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Bixby Creek Bridge Seen Along Highway One In Big Sur, CaliforniaBixby Bridge – See the photographs below of the famous bridges.

California has some of the most iconic bridges around. Today we take most of them for granted as we drive over them, but back when many were being constructed in the early 20th century they were changing the economic engine of California as the West Coast population was exploding. It is hard to downplay their value when you think about how much time it would take to drive around something like San Francisco Bay when trying to reach Marin County just minutes away from San Francisco. The mountain passes and coastal highways all transport people and goods saving time and money constantly. Unfortunately many of these famous bridges are aging and in need of repair or even replacement.

These picturesque bridges come in all shapes, sizes, and designs. Some are suspension bridges, others are more typical arch bridges or beam bridges, and then there are rare bridges like the covered bridge in Felton and the wooden trestle and deck truss bridge over the Albion River. This trestle bridge is probably next to be replaced as it’s the last wooden bridge on Highway 1.

The Golden Gate Bridge might be the most photographed bridge in the country. This 1.7 mile long bridge was completed in 1937 and is suspended by two huge towers with a 4200 foot main span – a record that stood for nearly 3 decades. It is considered a wonder of the modern world by civil engineers. Nearby is the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge which is also a suspension bridge, but gets far less respect from engineers (and photographers).

Then there are the historic bridges along the coast on Highway 1 including well-known spans such as Bixby Bridge, Rocky Creek Bridge, and Big Creek Bridge all in close proximity along the Big Sur Coast. These arch and double arch bridges frequently grace postcards and calendars. There are many other important and attractive bridges in our state. Here are pictures the best bridges on or near the coast in California.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

bigs-Golden-Gate-Bridge-from Overlook in Marin Headlands-E1 (Large)There are many ways to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge

bigs-Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge lit up at night-E1 (Large)The Bay Bridge deserves to be photographed more often!

Bixby Bridge, Big Sur

The beach under Bixby Bridge is inaccessible though beautiful

Big Creek Bridge, Big Sur

bigs-Big Creek Bridge Double Arch Big Sur from the south-E1 (Large)Big Creek Bridge is less known than Bixby but equally impressive

Rocky Creek Bridge, Big Sur

Bridge on the Pacific Coast betweenRocky Creek Bridge is a little closer to Carmel than Big Sur

Coronado Bridge, San Diego

bigs-Coronado bridge-san diego bay CA-E1 (Large)A vital connection between San Diego and Coronado

Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena

Historic Colorado Street bridge in Pasadena California.This unique bridge deserves a spot on this list

Albion River Bridge, Albion

Albion Flat Campground Beach Bryce Sept2015 (16)This wood trestle and truss bridge towers over Albion Flat Beach

Fernbridge over Eel River, Loleta

Fernbridge bridge over Eel River near California Coast-WP-E1 (Large)A unique bridge between Loleta and Ferndale near the coast, (photo wikipedia)

Arroyo Hondo Bridge, Santa Barbara

Arroyo Hondo BS-DC March2015 (13)At Arroyo Hondo Beach you get an abandoned bridge and an active train trestle

Jug Handle Creek Bridge, Fort Bragg

Jug Handle SNR Bryce June2015 (10)This arch bridge backs Jug Handle State Beach

Russian Gulch State Park, Mendocino

Russian Gulch State Park Bryce June2015 (6)You have to walk under this bridge to reach Russian Gulch State Park Beach

Felton Covered Bridge, near Santa Cruz

Felton Covered Bridge is one of the last of this type in California

Bridge to Nowhere, San Gabriel Mountains

bigs-Bridge-To-Nowhere-San Gabriel Mountains-hike not drive-E1 (Large)You can’t drive to it, but you can hike and bungee jump here

Beaches on this list

  • Kirby Cove Beach

    Kirby Cove Beach is at the base of the Marin Headlands north of the entrance to San Francisco Bay. The view from the beach is stunning with the city of […]

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  • Fort Baker Beach on Horseshoe Cove

    Fort Baker is a historic army post at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge that was built in the early 1900’s. It’s now a park within the Golden […]

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  • Crissy Field – West Bluff Beach

    The beach at West Bluff Picnic Area is located at the west end of Crissy Field Park right below Fort Point National Historic Site and very near the Golden Gate […]

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  • Clipper Cove Beach on Yerba Buena Island

    There are several beaches along the shoreline of Yerba Buena Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay about halfway between San Francisco and Oakland. Some of the beaches are […]

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  • Bixby Creek Bridge Beach

    The land behind Bixby Bridge south of Carmel is private property and the beach below is inaccessible due to cliffs north and south of the bridge, but don’t let that […]

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  • Rocky Creek Bridge Beach

    Rocky Creek Beach is below the Rocky Creek Bridge along a steep section of Highway 1 south of Carmel and north of Big Sur. The creek flows down through Las […]

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  • Albion Flat Beach

    Albion Flat Beach is at the back of a protected cove below a picturesque Highway 1 bridge. The Albion River Bridge is a combination of wooden trestle and deck truss […]

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  • Coronado Tidelands Park

    Tidelands Park is a Coronado city park with sports fields, a skate park, and a sandy beach on San Diego Bay. It is located next to the San Diego-Coronado Bridge […]

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  • Arroyo Hondo Beach

    Arroyo Hondo Beach is a small beach at the mouth of Arroyo Hondo Creek west of Santa Barbara. The beach here has some sand, but is narrow and rocky in […]

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  • Jug Handle State Natural Reserve

    Jug Handle State Natural Reserve is next to Highway 1 about midway between the towns of Mendocino and Fort Bragg on the Mendocino County Coast. The park is known for […]

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  • Russian Gulch State Park

    Russian Gulch State Park, north of Mendocino, has a sandy beach below the Highway 1 bridge where Russian Gulch Creek flows into a narrow cove. Kids can play in the safe […]

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Related Attractions

  • Felton Covered Bridge County Park

    Check out one of the only covered bridges in California. Unlike the East Coast which has many, these historic photogenic bridges are few and far between on the West Coast. […]

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  • Bridge to Nowhere

    Discover an old concrete arch bridge that was never put into use. Soon after it was completed in 1936 the hillsides where the highway was planned to go washed out […]

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