Yes, it is even more awesome than you imagined. Since it opened in 1937, this 1.7-mile suspension span between San Francisco and Marin counties has become one of the most beloved bridges in the world. A work of art, an engineering marvel, and an American icon, the Bridge is flanked on both ends by the natural beauty of the Golden Gate National Parks. Enjoy an exhilarating, but often chilly, walk across it.
The Parks Conservancy signed on in 2011 to help with the Bridge’s 75th anniversary celebration and visitor enhancements including a guided history tour, a new virtual reality photo experience; a new Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion providing information, exhibits, and interpretive merchandise; and new Bridge overlooks in the Presidio (the Golden Gate and Pacific Overlooks).
Hours: The first on-site center dedicated to telling the stories of the Golden Gate Bridge is now open Monday-Friday from 9 am–6 pm and Saturday-Sunday from 9 am–7 pm (except Thanksgiving and Christmas).
Parking & Public Transportation:
Parking at the bridge plaza is extremely limited. On weekends and holidays, additional parking is available nearby in the employee lot lot on the southwest side of the Bridge. We recommend allowing ample time to find parking before the beginning of your tour. Tours begin promptly at the time scheduled.
Public transit is a very good alternative. Plan your trip by clicking the map on the right or going to 511.org.
Visit the www.sftodo.com for more information about riding a bicycle to the bridge or taking one of several tour buses that run throughout the city.
To plan your trip using public transportation, either use the trip planner below or click the map on the right side of this page.
The climate at the bridge is unpredictable and can change suddenly. Foggy mornings can give way to sunny afternoons, which in turn can shift quickly back to more fog. Strong afternoon winds are common during every season. Rain occurs in winter and spring.
Because Bridge Tours are conducted entirely outside, we recommend dressing in layers, including a windbreaker and comfortable shoes. If needed, cold weather and rain gear can be purchased at the Bridge Pavilion Store.
Tour tickets are not refundable due to weather conditions.
- Walking is the best ways to experience the immensity of the Bridge. It is 1.7 miles long and it takes approximately 45–60 minutes to walk across.
- The sidewalk is open to visitors seven days a week during the hours between sunrise and sunset.
- The Bridge is open to autos and cyclists 24 hours a day.
- There are no bike rentals at the Golden Gate Bridge Plaza directly, but you can rent a bike from our friends at Sports Basement and bike the Bridge.
- For more information, and a live webcam of Bridge conditions, visit the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway, and Transportation District website.
- See our archive of last year’s 75th anniversary celebration at Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary website.
In 1846, Captain John C. Fremont named the entrance to San Francisco Bay the “Golden Gate”—after the great harbor of the “Golden Horn” in ancient Byzantium.
The population influx of the Gold Rush spurred further support for the construction of a bridge across the Golden Gate. In 1916, plans finally began to take root. James Wilkins, editor of the San Francisco Call Bulletin, began an editorial campaign for a bridge that caught the eye of San Francisco City Engineer Michael O’Shaughnessy.
Although many said it could not be built, engineer Joseph Strauss said it could be done. In 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge was opened as the longest suspension bridge in the world.