San Francisco (Spanish for “Saint Francis”) was founded on June 29, 1776, when colonists from Spain established a fort at the Golden Gate and a mission named for St. Francis of Assisi a few miles away. The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco is known for its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture and landmarks. Also it is headquarter of various companies such as Twitter, Uber, Mozilla or Pinterest.
Fisherman’s Wharf is a neighborhood and popular tourist attraction in San Francisco, California. It roughly encompasses the northern waterfront area of San Francisco from Ghirardelli Square or Van Ness Avenue east to Pier 35 or Kearny Street.
Pier 39 is a shopping center and popular tourist attraction built on a pier in San Francisco, California. At Pier 39, there are shops, restaurants, a video arcade, street performances, an interpretive center for the Marine Mammal Center, the Aquarium of the Bay, virtual 3D rides, and views of California sea lions hauled out on docks on Pier 39’s marina
The Chinatown centered on Grant Avenue and Stockton Street in San Francisco, is the oldest Chinatown in North America and the largest Chinese community outside Asia. When you enter through the Dragon Gate, you really believe that you are in China.
In North Beach lives also a large population of Italian American. Little Italy starts in Columbus Street, or as the Italians say: Corso Cristoforo Colombo. It is still home to many Italian restaurants today, though many other ethnic groups currently live in the neighborhood. Today, North Beach is one of San Francisco’s main nightlife districts
The area got its name because it was once used for rallies and support for the Union Army during the American Civil War, earning its designation as a California Historical Landmark. Today, this one-block plaza and surrounding area is one of the largest collections of department stores, upscale boutiques, gift shops, art galleries, and beauty salons in the United States.
Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate is certainly one of the most photographed bridges of the world. It is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait, the mile-wide, three-mile-long channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. You can gain good views from North or South Vista Points, but an even better view you get from Sausalito.
Alcatraz Island is located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) offshore from San Francisco, California, United States. Known as “The Rock”, it served most of time as prison. Infamous inmates were Machine Gun Kelly or Al Capone. One recommendation: If you want to visit the island, buy tour in advance! There are long waiting lists. When we arrived, the next available date was 3 weeks ahead…
Trolley Hop-on-Hop-off tour (e.g. Big Bus)
To get an instant overview I recommend a Trolley Hop-on-Hop-off bus tour which visits the highlights of this beautiful city. You can enter or exit at any station on the ride (as long as there is space available inside). So in one day, you cruise through the city on an open-top bus and learn about San Francisco’s unique history. The next days you can spend then diving deeper into SF history.
Powell-Hyde Cable car line
Everybody visiting San Francisco should ride on those ancient dinosaurs of transportation. In my point of view, the Powell-Hyde line gives you a nice view to the Bay bridge and other spots such as Little Italy or Fisherman’s Wharf. Best is to buy a ticket (single ride ticket for adults: 6 USD) at one of the end stations, since it is almost impossible to step on the cable car somewhere else, since many tourists want to ride it. We waited 1 hour! But it is worth it.
- * Most information taken and adapted from Wikipedia