Few sights on Earth are as breathtaking or as instantly recognizable as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. It’s a feat of ingenuity and engineering that has stood the test of time to become one of the man-made marvels of the world.
After celebrating its 75th birthday back in 2012, the bridge improved upon its legacy by building a visitor center on the south end. You can pay a visit daily from 9:00am to 6:00pm and immerse yourself in the many stories and legacies that were embarked upon to lay the foundations of the bridge. It’s not just history and literature, though. You can also visit some of the off-limits sections of the bridge through virtual tours and even have your picture taken from atop the bridge with a live-streamed green screen experience. Of course, there are other souvenirs and trinkets that you can take home to immortalize the memory of your visit to the landmark and share with others, but the mark this river crossing makes on your mind itself is not easily forgettable. Parking is incredibly limited at the site, so it’s advised to either arrive by public transport or on foot or by bicycle.
Having been named one of the seven engineering marvels of the world by the American Board of Civil Engineers, the bridge has more than a simple claim to fame. It can be enjoyed best on foot or by bike, and walking across on your own two feet definitely allows you to take it all in and make the most of the trip. The weather can be very indecisive and can switch from fog to the sun and then back again on the spin of a dime, but you can always expect the wind on any bridge crossing, so prepare accordingly.
The bridge is bordered on both sides by state parks and you can continue the trek with the bridge looming ever-present in the background as you amble through one of the largest parks in an urban area in America.
Opening Hours and Admission
The visitor center is open 7 days a week, except for specific holidays, and operates between 9:00am and 6:00pm. They also offer guided tours of the bridge and specific points of interest daily, with tickets starting at just $12.95 for adults and kids going free; this can be combined with the interactive photo package and for the whole family, tickets for both experiences are around $55.
Admission to both the visitor center and the bridge is toll-free for both visitors and those on the bike. Vehicles looking to use the bridge do have to pay a toll and the charge is dependent on how many axles the vehicle has.
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA, Phone: 415-921-5858