New York has the Empire State Building and Washington DC has the Washington and Lincoln memorials. Almost every major American city can boast of at least one great architectural masterpiece. In San Francisco, that emblem is the Golden Gate Bridge, recognized as one of the most elegant steel spans in the world. A tourist’s visit to the San Francisco Bay Area is not complete without a panoramic view of this beautiful structure. This is not an engineering feat; instead, it is a work of art.
To truly appreciate the Golden Gate Bridge, you must first have a solid understanding of the history behind it. Conceived in the boom years of the 1920s, but built during the depths of the Great Depression, the Bridge represents American perseverance and determination. The large project was completed in 1937, and the Golden Gate Bridge remained the longest steel suspension bridge in the world until 1964, when the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge connecting the Staten Island and Brooklyn boroughs of New City was completed. York.
The Golden Gate Bridge receives high praise for its aesthetics. The American Society of Civil Engineers declared it one of the modern wonders of the world. According to Frommer’s Travel Guides, it is “possibly the most beautiful bridge, certainly the most photographed in the world.”
Although the bridge can be seen from points throughout San Francisco, the best views are obtained from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Surrounding the San Francisco Bay, the GGNRA is one of the most visited units in the National Park System. More than 13 million people flock to this area each year to see the great red bridge, among other activities.
The park is deceptively large in that it is not a contiguous area of land, but rather a collection of parks stretching from northern San Mateo County to southern Marin County. It runs along 59 miles of coastline. However, the GGNRA should not be confused with Golden Gate Park, which is administered by the city of San Francisco as a separate entity.
There is no shortage of things to do in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. On a hot summer day, it is not unusual to see people biking, rollerblading, and jogging on some of the myriad well-maintained trails. Also, photography is just one art form used to capture the majesty of the Golden Gate Bridge. Other artists use paints, pencils, and sculpting clay to interpret the stretch.
A trip to the GGNRA is not complete without a visit to its most infamous attraction. Alcatraz Island has been the star of countless movies. Although it has not housed prisoners since 1963, it has reopened as a museum. It’s positively unsettling to walk the corridors of this creepy structure, which was once the home of Al Capone and “Birdman from Alcatraz” Robert Stroud.
Spend a day or two exploring the Golden Gate National Recreation Area; you will surely appreciate the Bridge, along with all that GGNRA has to offer.