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Visitors looking at the Golden Gate Bridge from the Presidio. Photo by Myleen Hollero.

Golden Gate Bridge

A visit to this iconic landmark is one of the best things to do in San Francisco.


Golden Gate Region


Military & Historic Site


History, Recreation

Top Amenities

Accessible Restrooms, Accessible Parking, Paid Parking, Bike Parking, Golden Gate View

Get up close to San Francisco’s most famous landmark and experience unforgettable Golden Gate view points from the Presidio.

The Golden Gate Bridge links to the Presidio at the south end of the span, where most visits to this icon begin. Experience the bridge by walking or biking across the 1.7-mile span — undoubtedly one of the best walks in San Francisco. Or simply enjoy one-of-a-kind views of this American landmark.

Start your adventure at the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center, where you can learn about the fascinating history of the bridge and find unique souvenirs. As you stroll around the plaza to take in the Golden Gate Bridge views, stop at the Round House Café for refreshments and then take a short walk to Golden Gate Overlook and Battery East Vista for photos. 

Whether you’re visiting San Francisco for the first time or are a local, the Presidio is one of the best places to experience the International Orange, Art Deco icon.

Google Map of the Presidio

By Presidio GO Shuttle

Route: Downtown Route 

Stop: Presidio Transit Center 

Directions: Walk 1.6 miles west on the Presidio Promenade Trail to reach the Golden Gate Bridge. 

By Public Transit

Muni Route: 28 19th Avenue  

Stop: Golden Gate Bridge Tunnel/Merchant Road 

Golden Gate Transit Route: Several

Stop: On Hwy 101 above the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center


Parking is a challenge at this popular destination, so consider rideshare, walking, biking, or public transit if possible. Paid Golden Gate Bridge parking lots are next to the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center and off Merchant Road. 

Why We Love the Golden Gate Bridge

No trip to the Presidio is complete without a stop at the Golden Gate Bridge. The striking International Orange color, Art Deco design, and fascinating history of the Golden Gate Bridge make it a must-see San Francisco landmark.

Accessibility at the Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center has street level, automatic doors. Multi-stall restrooms, including two large wheelchair-accessible stalls, are located in a separate building across the parking lot. Learn more about accessibility on the Golden Gate Bridge District website.

Insider Tip

If you’re feeling hungry, Round House Café is located at the plaza at the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge. This inviting spot offers Equator Coffee, breakfast and lunch options, and stunning views just steps from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Visitors entering the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center in the Presidio. Photo by Myleen Hollero.Photo by Myleen Hollero.


The Golden Gate Bridge attracts millions of visitors a year, making it one of the most popular free things to do in San Francisco. If you’re planning a visit of your own, here are more things to explore at the bridge’s south end in the Presidio of San Francisco.

Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center

The Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center is where you can see authentic relics like hard hats and rivets from the bridge’s construction in the 1930s, watch a short orientation video, and check out a 12-foot “test tower” used in 1933 to evaluate the bridge’s design. Once you’ve explored the museum exhibits, pick up a map of the Presidio and buy a memento of your visit.

Several people admiring the view at the Golden Gate Overlook in the Presidio of San Francisco.
Golden Gate Overlook

Golden Gate Bridge View Points

There are several spots to get a great photo of the bridge, including from the south plaza itself. From the California Coastal Trail, you can access three scenic overlooks. Battery East Vista showcases a remarkable view of the bridge from the east side. The Golden Gate Overlook gives you a unique view of both bridge towers perfectly lined up between graceful Cypress trees. And the Pacific Overlook offers an unimpeded view of the vast Pacific Ocean all the way from Lands End to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Trail Connections

If you want to explore more of the Presidio, you’ll find connections to the California Coastal Trail, the Bay Area Ridge Trail the SF Bay Trail/Golden Gate Promenade, and the Presidio Promenade. Along these trails, you’ll find even more stunning Golden Gate viewpoints, as well as a chance to spot native plants and animals that call the Presidio home.

History of the Golden Gate Bridge

When engineer Joseph Strauss’ initial design for the Golden Gate Bridge was revealed in 1922, the press declared it “ugly” and architects doubted that a suspension bridge of its length could be structurally sound. Despite opposition, the majestic Golden Gate Bridge opened on May 27, 1937, to much fanfare.​​ The bridge’s name is a nod to the Golden Gate Strait, the entrance between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay.

The Golden Gate Bridge we know and love is in an elegant Art Deco style. Engineer Strauss and architect Irving Morrow chose the bridge’s color, International Orange, to stand out against the surrounding land, sea, and ever-present fog. Today, the bridge is regularly repainted to protect it from the corrosive salty bay air.

background pattern

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

The total Golden Gate Bridge length makes it a true wonder of engineering. The Golden Gate Bridge measures 8,981 ft in total length, which equates to 1.7 miles (or 2.7 kilometers).

At its tallest point, the bridge is 746 feet (228 meters) high. The bridge roadway is suspended 220 feet (67 meters) above the waters below.

The Golden Gate Bridge connects San Francisco to Marin County. It spans the Golden Gate Strait, a narrow channel of water that connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. The bridge connects to San Francisco at the bridge’s south end in the Presidio, where most visitor services are located.

The Golden Gate Bridge connects the San Francisco Peninsula to the Marin Headlands.

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge. When completed in 1937 it was the longest and tallest suspension bridge in the world.

Before you get started, it’s a good idea to know how long the Golden Gate Bridge walk is from end to end. The Golden Gate Bridge is 1.7 miles long, so it takes about 35 minutes on average to walk its entire length. Keep in mind that if you want to walk the full length of the bridge and then walk back to your starting point, that’s a distance of 3.5 miles and roughly 70 minutes of walking.

Bicycling is permitted across the bridge. View the Golden Gate Bridge District’s website to learn about the hours the east and west sidewalks are open to cyclists. Note that there are no bike rentals at the bridge. You can rent a bicycle in the Presidio at one of the Bay Wheels bike share stations or at Sports Basement at Crissy Field.


Construction began January 5, 1933, and ended on April 19, 1937. The bridge opened May 27, 1937.

The construction of the Golden Gate Bridge was carried out by multiple prime contractors and subcontractors. Due to incomplete employment records, the names of many of the workers who built this iconic landmark remain unknown. To learn more about the people who built the Golden Gate Bridge, you can visit the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center or stop by the plaque on the south face of the south bridge tower that acknowledges the officers, past officers, directors, past directors, engineering staff, and contractors involved in the construction of the bridge.

The engineering design of the bridge was a collaboration between Joseph Strauss, Charles Ellis, and Leon Moisseiff. The architectural designer was Irving Morrow.

First, huge concrete piers were constructed in the bay at each end of the bridge. Then the towers were built, and the cables drawn between them. Finally, sections of roadway were lifted into position and connected to the Marin and San Francisco approach roads.

The bridge project cost more than $35 million at the time it was built ($523 million in 2019 dollars).

Golden Gate Bridge View Points

If you’re looking for Golden Gate Bridge views, here are some vistas to choose from.  

Nature Notes

Our goal is to make sure people can enjoy the Presidio’s natural beauty for generations to come. We work to protect native plants and animals while reducing our impact on the environment. 

Golden Gate Marine Life

From the high vantage point of the Golden Gate Bridge, look down into the green water to spot porpoises and bottlenose dolphins traveling through the narrow strait. You may even see them body-surfing or making a splash as they hunt for fish.

Learn More
Man walking his dog along the Presidio Promenade Trail next to Thompson Reach.

Park Itineraries

Need help planning your day at the Presidio? We’ve put together some itinerary ideas for things to see and do in the park. Whether you’re planning to spend a few hours or an entire day, there’s something for everyone at the Presidio.

Explore What’s Nearby

Learn More

We’re Here to Help

Have a question about the park? Want help planning your next visit? We’ve got you covered.

Representatives from the National Park Service, Parks Conservancy, and Presidio Trust standing in front of the Presidio Visitor Center