Bike The Golden Gate Bridge
This is one of the most popular ways of experiencing the Golden Gate Bridge. You can ride a bike over and back, or take the popular bike ride over the bridge and down into the seaside town of Sausalito, returning to the city by ferry.
Almost everyone going on to Sausalito opts to ride the ferry back to San Francisco; that avoids the tough ride back uphill and puts you on a ferry ride with great views of the city and Alcatraz .;;
There are two ways to do it:
- Ride over on your own;
- Take a guided bike tour
How Long Is The Golden Gate Bridge
A marvel of modern engineering, the Golden Gate Bridge is 1.7 miles long and 90 feet wide. Its 4,200-foot main span between the two towers was the longest for a suspension bridge until 1981, while its 746-foot towers made it the tallest bridge of any type until 1993.
The Golden Gate Bridge withstood the destructive Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, and was closed to traffic only three times in its first 75 years due to weather conditions.
Believed to be the most photographed bridge in the world, this landmark was named one of the seven civil engineering wonders of the United States by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1994.
The Golden Gate Bridge Was Once On The Cover Of Rolling Stone Magazine
The website tells an interesting story about Rolling Stone, On February 26, 1976, the Golden Gate Bridge appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine as the backdrop with five prominent San Francisco based rockers of the day, with a title above the photo that read, What a Long Strange Trip its Been.
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Golden Gate Bridge Design
Charles Alton Ellis was the Chief Principal Engineer for the project. The design was conceptualised and conducted by Leon Moisseff, designer of New Yorks Manhattan Bridge.
A bridge within a bridge was constructed at the Southern abutment to protect the Fort point bridge from demolition.
A steel arch model was selected for crossing the fort and connecting to the bridges southern anchorage.
Irving Morrow designed the shape of the bridge towers, lighting scheme and art deco elements.
A Word About The Weather
The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco, this quote is often attributed to Mark Twain and aptly applies since June, July, and August in San Francisco can be cold, windy, and foggy. The fog can be unpredictable at this time of year, and the bridge is often so socked in with fog that you wont see anything but grey.
Your best bet is to watch local morning TV news programs to get an idea of what the weather might be before planning your bridge walk. If its still foggy in the early afternoon, plan your trip for another day.
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Answer: It Took Four Years To Build The Golden Gate Bridge
The answer is a) 4 years. Construction began in January 0f 1933 and was open to automobile traffic in May of 1937. Today the Golden Gate Bridge is known around the world. It acts as a symbol of San Francisco, the City by the Bay. About 112,000 cars pass over the bridge every day!
For years, building the Golden Gate Bridge seemed impossible. In fact, it was known as the bridge that couldnt be built. The Golden Gate Strait presented a lot of challenges due to strong tides, wind and fog, not to mention its proximity to the San Andreas Fault. It was approximated to cost over $100 million to build until structural engineer, Joseph Strauss, took on the project. As chief engineer, he was able to build the Golden Gate Bridge for between $27 to $35 million . Thats a lot less than others had originally projected, but in todays dollars, that would be a whopping $1.5 billion!
Vintage-style photo of the Golden Gate Bridge
Crowds Along The Bike Route Across The Golden Gate
Aside from hills and views, the Bay Area is well known for crowds. Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge is a popular activity for both locals and visitors alike. With this being the case we recommend going early if you wish to avoid long lines and crowds, even on the bridge. The lines for the Ferry can get especially long during the afternoon. Also, as the crowds grow in the afternoon, there will be lines at most establishments including restaurants, ice cream stores, and coffee shops.
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How Do You Get To The Golden Gate Bridge
On the Bus: If you want to take public transportation to the bridge, catch one of the following bus routes to the south end Welcome Center: From downtown and Union Square or from Civic Center . $2.25 one way.
: An Uber from downtown to the Welcome Center will cost ~$17-20 one way.
On a Sightseeing Bus: You can combine a trip to the bridge with other sightseeing using a hop on hop off pass. It will takes you on the tourist trail throughout the city. The bus stops at both the Welcome Center and the Vista Point so you can walk the bridge as a one-way. This kind of pass is only worth it if you also want to have an action packed day visiting further flung spots like Golden Gate Park and Haight Ashbury. Otherwise, just take a city bus or an Uber.
: There is a small pay parking lot at the Welcome Center and a larger one just down the hill at Battery East. There is also a free parking lot at the Vista Point on the north end. Use this guide to find all of the Golden Gate Bridge parking lots.
Why Is The Golden Gate Bridge Orange Instead Of Gold
Even if the bridge was named for the strait and not its color, it would make sense to paint the bridge gold. Right? Originally the creators intended to paint the bridge blue and yellow so that it would be easily visible in the San Francisco fog. When the Golden Gate Bridge was painted orange with primer paint, however, it was decided that orange was even easier to see and more attractive. So, the orange stuck. Gold would be pretty, but not practical. The bridges official color is international orange.
The Golden Gate Bridges international orange color, up-close
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Where Are The Best Places To Take Photos Of The Golden Gate Bridge
I went out and tracked down the best view points for the bridge and put together information on where they are and how to get there.
To find all of those places, with info on where they are, where to park, and how to get there by bus, plus photos of the views, see my page on the best Golden Gate Bridge views.
Stop : Earthquake Testing And Retrofitting
As many people know, San Francisco has suffered through many major earthquakes in its history.
The largest of these was the 1906 earthquake, which was estimated to be a 7.8 on the Richter scale
Since 1906, the city has experienced numerous other strong earthquakes.
Because of the danger that earthquakes pose, we have to know to a high degree of certainty that the Golden Gate Bridge will survive a strong earthquake.
As part of the design process during the creation of the bridge, scientists put models of the bridge under severe stress to figure out which parts of the bridge would cause trouble.
As you can see from this large beam that is bent in the middle, the researchers discovered one possible fault in the bridge.
They fixed it before the bridge was ever built, but they kept this bent beam for visitors to see.
Walk back under the bridge, and walk up the hill towards the right. At the top of the hill, youll see a set of stairs with a large flagpole at the top. Walk up to the area with the flag.
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About Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is a long suspension bridge in the United States of America. Also, the bridge combines many designs characteristics. Furthermore, it combines truss causeways, with suspension, truss arch, and art deco.
The bridge was designed by American architect Irving F. Morrow, who lived from 1884 1954. Also, construction of the Golden Gate Bridge began on January 5, 1933, and construction ended on April 19, 1937. The bridge was then opened to the general public on May 27, 1937. About one hundred and ten thousand, motorist use the bridge daily.
Where To Park To Walk Across The Golden Gate Bridge
Having a car makes it nice to not have to plan a tour bus or use public transportation, but it makes finding parking in the city sometimes tricky. With that in mind, there are two parking areas. The visitor center parking lot on the city side does not have a lot of parking but if you can find it, take it. This is where the buses drop people off for walks and photo ops, so it gets pretty crowded. There is a nice gift shop where I picked up an orange rivet photo stand for a photo I took of the kids. If the weather is where you cant even see the bridge, they have a fun photo op inside. Be sure to check it out.
If you cannot find parking here you can drive across the bridge to the Vista Point and look for parking there. This is a great photo opportunity to get the city view and the bridge. Realize that if you drive across the bridge and cant find parking you will have to pay the toll to come back across.
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History & Interesting Facts About The Golden Gate Bridge
The massive suspension bridge stands 220 feet from the water, and is used by more than 40 million drivers and passengers every year. The center span was the longest among suspension bridges until 1964 when the;Verrazano-Narrows Bridge;was built in New York City.
The Golden Gate Bridge also had the worlds tallest suspension towers at the time of construction, and kept that record until recently. In 1957, Michigans Mackinac Bridge surpassed the Golden Gate Bridges length to become the worlds longest two-tower suspension bridge in total length between anchorages.
Since the bridge opened to traffic in 1937, there have been approximately 2.6 billion people to cross over the 1.7 mile long span. The speed limit on the Golden Gate Bridge was reduced to 45 mph from 55 mph in October of 1983.
Where To Take The Best Photos Of The Golden Gate Bridge
After your walk, if you are parked on the Northeast side Vista Point before you drive back over the bridge there is a turnoff before you get back on the 101 into the city. This is Vista Point, where most photos of the bridge with the city in the background are taken. Its a windy walk up the hill and you feel like you will be blown off the rock but the view is spectacular. I did a night shoot here and you can see by the photos, its not something to miss.
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Golden Gate Bridge Parking
Drivers coming from San Francisco will find plenty of places to park their car but be forewarned parking lots fill up fast in peak hours. Your best solution would be to get there early or take alternative means, like ride-shares or public transportation.
The majority of visitors will access the bridge from the San Francisco side, and parking lots around the bridge are the first to fill up early.
Parking is also available a little further down the road at Fort Point and Crissy Field, but both lots are a fifteen-minute uphill walk from the bridge and not recommended for those with strollers or wheelchairs. for detailed information on parking near the bridge.
Other Posts of Interest
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.
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The Golden Gate Bridge Is The Top Suicide Location In The World
In August 1937, three months after the Golden Gate Bridge opened, H.B. Wobber strolled the span alongside a tourist he had just met on a bus. Wobber suddenly turned to his companion and said, This is where I get off. Im going to jump. Despite the tourists attempt to stop him, Wobber threw himself over the side. Four seconds later he hit the surface of San Francisco Bay at 75 miles per hour and became the first of more than 1,500 people to commit suicide by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. Thats an average of one person less than every three weeks. More than 30 bridge jumpers actually survived their attempts at self-annihilation. There are 11 crisis counseling telephones on the bridge that connect to trained suicide prevention counselors, and plans to build a net under the span as a suicide deterrent are being considered.
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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How Many Time The Bridge Has Closed
Till 2010, the Golden Gate Bridge has been closed due to weather conditions only three times in its history: On December 1, 1951, the Bridge was closed for three hours as gusting winds reached 69 miles per hour.; On December 23, 1982, high winds of up to 70 miles per hour closed the Bridge for almost two hours. The Bridge easily withstood the gusts. On December 3, 1983, once again high winds closed the Bridge for the longest period in its history, 3 hours and 27 minutes.; Wind gusts reached 75 miles per hour, but again the Bridge suffered no structural damage.
The bridge was closed very briefly on two separate occasions for visiting dignitaries President Franklin D. Roosevelt and President Charles de Gaulle of France. It has also been closed briefly in the middle of the night for construction activities.
How San Francisco Got Its Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge runs almost 2 miles over the Pacific Ocean connecting the city of San Francisco with Marin County to the North.
It was officially opened to the public in 1937 and was the brainchild of a man named Joseph Strauss .
Nowadays, its hard to think of SF being separated to its neighbors in the north and east, but for much of the first part of the 20th century, that was the case. Neither the Bay Bridge or the Golden Gate Bridge existed until the very late 30s. Dreams of connecting the two had been around since the Gold Rush, but they never came to fruition until much later.
The original concept of the bridge was met with some resistance for a couple reasons:
- First of all, people wanted to preserve the natural beauty of the bay and the idea of a bridge brought to mind a dirty industrial beast ruining the landscape.
- Another reason was residual scare coming off the 1906 earthquake. People at that time just didnt believe a bridge could withstand that magnitude of shaking.
A man named Leon S. Moisseiff proposed an idea for a suspension bridge that could swing more than 2 feet in strong winds . And an architect from nearby Oakland, Irving F. Morrow, brought the idea to life with the iconic orange and art-deco style of the towers you see today.
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