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The Golden Gate Bridge, once called “the bridge that couldn’t be built”. Today it is one the seven wonders of the modern world and perhaps San Francisco’s most famous landmark, it was most definitely at the top of my to do list while in the city.
Not wanting to drive and it was a fair old walk, we used an Uber to drop us as close as possible. Straight away you’ll see the visitor center, inside is all about the history of the park and the making of the bridge.
Just behind the visitors centre is battery lancaster which gives you a magnificent view.
Then it’s just a short walk up to the bridge. Just be aware there are time restrictions for cyclists, more on that below. The walkway is shared and pedestrians stick to one side, cyclists on the other and there was plenty of pedestrian & cycle traffic bustling about. Watch out for the bridge patrol!
There are a couple of look out points for you to stop and take the quintessential remembrance photos. Keep your wits about you though, if you step back too far while looking through the lense you may have an angry cyclist shouting and almost ploughing into you (few that was close!) Some of them are going quite fast too, so no doubt… it would of hurt.
Once you reach the otherside carry on to Vista Point (below) for more views, here you will also find the lone sailor monument and some restrooms. If you have time, then cross the road and make your way up the hill to Golden Gate View Point for an even better view.
Once you’ve done all that walking you’ll probably be feeling tired or just can’t be bothered to walk all the way back. Then just jump on one of the sightseeing busses behind the restrooms at vista point and if you’re lucky they won’t ask you for tickets and you’ll get a free ride 🙂
Albeit a little windy…..
Don’t forget to crank up the quality setting to 4k
The Golden Gate Bridge…it is a piece of engineering art with stunning views and was certainly an amazing experience.
Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait, the one-mile-wide (1.6 km), one-point-seven-mile-long (2.7 km) channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Opened in 1937 after a four-year struggle against relentless winds, fog, rock and treacherous tides. The bridge was built at a cost of $35 million in principal and $39 million in interest and 11 workers’ lives. The single-suspension span is anchored by twin towers that reach skyward 746 feet, and was once taller than any building in San Francisco. To support the suspended roadway, two cables, each more than 7,000 feet in length and both containing 80,000 miles of wire stretch over the top of the towers and are rooted in concrete anchorages on shore.
- It is estimated that 5,000 – 10,000 gallons of paint are used to repaint the Golden Gate Bridge each year.
- Three babies have been born on the Golden Gate Bridge. All of them have been boys.
- The name came from the fact that the Golden Gate Strait (named by John Fremont) is the entrance into San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean.
- International Orange was selected as the color of the bridge because it provided visibility in the fog for passing ships and also because it was a color that fit in naturally to the bridge’s setting and the surrounding land area.
- The bridge has only been closed three times due to weather since it was built; all three times due to high winds gusting close to or over 70 miles per hour.
Pedestrians including wheelchair users and cyclists can go on the sidewalks of the bridge during daylight hours but roller blades, skateboards, roller skates and anything electrically powered are not permitted. Rental bikes are not available at the bridge, so bring your own or rent from the city. There are restrictions on times and which side of the bridge you can walk or cycle.
Pedestrians can ONLY use the east sidewalk (side facing San Francisco). Cyclist have to swap sidewalks at a certain time of day and MUST yield to pedestrians. Use caution in the areas of the towers, as there is limited space to maneuver and viewing distances are restricted.
- 5:00 am to 3:30 pm: EAST sidewalk
- 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm: WEST sidewalk
- 6:30 pm to 5:00 am: EAST sidewalk
Weekends & Holidays:
- 5:00 am to 6:30 pm: WEST sidewalk
- 6:30 pm to 5:00 am: EAST sidewalk
These times do change with pacific standard and daylight savings time.
There are vista points on both north and south sides of the bridge with parking lots if you choose to drive. Sharing a ride with Uber or Lyft like we did will get you there the fastest and easiest way.
- Jump on one of the sightseeing busses behind the restrooms at vista point to return and if you’re lucky they won’t ask you for tickets and get a free ride.
- Take a jacket with you. It may be sunny in the morning, but the weather changes fast and frequently.
The weather in San Francisco is unpredictable and liable to change unexpectedly, so be prepared. Morning and evening fog rolls in during the summer and winter months, but usually burns off by midday.