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San Francisco (United States)
 

World > North America > United States > San Francisco

San Francisco Travel Guide
 

 SAN FRANCISCO ATTRACTIONS

Alcatraz Island

Former maximum security federal penitentiary that held such notorious criminals such as Al Capone, "Creepy" Carpis, and Robert Stroud, the "Birdman of Alcatraz." Closed since 1963 due to the high cost of maintenance, it was reopened in 1972 as a recreation area with a self-guiding trail, cellblock tour, slide show and ranger programs.

 Winter daily 9:30am-2:45 pm; Summer daily 9:15am-4:15pm. Ferries from Pier 41 depart every half hour, at 15 and 45 minutes after the hour.
 

Coit Tower

Firemen saved the life of Lillie Coit as a child--the eccentric heiress built this observation tower in their honor. Coit Tower is the best way to see a panorama of the city. It is situated on top of Telegraph Hill. You can climb the stairs or take the 39 ("Coit") bus. Rest assured that people living on Telegraph Hill do not need exercise classes. It is so steep that steps were built in.  Daily 10am-7pm.
 

Fisherman's Wharf

It's hard not to think of the word "tourist trap" when Fisherman's Wharf comes to mind. There are blocks of souvenir shops with all the T-shirts, bumper stickers and miniature cable cars your heart may desire. Commercialized as it may be, millions of tourists visit Fisherman's Wharf every year. There are good seafood restaurants here, sidewalk vendors selling fresh-boiled Dungeness crab and sourdough, museums, street performers, barking sea lions in the boat harbor and much more to see and do. As you head west, you will see a view of Coit Tower, rolling hills and the Golden Gate Bridge. Ferries to popular destinations, such as Alcatraz and Sausalito, start here at the piers.

It's much easier to take a bus than to hunt for a parking space in this area. Public parking lots are available along Beach, Bay, North Point and Francisco streets.
 

Fort Mason Center

At Buchanan St. and Marina Blvd. Fort Mason Center is a World War II embarkation point that has been transformed into a regional cultural center. Former warehouses are now galleries, workshops, classrooms, studios, and even a well-known vegetarian restaurant. Four theatres, museums, a second-hand bookstore, numerous craft studios, and about fifty resident non-profit organizations are also here. A variety of events are presented weekly. Daily 8 a.m.-midnight. Free; charges for some events and galleries. Closest Bus
 

Golden Gate Bridge

This high level suspension bridge is the quintessential symbol of San Francisco. Walk (dress warmly) or bike across its 3-mile arc connecting San Francisco with Hwy 101. Watch speed limit--traffic fines doubled on bridge.
 

Palace of Fine Arts

Resembles a Roman ruin. Built for the Pan Pacific Expo of 1915. Holds a 1000 seat theater and the Exploratorium. Daily. Dawn to sunset. Free. Baker Street
 

Hyde Street Pier

 displays a coastal lumber schooner, a ferry, a tugboat, and a sailing vessel launched from Scotland in 1886 Daily 9:30-5, September 16-May 14; 10-6, May 15-Sept.

History of San Francisco

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