The Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center

Golden Gate Bridge

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 new Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center providing information, exhibits, and interpretive merchandise; and new Bridge overlooks throughout San Francisco and Marin County. Learn more about job openings at the Golden Gate Bridge. 


Plan Your Visit

Open NowOpen: 24/7
Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco
  • 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.
Round House Cafe
Enjoy hot food and drinks next to the Golden Gate Bridge while taking in the best views in the Bay...

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.


Welcome Center Hours: The first on-site center dedicated to telling the stories of the Golden Gate Bridge is now open every day from 9 am–6 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.

More information about additional nearby parking >>

Public transit is a very good alternative. Plan your trip using the map above or by going to

Visit the for more information about riding a bicycle to the bridge or taking one of several tour buses that run throughout the city.

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.

Crowds of people outside the Welcome Center on a beautiful, sunny day
The first on-site center dedicated to telling the stories of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Center...

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