San Francisco, everyone’s favorite city, is located at the tip of a peninsula between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific coast.
A compact city of steep rolling hills surrounded on three sides by water, San Francisco isrenowned for its summer fogs, Victorian architecture, cable cars and beautiful vistas.
Just remember:Don’t call it Frisco and do bring warm clothing.
The famous quote “The coldest winter I everspent was a summer in San Francisco” isn’t from Mark Twain but it is a pretty accuratestatement of the city’s weather.
Here’s a a look at the top tourist attractions inSan Francisco.
Palace of Fine Arts.
The only structure remaining from the 1915World’s Fair, the Palace of Fine Arts features a classical Roman rotunda with curved colonnadessituated in an idyllic park setting with a classical European-Style lagoon.
It’s agreat place to unwind, have a picnic, and watch the swans float elegantly by.
It alsohas a theater offering a variety of shows, musical and cultural events.
Established in 1840s, San Francisco’s Chinatownis reputed to be the oldest and one of the largest and most famous of all Chinatownsoutside of Asia.
Many of the Chinese who settled here were merchants or immigrant workers, working on either the transcontinental railroad or as mine workers during the Gold Rush.
Thetourist section of Chinatown is mainly along Grant Avenue, from Bush to Broadway.
The Alamo Square is a residential neighborhoodand park that is best known for the famous Painted Ladies row of Victorian houses onits east side along Steiner Street.
There are also many other pretty Victorians encirclingthe lovely park.
The park includes a playground and a tennis court, and is frequented by neighbors, tourists, and dog owners.
On a clear day, the Transamerica Pyramid building and thetops of the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge can be seen from the park’s center.
Located in the heart of the Financial District.
, the Transamerica Pyramid is San Francisco’s other famous icon besides the Golden Gate.
According to its architect, William L.
Pereira, a pyramid is the ideal shape for skyscrapers, offering the advantage of letting more air and light in the streets below.
Finished in1972, the Transamerica Pyramid has a height of 853 feet and is still the tallest buildingin the San Francisco skyline.
Located between Hyde and Leavenworth streets, Lombard Street is famously known as the “crookedest street in the world” although it is neitherthe crookedest street in San Francisco nor the steepest.
The one-block portion of LombardStreet that contains eight hairpin turns was created to reduce the hill’s natural steepslope.
The speed limit in this section is a mere 5 mph.
Golden Gate Park.
Once an area of sand dunes, Golden Gate Parkis a large urban park with windmills, bison and a carousel among its many attractions.
It is about 20% larger than New York’s Central Park, so unless you have a bike, you’llwant to plan which area you want to visit.
A popular tourist attraction is the JapaneseTea Garden with beautiful ponds, bridges, and Japanese-style structures including atea house.
The world-famous Cable Cars run on three linesin the steep streets of San Francisco between Market Street and Fisherman’s Wharf.
Thesecars are a fun ride, especially if you get to stand on the running board.
They are perhapsa bit impractical for everyday use though residents do, in fact, use them on a regularbasis.
The cable car is such an attraction that, especially on weekends, it takes longerto wait in line to ride up Powell Street than it does to walk the short but sloping distance.
Often referred to as The Rock, the small islandof Alcatraz served as a lighthouse, a military fortification, and as a prison.
It was hometo some of the most notorious criminals of the time including Al Capone and Machine GunKelly.
Surrounded by the freezing water of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz was believed tobe inescapable.
The most famous attempt was carried out by Frank Morris, and brothersJohn and Clarence Anglin using an inflatable raft made from several stolen raincoats.
Today, the island is a popular tourist attraction and a historic site.
It is operated by theNational Park Service and is open to tours.
One of the most popular tourist attractionsin San Francisco, Fisherman’s Wharf runs all the way from Pier 39 through to MunicipalPier at the end of Aquatic Park.
For over a century its historic waterfront was thehub of San Francisco’s fishing fleet and is still famous for having some of the bestseafood restaurants in the city.
Other tourist attractions at the wharf include souvenirstores, historical buildings, scenic vistas over the Bay and the famous sea lions at Pier39.
Golden Gate Bridge.
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridgespanning the Golden Gate, the strait between San Francisco and Marin County to the north.
The bridge took four years to build, and was completed in 1937.
The Golden Gate Bridgewas the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed, and has becomean internationally recognized symbol of California.
The famous red-orange color of the bridgewas specifically chosen to make the bridge more easily visible through the thick fogthat frequently shrouds the bridge.