Ahhh…San Francisco, City by the Bay. Foghorns and seagulls, the grey ghosts of steam tugs…cable cars, sourdough chowder bowls and Lombard Street all come to mind when you think of this beloved Northern California destination. Yet, if ever existed a more popular San Francisco icon, the mere mention of which conjures all that is the Golden Gate City, a visitor would be hard-pressed to identify it!
The bridge, a breathtaking arc of high-visibility *international orange* cable and Bethlehem steel, holding a comfortable 5th place on a list of America’s Favorite Architecture and declared one of the modern wonders of the world, spans the three-mile-wide channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, firmly lashing Marin County to the City. In all her Art-Deco glory, the Golden Gate yawns, flexes and curves across the water, shrouded in woolen morning fog, bathed in ethereal California afternoon sunlight, and glowing, golden and elegant, after dark. She’s even more awe-inspiring in person than in any post card depiction you will ever see; a visit here should find a place on every Northern California travel itinerary.
Ever-popular with tourists and bicyclists, there are safe walkways on either side of the six vehicle traffic lanes permitting various courses of bike and foot traffic, depending on the time of day. The Golden Gate Visitor Plaza on the east end of the bridge houses a series of all-new visitor experiences. The Bridge pavilion, serving as a welcoming and orientation center to guests, offers wonderful commemorative and interpretive souvenirs.