Above the Golden Gate Bridge

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October 7, 2019

How to Go Over, Under and Above the Golden Gate Bridge

There are many ways to enjoy the Golden Gate Bridge. Visitors can go under the bridge, fly above it or cross over it.

Go Over the Bridge

The famed bridge gets 10 million visitors a year. Most drive across on U.S. Highway 101. A $7.25 toll for two-axle vehicles is paid electronically at the San Francisco end. Limited paid parking is available in the compact lot southeast of the San Francisco toll plaza. In the northeast lot at Vista Point on the Marin County side, parking is free for up to four hours. (Both lots may be closed at major holidays.)

Bridge crossings can be made by tour bus, taxi, ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft and public transit. The hop-on/hop-off, open-top Big Bus includes a Sausalito and bridge tour with a Dynamite ticket. Skyline Sightseeing San Francisco’s Sausalito Loop crosses the bridge in both directions. Gray Line’s Sausalito Loop includes a bridge crossing. Golden Gate Transit buses and San Francisco Muni buses stop at the San Francisco toll plaza, where visitors can get off to walk or cycle the bridge, toll-free.

Walkers and bicyclists share the east sidewalk overlooking San Francisco Bay and bicyclists also use the west sidewalk on the ocean side. San Francisco City Guides lead richly informative and free bridge walks. DYI walking and cycling give easy access to nearby scenic attractions like the California Coastal Trail in San Francisco and the Marin Headlands and Fort Baker in Marin County.

Leading bike rental companies, some of which organize bridge rides include: Blazing Saddles, Bay City Bikes, Bike and View, Golden Gate Park – Bike & Skate , Park Wide Bike Rentals & Tours, Spinlister and Sports Basement – Gear, Apparel and Bike Rental. Some bicycle tours end in Sausalito and offer the option of returning to San Francisco by ferry.

Buy Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour Tickets

Go Above the Bridge

Want to see the sights from on high? San Francisco Helicopters offers view-friendly flights above the bridge on their Vista Grande option.

Go Under the Bridge

Going under the bridge allows visitors to appreciate its immensity and brilliant architecture. Walkers can pause under the span at Fort Point. Blue & Gold Fleet’s San Francisco Cruise Adventure sails under the bridge from Fisherman’s Wharf, as does Red and White Fleet’s Bridge2Bridge Cruise. City Kayak has a Golden Gate Bridge Trip from Crissy Field for advanced sea kayakers. Hornblower Cruises & Events showcases stupendous views of the bridge. Adventure Cat takes swift sailing catamarans under the bridge and around the bay.

Where to Park at the Golden Gate Bridge

There are two main parking lots to park at when you visit the Golden Gate Bridge. Please note that parking is limited, so another transportation option is recommended.

Southeast Side Visitor Parking Lot
This parking area has a range of visitor services, including a café, gift center, gardens and an array of scenic vistas. Parking is metered ($0.25 per 15 minutes) with 37 spaces, including 26 general spaces, six bus stalls, and three accessible spaces for visitors with disabilities that have disabled placards. On weekends and holidays only additional parking is available in a nearby satellite lot on the southwest side at a rate of $5 per day.

Northeast Side Parking Lot
Free parking (with a four hour limit) and restrooms are the only amenities at this location.

Over, under or across — no matter what the approach, the Golden Gate Bridge always enthralls.


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