In the 60s of the 20th century San Francisco was the mecca of hippies and love-ins. The song by Scott McKenzie “San Francisco” describes this time. Today it is nostalgia and actually no longer to be felt. Nevertheless, San Francisco is a pulsating metropolis and open to current developments and changes. Life here is active into the evening, and not just in the tourist centers.
Discover the city’s lively and diverse neighborhoods, vibrant nightlife, and wide range of arts and cultural institutions. In addition, there are first-class shopping opportunities and a fascinatingly diverse gastronomic landscape. The metropolis is not called “the city out of a picture book” without reason and belongs to one of the most beautiful cities in the United States!
San Francisco – how could you not lose your heart here?
Tip 1: Golden Gate Bridge
What can you tell about the Golden Gate Bridge? A lot. The Golden Gate Bridge is located in the northwest of the United States of America in San Francisco and connects the city from north to south with Marin County and the Napa and Sonoma Valleys.
It is a suspension bridge that spans the strait that connects San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean. It is an absolutely amazing structure that requires the same maintenance work as an oil rig. The suspension bridge is the landmark of San Francisco and, along with the Statue of Liberty, one of the symbols of the USA.
The Golden Gate Bridge has attracted numerous tourists for decades. These can also cross the Art Deco-style Bridge on foot. In addition to the lanes for road traffic, the beauty also has a crosswalk on the east side of the bridge.
Tip 2: Lombard Street
Lombard Street is located in the north of San Francisco and runs through the peninsula in a “horizontal” direction: it begins in the Presidio in the west, where it branches off Presidio Boulevard, and ends at the Embarcadero in the east.
It is not completely continuous, however, as it merges with Telegraph Hill Boulevard in the east before reaching the Embarcadero, which leads up to Coit Tower.
“The world’s curviest street” thus refers only to a small section, less than 150 meters long, located between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets, three blocks east of Van Ness Avenue on Russian Hill.
Originally, this section was also an ordinary straight street, but the hill’s enormous gradient of up to 27% quickly caused problems and so, as early as 1922, the eight curves that are now world famous were installed.
Those who want to photograph the curves without (other) cars should therefore come early in the morning. The sun is also best in the morning for photos from the bottom up.
If you want to drive the road yourself and film it, on the other hand, it’s best to come in the evening. You can also get a good view of the street from the observation deck of the Coit Tower.
Tip 3: Alcatraz
Located in the middle of San Francisco Bay, California in the USA is Alcatraz Island. On the island is a famous landmark of San Francisco the former maximum security prison Alcatraz and the oldest lighthouse on the U.S. West Coast.
In the past, Alcatraz Island was used as a fort, then as a maximum security prison, and nowadays it is only used by tourists for tours to Alcatraz and sightseeing.
Alcatraz Island in San Francisco is a sandstone island 500 meters long and up to 41 meters high. In total, Alcatraz has an area of 85,000 square meters.
The island got the name Alcatraz at that time because many boobies nested on the island (Isla de los Alcatraces). Nowadays Alcatraz is a large bird sanctuary.
Alcatraz was the most secure prison in the USA at that time. Thus the island Alcatraz got the following further name “The Rock”. Meanwhile Alcatraz is under the supervision of the US National Park Service and belongs to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Tip 4: Pier 39
The mecca of every San Francisco visitor is Pier 39, which opened in 1978. The entire pier consists of a wide wooden walkway littered with wooden-built stores. Over 100 stores, 11 restaurants and numerous attractions are offered.
No sightseeing tour, no matter how short, leaves this destination out. Accordingly, this place is highly frequented. One meets people from all parts of the world strolling along the wooden walkways. Pier 39 is the second most visited place in California, with 10.5 million visitors a year.
The pier developed during the gold rush era, when Chinese fishermen first fished off the coast with their junks to supply the surrounding countryside with food. Later they were replaced by Italians who set up stalls on the beach.
The secret main attraction of Pier 39 are the world-famous sea lions, which have taken up residence, and without any human planning at all. In 1994, the city cleared part of this harbor basin and installed floating pontoons, which are now used by the animals as a resting place. And there is no shortage of them; certainly a hundred animals are permanently on site, making a lot of noise and having fun pushing each other off the wooden platforms down into the water.
Tip 5: Museum of Modern Art
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, SFMOMA for short, which is dedicated to modern and contemporary art, is also worth seeing. The SFMOMA is fascinating even before you enter it. Its façade of white, fiberglass-reinforced polymer panels is a nod to the swaths of mist over the water that San Francisco is famous for. SFMOMA is considered the largest museum of modern art in the U.S., the union of many different great collections in one museum.
The exhibition areas span a total of ten floors, with the bulk of the pieces currently on display coming from the private Doris and Donald Fisher Collection – these are the founders of the Gap clothing company. This includes works by artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Gerhard Richter. The third floor houses the Pritzker Center for Photography, the largest photography collection in the United States. In addition, several special exhibitions are held regularly.