A Postcard From San Francisco: The Golden Gate Bridge

It is hard to imagine a time when the Golden Gate Bridge didn’t stand tall in all its fiery orange glory, fiercely protecting San Francisco, while standing pretty for countless pictures. However, on May 27, the iconic structure is celebrating its 80th anniversary. What better way to commemorate this milestone than to learn more about one of the most visited landmarks in the world?

Stats to know

Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge began in 1933, opening to the public on May 27, 1937. Called Pedestrian Day, the official opening allowed tens of thousands of citizens to walk across the bridge before it was open for vehicles the very next day. This landmark is a suspension bridge, designed by Joseph Strauss, Irving Morrow, and Charles Ellis, and retrofitted in 2009 to withstand a 8.3 (the strongest earthquake the San Andreas Fault can produce). The entire length of the bridge (from abutment to abutment) is a walkable 1.7 miles (8,981 feet).

Bet you didn’t know that…

Probably the biggest mystery to many is why it is called the Golden Gate Bridge, when it’s not gold in color. This is because it was named after the Golden Gate Strait it stands over. The strait connects the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, and is where the first European settlers traveled through before glimpsing what is now SF for the first time.

So what is the actual color of the Golden Gate Bridge? It’s known as International Orange. Interesting enough, it was the primer color for the bridge, and once Consulting Architect Irving Morrow saw it, he was sold. The color was perfect against the blue sky and water, blended well with the surrounding hills, and proved a suitable (and beautiful) contrast against the grey fog. The United States Navy suggested painting the bridge in a black- and yellow-stripe pattern for maximum visibility for the ships traveling under it. Imagine that!

How to get the best views

Walking across the bridge is an awesome experience worth doing at least once. You will see the bridge as close up as you can get to it, and the photo ops are fantastic. You can also embrace your inner child by viewing the landmark from this rope swing in Kirby Cove—a fun way to catch a great view. Take a walk (or drive) up to Battery Spencer and/or Hawk Hill and you will be able to see the entire bridge at once and get the ultimate Golden-Gate-Bridge-and-me selfie. Or check out these picturesque options!

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

X
close-ad
Edit article