Top Tourist Attractions in San Francisco
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 is renowned 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 ever spent was a summer in San Francisco” isn’t from Mark Twain but it is a pretty accurate statement of San Francisco’s weather. An overview of the top tourist attractions in San Francisco:
Palace of Fine Arts
The only structure remaining from the 1915 World’s Fair, the Palace of Fine Arts features a classical Roman rotunda with curved colonnades situated in an idyllic park setting with a classical European-Style lagoon. It’s a great place to unwind, have a picnic, and watch the swans float elegantly by. It also has a theater offering a variety of shows, musical and cultural events.
San Francisco’s Chinatown
Established in 1840s, San Francisco’s Chinatown is reputed to be the oldest and one of the largest and most famous of all Chinatowns outside 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. The tourist section of Chinatown is mainly along Grant Avenue, from Bush to Broadway.
The Alamo Square is a is a residential neighborhood and park that is best known for the famous Painted Ladies row of Victorian houses on its east side along Steiner Street. It is often the subject of many a San Francisco postcard. There are also many other pretty Victorians encircling the 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 the tops 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 in 1972, the Transamerica Pyramid has a height of 260 meters (85 feet) and is still the tallest building in 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 neither the crookedest street in San Francisco (Vermont Street is) nor the steepest. The one-block portion of Lombard Street that contains eight hairpin turns was created to reduce the hill’s natural steep slope. The speed limit in this section is a mere 5 mph.