Describing the Golden Gate in words is hard: its beauty simply defies description.
Luckily, writers greater than I have tried, and they’ve come up with some wonderful (and a few wacky) Golden Gate Bridge quotes that at least grasp at the beauty of this most famous icon of San Francisco.
So whether you want a Golden Gate Bridge quote to inspire your San Francisco travels or you want it pair it with a photo you’ve gotten from one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge — these quotes about the Golden Gate will serve you well!
Inspiring Golden Gate Bridge Quotes
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“To this Gate I give the name of ‘Chrysopylae,’ or Golden Gate, for the same reason that the harbor of Byzantium was called ‘Chrysoceras,’ or Golden Horn.”
— Capt. John C. Fremont
“The bridge is a triumphant structure, a testimony to the creativity of mankind.”
— Kevin Starr
“The mystical structure, with its perfect amalgam of delicacy and power, exerts an uncanny effect. Its efficiency cannot conceal the artistry. There is heart there, and soul. It is an object to be contemplated for hours.”
— Herb Caen
“The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the greatest monuments of all time. … What has been thus played up in form should not be let down in color.”
— Irving Morrow
“One soft humid early spring morning driving a winding road across Mount Tamalpais, the 2,500-foot mountain just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, a bend reveals a sudden vision of San Francisco in shades of blue, a city in a dream, and I was filled with a tremendous yearning to live in that place of blue hills and blue buildings, though I do live there, I had just left there after breakfast.”
― Rebecca Solnit
The Golden Gate Bridge … offers enduring proof that human beings can alter the planet with reverence.”
– Kevin Starr
“He caught a glimpse of the twin towers of the Golden Gate Bridge, barely showing above the foggy flood. Farther north, small patches of the hills of Marin could be seen through the fog breakers that dashed over their tops and almost seemed to splash down to the bay below.”
― Zilpha Keatley Snyder
“The Golden Gate Bridge should be understood symbolically, in the sense that it does not go from America back to America but that it should be something that could possibly open up out of America.”
― Simeon Wade
“I have known her for 15 years, and she is more beautiful than ever … Her hair is usually a copper-red, and she has enormous feet, but once you have seen her bathing in the sun, she becomes a woman you will never forget.”
— Dean Jennings
“We crossed the famed Golden Gate Bridge, which you may know best from the opening credits of Full House, and also every bit of visual media that wanted to make clear that it takes place in San Francisco. The dense fog shrouding it cleared once we reached the other side. “Thickly fogged,” not California, may be the bridge’s native state.”
― Thomm Quackenbush
“San Francisco put on a show for me. I saw her across the bay, from the great road that bypasses Sausalito and enters the Golden Gate Bridge. The afternoon sun painted her white and gold—rising on her hills like a noble city in a happy dream.”
― John Steinbeck
“This bridge needs neither praise, eulogy nor encomium. It speaks for itself. We who have labored long are grateful. What Nature rent asunder long ago, man has joined today.”
— J. Strauss
Funny Golden Gate Bridge Quotes
“The Golden Gate Bridge’s daily strip tease from enveloping stoles of mist to full frontal glory is still the most provocative show in town.”
— Mary Moore Mason
“Drafting is like painting the Golden Gate Bridge. The closer you get to the end, the more you start to worry about the beginning.”
— Peter James
“The Golden Gate wasn’t our fault either, but we still put a bridge across it.“ — Larry Wall
“The Golden Gate Bridge should have a long bungee cord for people who aren’t quite ready to commit su*cide but want to get in a little practice.”
— George Carlin
“This studio has more suspensions than the Golden Gate Bridge.”
— Humphrey Bogart
Quotes about the Golden Gate Bridge from Poets and Singers
“The light of San Francisco
is a sea light
an island light
And the light of fog
blanketing the hills
drifting in at night
through the Golden Gate
to lie on the city at dawn…”
― Lawrence Ferlinghetti
“Such was life in the Golden Gate:
Gold dusted all we drank and ate,
And I was one of the children told,
‘We all must eat our peck of gold.“
— Robert Frost
“San Francisco! City of dreaming spires, people live here. Golden Gate Bridge, ahh, the Romans came here!”
— Eddie Izzard
What to Pack for San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge Photo Scouting
A waterproof, windproof jacket: The weather in San Francisco is, in a word, mercurial. There are different microclimates all over the city, and you’ll often find a temperature range of 20 degrees Fahrenheit… at the exact same time in the exact same city, just depending on neighborhoods. The foggy air can be really humid and cold, so a waterproof jacket will serve you well, even if it’s not actively raining! I love my Marmot rain jacket because it’s breathable (hello underarm zips!), cozy, and goes with everything.
A scarf. Basically every San Franciscan wears one as an armor from the constantly changing weather! I like these Speakeasy Travel Scarves which have a hidden pocket in them that no thief will suspect! Pickpocketing is rife in San Francisco, nfortuantely, so this is good armor for holding your cash, passport/ID, cards, and other important necessities close to your heart — literally!
A secure purse or backpack. Like I said, unfortunately, theft and pickpocketing in San Francisco can be a big issue. Almost everyone I know who lives in the city has been stolen from once… or twice. I’m obsessed with this chic, sleek Pacsafe Citysafe CX Backpack, which fits a laptop, several cameras and lenses, and way, way more than you’d think… seriously, it’s like a Mary Poppins bag! I’ve traveled with it from Morocco to Central America to the Caucasus and never once had an issue. The interlocking zippers confound thieves and scare them off to look for another easier target. Plus, it’s cute AF!
A compact camera: I love my Sony A6000 mirrorless camera. It’s insanely lightweight and compact, making it inconspicuous compared to DSLRs, which scream “I’m expensive, grab me!” to would-be thieves. The Sony A6000 is a great mid-range camera if you don’t need professional, sale-quality shots. I used it for my travel blogs since 2017 and it still works great.
A good wide-angle and a good zoom lens: If you want the full range of capabilities while shooting San Francisco, two lenses will do the trick. I recommend an inexpensive zoom lens (this is one I have and love) and a lens that can go from wide to middle range — this one goes from 16mm-55mm, so the combination of the two lenses together covers everything from ultra-wide to mega-zoomed!
Allison Green is a travel blogger, writer, and podcaster who grew up in the Bay Area of California. She has spent time living in New York, Prague, and Sofia, but has returned to live in the East Bay. She has traveled to 60 countries before the age of 30 while running several digital travel businesses. Her writing and podcast have been featured in Forbes, CBC Canada, National Geographic, the Huffington Post, and CNN Arabic, amongst others. She’s obsessed with dogs, wine, and anywhere she can see the ocean.