Making The Most Out Of A Visit To The Golden Gate Bridge

by admin

One of the best opportunities to visit historic landmarks, and especially man made landmarks, is available for those vacationers that head to historic and old cities. Cities with long histories that stretch back into the early days of the exploration and settlement of the United States tend also to have important physical landmarks that not only signify those times, but also are found to be interesting in current times too. San Francisco is just that kind of city and has one of the most incredible looking, fascinating to see, and interesting to visit landmarks in the entire country. Spanning the beautiful San Francisco Bay is the world famous Golden Gate Bridge, a popular tourist attraction and landmark that satisfies millions of visitors each and every year.

The Golden Gate Bridge is nearly 9,000 feet long and 90 feet wide. It stretches across the opening of San Francisco Bay, which is known as the Golden Gate, and is where the famous bridge gets its name. Before the bridge was built, the only way to get people or goods from one side of the bay to the other was by ferry service. The idea of spanning the Golden Gate area by bridge was very controversial as it was thought by many that it simply cannot be done. Construction began on the bridge in 1933 and it was finished in 1937. An interesting fact, especially when compared to construction projects today, is that the bridge actually came in more than one million dollars under budget. While there are a number of other bridges over the bay that are longer, there are none that are more important, more beautiful, and more historic than the Golden Gate Bridge. Visiting the Golden Gate Bridge can be as simple as driving across it, or a traveler can take it to the next level and see it in a completely different way.

Enjoy the Golden Gate Bridge in a great many different ways.

By Car

For automobile traffic, the Golden Gate Bridge is open 24 hours a day. Driving across the bridge gives a great view of the bridge deck, the amazing towers, the surrounding bay area, local beaches, and the San Francisco city skyline. There are days that the bridge is bogged down in that famous San Francisco fog, but even on those days the experience of driving across it is something special for those that have never done so. Southbound travelers will have to go through the toll booth to access the bridge, but it does not delay the trip in the least.

By Bike

The Golden Gate Bridge is also open to bicycle traffic 24 hours a day and is an amazing ride that any vacationer who is either active or a bicycle enthusiast will love to take. Riding across the bridge is safe and allows for a quicker experience than walking. For visitors looking at biking across the bridge, it is a good idea to park in one of the many visitor’s center or other parking lots in the area. There are a number of places locally that rent bikes out specifically for those wishing to bike across the bridge. Bikers can even do their trip in a loop and return across the water aboard a ferry boat. San Francisco is a very bike friendly city, and the Golden Gate Bridge follows suit.

On Foot

Travelers coming to San Francisco can also experience the Golden Gate Bridge on foot. This is one of the best ways to get a feel for the bridge, as visitors can stop when they want to and see many different parts and areas of it from a number of different angles and locations. Many travelers wishing to see the bridge on foot can do so either on their own or as part of a guided tour. The advantage of doing so as part of a guided tour is that visitors get to take advantage of the incredible knowledge that the tour guides have, often learning something they never knew about this famous American landmark.

By Bus

The Golden Gate Bridge can also be seen and experienced by bus too, including both private tour bus and municipal transportation. Area transportation services run municipal buses across the bridge and back as part of the metropolitan transportation plan. There are even stops that the buses make in the immediate vicinity of the bridge so that visitors can disembark and experience the bridge itself on foot. Touring San Francisco on one of the many tour buses, including the double decker buses, that offer great experiences of the city is another way to visit the Golden Gate Bridge. Though most of these tours spend a very limited time at or on the actual bridge itself.

Best Views of Golden Gate

Aside from the actual bridge itself there are two very popular stops, one on each side of the bridge, that tourists have a good time visiting. North Vista Point is on the Marin County side of the bridge and is accessible only for those traveling north on US Highway 101. A great view can be had of the bridge and the surrounding area from North Vista Point, and parking is free. The main visitor’s center for the Golden Gate Bridge is on the San Francisco side and is called South Vista Point. Parking is reasonably priced there, though there are a limited amount of spaces available. South Vista Point is home to a cafe, restrooms, gift shop, and a number of features that detail both how the bridge was built and the materials that were used in its construction.

Visiting San Francisco

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Visiting the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the best things that any visitor coming to San Francisco can do with their time in the city. The bridge is one of the most iconic visual images that any city in America has. The bridge is also a great place to get photographs, both from on the structure as well as viewing it from any of the incredible number of viewpoints around the landmark. The Golden Gate Bridge can be experienced in a number of ways and has played an important role in the history of the city and the surrounding area. A chance to experience being on the bridge in any of the many ways that are allowed is something that no visitor to San Francisco should ever pass up.

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