The Golden Gate Bridge is one of America's most iconic sites. The reddish orange frame towering above the blue waters of San Francisco Bay on a clear day, or even a foggy day, is a spectacular sight.
The Golden Gate Suspension Bridge connects San Francisco with Marin County and other districts further north. At one time, it was designated the greatest man-made sight in the United States by the U.S. Travel Service.
Box 9000, Presidio Station, San Francisco, CA 94129-0601, United States
Useful tips: Photography is allowed.
Pedestrians: no charge. Car toll charged.
Transit: Buses: 28, 29, 76
For years it was the symbol of San Francisco, though this distinction is now claimed by the Transamerica Pyramid. The splendid scenery all around makes it the most beautiful bridge in the world.
Opened on May 28th 1937, the bridge took four years to build, the director of the project being Joseph B. Strauss. Construction proved particularly difficult due to the strong cross-currents, and a number of fatal accidents occurred. At the time of its completion it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. On an average day it is used by more than 100,000 cars and lorries.
The bridge, flood-lit in the evening, is approximately 2mi/3km long and 90ft/27m wide. The carriageway is 220ft/67m above sea-level and the supporting towers 740ft/225m high.
Views of the bridge
Of the many places from which good views of the bridge can be obtained, Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill is perhaps the best. But this marvel of civil engineering should also be inspected from close range. Before crossing on foot bear in mind that there is almost always a cool breeze blowing in off the Pacific even when the sun is out, so take warm clothes. They will also be needed if a mist suddenly comes down.
A monument to its builder, Joseph B. Strauss, stands at the end of the bridge. Strauss constructed more than 400 major steel bridges all over the world, including one in St Petersburg.
Keen walkers have the option to proceed on foot all the way from Hyde Street (terminus of cable car 60) via Golden Gate Promenade to the bridge. The distance is over 3mi/5km but it makes an interesting walk.
If you want to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge the road is US Hwy 101, or SR 1, which connects downtown San Francisco with Marin County to the north. If you are looking for a great view of the bridge, or are interested in photographing the bridge there are a number of great vantage points. From the San Francisco side Nob Hill, an area known for its posh old mansions, offers some beautiful views over the bridge. On the opposite side of the bridge, in Marin County, is the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Also, if you are planning on taking a tour to Alcatraz, there are completely open views from the boat and island.