Located on the Pacific coast of northern California, San Francisco is one of the most famous cities in the USA. Its iconic Golden Gate Bridge and its mystical fog draw millions of visitors each year who come to explore its famous sights.
The Castro, as it’s locally known, was one of the first gay neighborhoods in the USA. In the Eureka Valley, to the southeast of Golden Gate Park, the Castro District has many important landmarks to visit.
Dating from the 19th century, the district developed from farmland to a thriving community, where, in the 1960s and 1970s, gay rights activism gained momentum. The Oscar winning movie, Milk, was set in the district, which has now become a major destination for tourists.
Its colorful nightlife attracts locals and visitors, with lots of bars and attractions. During the day, it’s a bustling, friendly community where you can enjoy the historical landmarks.
Standing on the top of Telegraph Hill, this 210 foot tower was built in 1933, after the patron of the San Francisco fire service, Lillie H. Coit, left money to the city to build a memorial to the firefighters..
Coit Tower is a popular tourist attraction. The tower’s observation deck, which is reached by an elevator, offers panoramic views of the city, including the famous Golden Gate Bridge.
Inside the tower there are murals, painted in 1934, which portray life during the Great Depression.
Situated in Pioneer Park, you can explore the surroundings on foot where you might be lucky enough to see the park’s resident parrot colony.
Golden Gate Bridge
Probably the most famous landmark in California and one of the most iconic structures in the USA, the Golden Gate Bridge is a 1.7 mile wide bridge that connects the city of San Francisco to Marin County.
After taking four years to complete, the bridge was opened to the public in 1937. The famous suspension bridge stands at 740 feet tall and carries 6 lanes of traffic. You can walk or cycle across the bridge on designated lanes and there is a Welcome Center that offers exhibitions and guided tours of the bridge, as well as information on the surrounding park areas.
Offering fantastic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Marshall’s Beach, on the banks of the Golden Gate Strait, is set in a recreation area. It’s a quiet beach where you can relax and admire the waves.
During high tides, however, it may not be possible to access the sand.
Being a small beach, there aren’t as many tourists, which is great if you plan on taking lots of photos or having a photo shoot with you private vacation photographer.
Visiting at sunset is a beautiful time to walk along the beach and take in the spectacular scenery, offering particularly excellent opportunities for photography.
Embarcadero – San Francisco Piers
The Embarcadero continues along the edge of the San Francisco Bay, encompassing the celebrated San Francisco Piers. The Embarcadero is one of the historic areas of the city and one of the most popular for tourists to visit.
There are plenty of boutique stores and restaurants and a wide promenade for walking alongside the water.
Pier 39 is probably the most famous pier in San Francisco, with plenty of entertainment and dining options. It is also here that you’ll see the noisy resident sea-lions.
City Lights Bookstore
Since 1953, the City Lights Bookstore has been a magnet for literary types. This independent bookstore was the first all-paperback bookstore in the USA and is filled with world literature, attracting visitors from around the globe.
The bookstore not only sells books but publishes them too, becoming famous for selling political books that had been banned in other places; giving them their liberal reputation.
There are many sights to see in San Francisco. No matter when you choose to visit or what your interests are, you can be sure of a fantastic trip and many memories.
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