I love San Fran, one of my favorite US things to do. Here’s a few views from visits. I have another visit that I need to add, and will do that as soon as possible.
Right near Fisherman’s Wharf is a wonderful little cafe on Taylor Street that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tiny little cafe with world class tastes! It’s called “Daren’s Cafe” and it’s owned by David and Wendy, and named for their son. Walk down to Taylor Street and about 1/2 way up to the next block is Daren’s. Stop in.
The weather in San Fran changes literally by the hour. Mornings are generally very hazy, and then it generally burns off to bright crisp days and fresh air, and then early afernoon, it starts to haze over again. It’s often very misty, especially in the mornings and then all of a sudden it’s all sunny and warm. Dress in layers so that you can cool down and warm up, and forget maintaining a good hair day 🙂
It’s really great to stay at the Wharf, get a bike, and then ride all the way across Golden Gate Park to Golden Gate Bridge and the surrounding bike paths there, then back to the wharf. I’ve done it a few times. You can also bike across Golden Gate, to the Marin side, and back.
My favorite little hotel at Fisherman’s Wharf ~ The Tuscan Inn
Around San Fran
Looking out over the city
Down at the Wharf
4th of July at the Wharf
All of these buildings are residences, and the cars all over the streets are personal cars for the people who live there
Coming down looking at Alcatraz
Coit Tower up on Telegraph Hill
Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower (Murals inside)
Coit Tower is a monument to the firefighters of San Francisco. Paid for by Lillie Hitchcock Coit, a wealthy socialite who loved to chase fires in the early days of the city’s history, the tower took five years to construct. Before December 1866, there was no real fire department, and fires in the city, which broke out regularly due to the nature of the wooden buildings, were extinguished by several volunteer fire companies. Lillie Coit was one of the more eccentric characters in the history of North Beach and Telegraph Hill, smoking cigars and wearing trousers long before it was socially acceptable for women to do so. She was an avid gambler and often dressed like a man in order to gamble in the males-only establishments that dotted North Beach. Coit was reputed to have shaved her head so her wigs would fit better. Lillie’s fortunes funded the monument four years following her death in 1929, as she had requested. She had a special relationship with the city’s firefighters. At the age of fifteen she witnessed the Knickerbocker Engine Co. No. 5 in response to a fire call up on Telegraph Hill when they were shorthanded, and threw her school books to the ground and pitched in to help, calling out to other bystanders to help get the engine up the hill to the fire, to get the first water onto the blaze. After that Lillie became the Engine Co. mascot and could barely be constrained by her parents from jumping into action at the sound of every fire bell. After this she was frequently riding with the Knickerbocker Engine Co. 5, especially so in street parades and celebrations in which the Engine Co. participated. Through her youth and adulthood Lillie was recognized as an honorary firefighter. Her will read that she wished for one third of her fortune “to be expended in an appropriate manner for the purpose of adding to the beauty of the city which I have always loved.” Two memorials were built in her name. One was Coit Tower, and the other was a sculpture depicting three firemen, one of them carrying a woman in his arms. Lillie is today the patron saint of San Francisco firefighters.
Looking over the Financial District
The Bay on the Marin County side of Golden Gate
Lombard Street – Curviest Street
Lombard Street is best known for the one-way section on Russian Hill between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets, in which the roadway has eight sharp turns (or switchbacks) that have earned the street the distinction of being the crookedest [most winding] street in the world
AT&T Field – Home of San Francisco Giants
Located at the edge of downtown San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay, AT&T Park is one of the best ballparks in baseball with its design and breathtaking views. The idea and planning for new ballpark to replace Candlestick Park dates back 1976 when Bob Lurie bought the Giants. Lurie wanted to build a new downtown stadium for the Giants because of the financial losses they were suffering at Candlestick Park. Interest in a ballpark peaked in 1984 when Lurie nearly sold the team. Instead of building a downtown ballpark, city officials proposed placing a dome over Candlestick Park. That plan failed and in 1987 and 1989 San Francisco voters rejected plans to build a ballpark. Both plans were barely defeated and Lurie began threatening to move the Giants. Lurie looked to Santa Clara in 1990 and San Jose in 1992 for public funding, but citizens rejected both referendums. With the threatened move to Florida, Peter Magowan bought the Giants in 1992, keeping the team in the Bay City. In 1995, the Giants announced plans to build the first privately financed Major League ballpark since Dodger Stadium. It would be located in downtown San Francisco in the China Basin area. Construction of the steel, concrete and brick ballpark began on December 11, 1997. Naming rights were sold to Pacific Bell for $50 million over 24 years, thus the ballpark was named Pacific Bell Park. After the 2003 season, Pacific Bell Park was renamed SBC Park after SBC Communications Inc. acquisition of Pacific Bell. In February 2006, the ballpark was renamed AT&T Park after SBC Communications changed its named after its acquisition of AT&T.
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. As part of both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1, it connects the city of San Francisco on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County. The Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed in 1937, and has become one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and of the United States. Despite its span length being surpassed by eight other bridges since its completion, it still has the second longest suspension bridge main span in the United States, after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City. It has been declared one of the modern Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Frommers travel guide considers the Golden Gate Bridge “possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world”
The Presideo/Crissy Field
The Presidio of San Francisco (originally, El Presidio Real de San Francisco or Royal Presidio of San Francisco) is a park on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula in San Francisco, California, within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It has been a fortified location since 1776 when the Spanish made it the military center of their expansion in the area. It passed to Mexico, which in turn passed it to the United States in 1847. As part of a military reduction program, Congress voted in 1989 to end the Presidio’s status as an active military installation and on October 1, 1994, it was transferred to the National Park Service, ending 219 years of military use and beginning its next phase of mixed commercial and public use. In 1996, the United States Congress created the Presidio Trust to oversee and manage the interior 80% of the park’s lands, with the National Park Service managing the coastal 20%. In a first-of-its-kind structure, Congress mandated that the Presidio Trust make the Presidio financially self-sufficient by 2013, something it achieved 8 years early.
The park is characterized by many wooded areas, hills, and scenic vistas overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. It was recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1962.
Alcatraz Island is an island located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) offshore from San Francisco, California, United States. Often referred to as The Rock, the small island early-on served as a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, and a Federal Bureau of Prisons federal prison until 1963. Later, in 1972, Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received landmarking designations in 1976 and 1986.
Today, the island is a historic site operated by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is open to tours. Visitors can reach the island by ferry ride from Pier 33, near Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. In 2008 the nation’s first hybrid propulsion ferry started serving the island. Alcatraz has been featured in many movies, TV shows, cartoons, books, comics, and games.