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Visiting the Golden Gate Bridge

A visit to the Golden Gate Bridge is a popular and worthwhile outing. The Gate, as it is referred to locally, is 1.7 miles long and bridges San Francisco and Marin County via Highway 101. The bridge toll is currently $5 and is collected only from southbound traffic (coming into the city).

While driving across the bridge may be fun, it is fairly busy with narrow lanes and it certainly isn't safe for a driver to sightsee. We recommend crossing the bridge on foot. That is the best way to take in the views and take photographs. If you aren't interested in a long walk, then walk just a little way out and you will still enjoy an excellent view.

Pedestrians and bicyclists may cross the bridge on the east sidewalk; there is no toll. Enter near the Strauss statue. Hours are limited to 5 am to 9 pm, April through October and 6 am to 6 pm the rest of the year. Pets are not allowed.

Parking is located on the northeast and southeast sides of the Golden Gate Bridge and an additional satellite lot is open on weekends and holidays. Parking is one-hour metered, about $1.50. Traveling northbound on Highway 101, take the last San Francisco northbound exit (about 100 feet short of the toll plaza) for the southeast parking lot or cross the bridge and take the first exit called "Vista Point" and turn right into the northeast parking lot.

A gift center can be found in the "Roundhouse" building on the southeast side of the Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza.  Open seven days a week between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., during summer months.  Parking is available in the parking lot on the southeast side. A fast food cafe offers a limited menu.

Daytime temperatures range from 40 degrees in the winter, to 75 degrees in the summer.  Morning and evening fog rolls in during the summer and fall months, but often burns off by midday.

The bridge is wheelchair accessible and bathrooms are available. Allow 30 - 60 minutes for a visit.


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