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Golden Gate Bridge

Cars trundle across it and ships sail under it, but the best way to experience this iconic bridge is on foot. 

Although shrouded in mist for a lot of the time, one of the most photographed bridges in the world is still a stunning sight and something of an event to cross. It inspires awe and fires up the imagination with its size, scale and beauty. This icon of American architecture stretches 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers) across the "Golden Gate", the opening of San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean.   

The single-span suspension bridge connects San Francisco and Marin County. It took four years to build, opened to traffic in 1937 and was designed to withstand winds of more than 100 miles (161 kilometers) per hour. At the time of its completion, the Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world, but that record has been broken several times since.  

The structure offers some terrific views of the bay area, the city skyline, the Pacific Ocean and Marin Headlands on the north side of the bridge. To make the most of the views and to get a sense of the bridge’s size, cycle or walk across. If you’re driving you’ll be concentrating on the traffic. 

Pedestrians can only use the bridge during daylight hours and walk on the east sidewalk. A small barrier runs the length of the sidewalk and separates it from the road. Cyclists can use both east and west sidewalks. It is usually very windy high above the water, so layers of clothing are advisable even in the summer.

Enjoy one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge from Vista Point at the north part of the bridge in Marin County. At any time of day it’s a glorious spectacle: at dawn it slowly brightens up with the rising sun, and at night the lights sparkle and bounce off the dark water.

Popular Activities at Golden Gate Bridge

There's no place in the world quite like Golden Gate Bridge. To help you make the most of your time here, we've put together a list of some of the best things to do:

For many more things to do, examine our San Francisco things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Golden Gate Bridge


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Lodging Near Golden Gate Bridge

See all 865 Properties near Golden Gate Bridge
Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf $161
Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf

Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf

425 North Point, San Francisco
     
    4.2
    of 5, from 6,740 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf is 2 blocks from Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, and the Alcatraz Island ferry.

    Hotel Zephyr $127
    Hotel Zephyr

    Hotel Zephyr

    250 Beach Street, San Francisco
       
      4.1
      of 5, from 3,687 reviews
      3.5 out of 5.0

      Located in North Beach, this boutique hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of San Francisco Bay, Pier 39, and Alcatraz Island. Ghirardelli Square and Lombard Street are also within 6 mi (10 km).

      Pier 2620 Hotel Fisherman's Wharf $161
      Pier 2620 Hotel Fisherman's Wharf

      Pier 2620 Hotel Fisherman's Wharf

      2620 Jones Street, San Francisco
         
        4.2
        of 5, from 5,265 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Located in North Beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Powell and Market Cable Car Turnaround, Fishermans Wharf Cable Car Turnaround, and Hyde Street Pier. Ghirardelli Square and Lombard Street are also within 10 minutes.

        Travelodge by Wyndham Presidio San Francisco $132
        Travelodge by Wyndham Presidio San Francisco

        Travelodge by Wyndham Presidio San Francisco

        2755 Lombard St, San Francisco
           
          4.0
          of 5, from 808 reviews
          2.0 out of 5.0

          Located in Marina District, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of Chestnut Street and Palace of Fine Arts. San Francisco Bay and Crissy Field are also within 15 minutes.

          Inn at Golden Gate $89
          Inn at Golden Gate

          Inn at Golden Gate

          2707 Lombard St, San Francisco
             
            3.6
            of 5, from 965 reviews
            2.0 out of 5.0

            Located in Marina District, this motel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Chestnut Street, Palace of Fine Arts, and San Francisco Bay. Lombard Street and Presidio of San Francisco are also within 6 mi (10 km).

            Presidio Paradise in San Francisco!
            Presidio Paradise in San Francisco!

            Presidio Paradise in San Francisco!

            San Francisco
               
              5.0
              of 5, from 1 reviews
              0.0 out of 5.0

              This historic apartment building is located in San Francisco (Richmond District), close to Presidio of San Francisco, University of San Francisco, and California Academy of Sciences. Also nearby are Palace of Fine Arts and Golden Gate Park.

              Cavallo Point $449
              Cavallo Point

              Cavallo Point

              601 Murray Circle, Sausalito
                 
                4.6
                of 5, from 458 reviews
                4.5 out of 5.0

                An idyllic getaway just minutes from downtown San Francisco, this lodge-style resort was built on the grounds of historic Fort Baker, bordering Sausalito. The Golden Gate Bridge is immediately south.

                Alpha Inn & Suites $68
                Alpha Inn & Suites

                Alpha Inn & Suites

                2505 Lombard Steet, San Francisco
                   
                  3.1
                  of 5, from 383 reviews
                  2.0 out of 5.0

                  Located in Marina District, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Chestnut Street and Palace of Fine Arts. San Francisco Bay and Crissy Field are also within 1 mi (2 km).