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Kimpton Alton Hotel San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf

An Iconic, Golden Beauty

Our Hotel near The Golden Gate Bridge

Visiting the Golden Gate Bridge

Isn't she lovely? It's safe to say the Golden Gate Bridge is the decisive symbol of San Francisco, and one of the most iconic pieces of architecture in the world. Depending on how the sun hits it, our beautiful bridge spans in color from warm orange to deep copper, and it's something you'll have to see to believe. The engineering marvel and scenic beauty of this functional landmark draws millions of visitors annually.

Explore the Golden Gate Bridge Up Close

One of the best ways to see the Golden Gate Bridge is to enjoy a free walking tour of the bridge on Sundays and Thursdays, or tuck into a bowl of clam chowder at the RoundHouse Cafe right by the welcome center. Walk or bike across the bridge on the designated pedestrian path to experience its towering presence up close. Afterward, head to the Marin Headlands or Battery Spencer for panoramic views of the bridge and the city skyline in the background. At each end of the bridge are lush parks ideal for long strolls or light hikes. This combo of personal interaction and distant vistas offers a comprehensive and awe-inspiring way to see the Golden Gate Bridge in all its glory. Located a short distance from our nearby hotel, the Golden Gate Bridge is only a quick drive, short bike ride or leisurely walk away. Explore this iconic landmark from an alternate perspective via an REI Experience such as their guided kayak tour.


What is the best time to visit Golden Gate Bridge?

The best time to visit the Golden Gate Bridge depends on your personal preference. We recommend considering factors such as the weather, time of day and potential crowds. Summertime with its sunny weather is an enjoyable (and popular) time to visit. The view is picturesque in the early morning and around sunset, with soft lighting perfect for striking photos. Weekdays tend to be less busy than weekends. Whenever you choose to visit, make sure to have appropriate clothing layers due to the temperature fluctuations that can occur in San Francisco, and be prepared for the possibility of fog (which can add its own unique charm to the experience).

How much does it cost to go across the Golden Gate Bridge?

There is no fee to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Walking across the bridge on the pedestrian pathway is free of charge. This provides a fantastic opportunity to experience the bridge's iconic architecture, enjoy panoramic views of San Francisco and the bay, and take memorable photos without any cost. Keep in mind that while there is no charge for walking across the bridge, there are fees for driving across it. If you plan to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge, you will need to pay the toll, which can vary based on the type of vehicle and payment method.

What is the best way to experience the Golden Gate Bridge?

Experiencing the Golden Gate Bridge can be a memorable and breathtaking part of your visit to San Francisco. Here are some of the best ways to truly appreciate this iconic landmark:

  • Viewpoints: There are several viewpoints around the city that offer stunning vistas of the Golden Gate Bridge. Battery Spencer on the Marin County side and the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center on the San Francisco side are popular options. These viewpoints provide great photo opportunities and panoramic views of the bridge against the city skyline and the bay.
  • Biking: Rent a bike and ride across the bridge on the dedicated cyclist path. This offers a unique and active way to enjoy the bridge's beauty up close. Biking also allows you to experience the bridge's architecture firsthand and see the changing views as you cross.
  • Walking: Take a leisurely walk across the bridge on the pedestrian pathway. The walk is approximately 1.7 miles one way, and provides ample opportunities for photos. Delight in the surrounding scenery including the bridge's signature orange structure beneath your feet.
  • Sunset or Sunrise: Witnessing the Golden Gate Bridge during sunset or sunrise can be incredibly beautiful. The warm hues of the sun against the bridge and the surrounding bay create a magical atmosphere. Arrive a bit early to secure a good spot, especially during sunset when many people visit.
  • Boat Cruise: Join a bay cruise that takes you under the Golden Gate Bridge. This unique perspective allows you to see the bridge's towering structure from the water and appreciate its scale in relation to the surrounding landscape.
  • Hiking Trails: There are hiking trails in the area that offer different angles and vantage points of the bridge as well. Our partners at REI Experiences offer a guided three-mile Land’s End hike spotlighting the Golden Gate Bridge views.