Can You See Alcatraz From The Golden Gate Bridge
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No traveler to San Francisco leaves without checking out the stunning views along the Golden Gate Bridge. While it’s a major route for Bay Area commuters, the famous landmark attracts visitors from around the world with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, the Marin headlands, Alcatraz, and San Francisco.
Also, how much does it cost to see the Golden Gate Bridge? The cost of crossing the Golden Gate Bridge goes up by a buck Monday – with another $1 increase spread across the next four years. Tolls will rise to $6 from $5 for the vast majority of folks, who drive across the bridge and pay with FasTrak. But for those who pay by license plate, the toll will climb from $6 to $7.
Likewise, people ask, how far is Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz?
about 4 miles
How long does it take to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge?
approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours
Can You Walk The Golden Gate Bridge To Sausalito/marin County
The answer is a resounding YES! If you are going to San Francisco you MUST set aside a few hours to walk over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge . Its a wonderful way to experience the city. You can walk or bike across the 1.5 mile art deco-inspired bridge and enjoy sweeping panoramic views to the Pacific, Marin Headlands, San Francisco Bay to the sparkling lights of the city. Its a unique way to experience San Francisco and best of all, its absolutely free!
On a recent California trip, I tagged along with my brother, a local, who is a big geek when it comes to the best places to go/park etc. I took lots of notes and photos to share with you. Check out my guide below.
This gives you a perspective of where the Golden Gate Bridge is located. Its on the north end of the city, just west of Fishermans Wharf.
Golden Gate Bridge Facts: Traffic
- Average crossings: About 41 million per year, counting both north and southbound crossings, compared to 33 million crossing the first year it was open. Currently, the bridge carries about 112,000 vehicles per day.
- Fewest crossings: January 1982, when a storm closed US Hwy 101 north of the bridge. On January 6, only 3,921 southbound vehicles passed the toll gates
- Most crossings: October 27, 1989, a few days after the Loma Prieta earthquake, when the Bay Bridge was closed. 162,414 vehicles crossed the bridge that day
- Total crossings: As of July 2019, 2.1 billion vehicles have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge since the bridge opened for traffic on May 28, 1937.
- Closures: The bridge has been closed three times for weather, for gusting winds more than 70 mph. It closed briefly for visits by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and French President Charles DeGaulle. It was also closed on its fiftieth birthday. The bridge was closed in the early morning for four hours in January 2015 to install a moveable median.
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Tips For Walking Over The San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge
Can you walk over the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge? Yes, there is a walking path on the eastern side of the bridge dedicated to both walkers and bikers. No motor vehicles are allowed.
You can access the walking path from either the north or south side of the bridge. You can walk the entire way across or just walk part way. Most people choose to walk just to the first tower and then turn around. However, you can go as far as you want.
The bridge gets really crowded during the high season, on weekends, and holidays. There are a couple of ways to avoid some of the crowded sidewalks during this time. You can either head over first thing in the morning or you can enter from the north end.
The walkways are open starting at 5am every day of the year. They close at 6:30pm when it’s PST and at 9pm during Daylight Savings Time . At closing time, there are gates that automatically go down on both sides of the walking path so you can no longer enter.
Don’t forget to bring your camera too during your walk. You can get some amazing shots of the bay, Alcatraz and its large towers.
What should you wear when you visit the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge? You will want to layer your clothes in case it gets warmer or cooler during your walk. It is amazing how beautiful it can be below and then how cold and windy it will feel on the bridge. Make sure you are prepared for either temperature.
Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.
Is Golden Gate Bridge Safe
A safety net below the bridge saved the lives of 19 men during its construction. The safety net installed under the Golden Gate Bridge which saved the lives of 19 men. These men became known as members of the Half-Way-to-Hell Club. Despite such safety measures, 11 men died during the bridges construction.
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What Is Underneath The Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco Bay in Northern California is one of the largest and most altered estuaries within the United States. This poster shows views of the sea floor in west-central San Francisco Bay around Alcatraz and Angel Islands, underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, and through its entrance from the Pacific Ocean.
Walking Tours Of The Bridge
San Francisco City Guides: this is a free tour given twice a week, year round, by a non-profit organization that does lots of SF tours. Their guides are all volunteers, but very professional and knowledgable. I’ve been on several of their tours and really enjoyed them. No reservations, just show up at the appointed time and place. See Golden Gate Bridge tour.
Walk across the bridge and up into the Marin Headlands: this is guided, walking tour that takes you across the bridge, then high up a hill to see what may be one of the best views of the bridge. Then head down to explore Sausalito, and take the ferry back to the city. 6 hours, $85. Hotel pickup. See Bridge and Headlands tour for more info and booking.
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Golden Gate Bridge Cycling Tours
There isnt much that beats riding a bike across the bridge as the sun sets into the water below. Here, too, youll have plenty of options.
Some cyclists prefer to ride their bike over the bridge and back. Others prefer to ride across the bridge and then into the charming city of Sausalito for lunch. If you choose the last option, you can return to the city in minutes via ferry! This way, you dont have to brave the uphill ride from Sausalito back to San Francisco. Plus, the ferry includes incredible views of both the city and Alcatraz. The Society of American Travel Writers named it the second most-exciting ferry ride in the world!
If you prefer a more personal experience, youre free to cycle over the bridge on your own. Or, you can join a cycling tour and go with a group! Most group cycling tours begin around Fishermans Wharf, travel over the bridge, and conclude in Sausalito. Once there, you can explore before its time to board the ferry.
While there arent any bike rental shops or offices near the bridge itself, there are several places to rent one on your way there, especially near Fishermans Wharf and along Lombard Street. Our bike rental office is located in North Beach, near the biking path that leads to the bridge.
Getting To The Bridge By Bus
It’s easy to get to the Golden Gate Bridge by bus from many points in San Francisco here are some options:
From Fishermans’s Wharf.The #28 – 19th Avenue – Muni Bus stops right next to the Welcome Center, at the SF end of the bridge. You can catch it on Van Ness Avenue, between North Point and Bay, at the western end of the Fisherman’s Wharf area, a couple of blocks west of Aquatic Park. You can also catch it in Golden Gate Park. See #28 route.
From Downtown SF. The #30 Golden Gate Transit bus runs daily, about every hour, from many downtown stops, including stops all along Mission Street. It also runs through the city with numerous other stops on its way to the bridge. Get off at the Toll Plaza just before the bridge . See the #30 route.
From Union Square. The #76X Marin Headlands Express bus also stops at the Toll Plaza. Catch it at Post and Powell streets, at Union Square Note: weekends only. See #76X route. You can also walk down Powell Street, past Market, to Mission Street and catch the #30 there.
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Biking The Golden Gate Bridge
One other popular option is going with a bike rental across the Golden Gate Bridge!
There are lots of bike rental shops around the city, but the closest to the bridge itself is Golden Gate Bridge Bike Rentals.
They charge $36 for a full-day rental if you book it in person, but if you reserve it online, its 15% off and you can get it for $30.60 for the full day, so you can take bike rides all over the city.
Its a fairly reasonable price to rent bikes in San Francisco so I suggest it if thats what you are in the mood for!
History Of The Golden Gate Bridge
Construction of the bridge began in 1933 and continued for the next four years. This helped to mitigate unemployment in California during the Great Depression. However, the construction project, devised by engineer Joseph Strauss, faced many challenges not only because of the costs required but also because it had to overcome the political opposition of the Southern Pacific Railroad, since the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge would have shut down the ferry service between San Francisco and Marin County.
Once the bridge was completed in 1937, it became the longest suspension bridge in the world, a record he held until 1963 when its cousin, the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connected the shores of Brooklyn with those of Staten Island. It was built to withstand not only the daily passage of thousands of cars, but also all kinds of weather conditions, such as the wind that blows hard on San Francisco Bay almost daily, the waves of the ocean, and earthquakes, which have always occurred in California. To give you an idea, the central part of the bridge is designed to withstand more than 26 ft of oscillation.
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San Francisco Parking On The South Side
1. 6302 Merchant Road Parking
It’s a small lot with 4-hour parking. It has about 45 spaces with a few handicap spots. Most are compact only, so the spaces are tight.
I love this lot because it isn’t that far away, isn’t as well known and you can access the trails from this one for some amazing views of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge.
To find this one, plug in “6302 Merchant Road Parking” to get specific directions.
If this one is full when you arrive, keep driving away from the bridge to the Langdon Court Parking lot, which is #3 on my list.
2. Battery East
A second option on the south side is the Battery East lot, which is also about a 5-minute walk to the Welcome Center. This one is also small with about 50 spots in total.
After you park, you can also easily jump on the Battery East Trail which will take you behind the Welcome Center to several viewpoints for the Golden Gate Bridge. You can also easily access the walkway onto the bridge from here.
You will find this one by typing in “Battery East, Lincoln Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94129” into your GPS or phone to find its entrance.
3. Langdon Court Parking
There are no parking lines, so I estimate that this one holds about 45 cars. There are two designated handicap spots as well.
4. Hamilton Street Parking
How To Get There By Bus Or Public Transportation
If you want to rely on public transportation, you need to get off at the Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza stop, which can be easily reached from many areas of San Francisco including Union Square and Fishermans Wharf. You can find directions for the many lines that run on this route on the official website.
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How To Visit The Golden Gate Bridge: Everything You Need To Know
01/16/2021 by Carol Guttery
The Golden Gate Bridge is San Franciscos top rated tourist spot, and for good reason. It guards the bay and muscles its way into the forefront of the citys skyline. This guide for how to visit the Golden Gate Bridge will help you get to the bridge and see for yourself why its SFs most famous icon.
This article is designed to help answer any questions that you may have about visiting the Golden Gate Bridge. We are nothing if not helpful here at California Crossings. So, we will help you figure out things like how to get to the bridge, when best to go, how to walk the bridge and some suggestions for what to do nearby.
Heres a table of contents if you want to skip around or just scroll down for all of the good stuff:
How To Extend This Walk
Of course, there are plenty of ways to vary this up and extend your walk.
For example, you could continue on into the Marin Headlands or into Sausalito, for example, or down to Fort Baker.
Another popular option would be to go up to Battery Spencer, which is an additional 15 minutes walk up Conzelman Road. Its up a hill that involves about 200 feet of elevation gain, but the views are really worth it!
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What Are Some More Interesting Facts About The Golden Gate Bridges History
Being one of Northern Californias most prolific beacons, naturally, the Golden Gate Bridge has a long and storied history.
Featured in over thirty Hollywood films, the bridge has also seen its fair share of real-life drama.
At least three babies have been born while crossing, one ostrich has escaped from a vehicle on it, one Guinness World Record has been set , dozens of protesters have used it as a platform, and countless other events have happened on the bridge.
Sadly, the bridge has also seen a number of jumpers since it opened to foot traffic in 1937, prompting Bay Area officials to fundraise for a safety net that will soon be installed.
Renovations and maintenance continuously occur on the bridge, so you can be sure that the bridge will always be in tiptop order.
Which movies have I seen the Golden Gate Bridge in?
To name a few:
We offer two options. A guided walking tour as well as a self-guided version.
FREE TOURS BY FOOT
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous places in the world!
Join us on our Golden Gate Bridge tour to discover the place that many people said was impossible to build.
We will take you through the whole history of the bridge starting from the idea that began it all to the final rivet that was put into place.
On this tour, well show you some great places and tell you fun stories such as:
Reservations: REQUIRED. . Groups of 6 or more must contact us before booking.
- Includes a Cable Car ride.
Stop : The South Tower
From here, you can see a large amount of downtown San Francisco! Here are some of our favorite sites:
1. Coit Tower
Coit Tower is an art deco-style tower that was created in 1933 in honor of one of our favorite San Francisco ladies: Lillie Hitchcock Coit. You can learn more about Lillie Coit on our North Beach/Little Italy walking tour.
But she was a fascinating lady who lived in San Francisco in the late 1800s. When she died, she left her large fortune to the City of San Francisco for them to create beautiful additions to the city.
San Francisco used a large portion of her fortune to build Coit Tower .
If you want a fantastic view of downtown SF, you cant beat Coit Tower. Read our full post on the tower.
2. Transamerica Pyramid
The 853-foot Transamerica building is currently the tallest building in San Francisco . It was created to be the headquarters of the Transamerica company.
When it was first designed by William Pereira, it was a very unpopular design. But over the years, it has come to be not just accepted but celebrated as the most famous building in this extremely famous skyline.
If you want to learn more about this building and its Italian heritage, you can join our North Beach/Little Italy walking tour!
3. Salesforce Tower
4. Palace of Fine Arts
Things to Do Near the Golden Gate Bridge
There are plenty of interesting activities near the Golden Gate Bridge.
So have fun, and enjoy your visit to the Golden Gate Bridge!
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Driving To The Bridge
Unlike driving and trying to park at many of San Francisco’s favorite attractions, driving to the Golden Gate Bridge is no reason for a nervous breakdown! The surprise is that it’s also easy and cheap to park there.
If you are heading for the bridge on the Presidio Parkway , take the last SF exit before the bridge. You’ll need to be in the far right lane, and a sign warns you it is the last SF exit. From there, you can access the parking areas on either side of the bridge.
You can also approach the bridge from either the east or west sides on Lincoln Boulevard. You can drive under the bridge near the Welcome Center parking lot, and Lincoln Blvd. also goes under the Presidio Parkway.