Natural beauty and human accomplishment merge seamlessly at San Francisco’s signature landmark.
Once called “the bridge that cannot be built,” this architectural marvel opened in 1937 after four years of battling earthquakes, wind, fog and tides. Today, the American Society of Civil Engineers considers it one of the Wonders of the Modern World. San Francisco’s iconic skyline would be unrecognizable without the bridge’s glowing silhouette, stretching from the beautifully manicured Presidio to the wild Marin County headlands. The name comes not from the bridge’s iconic “International Orange” color, but from its span across the Golden Gate Strait—the entrance from the Pacific Ocean into the San Francisco Bay. To experience the shadowy play of fog and sunshine across the bright water, hike or bike the 3-mile round trip from the San Francisco Visitor Center parking lot to the mooring on the Marin County side. On Thursdays and Sundays, San Francisco City Guides offers free walking tours, during which you’ll learn about the 80,000 miles of wire that suspend the bridge and the 10,000 or so gallons of paint added to the structure each year.
- Before you cross the bridge, explore the stunning Presidio of San Francisco, a vast, pristine public park that has served as a military fort for three countries—Spain, Mexico and the United States—during the course of four centuries. You’ll get a spectacular view of the bridge, as well as ample people-watching opportunities, from former airfield Crissy Field.
- Learn about the park’s history at the Presidio Officers’ Club, shop for bridge memorabilia at the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center or pay a visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum for an inside look at the Disney creator’s personal life.
- If you’re driving in the direction of Marin County, take the opportunity to eat and drink in picturesque Sausalito, known for its floating houseboat communities and artsy vibe.
If You Go
Pedestrian (East Sidewalk) hours:
5 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. during Pacific Standard Time; 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. during Daylight Savings Time.
Bus routes are available through Muni (sfmta.com) and Golden Gate Transit (goldengatetransit.org).
Recommended time to spend:
One to two hours
Where to stay
The Radisson Hotel Oakland Airport is less than two miles away from Oakland International Airport and offers a complimentary shuttle to and from the airport. The hotel also offers guests all-day dining at RBG Restaurant, an on-site Starbucks, outdoor pool, and fitness center.
Located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area and just eleven miles away from San Francisco International Airport, the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson San Carlos, CA offers an ideal location for all San Francisco travelers. The hotel offers an outdoor pool, 24-hour business center, free Wi-Fi and fitness center.
Offering a perfect location for both leisure and business travelers in the Silicon Valley area, the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson Sunnyvale, CA offers short drives to all of the popular attractions in the area. The hotels amenities include free hot breakfast, free shuttles to nearby businesses, a fitness center, a heated outdoor pool, and a 24-hour business center.
Just two blocks from the city’s VTA light rail and close to multiple business expos and trade shows in the San Jose area, the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson San Jose International Airport, CA is a pristine location for your travels. The hotel boasts an outdoor pool, hot tub, fitness center, free, hot breakfast, and a free shuttle to the SJC Airport.