San Francisco is one of the cities in California that has many reasons to visit it. Since the Golden Breach to Coil Tower, the city has many options to spend great moments. Of course, attractions like the North Beach, the Chinatown, the Fisherman's Wharf and Union Square are located in the northeast section of San Francisco, while the Golden Gate Park are located in the northwest section therefore San Francisco has many surprises and charm in every sites and zones of its territory.
GOLDEN GATE PARK
Golden Gate Park is the main open green space in San Francisco; configured as a rectangle, it is similar to the Central Park in New York. Golden Gate Park was designed by William Hammond Hall in 1870, although the Park owes its existence to John McLaren, who created the landscape we see today. The Park features numerous sporting facilities, museums, lakes, horse stables, a carousel and much more hidden among its charms. The park contains the Japanese Tea Garden with its bridges and bonsai, the Conservatory of Flowers, the Asian Art Museum, the Shakespeare Garden, the ethnic art focused De Young Museum, the Academy of Sciences, and the Strybing Arboretum. The best day to explore the park is on Sundays, when the main drive is closed to traffic and becomes the recreational area for joggers, bicyclists, roller skaters and strollers. Golden Gate Park is bounded by Fulton Street on the north, Lincoln Street on the south, the Great Highway on the west, and Stanyan Street on the east.
GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
The Golden Gate Bridge is perhaps the most identifiable landmark in San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge is an engineering masterpiece of man-made ingenuity and design; it has been called one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time of its completion in 1937. This red-orange coloured bridge spans the bay connecting the northern part of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County. Don't miss the historic Roundhouse, a visitor's centre which boasts a great variety of souvenirs, and information about the bridge's construction and history. The Golden Gate Bridge is also a favourite with the suicidal even the sidewalks are dotted with crisis-counselling phones.
Alcatraz Island, sometimes referred to as simply Alcatraz or locally as the Rock, is a small island located in the middle of San Francisco Bay. It was the first lighthouse and US fort on the West Coast, then a military prison followed by a federal prison until 1963. Today, the island is a historic site operated by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Alcatraz was the ideal place to keep in custody the country's most wanted criminals, you can learn more about the history of famous prisoners including George “Machine Gun” Kelley, Al “Scarface” Capone, and Robert "Birdman of Alcatraz" Stroud, it is said that there have never been successful escapes from the Rock. Visitors can reach the island by ferry ride from Pier 33, near Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.
National Park Service, Golden Gate National Recreation Area,
Fort Mason, B201, San Francisco, CA 94123
North Beach is best known as San Francisco's Little Italy, it is located midway between Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf with Russian hill on the west. The area is filled with Italian restaurants, check-cloth cafes, Old World delicatessens and nightclubs. North Beach also features an active live music scene. Most of the shops and restaurants are along Grant and Columbus Avenues. Joe DiMaggio lived in North Beach as a kid and briefly returned to live there with his wife Marilyn Monroe. Many Beatnik poets and writers lived and performed their live readings here. Two of the Beat-era landmarks are the Vesuvio's bar and the City Lights Bookstore, original publisher of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl". Some important sights include Colt Tower, Sts. Peter and Paul Church, St. Francis of Assisi Church, Columbus Tower, and the Washington Square Park.
Since 1873, the historic San Francisco Cable Cars have been an integral part of life in the city and one of the most popular forms of public transportation for San Franciscans. A trip on one of this unique mobile National Landmarks in the United States is a picturesque way to travel around parts of the City. Cable cars operate along three different routes approximately every ten minutes, the two main lines operate from downtown near Union Square to Fisherman's Wharf, and a third route along California Street. To learn more, visit the San Francisco Cable Car Museum and Powerhouse, at 1201 Mason at Washington Street, where visitors can see models of different types of cable cars.
Housed within the walls of the neoclassical San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts and near to the Golden Gate Bridge, the Exploratorium is known as the museum of science, art and human perception; it provides useful and fun information about science, nature, art and technology. The Exploratorium features some 650 “please touch” exhibits, many of its displays are created by visual and performing artists as well as scientists and educators. A must is the Tactile Dome, an hour-long journey through a labyrinth of different textures that visitors must navigate using the sense of touch; other sight is the off-site Wave Organ, a unique sonic experience located on a nearby point of land jutting into San Francisco Bay. This unique museum was developed by physicist Frank Oppenheimer and opened in 1969.
Address: 3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco, CA 94123
Telephone: (415) EXP-LORE
Located between Hyde & Leavenworth on Russian Hill, Lombard Street is hailed as the “Crookedest (most winding) Street in the world”. Lombard Street features eight switchbacks on a 40-degree slope along a single block; the street was designed in 1922 in order to make easier for cars and pedestrians to negotiate the steep 16-percent grade of the hill. Cars can travel downhill only. You can get great view of Lombard Street from the Hyde Street cable car. Lombard is lined with beautiful Victorian mansions and adorned with abundant hydrangeas. The high point of the Street offers amazing views of the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz, Telegraph Hill, North Beach and the city. Lombard Street offers the only vehicular access to Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower.
Alamo Square, also known as “Postcard Row”, is a residential neighbourhood and park in San Francisco and one of the 11 historic districts designated by the Department of City Planning. It is bordered by Hayes Street to the south, Fulton Street to the north, Scott Street to the west, and Steiner Street to the east. The Park has a tennis court and a recreational area very popular with dog owners. A row of classic Victorian houses overlooks the park on Steiner Street, known as the “Six Sisters” or the “Painted Ladies”, there are also many other pretty Victorian houses encircling the park, numerous are open to the public. Alamo Square is served by a number of MUNI bus lines including the 5, 21, 22, and 24.
Located atop Telegraph Hill in North Beach, Coilt Tower has an observation deck that provides panoramic views of the city including landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, the island of Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf. The Tower was built in 1933 and designed by architects Arthur Brown Jr. and Henry Howard; with funds from Lillie Hitchcock Coit, who left one-third of her fortune to be used to beautify the city of San Francisco. Inside the Tower you can see 19 Depression-era murals painted by 26 different artists, many of whom studied under Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera, the themes focus principally on social realism style. The Tower is open 10:00 am to 07:00 pm daily, admission into the tower is free but there is a nominal charge for the elevator ride to the viewing platform at the top of the tower.