The Golden Gate Bridge history starts in the 1930s during the Great Depression. May 28, 1937 is an important date to remember in the Golden Gate Bridge history. It’s the first day that cars were allowed to cross. It opened to pedestrians just one day earlier.
Today, nearly 112,000 cars cross it every day. That equals almost 41 million cars a year!
The two large towers stand nearly 746 feet above the water, similar to the height of a 65 story building. The towers are tall, but they are both hollow.The two main cables that string the bridge from one side to the other are around 3 feet thick. In total, they contain around 80,000 miles of steel wire.
San Francisco is a very windy city, especially along the water. The Golden Gate Bridge history continues with the fact that the team building the bridge made it strong enough to withstand wind up to 100 miles an hour.
What is the Golden Gate bridge history around its bright orange color? The actual color is ‘Orange Vermilion’ — but is more commonly called International Orange. The original builders painted it this color so it would blend into its surroundings. There are beautiful sunsets in San Francisco and this was a way to have the bridge blend in with its beauty. Due to its color and other characteristics, it is one of the most recognized structures in the world!
You can drive, walk or ride your bike over it to learn more about the Golden Gate Bridge history. It has six lanes for cars. Walkers and bikers use special sidewalks to cross.
It is a little overwhelming to drive over it for the first time, so work hard to concentrate on the road and not the scenery. The lanes are not very wide. The right hand lane is the largest of the three, so use this one when you cross.
Once you get over it, there is a great look out point. Try to be in the right lane as you are reaching the end of it. The viewing area is the first exit on the right after the bridge. The parking lot is large and is usually busy so be cautious as you drive into the lot.
The Golden Gate Bridge Toll is just for southbound traffic. It is not electronic tolling too, so do not stop as you are driving through the tolling area. You will receive a bill in the mail, unless you are signed up for the Bay Area’s FastTrak program.
Golden Gate Bridge is 1.7 miles long and you can walk the entire way on a designated walking path. Walkers use the path on the east side. You can also park your car in a designated parking area either at the north or south end. You can then walk only part of the way. If you do decide to walk the entire way, don’t forget that you have to walk all the way back to pick up your car!
If you decide you want to walk it, I recommend that you start as soon as the walkway opens in the morning. The walkway is pretty large, but it gets really crowded around 11 am and is pretty busy for the remainder of the day.
Don’t forget to bring you camera too during your walk. You can get some amazing shots of the bay, Alcatraz and its large towers.
Wear layers of clothes in case it gets warmer or cooler during your walk. It is amazing how beautiful it can be below and then how cold and windy it will feel on the bridge. Make sure you are prepared for either temperature.
We’ve been to San Francisco many times. But as someone who’s not a local, we had no idea where we can get the best view of Golden Gate Bridge. Here are some photo’s we did every time we were there.
Battery Spencer, Marin County – if you don’t mind the wind and the hike, Battery Spencer offers some of the most incredible up-close views you could ask for. You’re basically eye-level with the bridge and is right there in front of you. There’s a awesome viewing platform with lots of space and you’ll be able to pose in your very own selfie and the bridge with the breathtaking background of the entire city of San Francisco. Getting there, you have to cross the bridge from San Francisco side to the Marin County side to Battery Spencer, a former military installation that protected the bridge and the bay from foreign invaders during the World War II.
Hawk Hill Viewpoints
– is one of the best viewpoints, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean. Further up the winding road from Battery Spencer you’ll encounter Hawk’s Hill, a former military lookout point. Here you’ll get a panoramic view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the City of San Francisco.
Fort Point – another former military installation that allows everyone to feel the mist from the bay waves crashing ashore while being under the bridge. It is a popular area for bikers, and it’s a little bit of an easy walk. The view of the Golden Gate Bridge from this spot is beautiful!
Baker Beach – another shot of the bridge from the San Francisco side, this time from the Presidio, the former US Army Base that protected the bay area from enemies during the Civil War to Vietnam. Baker Beach is a good place for a view and the Golden Gate Bridge from water level, but be aware that part of Baker Beach is a nude beach.
South Vista Point – The best “postcard” views are from above the bridge on the San Francisco side. Access it from the “Last SF Exit” off the approach road, or from Lincoln Avenue.
On the Bridge – Golden gate Bridge photos taken straight up the towers are interesting. If you’re in a convertible or a car with a sun roof and traffic is going slowly enough, try taking a photo straight up the towers. Photograph both sides of the tower, one will probably be better lit than the other. Getting this photo will cost you one bridge toll to get back in town.