The Golden Gate Bridge is recognized around the globe. More than just a bridge, it’s an iconic symbol of the state of California. As many as ten million people visit the Bridge every year. If you’re lucky enough to visit with your family this year, you’re in for a treat. The Golden Gate Bridge is celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year!
Photo by Zoonabar of Flickr
Celebrate on Your Own
Part of the beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge is its pivotal role in so many of the best things to do in San Franciscoand beyond. It’s more than just a backdrop. It’s an inspiration to get out and about whether the sun is shining or the fog is rolling in. There are endless fun things you can do to mark the occasion with your family. But here are a few of my favorites.
Biking is a great way to see San Francisco. You’ll get some exercise and best of all never have to worry about parking a car! Blazing Saddles rents bikes in all shapes and sizes for families; trailers, tag-a-longs, tandems, you name it. The guided tour of San Francisco is a great option for first time visitor.
After rolling through the Palace of Fine Arts, the Presidio and soaking in an assortment of views of the Golden Gate, you’ll start biking your way across the 1.7 mile span into Sausalito. The bikes are yours to keep for the day to cruise around. When you’re ready to call it a day, you ride home on the waves instead of wheels. The tour includes ferry tickets back to San Francisco. You just roll the bikes right on the boat with you.
If the idea of cruising the Bay sounds like fun, consider going whale watching with the non-profit Oceanic Society. May through November tours head to the Farallon Islands in search of blue and humpback whales, coastal gray whale watching runs December through April. Bring extra batteries for your camera, between the whales and the Bridge, you’re going to need them.
Fly a Kite
Some of the best activities are the simplest. Take the kids and fly a kite at Crissy Field. The former military airfield turned park showcase offers postcard views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay at every turn. Crissy Field Beach is always a hit, and The Golden Gate Promenade is a great place to go for a stroll. If hunger strikes, the Warming Hut (located at the west end of Crissy Field) sells snacks, sandwiches, and drinks.
Catch Some Air
If the kids still have energy to burn after running laps with a kite, consider another high flying adventure. House of Air indoor trampoline park is just steps away from Crissy Field in a historic airplane hangar.
Spend the Night
Kid-friendly Cavallo Point Lodge offers a different view of the Golden Gate every time you blink. Most of the lodge is comprised of turn-of-the-century buildings that were part of the original Fort Baker army post.
Along with seeing the Bridge, expect to hear it as well. To help guide vessels safely through the Golden Gate Strait, foghorns have been mounted on the Bridge since its opening in 1937. The foghorns cry out, on average, about two and a half hours a day. But during the summer, the Bay Area’s prime fog season, foghorns blare on average for more than 5 hours a day.
Maybe throw some earplugs in your camera case? I doubt you’ll need them, all that hunting for views of the Golden Gate pretty much guarantees the entire family a good night’s sleep. But don’t forget to set your alarm, there’s always the Bridge at sunrise to consider.
Dana and her family received complimentary bike tours from Blazing Saddles, but as always her thoughts and opinions are her own.
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