Today the Golden Gate Bridge is San Francisco’s most iconic landmark, but at one point in time it was considered “the bridge that couldn’t be built.” After 10 years of planning and a dangerous and difficult four-year construction, the beautiful and vibrant bridge emerged from the fog in 1937 and has been a national treasure ever since. An astounding architectural feat, it is one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
The bridge spans a massive 1.7 mile strait from San Francisco to the Marin headlands. Painted in the iconic International Orange color, the structure is visible even through the dense San Francisco fog. The steel for the bridge was sourced from famous manufacturer Bethlehem Steel and shipped all the way across the country from Pennsylvania. The amazing structure was constructed at a cost of $35 million in principal and $39 million in interest. Working conditions were incredibly dangerous and 11 builders lost their lives during construction.
The bridge is anchored by twin towers rising from the water each 746 feet high. These structures were once taller than any building in San Francisco, and while their height has since been topped, the sheer size and breadth of the bridge hasn’t lost any of its magic and continues to delight and awe visitors year after year.
The suspended roadway is supported by two enormous cables, each more than 7,000 feet long. 80,000 miles of suspension wire stretch across the Golden Gate Bridge and are cemented in concrete anchors on either side of the span.
A trip to San Francisco is not complete without a stroll or bike ride across the bridge – but be sure to dress warmly no matter what time of year you visit. The wind can be strong and bitter cold as it blows across the water.
The bridge offers handicap-accessible sidewalks open to pedestrians and bikers during daylight hours. Unfortunately, roller blades, skateboards, and roller skates are not permitted.
Make it a point to grab a warm sweater and your camera and make the trek across the Golden Gate Bridge. You’ll be experiencing an essential part of America’s history and taking in some of the most scenic views in the world. It’s an opportunity not to be missed.
How to Get There
Getting to the Golden Gate Bridge from The Payne Mansion Hotel is as simple as calling a car through our convenient on-demand iCar service, or hopping on public transportation just a few steps from the hotel.
If traveling by car, it will take you just 12 minutes to reach the bridge. Head left on Sutter St to Octavia St where you’ll turn right. Just two blocks later, make a left on Pine St, then make a right turn on Scott St and stay on Scott until you reach Lombard St where you’ll make a left turn. Lombard St will turn into US-101. Watch for the exit toward Presidio/Golden Gate and you’ll have arrived at your destination. Parking lots are available on both sides of the bridge.
If you prefer to take advantage of public transit, walk just one block out of the hotel to the corner of Sutter and Van Ness Avenue where you can catch the #10 bus North. After just 15 minutes on the bus, you’ll arrive at the Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza where you can disembark and begin your walk across the beautiful structure.