When someone says San Francisco, what do you think of? Do you imagine Pier 39, along with the famous island of Alcatraz, or high tech companies congregated together in a circle and tech junkies crowding the lopsided streets of the city? San Francisco, home of the Golden Gate Bridge and so many other attractions, is definitely one of the top places to explore on the West Coast. San Francisco has many historic elements that appeal to the various generations over time, such as the famous television series “Full House”, the exodus of traditional culture and the real estate and technology bubble that it is famous for today. Through my many visits to San Francisco, I loved exploring the different districts, architecture, and history of the various places located in and around San Francisco, especially the culture of the immigrant stories that we see today at Fisherman's Wharf and around historic areas, such as Chinatown.
San Francisco was conquered by the Spanish early on and didn’t gain fame until in 1848 during the Gold Rush when its population and its fame grew as gold panners from around the world rushed to this place for fame and fortune. During the 1906 Earthquake, it had to rebuild itself, resulting in the various forms of lasting architecture left from that period of time in history. During the 20th century, it is today is a thriving technology hub of northern California and the world. As a symbol of counterculture of the youth and new culture, San Francisco is constantly inventing itself as a world-class city.
1.Golden Gate Bridge
Many of you know that Golden Gate Bridge is a must see for when in San Francisco, but be prepared for the wind that travels alongside with it. Even during the summer, bring a jacket as walking across the bridge and touring its monuments can become chilly. As the longest suspension bridge built in 1937 spanning 1.7 miles connecting San Francisco to Marin County, it symbolizes an amazing feat accomplished during that time period to be treasured for decades to come. Every year, millions of visitors come to San Francisco marvel at this modern engineering feat for that time.
2. Waterfront at Fisherman’s Wharf
Every city has a Fisherman’s Wharf, but the one in San Francisco is incomparable because of the sheer size and density of the Dungeness crab, live fish and seafood at one of the longest running markets in the world. Marked by historical markers all along the bayside, this piece of land sits on the demolished land of the San Francisco Earthquake and reflects the importance of the fishing profession in San Francisco. Today, you can browse the bustling streets for street vendors, popular restaurants, and watch upon the scenery change as you walk along the waterfront.
3. Alcatraz Island - This remote island once served as a federal prison, military fortification, military prison and more from the years 1933-1963 and is famous for countess tales of survival and escapes from notorious inmates such as Al Capone. I still remember the tales that I listened through the walkie-talkie about the notorious life that Al Capone lead, from his Prohibition days living high to then living in the jail cell when he was the most famous gangster ; Capone was later caught for tax evasion, leading him to live life behind bars. However, that didn’t keep Al Capone from playing the banjo, serving 4 and a half years at Alcatraz, which we can still hear to this day. If you are interested in living history that still exists, then a trip and tour of Alcatraz is a must when your in San Francisco. It's hard to imagine that many people died trying to escape this prison.
4.Union Square - Union Square is located at the heart of San Francisco and it is here you can find a wide range of shops, eateries and entertainment. Boarded by major department store chains such as Sax Fifth Avenue and others, the acclaimed CheeseCake factory and other famous restaurants are located here as well. Everywhere in San Francisco is easily accessible by Uber and Lift, and Union Square is a popular destination for nightlife, shopping and meeting places to convene.
5. Chinatown - The Chinatown in San Francisco is one of the largest Chinatowns in the world outside of Asia, and is the oldest one in North America. If you want to explore some local authentic Chinese food, then look no further than this area. San Francisco was one of the first places that Chinese Americans immigrated to and reflects the struggles and insights that Chinese Americans faced when they arrived. For many of you who have read The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, San Francisco presents itself as a prominent location for asian immigrants and a commercial hub of immigrant culture and values.
1. Lombard Street - Be sure to walk the crossroad path of Lombard Street as this crisscross road leads you uphill on a steep adventure, among decorated flower roads and Victorian style houses. Known to be the most crooked street in the world, it is located in the Russian Hill neighbourhood and part of US 101. Shown in major movies and home of various artists, this famous street is a must see for when your in San Francisco, as its construction was based on its structural needs because of the steep incline of the hill, making it noteworthy in the history books.
2. Cable Car - Take an adventure on the old cable car system, started in 1873 to reach key areas on San Francisco, and brace yourself for key stops on this transportation system. Although the cable car is no longer the major form of transportation, it never hurts to step back into history into the life of those before us. For those of us that are afraid of abrupt stops, then you might want to brace yourself if your standing on the edge of the cable car.
3. Parks - San Francisco also has many parks, despite the association with the technology that it embodies. Golden Gate Park and others hosts many trails, festivals and gathering places which offer a natural refugee from city living. There is a Japanese style garden here and many natural fountains and relaxation areas to relax and destress.
Chelsea Reviews : 4/5
San Francisco is a nice city with many different districts and is constantly evolving as society evolves, from new technological districts to expanding areas of interest, the historic heart of San Francisco will always remain still as we look upon the Victorian Style houses in its Historic neighbourhoods. Whether you want to come to San Francisco for the new up and coming food scene, or for the bustling music and art scene, or just to take in the history and the technology, there is an industry and neighbourhood for you to explore. San Francisco represents an electric mix of the old and new, and is constantly changing and adapting to societal needs.