This one was bound to come up eventually, so it may as well be our first stop! San Francisco's grand icon was as impressive as I had hoped. It can be seen from most points along the North coastline, it's pretty hard to miss! If you want to explore the bridge up close, you can rent your own bikes for the day or you can opt to join guided bike tours.
Alternatively, we decided to ditch the bikes altogether and walked over the bridge. It took approximately 30 minutes to walk from one side to the other. I would personally recommend this to enjoy the views at your own leisure. From what I saw, the cyclists never seemed to have much opportunity to stop and 'take in the view' without holding other cyclists up!
As you near the start of the bridge, there is a designated courtyard full of fun facts and outlines the incredible history of the bridges construction step by step. This is worth a visit before you begin your encounter to truly appreciate this structure and its backstory.
Learnt fact: The left-hand side of the bridge is designated just for cyclists, whereas the right-hand side is for pedestrians only. Make sure you're on the correct side beforehand, otherwise it is a big faff to re-cross (the traffic on the bridge is super busy!).
Learnt fact: We were surprised by the amount of emergency 'Samaritan' helpline phones dotted along the bridge, specifically for people feeling vulnerable or suicidal.
Fun fact: The official colour of the Golden Gate Bridge is actually 'International Orange', not red!
Fun fact: The bright colour was chosen to enhance the bridge's visibility in extreme fog, which is so common that it has inherited a nick name: "Karl". It is foggy 100+ days of the year in San Francisco, so if you catch it on a clear day, count yourself very lucky!
travel itineraries for adventure & wildlife enthusiasts