Going to the Golden Gate Bridge
ALERT: The Golden Gate Bridge District and CHP close the North Vista Point and the Welcome Center parking lot at the South Vista Point to passenger cars from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM on most summer weekends, and holiday weekends year-round, which makes it harder for people going to the Golden Gate Bridge and stay for a visit. We have all the details and alternate parking locations here.
If you don’t plan to drive, Big Bus Tours, a hop-on hop-off service, has the widest combined coverage of the Golden Gate Bridge and Sausalito. In addition to the Bridge and downtown Sausalito routes offered by many companies, Big Bus has stops at both ends of the Golden Gate Bridge, and adds optional stops at Fort Baker and at the Bay Model. This allows you to visit the Sausalito houseboats (a few blocks north of their stop at the Bay Model) and more spots listed in our Fun Things to Do in Sausalito page. They run open-top double-decker buses when it’s warm and enclosed buses when it’s cold or raining. Note: Because of their enhanced services we sought them out and Big Bus Tours is now a sponsor of OurSausalito.
The Golden Gate Bridge Address to Give your GPS: The official address for mail going to the Golden Gate Bridge District (logically enough) is “Golden Gate Bridge, California” because it sits in two different counties, San Francisco to the south and Marin County to the north. The north tower sits on dry land in Sausalito’s 94965 zip code but the south tower is submerged in 110 feet of water within the San Francisco city limits. Most GPS systems have the Bridge as a Point of Interest (POI), and this is usually the easiest way to enter it into your car’s navigation system. When you drive across the Bridge your GPS displays a roadway completely surrounded by blue water.
Unlike many major bridges of the world, the Golden Gate Bridge was designed to be visited by people on foot or on bikes as well as by people driving cars. Once you get to the Golden Gate Bridge there are parking lots at both ends that offer the same views you see in many of the most famous Golden Gate Bridge photos and in scenes from the movies. One view area is very dramatically called “Vista Point” while its counterpart on the other end of the bridge is called the “Southeast Parking Lot and Strauss Plaza“, with no official reference to the fact that it also serves as a South Vista Point other than a single sign that says “GGNRA Viewing Area.”
How long is the Golden Gate Bridge? Click here for the answer! You’ll also learn a bunch of other interesting statistics about the Bridge.
You can walk across the Bridge on a broad sidewalk or ride across it on your bike, and there is no toll or fee for doing so. We have all the details for planning your visit — just click on the subject buttons below.
Insider Tip: Fort Point, located just below the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge, is a civil war era fort that offers fabulous views of the Bay and the Bridge, and serves as the 19th century American equivalent of Elsinore Castle in Denmark. Best of all, there’s no charge for admission! Once you get to the Golden Gate Bridge it’s an easy walk down the hill, and it has its own parking area if you want to avoid the walk back up the hill to the Bridge.