Jimmy Buffet sang about heading out there. Tony Bennett told the world he left his heart there. The 49ers have won five Super Bowls, and the Giants have played 51 consecutive seasons in the City By The Bay, mostly in Candlestick Park. The town’s Patron Saint is Saint Francis of Assissi, and to this day it remains a cosmopolitan, cultural, and legendary California town, the 13th most heavily populated one in the United States.
Located on the northern end of the San Fransisco peninsula, with the Pacific Ocean on the west, and San Fransisco Bay to the north and east, the city is well known for its chilly Summer fog and its Mediterranean climate.
San Fransisco offers outstanding shopping, world class culinary establishments like Peet’s Coffee, on Union Square, and Yoshi’s Jazz House and Restaurant. San Fransisco has very popular celebrity attractions, and fun happenings all families can enjoy while vacationing there.
Ohlone natives first settled this Golden State city, and Spanish missionaries named it, but the California Gold Rush of 1849 was when San Fransisco grew up from a small town into a booming major city, seemingly overnight, and now encompasses approximately 47 square miles, packed with world famous, internationally recognized landmarks, world-class museums, and top performing arts companies.
The San Fransisco parks, and its coastal region, help make the city a very attractive place for recreation-loving tourists seeking hiking, biking, rollerblading, fly-fishing, golfing, bird-watching, and archery adventures.
There are more restaurants per capita located in San Fransisco than any other US city, and they defy visitors to “have a bad meal in this town,” boasting that will never happen here.
Centuries-old towering redwood trees fill the Muir Woods National Monument on the north side of San Fransisco. The city’s premiere retail district can be located at Union Square, where department stores and botiques abound, as do the public art displays in the Center’s Square.
Stroll the waterfront promenade for tasty delicacies at the Ferry Building Marketplace, or enjoy breathtaking spectacular views in the Embarcadero. Climb Telegraph Hill and count the panaramic sights of the city, or observe the 1933 morals on the ground floor of the Coit Tower Building displaying Great Depression scenes vividly painted by local artists of the times.
Dragon’s Gate leads visitors into the 24-block, 2-mile long, famous district known as Chinatown, where they can stop for bubble tea, dim sum, or tour a fortune-cookie factory in the oldest Chinatown in North America, and the largest Chinatown community outside of Asia.
Fisherman’s Wharf remains San Fransisco’s top tourist attraction for bay-view restaurants, shopping, museums, historic ships, Pier 39, and the resident sea lions who make their homes there.
The 1100-acre, beautifully landscaped, Golden Gate Park is packed with landmarks and popular attractions like the de Young Museum, the Japanese Tea Gardens, and the Conservatory of Flowers.
North Beach is the Little Italy district of San Fransisco with arts, crafts, and jazz festivals. Lombard Street has eight switchbacks earning the title “the crookedest (most winding) street in the world”.
San Fransisco has more than 200 parks scattered around the city, including Presidio Park, which has been a fortified location since 1776, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, San Fransisco Bay, and the Pacific Ocean. Baker Beach is located there, and the park is on the list of National Historic Landmarks.
The San Fransisco Zoo is located near Lake Merced, a fresh-water lake with three golf courses, and the Fort Funston sand dunes. The zoo houses more than 250 species of animals, many of which are designated endangered.
The San Fransisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center hosts some of the most enduring Performing Arts troupes in the Country. The Fillmore stage was the launching pad of the San Fransisco Sound created by such notably famous Acts as The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane, who all performed there.
At Lincoln Park, the Palace of the Legion of Honor holds European antiques and works of art. The Museum of Modern Art houses 20th Century and Contemporary artworks.
Found where Market Street and the Embarcadero meet, the tall landmark began as a simple wooden structure in 1875, and is now an extremely popular beaux-arts symbol of the City By The Bay. Having survived the famous 1906 earthquake that rocked San Fransisco, the Ferry Building draws thousands of visitors to shop, dine, and watch the ferries pass by along the way, helping revive aqua-commuting underneath the shadows of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The world famous Golden Gate Bridge spans San Fransisco Bay. Alcatraz Prison remains nestled away, on Alcatraz Island, in the middle of the Bay, once housing some of the Country’s most notorious criminals, with escape almost impossible. The Golden Gate Bridge was once the world’s longest expansion bridge when it was built in 1937, and is ranked Number Five on the list of America’s Most Famous Architecture. The bridge is 8981 feet long and has starred in many movies.
With all that San Fransisco has to offer it is very easy to see why the city is known as “Everybody’s Favorite City,” however, it is still the cable cars that steal this show, and are San Fransisco’s most desired attractions, running up and down its famous hilly streets, and out to Nob Hill. They are the world’s largest, last permanently operational, manually-operated, cable car system.
San Fransisco operates two cable car routes from downtown, near Union Street to Fisherman’s Wharf, and one route along California Street. The Powell-Mason, and the Powell-Hyde, lines serve the tourist and shopping areas with open-sided front sections, and outward-facing seats. The cable cars rear sections are enclosed with inward-facing seats, entrances at both ends of the cars, and a small platform at the rear. There are more than 40 cable cars in operation that run on the pair of four-wheeled trucks on tracks laid down on the streets, and no San Fransisco vacation would ever be complete without riding these cable cars that are just waiting to take visitors away.
Websites such as lonelyplanet.com, sfmuseum.com, sfgate.com, sanfransisco.com, and onlyinsanfransisco.com provide much more information on “Everybody’s Favorite City,” and home of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Fransisco.
NOTE: Of the more than 100 published Articles I have written on associatedcontent.com, of special interest to all may well be the Series Lymphedema Straight Talk. Feel free to read all of the daily Articles included in this Series.