Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge connecting San Francisco Bay with the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula.

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The bridge has a main span of 1,280 metres (4,200 feet) and a total height of 227 metres (746 feet). At the time of its opening in 1937 it was the longest and tallest suspension bridge in the world. It held this honour until 1964.

Construction on the bridge begun in 1933. It was designed by engineer Joseph Strauss.

You can walk, cycle or drive across the famous bridge. I walked across the bridge. Pedestrian access is from the East Sidewalk (bay side). From November to early March it is open 5am to 6.30pm, and from early March to early November it is open 5am to 9pm.

There are many opportunities to view the bridge. Can you walk along the waterfront from Fisherman’s Wharf. The bridge is 5.5 kilometres (3.5 miles) west of Fisherman’s Wharf.

You can also view the bridge from below Fort Point where Jimmy Stewart saved Kim Novak in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.

A popular photo opportunity is from Marin Headlands (Vista Point). I stopped here on a tour to Muir Woods National Monument.

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Sea Lions at San Francisco’s Pier 39

Pier 39 in San Francisco is home to a group of wild sea lions that have drawn tourists since 1990.

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The sea lions started arriving at Pier 39 following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. At that time boats were still docked at the pier. There was discussion about moving the sea lions, but it was decided that they could stay and boat owners were relocated. The docks were later replaced with floats that were able to withstand the sea lions weight.

The best time to see the sea lions is from late July to mid May, as during June to July many of the sea lions leave to breed. You can also view the Sea Lions via the Sea Lion Webcam.

The sea lions are located at K-Dock in Pier 39, which is on the edge of the Fisherman’s Wharf district.

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Hyde Street Pier, San Francisco

Hyde Street Pier is a historic automobile ferry pier located on the west end of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf.

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The pier, which was built in 1922, was the main ferry terminal connecting San Francisco with Marin County prior to the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Today the pier is part the San Francisco Marine National Historic Park and is home to many historic ships including the 1886 steel-hulled rigged sailing ship Balclutha, the 1890 side-wheel steamboat Eureka, the 1891 scow schooner Alma, the 1895 schooner C.A. Thayer, the 1907 steam tugboat Hercules, and the 1914 paddlewheel tugboat Eppleton Hall.

Hyde Street Pier is located at Fisherman’s Wharf at the end of Hyde Street.

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Musée Mécanique, San Francisco

Musée Mécanique is a collection of penny arcade games located in a museum on Pier 45 at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.

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‘Laughing Sal’ – one of San Francisco’s most nostalgic landmarks at Playland from from 1940 – 1972.

Ed Zelinksy begun collecting at age 11. Originally his collection was exhibited at Playland, an amusement park located next to Ocean Beach.

In 1972 Playland closed and the Musée Mécanique collection moved into the basement of the Cliff House (click here to read my blog post on the Cliff House).

In 2002 Musée Mécanique was moved to Fisherman’s Wharf. Today it is owned and managed by Ed’s son Dan Zelinsky.

There are over 200 coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and arcade games. It is free to enter the museum, but visitors pay to play the games. The games are priced from one cent to a dollar. There are change machines available.

Musée Mécanique is located at in Shed A, Pier 45, which is at the foot of Taylor Street.

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