Even veteran San Franciscans are still wowed by the site of the Golden Gate Bridge and the majestic scenery around it. An enduring symbol of California and San Francisco, the suspension bridge that links San Francisco to the Marin Headlands is probably the most photographed in the world. Often shrouded in fog, the 1.7-mile-long art deco gem is a sight to behold.
You can cross the bridge in a car or on foot; either way, you’ll be treated to unparalleled views of the San Francisco Bay and surrounding scenery. You can also get an amazing view of the bridge and beyond at Chrissy Field, a beach and recreation area popular with cyclists, runners, and families. For an up close and personal look at the bridge, get more information at Parks Conservancy.
Built in 1937 by Joseph Baerman Strauss, the bridge was once the longest suspension bridge in the world. The bridge's 4,200 foot long main suspension span was a world record that held for 27 years. The name Golden Gate refers to the Golden Gate Strait, a name coined around 1856, which connects the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean.
Design and Construction:
The Golden Gate bridge spans 4200 feet and its two towers soar 746 feet and were built to withstand winds of more than 100 MPH. The bridge is designed to sway 27.7 feet to withstand earthquakes. Completed in 1937 after four years of construction, the bridge is built in the Art Deco style. It's iconic rust color is known as International Orange.
This storied bridge has a gloomy side, too: it is on the most popular places to commit suicide. An average of 20 jumpers take their life here every year, yielding authorities to post signs reading "There is hope. Make the Call." near designated telephones. Filmmaker Eric Steel's 2006 documentary The Bridge precipitated the Suicide Barrier project, now in development.