Driving Across The Golden Gate Bridge
The bridge is open for cars 24 hours a day. After you cross the bridge, there are a number of parking options. But first, what about the toll?
The Bridge Toll
Only drivers coming into San Francisco pay the toll it’s free heading out of the city.
The toll for the Golden Gate Bridge is currently $7.75 for two-axle vehicles. If you’ve set up a FasTrack account, it’s $6.75.
It used to be free for motorcycles and carpools of 3 or more in a car during rush hour, but that ended in 2010. Carpools and motorcycles get a discount if they use FasTrack.
Unlike the Bay Bridge, there are no humans in the toll booths, and you don’t need to have cash to get through the toll plaza anymore.
It’s all electronic now. The sensor reads your FasTrack tag or photographs your license plate when you drive through the toll booth you slow down but don’t stop. There are various options for paying:
To set up an account, or make payments, see bridge tolls.
What Is The Best Way To See The Golden Gate Bridge
Most people go to the Welcome Center on the south bridge. It has several viewing platforms along with easy access for walking the bridge. However, the bridge spans both sides of the bay and the area encompasses lot of natural beauty and historical interest. So, there are many different ways to view the bridge and all of them are Instagrammable. Its worth exploring the north and west sides of the bridge as well as going down to water-level to see the underside.
This guide has suggestions for 14 different ways to view the Golden Gate Bridge. It has specific instructions for how to find each location and the best time of day to do it.
Osha Suspends Bidens Covid
A car struck two cops and three Golden Gate Bridge workers as authorities tried to corral an anti-COVID vaccine protest at the famous San Francisco span Thursday evening.
Several hundred demonstrators were rallying against the citys employment vaccine mandate at the mouth of the bridge when the victims were struck by a car in the traffic lane, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The two CHP officers and one bridge worker were taken to a hospital, where they were expected to survive their injuries, the newspaper reported.
They were gathered at the sidewalk entrance onto the Golden Gate Bridge, and apparently there were individuals in the crowd that had stated their intent was to take over the lane of traffic, so our intention at that point was to serve as a deterrent to try to prevent anybody from getting on, CHP Officer Andrew Barclay reportedly said.
Rumors on social media that the rally would halt traffic on the link to Marin County proved to be ill-founded, but one driver was arrested earlier in the afternoon for getting out of his car on the bridge with protest signs and fighting with police, according to the article.
The rally was the culmination of a four-day nationwide walkout among anti-vaxxers who are mandated by their jobs to get inoculated, an organizer reportedly said.
Conditioning your job in a jab that is still experimental is not just unconstitutional, its unconscionable, lawyer Leigh Dundas told the Chronicle.
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Some Background On Why The Bridge Is A Thing
If you want to visit the Golden Gate Bridge, its helpful to have some historical context for how it ended up spanning the bay. The narrow Golden Gate Straight is the only geographical break in hundreds of miles of rugged California coastlines and mountains. The native Ohlones lived here for thousands of years and the area was colonized by the Spanish in 1776. The Gold Rush started in 1848, which caused San Franciscos population to explode.
The area became a strategic military site during the civil war. Forts and gun batteries were built on both sides of the Gate, as well as on Angel Island. The military presence continued until the end of the Cold War.
In 1930, the Bay Area was booming and it became necessary to build a bridge over the strait in order to provide commuter access to the North Bay communities. Construction began and remarkably, the bridge was completed in just four years. It was considered an engineering marvel and upon its completion, was the worlds largest suspension bridge.
What many people dont know, is that the bridge and the land surrounding it are serviced by the National Parks Service. The nearby natural lands and coastline are part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and the former Presidio military base was incorporated into the Parks Service in 1994. So, when you visit the Golden Gate Bridge, you are actually visiting a National Park.
Ride A Bike To The Bridge
There are a number of excellent bike paths in the area near the bridge on the SF side this is a popular biking spot for both locals and visitors.
Bike rentals: There are no bike rental offices near the bridge, but you can rent bikes at several places near Fisherman’s Wharf and on Lombard Street en route to the bridge. From there, it’s a relatively easy, and very scenic, ride to the bridge. Fun for kids, too, and mostly flat.
See my tips on where to rent the bikes, plus information on biking across the bridge and taking the ferry back. There are some good deals available for both renting bikes and taking bike tours over the bridge.
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Building The Golden Gate Bridge
When you hear someone mention an iconic bridge, what do you think of? Is it an orange-gold suspension bridge located in a certain California city that spans across two landmasses? If the Golden Gate Bridge was the first that came to mind – youre not alone.
The Golden Gate Bridge is an American icon – and for good reason. The longest suspension bridge in the world from the time it was built until 1964, this bridge wowed architects and engineers around the world. It was deemed the IMPOSSIBLE bridge.
Heres the story of how theimpossible Golden Gate Bridge was built.
Where Does The Name Golden Gate Come From
What many people do not know is that the Golden Gate Bridge is so named because the body of water it passes over is called the Golden Gate Strait.
The name for the strait actually dates back before the gold rush and has nothing to do with it. They believe that the name was actually conceived by the soldier and future California Senator and Presidential candidate John C. Fremont. When he stood on the south tip of Marin County and looked out over San Francisco Bay, he was said to have compared it to the Golden Horn inlet of the Bosphorus in modern-day Istanbul.
It was 1848 when he made this comparison, writing the rugged opening to the Pacific is a golden gate to trade with the Orient. The Golden Gate Strait was born.
Therefore, the Golden Gate Bridge is simply named so because it is the bridge that passes over the Golden Gate Strait.
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What Color Is The Golden Gate Bridge Painted
Trick question! Although many people assume that our famous bridge will be gold-colored, they are surprised to see it painted some other strange shade.
Though often shrouded in a thick layer of fog, visitors can still see the bright color of International Orange paint peeping through the western skyline, beckoning visitors to its towering presence.
That color was specifically chosen to stand out against the often foggy days of San Francisco.
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.
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Getting To The Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is very easy to get to. Driving is easy because there are number of parking lots close by, and city buses make frequent stops at the Welcome Center, near the southern end of the bridge.
Biking Across The Golden Gate Bridge
Possibly the most memorable experience in San Francisco is riding a bike across the Golden Gate Bridge.
From Fishermans Wharf, its only 23 min along a beautiful waterfront to the bridge.
If youre going to ride your bike to the bridge, you should take a look at our earlier post, Biking the Golden Gate Bridge and Ferry back.
This post gives a great overview of how to ride your bike across the bridge from San Francisco to Marin County, having a nice meal in the little bay-side town of Sausalito, and then taking the ferry back into downtown.
If youve never done it, it makes for a wonderful vacation day!
If you are considering a bike ride and ferry, then keep in mind that both are included for free with the purchase of most tourist discount passes available in San Francisco.
These passes can save you between 15% 55% on attractions, depending on how many popular attractions that you would like to see.
IMPORTANT: There are no bike rentals at the welcome center. You need to rent a bike from downtown.
We provide the information of several bike shops where you can rent bikes for the trip across the bridge.
For further information regarding walking and biking on the bridge, please visit the Golden Gate Bridge biking information website.
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Visiting The Golden Gate Bridge
Over 10 million people visit the Golden Gate Bridge every year. It has to be one of the world’s most beautiful sights even for locals, the sight of it never gets old.
The complementary colors of the red-orange bridge and the brown, rocky hills, the blue water and sky, and the graceful sweep across the straight is spectacular.
Getting To The Marin Side By Bus
Two public bus lines leave from SF, cross the bridge, and stop near the Vista Point at the northern end of the bridge , and the Hop On Hop Off buses take you directly from SF to the Vista Point parking lot.
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Charles S Gallagher Sr And Jr
In 1954, Charles S. Gallagher Sr. was director of the San Jose Merchants Association in San Jose, California. After returning from two weeks of vacation, he discovered the audit his company began before he left was ongoing. Gallagher told his co-workers he was leaving briefly to get coffee. Rather than doing so, he drove to the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge, parked, and jumped.
Four days later, Gallagher’s 24-year-old son, Charles S. Gallagher Jr., drove the same sedan owned by his father to the same area and jumped from approximately the same location. A pre-med student at UCLA, Gallagher Jr. left a note that said, “I am sorry. . . . I want to keep dad company.”
Visit The Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center
The Welcome Center is located at the south end of the bridge. On site are two parking lots, public bathrooms, souvenir sales and displays with relics and educational information about the history and construction of the bridge. Be sure to check out the plaza around the back of the building. They have hands on exhibits about the bridge engineering which are both educational and fun.
The Welcome Center is open daily from 9am-5pm.
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How To Get To The Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is located over its namesake, the Golden Gate Strait, and stretches from San Francisco on the southern side to Marin County on the north.
Its a must-do on most itineraries and is #1 on our things to do in San Francisco post.
The bridge stands approximately 3.5 miles west of Fishermans Wharf .
Parking at the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center is very limited and driving there is generally discouraged, but we provide a few alternative parking options that will allow you to drive to the bridge if you so choose.
Its easy enough to arrive by mass transit. There are numerous buses that will take you to the south side of the Golden Gate Bridge.
We recommend using this Google map for directions to the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center from anywhere in San Francisco.
From downtown San Francisco, you can take Golden Gate Transit buses number 10, 70, 92, 93, and 101.
They will all stop at the toll plaza, which will allow you to walk out to the Bridge. The cost of a bus ride is $2.50/person each way.
Traffic Crash On The Golden Gate Bridge Injures 2 Chp Officers And Three More People
SAN FRANCISCO, CA On Thursday, five people sustained injuries including two CHP Officers in a traffic crash on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
The accident happened around 6:00 p.m. November 11, at the Golden Gate Bridge.
According to reports, an SUV crashed into a street sweeper truck in the area near an anti-vaccine rally. Some of the officers managing the protesters sustained injuries from the crash.
Emergency crews also located three Golden Gate personnel with injuries and rendered aid to them.
Furthermore, CHP blocked off the east sidewalk road for pedestrians but open for cyclists, however the west sidewalk remained open for both.
When operating a vehicle, it is your responsibility to maintain focus on the road at all times. Avoid distractions that can easily lead to dangerous collisions. By doing so, you can help keep yourself and others around you safe.
When involved in a serious car crash, reach out to the experienced lawyers at Sweet James. With their extensive experience in the legal field, they know what it takes to win your case. Their attorneys and professional legal team have dealt with a variety of cases including personal injury and wrongful death. Call them at to arrange your free consultation with an experienced legal professional in your area. For your convenience, they are also available through email, text message, and online chat 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. To request for a police report, click here.
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Golden Gate Bridge Bus Tours
Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour
The Hop On Hop Off buses cross the bridge on their Sausalito loop. They stop at both ends of the bridge: the Welcome Center parking lot and the Vista Point parking lot.
You can admire some of the best bridge views at both ends of the bridge, plus you can walk across the bridge from one end and pick up the bus at the other end if you want.
City Sightseeing includes the Sausalito loop in all their 2-day and premium 1-day bus passes, so you have the option of crossing the bridge and exploring the town of Sausalito, along with using the routes around San Francisco. See Hop On Hop Off tours for more info and booking.
Fire Engine Tour
This is a different, but very popular tour. Ride a real fire engine over the bridge and down into Fort Baker and Sausalito, then back to the city. 75 minutes, $59. Leaves from Fisherman’s Wharf, stops at Fort Point. See fire engine tour for more info and booking.