3.6 miles, 1-3 hours
The Golden Gate Bridge is thought by many to be one of the most beautiful bridges in the world, and the opportunity to walk across at least part of it should not be missed. The bridge spans 1.7 miles, but most people only walk to the first tower and back again. If you are feeling more adventurous, walk across the bridge and continue under the bridge up to Hendrik Point for a great view of the bridge with the San Francisco skyline in the background.
The Golden Gate Bridge was open to the public on May 28, 1937. It spans 1.7 miles across the gap between San Francisco and Marin and is 90 feet wide. It's average height above the water is 220 feet, with the two towers rising up to 746 feet above sea level; more than 80,000 miles of wire were used in the bridge. The bridge cost $35 million to construct and was the longest suspension bridge in the world, holding the title almost 30 years until 1964 when it was overcome by the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in New York.
Nineteen men fell off the bridge while it was being built, but there was a safety net in place to catch them. They were later known as the "Half Way to Hell Club" because of their near-death experiences.
On its 50th anniversary the bridge was closed to cars and opened to pedestrians who were packed like sardines trying to walk around. The weight of the dense crowd was significantly more than the bridge is used to with cars (the cars are much more spaced out), and the curved bridge became temporarily flat until the weight was lifted.
San Francisco can be a cold city because of the winds and the fog, especially near the water. As Mark Twain famously said, "The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco." It's best to dress in layers with something to protect you from the wind. A nice sunny day can quickly become very cold once the fog rolls in.