We suggest visiting the Golden Gate Bridge by Lucky Tuk Tuk !

You can also walk, bike, or drive San Francisco’s most iconic landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge! Whether the sun is shining or fog is streaming through the bridge’s awe-inspiring arches, the Golden Gate Bridge is a must-see.

Golden Gate Bridge and Fort Point
Golden Gate Bridge and Fort Point
Historic Fout Point located under the Golden Gate Bridge

Parking is EXTREMELY LIMITED at both the southeast and northeast visitor areas of the Bridge. Park for $0.25 per 15-minute period and pose for pictures, or walk across the bridge for free. Optimally take Lucky Tuk Tuk, public transportation or bike to the bridge.

History

The Golden Gate Bridge opened to vehicular traffic in 1937 after four years of construction. Spanning 1.7 miles over the Golden Gate Strait, more than 100,000 vehicles cross the bridge every day. It is at an average height of 220 feet above the water, a distance that was designed to allow navy ships unencumbered passage beneath the bridge. It is currently ranked as the 9th-longest suspension bridge in the world. The bridge was painted International Orange in order to blend in with the natural warm earth tones of the surrounding hillsides and to increase the bridge’s visibility in the Bay’s infamous fog.

Golden Gate Bridge under construction in 1934
Golden Gate Bridge under construction in 1934
Photo of the Golden Gate Bridge under construction in 1934

Crossing the Bridge

On Foot: Walking the bridge is perhaps the best way to appreciate the sheer architectural majesty of the bridge. Give yourself a good 35-40 minutes to walk each way; this allows for a leisurely walk and enough time for photographs against the stunning San Francisco skyline.

See the chart below to make sense of the confusing access times for cyclists and pedestrians.

Driving: Only vehicles going in a southbound direction (driving into San Francisco) pay the toll.

Getting Here

Bus Route 28 runs from Fort Mason to the Golden Gate Bridge. The 28 to Daily City runs from the Golden Gate Bridge, through the Presidio and Golden Gate Park into Daily City. Fare is $2.75 per ride for adults, or unlimited with the purchase of a Muni Visitor Passport (also valid on cable cars.)

The free Presidigo Shuttle operates within the Presidio National Park. It operates on a one-way loop that leaves from the Transit Center, passes Crissy Field, the Golden Gate Bridge, Baker Beach, and Inspiration Point before returning to the Transit Center.

For those walking or bicycling without a tour guide, https://www.sfbike.org/resources/maps-routes/  use the San Francisco Bike Map to plan your route.

Chart of times for Bikes and Pedestrians on GG Bridge
Chart of times for Bikes and Pedestrians on GG Bridge
Times for bikes and pedestrians to use sidewalks on Golden Gate Bridge

Driving: Only vehicles going in a southbound direction (driving into San Francisco) pay the toll.

Parking

Access to Southeast Side Visitor Parking Lot

This parking area has a range of visitor services, including a café, gift center, gardens and an array of scenic vistas.  Parking is metered ($0.25 per 15 minutes) with 37 spaces, including 26 general spaces, 6 bus stalls, and 3 accessible spaces for visitors with disabilities that have disabled placards. On weekends and holidays ONLY, additional parking is available in a nearby satellite lot on the southwest side.

Traveling south from Marin County: Follow US Highway 101 south across the Golden Gate Bridge. Tolls are now collected electronically – either by FasTrak or by Pay-By-Plate (visit our Tolls page for info on how to pay your toll!). Proceed through the far right toll lane #1, and make an immediate right to exit US Highway 101 just past the Toll Plaza onto Merchant Road.  Make an immediate right onto a roadway that goes down a short hill and into an underpass which leads directly into the southeast side visitor parking lot.

Traveling north from San Francisco: Take a right at the last San Francisco exit off US Highway 101 just before the Toll Plaza. The exit ramp sign reads, “Golden Gate National Recreation Area View Area.”  Proceed to the stop sign and turn left into the southeast side visitor parking lot.

golden gate bridge at night
golden gate bridge at night
golden gate bridge at night

Access to Northeast Side Parking Lot

Free parking (with a four-hour limit) and restrooms are the only amenities at this location.

Traveling south from Marin County:  To access the parking lot on the northeast side of the Bridge, you must cross the Bridge, pay the toll and double back across the span. Follow US Highway 101 south across the Golden Gate Bridge. Have exact change ready to pay the appropriate toll, collected southbound only. Proceed through the far right toll lane #1, and make an immediate right to exit US Highway 101 just past the Toll Plaza onto Merchant Road. Make an immediate right onto a roadway that goes down a short hill and into an underpass which leads directly into the southeast side visitor parking lot. Drive through the visitor lot to the first stop sign and make a right to head to the on-ramp to the Bridge. Cross the Bridge and take the first exit called “Vista Point” and turn right into the parking lot.

What You Can See From the Eastern Side

The stunning San Francisco Bay panorama is best viewed from the pedestrian side of the bridge; Coit Tower, the TransAmerica Building, the Bay Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Angel Island, and Sausalito are visible on a clear day.

Wildlife

Dolphins and porpoises are frequently sighted from the bridge, as well as the occasional harbor seal and sea lion, so be sure to have your camera ready for prized pictures of native wildlife.

Come prepared with a pair of binoculars if you are interested in closer views of wildlife, or if you fancy a closer look at the skyline or the freight ships passing to and from the port.

Best Photo Spots

One oft-overlooked picture opportunity is at Crissy Field. From this sea-level location, the bridge forms a dramatic ocean backdrop framed by the Presidio and Marin County hills.

The Vista Point overlook at the Northern end of the bridge is perfect for capturing the bridge and the city skyline in one shot.

Weather

Even in warm weather, the wind can carry a biting chill; dress in layers on warm days, and in winter be sure to dress in a coat, hat, scarf, and gloves to maximize your enjoyment of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Nearby Points of Interest

Marina GreenA 74-acre grassy field on northern SF Bay coast. Views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Island, and Alcatraz. Great space for windy picnics and friendly gatherings.

Fort Mason: Once a United States Army post, this 1,200 acre is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Center. The remaining historic buildings are still in use with the military and also rented for civilian uses such as art galleries, dining, music instruction and the Fort Mason Arts and Culture Center.

Union Street Shopping: Amidst chic shops and restaurants, enjoy the brightly painted Victorians and secret courtyards. As much fun at night as it is in the daytime.

Fisherman’s Wharf:  Shops, shops, and a plethora of great seafood restaurants line the Wharf, where you still see vestiges of the old fishing crafts used by the Italian immigrants who brought the Wharf to life after the Gold Rush.

The Presidio: is located at the southern end of the Golden Gate Bridge and contains Fort Point, Crissy Field, and the Walt Disney Family Museum.

Lands End and Ocean Beach: Along the Pacific Ocean Lands End and Ocean Beach offers forested cliff lined shoreline transitioning to 3.5 miles of wind swept beach

Sausalito: is a waterfront city located on the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge. Visit this unique and charming city! Take the ferry back to Fisherman’s Wharf or return across the bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge and Fort Point is featured on:

  • Public Tour
    Alcatraz Combo - Ultimate SF City Tour and Alcatraz Ferry

    Available Limited Tickets

    9AM or 2PM Alcatraz AM or PM

    How long?
    Approx. 3 hours
    When?
    Limited Tickets
    Do we fit?
    Seats 6 (Ages 5+)
    How much?
    From $145.00

    With a Lucky Tuk Tuk Ultimate City Tour + Alcatraz Combination Package you get a full day of fun! Explore the City in a cozy Tuk Tuk then learn the history of Alcatraz as you visit "the rock".

  • Private Charter
    Private Charter San Francisco Tuk Tuk Tour

    Available Daily

    9AM, 11:30AM, 2PM, 4:30PM or 7:30PM

    How long?
    Approx. 2 hours
    When?
    Daily
    Do we fit?
    Seats 6 (Child ages 3+)
    How much?
    From $275.00

    Explore beautiful San Francisco in your own private, electric Tuk Tuk! Perfect for families and groups. A personal guide for your party commandeers this modern-day rickshaw at a pace that’s right for you!

  • Public Tour
    Ultimate San Francisco City Tour

    Available Daily

    9:30AM, 12 Noon or 2PM

    How long?
    Approx. 2.5 hours
    When?
    Daily
    Do we fit?
    Seats 6 (Ages 5+)
    How much?
    From $75.00

    Zip around beautiful San Francisco in cozy, electric Tuk Tuk! Explore more than 15 neighborhoods in this modern-day rickshaw with a fully narrated, guided tour.