Not crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco would be like skipping the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It’s a rite of passage every visitor should experience. The best way to traverse this iconic symbol of the city is either on foot or two wheels. Start your pilgrimage from the Presidio, a large park and former military base that covers the city’s northern tip. Star Wars fans should make a detour to explore Lucasfilm’s Letterman Digital Arts Center, where you’ll find film memorabilia and a Yoda fountain. As you walk or ride through the park, you’ll get picture-perfect views of the orange beauty—as long as it’s not shrouded in fog—and be primed to embark on the 1.7-mile journey across the bridge.
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The Iconic Golden Gate Bridge
There are many ways to experience San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Touch it at Crissy Field, rise above it at the Marin Headlands, or walk all the way across it and take the ferry back from Sausalito. For a more close-up tour of the bridge and Bay, take a Bridge 2 Bridge Cruise on the Red & White Fleet from Fisherman’s Wharf Pier 43½. You'll cruise along the Bay, past Alcatraz, and over to the no less impressive Bay Bridge, whose dramatic new eastern span opened in 2013.
The "international orange", Art Deco towered silhouette of Golden Gate Bridge over blue ocean and green rolling hills is soul satisfying in the light of day and becomes pure poetry at sunset. If you never before took into account the possibility of falling in love with a bridge, you might find yourself ready to reconsider. Best when indulged in the evening on a first come last gone basis.
From Mission and 5th Streets (a short walk from Union Square), in front of the Old Mint Building, any Golden Gate Transit bus, including Routes 70, 80 and 101 operates to the Gorgeous Bridge.
Golden Gate is not only the name of the deep, foggy, current tormented strait of water between urban San Francisco and wild Marin County, it is also the symbol of what separates us as human beings, the mysterious and moody nuances of the soul. The beautiful suspended structure which conquered the strait in 1937 is not only a red Art Deco bridge, it is the symbol of that elusive, strong but flexible something which brings us truly together, if we are lucky, stubborn and well timed. At least this is how I explained to myself on the second day of Christmas the endless fascination I feel for this bridge.
Golden Gate Bridge - tourist attraction in San Francisco
This iconic bridge is one of the largest suspension bridges in the world, and is regarded as one of the wonders of the modern world. The child of Leon Moisseiff, who designed and built it, and Irwing Morrow, who designed the towers and the general layout, the bridge is very tourist friendly, equipped railings, walkways, and pedestrian halts so you may take in the beautiful panoramas. It features in many books and movies and had become synonymous with San Francisco.
1] Other Ticket Prices: Though there are no tickets, toll rates ranging from $6 - $42 may apply.
2] Tips & Warnings: Cyclists have toll free access 24/7 to both East and West sidewalks.
3] Pedestrains are allowed access only on the East Sidewalk.
4] Roller blades, skates, skateboards, wheelbarrows and pushcarts are NOT allowed on the bridge.
Eat Outs -
1] Golden Gate Bakery
2] Golden Gate Meat Company
3] Greens Restaurant
North of the Golden Gate, along the ocean all the way to the giant redwoods, there stretches a somewhat desolate landscape littered with lighthouses and fog induced towns that inspire hitchcockian daydreams on a clear sunday afternoon road trip.
Commuters heading home at dusk over the Golden Gate Bridge. Something of note about the bridge- the walkway closes at 8pm and if you are on the other side when it does you will be stranded, in the rain, waiting for a bus that never comes, arguing with your then-boyfriend about which one of you has to call California Highway Patrol to come drive you back over it.
My son and I had such a great time riding bikes from the wharf, over the GG bridge to Sausalito, and then from there returned on the ferry back to the wharf. Don't miss this fun when visiting San Francisco.
When visiting San Francisco in June one of the things we did was rent bikes and ride across the Golden Gate bridge. What a fantastic way to see the bridge! We started off near Fisherman's Wharf then headed down the trails towards the bridge. Once we crossed the bridge we headed over to Sausalito where we caught the ferry back across the Bay. There are several companies that offer this service, complete with bikes, helmets, maps and bags for your possessions. The paths were mainly flat, but there were a few hills. Some of the hills were a bit challenging for the casual cyclist, but you can always get off the bike and push it up the hills.
During a week's stay in San Francisco, a friend and I decided to see as much as we could of the city by walking and only walking. My Midwest feet were not used to the hills but I thought I was up for the challenge. First was Chinatown before climbing up to Coit Tower for my first glimpse of San Francisco's golden arches. I hoped that my annoyance with the hills- who builds an urban area on hills anyways?- would be tamed by the views I had read about. Sadly, no such views were found. The fog created such a dense blanket that only the very tips of the bridge were visible. My disappointment was echoed by the pain in my feet.
"Ready?" said my friend and self-proclaimed tour guide.
"No," said my feet but I heard my mouth say yes instead.
Down from Coit Tower we went, then north towards the shoreline, around Pier 41 because Pier 39 looked too crowded, and then westward we went in search of the bridge. Following Jefferson St. to its end at the Aquatic Park, we walked through the Fort Mason Green, hugging the coastline as best we could. After what seemed like hours, we came to the San Francisco Bay Trail and took it to the Warming Hut Cafe. A break to buy snacks was short-lived since I was "encouraged" to walk a little further. And so I did.
We ended on the rocks under the bridge, just as the fog finished untwining itself. There we sat, under the not-so-golden golden arches, enjoying the breeze and view. Despite the pain, it was the best way to see the city.
May 27, 2012 marked 75 years for the Golden Gate Bridge and another opportunity to admire the history, beauty, and ingenuity of this famous span.
The fireworks were spectacular and worthy of the San Francisco icon.
I can't say enough about the endless miles of beautiful bike rides that Northern California provides. Lately, my favorite weekend ride unfolds in the following order. 1) Bike from home high in the Berkeley Hills, down to the Oakland Ferry. 2) Ferry into San Francisco. 3) Ride the outer city loop, keeping the water to my right and head toward Fort Point. 4) Up through the Presidio and then across the Golden Gate Bridge. 5) Once on the other side of the bridge, turn left and tackle the gorgeous Marin Headlands climb up to Hawk Hill. 6) Descend the 18% grade and ride out toward Rodeo Beach. 7) Retrace my steps back to the Berkeley Hills, exhausted and inspired.
I spent the day in San Francisco photographing a creative icon and his family for an international interview online magazine. Before I flew back to San Francisco I had a few more hours of light to capture the city. I hit up all the most memorable spots in the city including the Golden Gate Bridge. The Battery Golden Gate Lookout gives you the best view of the bridge and the entire city!
No trip to San Francisco is complete without a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge. During my recent visit, which was also my first time to the city, I was in awe of this phenomenal structure. Sure, we've read about it in text books and seen it in countless movies, but like the Eiffel Tower or Colosseum, you can't truly appreciate the beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge until you see it in person.
The icing on the cake was to walk across the bridge, both ways. After reading the history of its construction in the exhibit at the south plaza, my up-close-and-personal look left me even more dumbfounded. The splatters of "International Orange" paint (the official color of the bridge, which is repainted every 10-20 years) on the ground, a testament to the windy conditions high atop the bridge, reinforced my appreciation for the men (who were clearly not afraid of heights!) that built the Golden Gate more than 75 years ago.
I could reach out and touch the giant steel cords supporting the very ground beneath my feet. I had admired the Golden Gate Bridge from a distance and even driven across it countless times, but when I started my walk across its two-mile span, the bridge seemed larger than life—sand dollar-sized bolts, cables as thick as my forearm, and support posts 54 feet wide.
The view from the bridge is just as awe-inspiring as the view of it. I watched dolphins playing in the surf below, sailboats dancing in the distance, and a giant cargo ship passing slowly beneath us. Most intriguing, however, was a portable toilet bolted to the bridge’s railing and camouflaged with the same orange vermillion paint that coats every inch of the structure.
The sidewalk that runs the length of the bridge can be accessed from the parking lots and bus stops at each end. Despite the wind, which whips across the bridge on most days, it’s worth an intimate look at this San Francisco icon.
Making the most of the San Francisco Bay & the Golden Gate Bridge
The best way to experience the wonder and awe of the San Francisco Bay is by bike. The best way to experience the Golden Gate Bridge, the bay's ruby gemstone, is by ferry. Combine the two and you're, well, golden.
Add in fixin's for a picnic to be had at Chrissy Field, at San Francisco's edge of the Golden Gate Bridge and you're coming close to a near perfect day.
All you need is a bicycle and an adventurous spirit to ride said bike. One can begin at the Ferry Building...or anywhere along Embarcadero and cycle thru to Chrissy Field. Stopping at Chrissy Field for your own picnic or to enjoy The Warming Hut are both good options.
Once you make it to the town of Sausalito, stop in for a beer or an Ice Cream anywhere along the path. If you're up for it, cycle up to Heath Ceramics for a tour and shopping excursion!
FInally, catch the Sausalito Ferry back to the Ferry Building.
There you have a near perfect day.
There are a number of bike rental companies in San Francisco that allow you to rent by the hour or for a full day. We took the full day package and cycled from the east end of the city to the west end.
The highlight was cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge. The high winds kept you alert, but the warm sun made the journey truly incredible. Once you reach the north end of the bridge, tourist take pictures at the vista point so its best to go early to get a clear shot of the Bridge.
Bring some water and a few snacks - the hills and wind of San Francisco are sure to give you quite a workout!