The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge connecting the U.S. city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, and Marin County. It runs across the Golden Gate strait, the channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean that it’s been named after. It bridges the U.S. Route 101 and the California State Route 1.
This bridge is considered to be one of the most famous icons of San Francisco, and it is an unmistakable spot in the United States. Therefore, the American Society of Civil Engineers has declared it one of the Wonders of the Modern World. It is also thought to be “the most photographed, bridge in the world”, according to the Frommers travel guide.
Since its opening in 1937, until 1964, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. Nowadays, it is usually crowded with pedestrians and bicyclists, as it has walkways on either side of the six vehicle traffic lanes, protected by railings that were added in 2003 to prevent bicyclists from falling into the roadway.
The walkway on the eastern side is open for both pedestrians and bicycles in the morning to mid-afternoon during weekdays, and to pedestrians only for the remaining daylight hours. The eastern walkway is reserved for pedestrians on weekends, and is open exclusively to bicyclists in the evening and overnight. It is also possible to cross the bridge using the services provided by one of two public transportation agencies: San Francisco Muni and Golden Gate Transit.
On the San Francisco side of the bridge there is a visitor center and gift shop opened in 2012, in time for the bridge’s 75th anniversary celebration.