The Varied History of San Francisco
You will have to travel the globe for a long time before you find a more unique and densely populated city than San Francisco. Although it has a relatively short history, it is none the less a very storied and varied history. From its early Spanish origins, to the Gold Rush era starting in 1849 and through the destruction and then rebuild following the 1906 earthquake to the summer of love in the 1960's and then the internet boom and the creation of the nearby Silicon Valley, San Francisco has had many influences that still show in the city today.
San Francisco has a delightful mix of landmarks and attractions mixed with welcoming and fun atmosphere as you travel through the city. Just walking around the city can be highly enjoyable with distinct districts of the city, unique architecture and the steep hills continuously rewarding you with magnificent views when you reach the top of them. The city even has a climate to match its varied culture with its famous rolling fog and cool summers matched by mild winters adding to the uniqueness of the city.
A City Full of Attractions
The most famous of the San Francisco attractions is the Golden Gate Bridge, the suspension bridge that links the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County. It has been declared one of the "Wonders of the Modern World" by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The distinctive colour of the bridge is called international orange and was chosen because it complements the natural surroundings, art deco design and enhanced its visibility in fog. The Golden Gate is not the only bridge that offers great views. Visitors who travel to San Francisco on Interstate 80 are greeted with wonderful views of the city and the bay as they travel over the Bay Bridge.
If you want something more than bridges don't fear because San Francisco is full of other attractions. Golden Gate Park is often compared to New York's central park due to its similar shape. Golden Gate Park is actually 20 percent larger and runs over three miles from east to west right up to the Pacific Ocean. The park is full with a range of different attractions that sums up the varied culture of the city. It plays host to 2 museums the biggest being the California Academy of Sciences which is the greenest museum in the world. The museum has its own aquarium as well as a planetarium. The park has a Japanese Tea Garden, the biggest public one in USA along with one of the world's largest conservatories, the Conservatory of Flowers. There are plenty of lakes in the park, the biggest being Stow Lake. At the west end of the park there is Kezar Stadium that formerly played host to the San Francisco 49ers NFL team. There is also a Bison paddock that has been in the park for over a century and has been a key part in the preservation of the species. The end of the park is bookend by two windmills that were built at the start of the 20th century.
Must Visit Areas
Other popular attractions include the most famous prison in American history, Alcatraz. Located on an island in the San Francisco Bay Alcatraz was used to house some of the most notorious criminals in American history including Al Capone. Now it's a must visit part of San Francisco's history. Pier 39 is another popular location for tourists and locals alike. Full of shops, restaurants and carnival type attractions it's a very popular area of the city. Coit Tower, built in 1933, offers amazing 360 degree views of the city and out into the bay. If you can handle the long walk up the hill to get there it is a must visit site. Lombard Street is one of the most famous streets in America and is described as the crookedest street in the world.
Whether you are visiting some of these famous attractions or just walking through the different neighbourhoods San Francisco is a unique city that has so much to offer. Just don't call it San Fran or you will upset the locals!