Monday, July 02, 2012

GGB with a toddler - The Fog in San Francisco

Fog! I guess it's just part of being such an odd climate near the Pacific Ocean. San Francisco's weather is so finicky! It was supposed to be sunny and warmish when we went down to the Golden Gate Bridge with my parents a few weeks ago, but because I've been there before and lived here for a few months, I knew to pack a light jacket for myself and G. My mom asked if she should bring one and I told her it was up to her, but that I probably wouldn't end up using mine anyway.

Wouldn't you know it was nearly freezing {with the wind chill} and pretty dreary looking above. In fact, we couldn't even see the whole bridge and I know I felt a few drops of either rain or some serious ocean spit. Seeing the bridge is something you have to do when in the Bay Area, because it's such an iconic picture opportunity. It just celebrated its 75th birthday this year. It may seem red, but it's technically orange--like a burnt orange. I think the views are wonderful from either side of it (I've seen it from both), but we've only ever taken pictures looking north (that is, from the south). The fog kind of gives pictures a gloomy look, but it's still cool, IMO.

I cannot speak from experience about stopping on the north side of the bridge, my tips or photos are from the south side (San Francisco side).

If you are planning to go to the Golden Gate Bridge with a toddler -- especially one who doesn't like to ride in a stroller or Beco for more than 30 minutes -- don't plan to walk the length of the bridge and back. That'd take you about an hour, longer if you let the toddler do some walking (not advised due to bicyclists and danger). The highlight of GGB with a toddler will be photo ops and some wondering about on a trail down to Crissy Field or a pier near it. There's a place to eat (Warming Hut Cafe), but I suggest just heading to Fisherman's Wharf for some amazing seafood (or other fare).

Do not pay for parking, unless absolutely necessary. There is a free lot (small and unpaved) to the south of the tiny metered lot you see first when exiting. To get to the free lot, take the last San Francisco exit on US 101 (literally it's right before the toll plaza, I  believe it's 439). Then drive down the road and turn right to Lincoln Blvd (also called Bike Rt 2), take the first right and then a sharp left to stay on Lincoln/BR2. The lot is about 400 feet down the road.

Toll: If you want to drive across the bridge, you will pay a toll on the way into San Francisco (south bound). It's $6 per car.

I recommend driving on US 1 to see the Pacific Ocean / Gulf of the Farallones rocky 'beaches' nearby (about 5 minutes out of the way).

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