About 79 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, when the Verrazano Narrows Bridge opened in New York City but the Golden Gate 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.
In case you are wondering, its color is, and always has been, International Orange, which was selected to blend with the surrounding hills but contrast with the sky and water.
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.
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...)
No trip to San Francisco is complete with checking out the Golden Gate Bridge, for a tourist that is, and we loved it so much, we crossed over it twice. Well we had to get back of course.
It was amazing. You could see the skyline of San Francisco so clearly, and Alcatraz too. We took some video and some pics at the Vista Point off Redwood Highway, which seemed like the place to get the best pics, and while over that side of the bridge, drove on a bit more to see the Giant Redwood Forest.
The bridge was being re-painted while we were there, and Im sure that not matter when we would have been there the bridge would be being painted, it's probably and all year through job, it is massive.
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 !!!!!
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.