In my last trip (it was a huge road trip around United States of America from Buffalo,NY to Yellowstone in the Wyoming in 17 days (31 cities) Sanfrancisco was the most beautiful and the most green cities a saw. The street are amazing (maybe not in standard car like I have) but for the landscape, It was really the a must see in your life.
Alcatraz is a special place to see
Fondest memory: Alcatraz tour is what i will always keep in memory.
Favorite thing: If you are planning to rent a car, an option to minimize cost, is to do all your local exploration on foot or via local transit and besides it is cheaper to get the 7 day $ 45 pass which is good on all public rides like muni buses, cable cars, pcc street cars, ferry and BART!. Rent the car only when you are ready to venture outside of the city. Otherwise you will spend a tidy sum just for parking when you don't really need a car. If you are driving in from outside the bay area, consider parking outside of town and saving on parking fees.
Favorite thing: If you're renting a car and are unsure whether you can stop on a steep (as much as a 31.5% grade!) hill without rolling back down, you'll want to get an automatic. If you're stuck with a stick shift, try putting on the emergency brake and easing off it as you move forward. Practice makes perfect, but avoiding the steepest hills is probably safest.
San Francisco is a relatively young city but even so, it has 11 districts that are considered historical.
You may want to take a look...
1) Bush Str/Cottage Row, since 1991 - Cottage Row (between Bush and Sutter, parallel to Fillmore and Webster)
2) Jackson Square, since 1972 - Jackson, Pacific, Washington, Montgomery, etc.
3) Webster Street, since 1981 - Webster, Washington, etc.
4) Northeast Waterfront, since 1983 - Battery, Sansome, Green, Vallejo, etc.
5) Alamo Square, since 1984 - Fulton, McAllister, Grove, Steiner, Scott, etc.
6) Liberty Hill, since 1985 - Valencia, Guerrero, 20th Street, 21st Street, etc.
7) Telegraph Hill, since 1986- Filbert Steps, Greenwich, Union, Montgomery, etc.
8) Blackstone Court, since 1987 - Blackstone Court (off Franklin near Lombard)
9) South End District, since 1990 - Townsend, Brannan, 2nd Street, etc.
10) Civic Center, since 1996 - McAllister, Grove, Van Ness, Larkin, Polk, etc.
11) Dogpatch, since 2003 - Third Street, Mariposa, Tubbs, I-280
I`ll try to explore them too and create separate pages for all 11 of them.
As of now, I completed the Alamo Square Historic District
Favorite thing: What a lovely sight from the boat, the streets of San Fran, lit up by the sun. They are so steep, you really suffer if try to walk up them. The best way is by cable or bus. It is a great way to spend a day out around the bay area which views all around you. I hope to return one day to visit the many buildings and shops that did not manage to see on this trip. I though it was a colourful, scenic and vibrant place.
Richmond Street here. Here was where we used to park, in an expensive public parking, while wandering in the downtown San Francisco.
There is almost no chance you may park along the streets in San Francisco as in many other major cities in the United States, unless you use to bring one kilogram of coins with you.
The only chance is to choose one public parking and be ready to pay up to 40 dollars for a whole day park. Very expensive
I'm not a "megabuildings lover", not at all.
A San Francisco page canno be complete without the addition of a picture like this.
I made this photograph from the Coit Tower Hill, the tower itself was right behind me.
Pardon me for this, I was trying some filters, see the sky?
Beware climbing the coit tower, it is an endless stairway.
Favorite thing: You never know when you are going to see something that makes you laugh. For instance, the fact that Big Al's is voted "Best Old School Sex Shop" cracked me up to no end. I mean, chances are, this award was not in a tour book for the city.
Oft-described as the Main Street of San Francisco, Market slashes a broad diagonal across the central part of the city. Originally conceived following the 1849 Gold Rush as a means to beautifying the rapidly growing city, the street was layed out in a direct axis with the harbour and the two summits of Twin Peaks, a tall mountain within the city. Unfortunately, this design, unorthodox within the grid-planned city, caused traffic nightmares for those wishing to cross it, and according to some, still does. But its hinderance of traffic also meant it became a spot that had to be stopped at common to all of San Francisco- a principal artery. Ever widened to resemble the great European boulevards then just appearing, Market Street was incredibly fashionable in the periods just prior to and following the great 1906 earthquake. It then deteriorated, becoming home to less erudite members of the city's population. Multimillion-dollar efforts to 'clan up Market Street' have rsulted in shiny new street amenities that make the street shine like the Champs-Elysees, but has not conquered the social dilemma (nor has it helped replace honest shopkeeper-owned businesses with upscale cappucino bars and chains as the city's developers and pro-gentrifyers have hoped). In any event, a simple walk down the street can reveal the elegance and the trauma, the grime and the glitter that is San Francisco.
Fondest memory: Slashing through the grid, it is like a metaphorical cross-section of the city. Start in the Castro District, best known for its gay population, and proceed under the rainbow banners. You'll soon pass by the dramatic California Volunteers Monument symbolising the role of the state's soldiers in the Spanish-American War. Soon you'll pass by the gilded neoclassical Civic Center, and then the fountain of United Nations Plaza, bustling with homeless. Then you'll come through the delerict and gritty Tenderloin, which suddenly becomes clan and upscale moving past Hallidie Plaza, where tourists line up for the cable car turnaround. Thn it's up through the towering Financial District to the majestic Ferry Building which terminates the street, a San Francisco landmark. Along the street, you'll see historic streetcars, trolleybuses, buses, trucks, cars, professional people, homeless people...the entire cross-section of vehicular and pedestrian San Francisco. And because Market is the city's transit spine, two subway systems run underneath as well. It's one big, bustling, busy axis which you have to check out.
I really liked to drive my car down the hills of San Francisco, it was such a thrill and scary sometimes you don't think the car will make it up! It's like in the movies, ... see picture on from page.
Fondest memory: The colorful architecture.
Favorite thing: Wander around! I was warned about some 'rough areas' off to one side of Market Street, but in general San Francisco seemed to be a very safe city, and the centre of the city is a nice place to take a walk, especially on a nice sunny day.
Get a hotel or campgroup ready before you get there!
Fondest memory: We pulled into San Fran late at night, and of course, hadn't even begun to think about accomodations. We decided to just sleep in the car for the night. Unfortunately, the only streets we could find to sleep were all angled at 30 degrees, so it wasn't a very good sleep.
One of the most beautiful things I saw in San Francisco where the murals in Balmey Alley in the Mission.
Balmey Alley is a narrow street between Folsom & Harrison street and 24th and 25th street. It is lined from end to end with murals.
Also check out my travellogue for more photo's of these beautiful paintings.
The whole city is the most amazing creature I've ever seen. Streets turns in the impossible way, if you look at parking cars you have the impression that they will fall over like domino any minute now!
This is the Crookedest Street, the end (or beggining) of Lombard Street. Unbelievable.
See what I mean?
San Francisco has the steepest slopes coupled with many winding roads! Makes driving on these roads a daily test even for the most skilful drivers!! Oh yes, and clambering up these steep hills deserves an entire chapter too. :-))
By the way, this amateurish snapshot was taken from a MOVING cable car.... I'm even more amazed I didn't fall off my seat and go tumbling down the steep hill! Pheeeew!!