San Francisco is divided into si
is divided into six zones: Downtown, Midtown, Northeast, Northwest, and
Many of San Francisco's famous
attractions, including North Beach, Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, and Union
Square, are in its northeast quadrant. Golden Gate Park is in the city's
If you do not want to wait in
line for a cable car, you may wish to consider taking a Muni bus. You may board
lines 15-Third or 30-Stockton at the corner of Kearny and Market Streets. Lines
15 and 30 travel through Chinatown and North Beach, two of San Francisco's most
colorful neighborhoods. Line 15 terminates at Bay and Kearny Streets near PIER
39; line 30 operates on North Point Street from Columbus Avenue west to Van Ness
Avenue and serves The Anchorage, The Cannery and Ghirardelli Square.
Alcatraz Island (Northeast)
the notorious former federal
prison in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, is accessible to the public
through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Blue and Gold Fleet.
To reach Alcatraz Island, you
travel by ferry from Pier 41 at Fisherman's Wharf. The ferry ride will take you
approximately 20 to 25 minutes. The ferry is easily reached from the Union
Square by bus lines 15-Third or 30-Stockton or by cable car Powell-Mason line.
Once you arrive at Alcatraz
Island you must walk up a steep hill. There are no elevators. There is an
accessible, interactive computer program of the island's history available for
those unable to make the walk uphill.
415-705-5555 or visit the ticket
booth at Pier 41, Fisherman's Wharf. The ticket booth is open Monday through
Sunday, 8:30 am to 5 pm. Call 415-705-5555 for an update on extended summer
Golden Gate Park. (Southwest)
John F. Kennedy Dr. west of
415-263-0991 for walking tour
info. Open 24 hours. Free guided tours: Sat. at 11 and Sun. at 11 and 2.
Muni Buses 5-Fulton and 21-Hayes; N-Judah light-rail
Bordered by the Great Highway on
the west, Lincoln Way on the south, Stanyan Street on the east, Fulton St. on
The 1, 017 acre park contains a
dozen artificial lakes; a world renowned collection of trees and other plants;
miles of roads, bridle paths and foot trails. The park extends three miles from
Fell and Stanyan Streets to the ocean.
In addition to the Asian Art
museum, there is a bison paddock, a restored Dutch style windmill, an
equestrian center, a trotting track, tennis courts, archery fields, golf course,
a polo field stadium, and an outdoor music concourse which offers concerts all
The Visitor Center is located in
a Beach Chalet on Great Highway and features murals with scenes of the city
during the Great Depression, as well as mosaics and wood carvings. (Daily:
Palace Of Fine Arts
3601 Lyon Street (Adjacent to
San Francisco's rococo Palace of
Fine Arts is at the western end of the Marina. The palace is the sole survivor
of the many tinted plaster, lath and chicken wire buildings built for the 1915
Panama-Pacific International Exposition, the world's fair that celebrated San
Francisco's recovery from the 1906 earthquake and fire. The Palace of Fine Arts
was recast in concrete and reopened in 1967. The massive columns, great rotunda
dedicated to the glory of Greek culture, and swan-filled lagoon have been used
in countless fashion layouts and films.
Inside the Palace of Fine Arts
is the city's science museum.
Baker and Beach Sts.
415-561-0364 for palace tours;
415-561-0360 for Exploratorium info.
has a camera on top
of their roof that brings live images from the Marina, Golden Gate Bridge,
Alcatraz, Palace of Fine Arts and many more attractions. Viewers have the
ability to control the camera in order to view particular attractions.
For information on upcoming
exhibits, call 415 EXP-LORE.
San Francisco Museum Of
Modern Art ( Southeast)
151 3rd St.
Admission charged, but free 1st
Tues. of each month and 1⁄2-price entry Thurs. 6-9. Memorial Day-Labor Day,
Fri.-Tues. 10-6, Thurs. 10-9; Labor Day-Memorial Day, Fri.-Tues. 11-6, Thurs.
The architect Mario Botta
designed the striking facility, completed in early 1995, which consists of a
sienna brick facade and a central tower of alternating bands of black and white
stone. Inside, natural light from the tower floods the central atrium and some
of the museum's galleries. Works by Matisse, Picasso, O'Keeffe, Kahlo, Pollock,
Warhol, and other 20th-century artists form the heart of the diverse permanent
collection. Programming includes traveling exhibits and multimedia
Yerba Buena Gardens
Between 3rd, 4th, Mission, and
The two block heart of the South
of Market Street redevelopment area includes the Yerba Buena Center for the
Arts, the Sony Metreon entertainment complex, and the Moscone
Center convention facilities.
Rooftop at Yerba Buena
contains a Looff carousel, a high-tech, interactive arts and technology center
for children, gardens, a playground, an ice-skating rink, and a bowling alley.
The waterfall memorial to Martin
Luther King, Jr. is the focal point of the East Garden in the block between
Mission and Howard streets. Water surges over large, jagged stone columns,
mirroring the force of King's words that are carved on the stone walls and on
glass blocks behind the waterfall. Above the memorial are two restaurants and an
overhead walkway to the rooftop area.
Asian Art Museum (Southwest)
Tea Garden Dr. off John F.
Kennedy Dr., near 10th Ave. and Fulton St.,
415-668-8921 or 415-379-8801.
$s off with Muni transfer, good
also for same-day admission to the M. H. de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor
Museum in Lincoln Park; free 1st Wed. of month. Tues.-Sun. 9:30-4:45, 1st Wed.
of month until 8:45.
The museum's collection includes
more than 12,000 sculptures, paintings, and ceramics from 40 countries,
illustrating major periods of Asian art. On the first floor are special
exhibitions as well as galleries dedicated to works from Korea and China. On the
second floor are treasures from Iran, Turkey, Syria, India, Tibet, Nepal,
Pakistan, India, Japan, Afghanistan, and Southeast Asia.
California Palace Of The
Legion Of Honor (Northwest)
34th Ave. at Clement St.
415-863-3330 for 24-hr
$s off with Muni transfer, good
also for same-day admission to Asian Art and M. H. de Young museums.
Wed. of month. Tues.-Sun. 9:30-5.
Spectacularly situated on cliffs
overlooking the ocean and the Marin Headlands, this landmark building is a fine
repository of European art. The lower-level galleries exhibit prints and
drawings, English and European porcelain, and ancient Assyrian, Greek, Roman,
and Egyptian art. The 20-plus galleries on the upper level are devoted to
European art from the 14th century to the present. Two galleries are devoted to
the Rodin collection, and a third with works by him and other 19th-century
sculptors. An original cast of Rodin's The Thinker welcomes the visitor
in the courtyard.
Chinatown (covers about 16
Delicious smells waft out of
restaurants, fish markets, and produce stands. Good-luck banners of crimson and
gold hang beside dragon-entwined lampposts, pagoda roofs, and street signs with
Grant Avenue and Stockton Street
are the main thoroughfares and are lined with tearooms, shops and temples,
Christian missions, Chinese schools, theaters, and grocery stores. Be sure to
visit the district's narrow side streets also. At No. 56 Ross Alley west of
and parallel to Grant Avenue between Washington and Jackson Streets visitors are
welcome to watch fortune-cookie bakers in action. Three flights of stairs lead
up to Tin How Temple, at No. 125 Waverly Place, where elderly ladies can often
be seen preparing "money" to be burned as offerings to various Buddhist gods or
as funds for ancestors to use in the afterlife. Visit Chinatown
as you would like people to visit your home neighborhood. Be open to learning
from those who welcome your presence, and leave an impression of warmth and
good will behind.
Chinese Historical Society of America (Midtown)
644 Broadway, Suite 401
Mon 1-4 Tues-Fri 10:30-4 Sat
Documents the role of the
Chinese in the settlement of San Francisco and the West through a series of
East side of the block bordered
by Jefferson, Leavenworth, Beach and Hyde Streets
Formerly a Del Monte fruit
cannery; it houses specialty shops, art galleries and restaurants, linked by
arcades, bridges and balconies.
Ghiardelli Square (Northeast)
Between Beach, Polk, Northpoint
and Larkin Streets within walking distance of the Cannery and Fishermanâ€™s Wharf,
this 2.5 acre site houses the former Ghiardelli Chocolate factory, a woolen
mill, apartments, and other buildings that have been refurbished to house
specialty shops, bakeries and international restaurants. Many mimes and â€śhuman
statuesâ€ť perform next to the square.
The Metreon ( Southeast)
SONY entertainment center at
Fourth and Mission Streets in Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The center
features an interactive play space called: â€śWhere the Wild Things Areâ€ť; an
Adventure zone called Airtight Garage; and â€śThe Way things Work in
Coit Tower (Northeast)
Telegraph Hill Blvd., at
Greenwich St. or Lombard St.,
Admission charged. Daily
Among San Francisco's most
distinctive skyline sights, the 210-ft-tall Coit Tower stands as a monument to
the city's volunteer firefighters. From the Tower there is a spectacular view of
the Golden Gate Bridge, the East Bay, and surrounding areas.
Inside the tower, Depression era
murals depict economic and political life in California. The government
commissioned the murals and paid 25 artists $38 a week each to paint them. The
radical Mexican painter, Diego Rivera inspired the theme of the murals: the
exploitation of workers. At the time they were painted, there was widespread
friction between management and labor along the waterfront and elsewhere in San
Golden Gate Bridge
Lincoln Blvd. near Doyle Dr. and
Daily, 24 hrs for cars and
bikes, 5 AM-9 PM for pedestrians.
Muni Buses 28 and 29 to San
The suspension bridge that
connects San Francisco with Marin County impresses visitors and locals alike
with its 750-ft towers, and simple but powerful Art Deco design. Nearly 2 mi,
long, the Golden Gate was completed in 1937 after four years of construction,
and was built to withstand winds of more than 100 mph.
This landmark is a symbol of San
Francisco and the Bay Area. The Bridge is an architectural marvel, and is one of
the longest suspension bridges in the world. The two towers are purposely out of
alignment in order to compensate for the curvature of the earth.
Because it is frequently gusty
and misty , walkers should wear warm clothing. The bridge offers unparalleled
views of the Bay Area.
Bay Area Discovery Museum
Off US101 at 557 McReynolds Road
(In Golden Gate National
Recreation Area at the north end of Golden Gate bridge.)
Tues-Sun. 10-5 (6/15-9/15)
Tues-Thurs 9-4; Fri-Sun 110-5, (rest of the year) Call for holiday schedule.
Admission charged. Children
must be accompanied by an adult.
This museum features hands-on
exhibits for children. Children can climb on a fishing boat and fish; learn to
ride a unicycle; create clay animation movies; crawl through an underwater
tunnel; decorate a doll house, to name a few of the choices. There is a Tot Spot storybook
environment for children 1-3.
Cable Car Barn & Museum
1201 Mason St. at Washington St.
Daily 10-6 Apr-Sept. 10-5 rest
Contains models, photographs and
memorabilia chronicling the history of San Franciscoâ€™s early transit system,
including the first cable car built in 1873.
Underground viewing room shows
mechanics of the system.
California Academy of
in Golden Gate Park
Daily 9-6 (Memorial Day weekend
- Labor Day) 10-5 rest of the year.
Admission charged. Free to all
first Wed. of the month.
1) Morrison Planetarium
Houses a 5,000 pound star
projector, built specially for the planetarium. Under a 65 foot dome star shows
are given Sat, Sun. first Wed. of the month and holidays on the hour 11-4.
Mon-Fri. at 2:00. Call for program titles and to confirm hours. The Planetarium
also features Laserium, a laser light and music show.
2) Natural History Museum
Includes Wild California Hall;
Simson African Hall; Hall of Gems and Minerals. There are also Far Side of
Science Gallery and Earth and Space Hall in which visitors can safely
experience a simulated California earthquake on a â€śshake table.â€ť Life Through
Time and the Age of the Dinosaurs are also popular exhibits.
3) Steinhart Aquarium
Houses some 14,000 aquatic
animals including octopuses, alligators, turtles, reptiles, sharks, sea anemones
and sea horses. Sharks of the Tropics are housed in a re-created tropical reef
habitat. Sharks are fed daily every two hours 10:30-4:30. Penguins are fed at
11:30 and 4:00.
Embarcadero Center (Downtown)
between Clay & Sacramento Sts.
on Drum Street
The Embarcadero Center is one of
the most vital urban centers in San Francisco. It is a city in itself with
five high rise towers and the Old Federal Reserve Bank building connected by
elevated walks, escalators and stairways. More than 140 shops and restaurants
are available to residents and office workers and to the numerous visitors. A
five screen movie theater, luxury hotels, and the observation SkyDeck complete
the picture. Live music and festivals are frequently found at the Center. In
late November, 17,000 white lights are turned on to outline the towers.
Nob Hill (Downtown)
between Clay, California, Jones
and Powell Streets
A century ago the railroad
erected mansions, and today the wealthy live there in penthouses. Among the
famous landmarks are the Fairmont and Mark Hopkins Hotels and the newer
Renaissance Stanford Court: three of the most luxurious hotels in the world.
Nearby Grace Cathedral is modeled after Notre Dame in Paris and Huntington Park
contains a replica of the Tartarughe Fountain in Rome. Classical and art
nouveau apartment buildings line the downtown side of the steep hill.
Pier 39 (Northeast)
The Embarcadero at Jefferson
Cable car transport to Union
Square every 20 minutes.
San Francisco's version of the
old-fashioned boardwalk, this two level marketplace designed to look like a
village by the sea, features over 100 specialty shops and restaurants.
Children enjoy the Venetian Carousel. Teens hang out at the Cyber Station
Family Games Arcade. The Bungee Trampoline and the big screen multimedia Turbo
Ride in hydraulic seats are other prime attractions. A giant screen with
surround sound shows two films: The Great San Francisco Adventure and
the Living Sea. The famous California 1000 pound sea lions perform on K
Dock. Musicians, mimes, actors, and jugglers entertain on outdoor stages.
Underwater World ( Northeast)
Pier 39 at the Embacadero and
415 623-5300. Daily 9-8.
Admission charged. Discount for
public transit riders.
Clear acrylic tunnels give
visitors the same close look a diver would have at such marine life as sharks,
jellyfish, rays and eels. Guided tours last an hour.
USS Pampanito (Northeast)
at the end of Taylor Street and
Daily 9-8 (mid-May-mid Oct.)
Sun-Thurs 9-6 rest of the year). Admission charged.
A World War II submarine that
saw action in the Pacific theater. Self guided tours. Stooping through low
bulkheads is required to tour the sub.
San Francisco Maritime Park (Northeast)
Hyde Street Pier
America's only floating national
park features the world's largest collection of historic ships from the annals
of San Francisco's history. Programs, exhibits and events focus on living
history at this floating museum. For more information, call 561-6662.
At the end of Taylor Street
Ripleyâ€™s Believe it or Not; and
the Wax Museum are two attractions in this area.
Millions visit this part of San
Francisco each year to gaze across the piers, take in the local scene, and enjoy
the numerous fine restaurants.
San Francisco Zoo
This world-renowned zoo is home
to over 1,000 exotic, wild and domestic animals housed on dozens of acres. Be
sure to visit the primate center, penguin island and the children's petting
Golden Gate Railroad Museum
Hunters Point Shipyard
has one of the most extensive
collections of historic, operating, railroad equipment in the west. Famous
trains such as the Daylights, Overland Limited, Cascade, Sunset, Lark, Del
Monte, California Zephyr and City of San Francisco are on display, as well as
the museum's "star," steam engine SP 2472. The GGRM now offers Rent-A-Locomotive
and special events programs allowing guests to actually operate a full sized
Japanâ€™s Center (Southwest)
Boundaries are: Post, Fillmore,
Geary and Laguna Streets
Underground parking is
A five acre complex containing
Miyako Hotel; the offices of the Japanese consulate; and the Peace Pagoda which
stands in the central plaza. Music, dance, tea ceremonies, and martial arts
presentations are given on many weekends. Call for schedule of events and
times. The area has restaurants, shops, art galleries, movie theaters, and
Japanese Tea Garden (Southwest)
8th Avenue and
Daily 9-6:30 (Mar-Sept) 9-5
(rest of the year).
Landscaped with bridges, walks,
ponds, miniature waterfalls, statues, and pagodas. The garden is spectacular
when the cherry blossoms bloom in the Spring.
Strybing Arboretum (Southwest)
9th Avenue and
Mon-Fri. 8:30-4:30 Sat, Sun 10-5
Free guided tours daily at 1:30 Sat, Sun. 10:30.
More than 7,000 species of
plants from around the world are displayed. Within the 70 acres are
demonstration gardens, a Mediterranean collection, a New World cloud forest
collection, the Garden of Fragrance for the visually impaired, and the Moonviewing Pavilion and waterfall.
Mount Tamalpais State Park
Mill Valley, California
Daily dawn-dusk. Parking
The park covers 6,300 acres of
picturesque coastal hill country. Triple peaked Mount Tamalpais rises above
it. Hiking and bicycling trails and a winding road lead to the summit. The
view is unparalleled. There is a visitor center at the summit.