SOCIETY OF AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITERS MARKS GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE 75TH ANNIVERSARY BY HONORING TOP 10 BRIDGE TRAVEL SITES
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, which officially opened to traffic on May 28, 1937. To mark this key moment in travel history, the Society of American Travel Writers, Travel’s Most Trusted Voices, presents our list of top 10 bridge sites in the US and Canada, with unique offerings for travelers, adventurers, and all-around bridge enthusiasts.
- Golden Gate Bridge: We start in San Francisco, the first point on our tour of bridge travel sites. Visitors can take walking tours, catch spectacular views of the bridge wrapped in fog, and marvel at its trademark deep red color. An entire website is dedicated to the bridge’s anniversary at www.goldengatebridge75.org.
- George Washington Bridge: The world’s busiest bridge per car traffic, it routes drivers along 14 total lanes to get them between New York and New Jersey. Opened to traffic in 1931, the bridge was twice as long as any previous suspension bridge. Not just for cars, the bridge also caters to bikers and pedestrians. Get more information at www.panynj.gov.
- Lake Pontchartrain Causeway: Although it doesn’t span a massive canyon or gorge, this is the longest bridge in the US. Its runs nearly 24 miles, so once you’ve finished the drive north, take a quick exit to the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum in Madisonville, which preserves Louisiana’s maritime history and also hosts a Wooden Boat Festival in October, featuring over 100 classic and historic wooden boats. www.lpbmm.org.
- Royal Gorge Bridge: Located a few miles southwest of Colorado Springs in Cañon City, Colo., it’s the highest suspension bridge in the US, hanging in at 956 feet high. A dedicated park offers many adventure activities including ziplines, aerial trams and burro rides – plus it has the longest bridge bungee jump in the US. The park’s site provides information on planning trips, visit www.royalgorgebridge.com.
- Smolen Gulf and Liberty Covered Bridges: Together these two bridges account respectively for the longest and shortest covered bridges in the US – and they’re both in Ashtabula County, Ohio. Situated about 60 miles northeast of Cleveland, the bridges are star attractions in the Covered Bridge Festival, held in October. Visit www.coveredbridgefestival.org to learn more.
- Big Dam Bridge. This is the longest pedestrian bridge in North America – it has never seen car traffic. The two bridge ends connect portions of Little Rock, Ark. The span has hosted weddings, offers a full moon walking tour and has a dedicated foundation for promoting physical fitness. www.bigdambridge.com.
- Overseas Highway. Connecting the islands of the Florida Keys with more than 100 miles of roadway, this series of bridges provides the ultimate road trip experience. The highway is part of US Rt. 1, which runs the entire length of the eastern seaboard and ends in Key West, Fla. Get some sun and plan your visit at www.fla-keys.com.
- Rainbow Bridge. While not manmade, it is the world’s largest natural bridge. This National Monument’s celebrated the centennial of its declaration in 2010. Seeing this wonder requires a boat trip across Lake Powell in Utah, so tap your inner adventurer to round out our list of bridges. Learn more about the site at www.nps.gov/rabr/index.htm.
- Confederation Bridge. Spanning 8 miles from the Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, this is the world’s longest bridge crossing ice-covered water. www.confederationbridge.com.
- SkyTrail Bridge. The longest pedestrian bridge in Canada, it was built 100 years ago to serve as a railway bridge. In 2003 it was converted to a pedestrian bridge, and visitors can make the 3,000 foot trek across the bridge by visiting the town of Outlook, Saskatchewan. www.town.outlook.sk.ca/skytrail.