco Bay, not the bridge itself. This was a welcome view, when not obscured by fog, to the many exhausted seafarers who traveled to California to get rich during the Gold Rush.

    There have been a series of Gold Rushes in California since that famous first discover in the1800's. And many created as many busts as wealth. Perhaps the dot.com era is the latest example of this.

    Regardless, the Golden Gate Bridge is a wonderful representation of one of the world's most beautiful and inviting Cities.

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  • Waalewiener's Profile Photo

    A fantastic overview of the San Francisco Bay.

    by Waalewiener Updated Sep 20, 2004

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    View of S F Bay

    What can I say here, it is a beautiful site to see , a little advice if you come up here bring a jacket it is very windy but a wind that you don't mind ,the view from here is spectacular .
    This is well worth seeing ,we are at the vista point on the Sausalito side of the
    Golden Gate Bridge
    The Sailboat added to this great view.

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  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

    by LoriPori Written Jan 9, 2005

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    Golden Gate Bridge

    Before its completion in 1937, the GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE was considered unbuildable because of foggy weather, 60 mile-per-hour winds and strong ocean currents sweeping through a deep rugged canyon below.
    At a cost of $35 million, the 1.2 mile bridge took more than four years to build. Eleven men lost their lives during construction.
    Pedestrians and bicyclists are allowed across the bridge on pathways.
    The bridge toll for vehicles is $5.00, collected when entering San Francisco.

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  • pigletsmom's Profile Photo

    The Most Famous Bridge in the World

    by pigletsmom Updated May 22, 2004

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    The Golden Gate Bridge

    Beautiful and astounding! Walk across for a different perspective. The bridge takes you to the pretty town of Sausalito on the other side of the bay, and you can take the ferry back to San Francisco. Visit my travelogue for more images.

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  • Bernd_L's Profile Photo

    A red bridge with a golden name

    by Bernd_L Updated Jun 2, 2006

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    Golden Gate Bridge

    Golden Gate Bridge is the most famous landmark of San Francisco. It connects the city with Sausalito and the Marin County and therefore crosses the entrance of the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean.

    The bridge is part of the famous highway nr. 1 which runs along the californian coast and offers a lot of landscape highlights. Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most spectacular.

    Sometimes people are surprised to see that it's painted red while they expected a golden bridge. The explanation is simple. The waterway from the Pacific to the Bay is called the Golden Gate.

    The bridge has a very scenic setting. Go there on a weekend and enjoy already your walk towards the bridge. You meet lots of joggers, sunbathers on the beach, people who picnic and you can watch the sailing boats on the water.

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  • SmileyLeSa's Profile Photo

    The Golden Gate Bridge

    by SmileyLeSa Updated Mar 9, 2005

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    Golden Gate Bridge

    San Francisco's most well known attraction. The Golden Gate Bridge was built in 1937. It took approximately four years to build and over $35 million. The bridge is 4,200 feet long and links San Francisco with Marin County. If you care to take a walk across the bridge, it takes approximately 50 minutes.

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  • K.Knight's Profile Photo

    Golden Gate Bridge - Visitor centre

    by K.Knight Written Jul 21, 2004

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    I have counted them and they are all here!

    Anne checking out the cross-section of a cable.
    The plaque on top of the cable tells some amazing stats..

    The steel was made in New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania, and shipped through the Panama Canal.
    The total weight of steel: 83,000 tons (75,293,000 kg).

    Two main cables pass over the tops of the main towers and are secured in concrete anchorages at each end. Each cable is made of 27,572 strands of wire. There are 80,000 miles (129,000 km) of wire in the two main cables, and it took over six months to spin them.
    Cable diameter (including wrapping): 36 3/8 inches (0.92 m).
    Cable length: 7,260 feet (2,332 m).

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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    San Francisco's red giant

    by Jefie Written Oct 5, 2009

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    Golden Gate Bridge surrounded by fog
    1 more image

    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!

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Golden Gate Bridge

    by Dabs Written Oct 13, 2009

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    You can see parts of the bridge...
    1 more image

    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.

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  • Gypsystravels's Profile Photo

    The Red Lady

    by Gypsystravels Updated Sep 12, 2008

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    Across Golden Gate bridge on our way to Sausalito
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    The beautiful Golden Gate Bridge with its famous red paint stands out from the wonderful scenic coastline, mountains and the bay itself.

    Most visitors to San Francisco will make it a point to visit Golden Gate Park just to get a glimpse of this wonderful and amazing structure.

    I've crossed this bridge many times and every single time I find myself gazing up at this magnificent structure.

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  • painterdave's Profile Photo

    The View from the north side (NEW)

    by painterdave Updated Oct 8, 2012

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    it can be foggy and cold, bring a jacket
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    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.
    Free parking
    Restrooms
    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.

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