SAN FRANCISCO’s BEST ●Attractions●Historical Sites
image copyright Raul Flores
Golden Gate Bridge
The bridge does not have a physical address. To stop at the plaza, turn right at the last S.F. exit off Hwy. 101 just before the toll plaza. The sign reads "Golden Gate National Recreation Area view area.” At the stop sign, turn left into the southeast parking lot. $6 toll for southbound vehicles, free for northbound vehicles; free for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Once called “the bridge that couldn’t be built,” this magnificent example of man’s ingenuity and perseverance is one of San Francisco’s most famous sights. Though it is no longer the longest suspension bridge in the world, it measures 6,450 feet, or approximately 1.7 miles, and its 746-foot-high towers remain the tallest ever built. Many visitors are disappointed to discover that the bridge is not a golden color. Its dull red-orange protective coating is known officially as International Orange and was chosen by the bridge’s architect, Irving Morrow, to make it visible in dense fog. In fact, the bridge takes its colorful name from the strait of San Francisco, which in 1846 John C. Fremont dubbed the Golden Gate because of its resemblance to the harbor of Constantinople, known as the Golden Horn. Crossing it is a must--by car, foot, or bicycle. The round-trip is about 2 miles, and views are breathtaking; toll booths no longer accept cash (it is charged to FasTrak device or by taking a picture of license plate and billing).