2 Girls. 1 World. A Whole Lot to See

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The Golden Golden Gate Bridge

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Golden Gate Bridge

Reminiscing about my weeklong road trip in California with the 8-Year-Old brings nothing but a smile to my face. Actually, there is a song that will forever bring me straight back to our CA road trip. It was not only the first song we heard in our rented Mustang convertible but the radio seemed to have it on repeat all week.

The 8-Year-Old and I now can’t hear that song without looking at each other with a big toothy grin, and that is why this yearly trip tradition will be a priority for me for the rest of my life. 

Looking back at our whole trip, one stop in particular really stood out for me as a pleasant surprise.

When I was initially planning,  I knew I wanted to at least see the Golden Gate Bridge. Not being a native West Coaster, it’s one of those things I’m really familiar with from movies and media but needed to see for myself. I’m sure it’s a similar feeling for those not from New York to see the Verrazano or George Washington Bridge. Then again I may just be a geek in this department so feel free to ignore my crazy bridge compulsion.

Anyway, I was nervous about it. I had no idea what traffic would be like around the bridge, if there would be a place to park or even if I could (or wanted to) travel across it and back since we weren’t heading north.

In hindsight I could have looked all this information up on its website but honestly, I was already saturated with California tidbits. So I decided to wing the bridge and figured at best we would just drive by and maybe pull to the side of the road for a picture or two.

To my surprise we were able to do much more!

Driving toward the bridge I saw an exit for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area View Area. There there was a small parking lot, visitor center and view station. If I remember correctly it was $2 to park for 2 hours.

Perfect!

Now I’m sure being there after hours greatly benefited us. We arrived  around 6:30 p.m. and were extremely lucky as someone was just leaving, freeing a spot for us. I can see visiting the center during daytime hours being quite hectic.

Anyway, we paid for our parking and walked over to a observation point. It was breathtaking!

Golden Gate Bridge

He may not look it, but he was impressed. Especially when he could climb on the sample cable.

Golden Gate Cable

I was fascinated at how much of a presence Alcatraz had from everywhere in the city.

Alcatraz view from Golden Gate

We started to wander around. I knew there was a way to walk across the bridge. I just had to find it.

Of course we had to stop for a photo here and there.

Golden Gate Bridge SIgn

The kid has almost no ability to take a photo without making a face. It’s maddening!

Anyway, we came across a map.

Golden Gate Bridge Map

Now I felt more comfortable exploring the area.

I stopped to read a little history.

Golden Gate History

When I turned around I found this.

Climbing at the Golden Gate

Yeah, he was having fun.

Still strolling toward the bridge we came across another educational area with a hands-on demonstration on why the bridge was constructed the way it was.

Golden Gate hands on activity 1

Great for kids!

We stayed and read for a minute and then continued toward the bridge.

walking to Golden Gate Bridge

I would have LOVED to walk across but it was late and I was with a child who may have (crap, HAS) inherited Dad’s slight fear of heights and bridges. So we compromised and decided to walk to the first beam just to take a few pictures.

View of San Fran from Golden Gate Bridge

I was in heaven. There’s nothing I enjoy much more than a great view.

One the walk back we spied another educational spot with a different hands-on station. This one explained how the bridge was designed with sections.

Another Golden Gate spot

Overall we spent just over an hour at the Golden Gate Bridge and it was the perfect way to end our first night in California.

If you are planning a trip to the area, I’d definitely put this amazing landmark on your list. Just wear good shoes and be sure to visit with someone willing to walk across.

The Golden Gate Bridge at Sunset

Went I go back that’s what I’m be doing for sure!



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Discussion

There are 5 comments so far. Join in on the conversation.

    Thea @ It's Me Vs. Me

    May 15, 2014

    Walking across is intimidating! It's very cool, though. My friend, my brother, and I walked across on a whim later in the evening and when we got to the other side we discovered there was no way to get back but to walk. So we walked back across but by that time it was COLD and we were all a little cranky. I hope you get to go back some day just so you can do Alcatraz. You mentioned what a presence it has but the reverse is even more mind boggling...to imagine being an inmate there and looking out to see SF and realizing how close but yet how far you are from civilization and freedom. I can only imagine how demoralizing that must have been for them. Reply

    Kim

    May 15, 2014

    I am doing this very trip next week and I have been stalking your IG, and blog to see what you recommended. You lucky I don't have your phone number or I would have called you by now to discuss because I am totally obsessed with seeing as much as I can. I am starting in Seattle and making my way down, it has been REALLY nice to see your review! I'm so excited! Reply

      Roni

      May 15, 2014

      SO fun Kim!! Did see this post…. http://theunworldlytravelers.com/2014/04/from-san-francisco-to-los-angeles-a-pacific-coast-adventure/ The bottom has all our stops! Reply

        Kim

        May 16, 2014

        I sure did! I am beyond excited. I have been researching this trip for months, and bottom line is you can't hit everything but you also don't want to miss the REALLY cool stuff. I have appreciated you sharing your adventure. I am not a blogger, but I will be sharing on Instagram :) Reply

    Jordan

    May 23, 2014

    Someone obviously felt inspired by your husband's typical gesture, check out the hand on the far right of the picture with the cable! ;) Reply