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A guide to touring...

San Francisco

by piero scaruffi
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Features:

Cultural Events
Best restaurants
Annual events
Touring San Francisco
A six days tour
Best views
Best sunsets
Best stairways
Best hikes
Best bike rides
Steepest inclines
Environs
Point Reyes
Yosemite
Highway 1
A tour of Silicon Valley
Pictures
Transportation:
Samtrans buses
Caltrain
BART

Annual events:

  • February: Chinese parade
  • April: International Film Festival
  • May 5: Cinco de Mayo
  • May: Bay to Breakers
  • May: Carnaval parade
  • May: Kinetic Sculpture Race
  • May: Fire Drums
  • June: Custom Car Show (Pismo Beach)
  • June: Flower Festival (Lompoc)
  • June: Solstice Concerts at the Chapel of the Chimes, Oakland
  • Summer: Free symphonic concert in Stern Grove (summer sundays)
  • July 4: Hollister Independence Raid
  • July 4: Fireworks
  • July 8-14: Death Ride
  • July 14: Bastille Day
  • July: Garlic Festival (Gilroy)
  • July: Bach Festival (Carmel)
  • July 25: Ultramarathon
  • July-August: Mozart Festival (San Luis Obispo)
  • July-August: Shakespeare Festival (Orinda)
  • August: Concours d'Elegance (Pebble Beach)
  • August: Cornig olive festival
  • September (Labor Day): Sausalito Art Festival
  • September: Renaissance Fair (Novato)
  • September: Jazz Festival (Monterey)
  • October: Halloween party (Castro Street)
  • December: Parade of Lights (Ventura)
  • December-March: Sea lions at Ano Nuevo

  • Steepest streets:

    1. Filbert & Hyde
    2. California & Mason
    3. Webster & Broadway
    4. Union & Jones
    5. Sanchez & 21th (steepest street)

    Best Views

    1. Mt Tamalpais (45 minutes north of the city)
    2. Treasure Island (first exit on the Bay Bridge)
    3. Twin Peaks (drive up Market St for about 3 kms)
    4. Hawk Hill (10 minutes north, first exit after the Golden Gate Bridge, turn left under freeway, best time is at 4pm)
    5. Lake Chabot (northern part of Golf Links Rd)
    6. Grizzly Peak Blvd (Berkeley)
    7. Nimitz Way
    8. Sausalito or Tiburon
    9. Florence Steps (above the Broadway tunnel)
    10. Divisadero & Valencia
    11. Carnelian Room (Bank of America, 555 California)
    12. Hyatt Regency (revolving bar at the top)

    Best Sunsets

    1. Point Reyes lighthouse
    2. Mt Tamalpais
    3. Hawk Hill
    4. Sutro Heights

    Things to do

    • Cable car
    • Ferry to Tiburon
    • Rollerblade in Golden Gate Park (sundays)
    • Hike/bike in Angel island
    • Bike Golden Gate Bridge to Tiburon
    See also...

    Dance clubs:

    • For techno: 1015 Folsom (1015 Folsom)

    Best stairways:

    1. Greenwich & Filbert Steps (Filbert St to Telegraph Hill, Coit Tower)
    2. Lyons Steps: Lyons & Pacific
    3. Vulcan Stairways: 20th & Connecticut (Saturn Stairways...)
    4. Florence Steps (Broadway & Jones, above Broadway tunnel)
    5. Liberty Stairs
    6. 28th St Stairs
    7. Macondray: Filbert&Polk-Filbert-Hyde stairways- Leavenworth- Green- Taylor steps-Vallejo steps-Mason steps-Broadway- Taylor- Florence steps- Vallejo- Taylor- Macondray- Jones steps- Green- Leavenworth- Union-Polk
    8. Telegraph: Bay & Powell-Chestnut- Grant- Whiting- Julius steps-Chid steps- Telegraph Place-Telegraph Blvd- Greenwich steps- Coit Tower- steps to Montgomery-Francisco- Kearney- Wharf Plaza steps- Grant-Powell


    A guide to sightseeing in San Francisco by neighborhood

    Potrero Hill

    • Bernal Heights (Folsom, past Army St)
    • Benches (Vermont St off 101)

    Sunset (**)

    • Pacifica
    • Lake Merced
    • St Francis Wood (Monterey & ElVerano, St Francis & Sta Ana, 1400 Monterey)
    • Twin Peaks (Portola Dr or Market St)
    • Great Hwy
    • Golden Gate Park (aquarium, planetarium, museums, arboretum)
    • Cliff House (end of Geary Blvd) & Seal rocks
    • Sutro Baths
    • Sutro Heights (end of Geary Blvd)
    • Presidio
    • Land's End
    • Legion Of Honor
    • China Beach (27th & Sea Cliff)
    • Baker Beach (Lincoln & Bowley)
    • El Camino del Mar
    • 28th St Stairs
    • Lincoln Blvd
    • Ft Point
    • Golden Gate Bridge

    Marina (**)

    • Palace Of Fine Arts (34th)
    • Marina Green
    • Crissy Field
    • Fort Mason
    • Lyons Steps
    • Fisherman's Wharf
    • Aquatic Park, Hyde St Pier, Wave organ
    • Jefferson St
    • Cannery
    • Ghirardelli Sq
    • Musee Mecanique (Pier 45, end of Taylor Street)
    • Pier 39
    • Lombard St

    North Beach (**)

    • Washington Sq
    • City Lights
    • Vesuvio
    • Broadway Strip
    • Cow Hollow (Union St, bet Divisadero & Van Ness)
    • Polk St (north of California)

    Pacific Heights (**)

    • Webster & Broadway (steep incline)
    • Lyons steps (& Pacific)
    • Divisadero & Vallejo
    • 3200 block of Pacific (& Presidio)
    • Immanuel Temple

    Richmond

    • Clement St (between 1st and 6th)
    • Geary Blvd

    Haight (**)

    • Haight St
    • Alamo Sq (Postcard Row, Steiner & Hayes)

    Castro (**)

    • Liberty Stairs
    • Italianate homes (109 & 159 Liberty St)
    • Sanchez & 21th (steepest street)
    • Vulcan Stairways: 20th & Connecticut (Saturn Stairways...)

    Noe Valley

    • 24th St

    Mission

    • Mission Dolores
    • Murals (24th bet Harrison & York)
    • El camino real
    • Levi Strauss (240 Valencia)
    • Valencia & 16th

    Civic Center

    • City Hall
    • Davies Hall and other classic buildings on Van Ness
    • 49 Geary St (dozens of art galleries)

    Downtown

    Victorian homes (**)

    • Hermitage House 2240 Sacramento&Laguna)
    • Haans-Lilienthal House (2007 Franklin & Jackson)
    • House at Franklin & California
    • Octagon House (2645 Gough & Union)
    • Whittier (2090 JAckson & Laguna)
    • Union & Webster

    Russian Hills

    • Cable car
    • 1000 Vallejo
    • Florence Steps (Broadway & Jones, above Broadway tunnel)
    • Polk homes
    • Macondray: Filbert&Polk-Filbert-Hyde stairways-Leavenworth-Green- Taylor steps-Vallejo steps-Mason steps-Broadway-Taylor- Florence steps- Vallejo-Taylor-Macondray-Jones steps- Green-Leavenworth-Union-Polk

    Chinatown (**)

    • Grant Ave (bet Bush and Broadway)

    Telegraph Hill (**)

    • Jackson Sq (Jackson & Montgomery)
    • Levi's Plaza (1160 Battery & Union)
    • Greenwich & Filbert Steps (Filbert St to Telegraph Hill, Coit Tower)
    • Telegraph: Bay & Powell-Chestnut-Grant-Whiting-Julius steps-Chid steps- Telegraph Place-Telegraph Blvd-Greenwich steps-Coit Tower- steps to Montgomery-Francisco-Kearney-Wharf Plaza steps- Grant-Powell
    • Coit Tower (Telegraph Hill)

    Nob Hill

    • California & Mason (steep incline)
    • Grace Cathedral
    • Union Sq

    Financial District (**)

    • Transam Pyramid
    • Montgomery St (banks)
    • Shaklee Terraces
    • Bank Of America (555 California)
    • Hobart
    • Wills Polk's Halladie Building (1918) (130 Sutter Street Between Montgomery and Kearny)
    • Alcoa Building (1964) at 1 Maritime Plaza
    • 388 Pine
    • 101 California
    • Shaklee Terraces
    • San Francisco Mall (Spiral escalator)

    Embarcadero

    • Embarcadero center
    • Skydeck
    • Hyatt, Eclipse
    • Justin Herman Plaza, Vaillancourt Fountain
    • Ferry Building

    SoMa

    • Moscone Center
    • Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
    • SoMa clubs (Folsom, Harrison)
    • China Basin (Harrison & Embarcadero)
    • Bay Bridge
    • Treasure Island (left-lane exit on Bay Bridge)


    The environs of San Francisco

    see page on the South Coast

    Marin County, etc:

    • Hawk Hill (first 101 exit)
    • Rodeo Beach
    • Tennessee Beach
    • Sausalito
    • Tiburon
    • Angel Island
    • Alcatraz
    • Mt Tamalpais
    • Inspiration Point
    • Muir Woods
    • Bolinas
    • Bodega Bay
    • Mill Valley: Frank Lloyd Wright's Marin County Civic Center on San Pedro Rd

    North Bay, etc:

    • San Quentin: penitentiary
    • Marine World USA
    • Richmond Bridge
    • Napa Valley

    Berkeley (**):

    • UC Campus
    • Telegraph Ave sunday market
    • Restaurant row (College Ave)
    • Grizzly Peak Blvd (panorama)
    • Claremont Hotel
    • Maybeck's First Church of Christ, 2619 Dwight

    Oakland:

    • Chick House (1913), 7133 Chabot (Broadway exit of 24, U-turn on Patton, go under the freeway, right on Chabot)
    • First Presbyterian on Broadway
    • First Baptist on Telegraph
    • Telegraph & 19th
    • Civic Center
    • Court House
    • Tribune Tower
    • Lake Merritt
    • Alameda
    • Oakland Museum, 1000 Oak St

    East Bay

    San Jose:

    • Winchester Mystery House
    • Mt Hamilton/Lick observatory
    • Flea Market (101 & Hedding)
    • Great America
    • A tour of Silicon Valley

    Palo Alto

    • Stanford University
    • Stanford Shopping Center
    • University Ave

    Redwood City/San Carlos

    • Filoli Mansion
    • Water Temple
    • Sweeney Ridge (Sneath Ln off 35)
    • Montara Mountain (San Pedro Park, end of Linda Mar in Pacifica)
    • Emerald Hills (houses: Hillcrest @ Sunset, Occidental & Jefferson)

    Atherton/Woodsise

    • Mountain Home Rd (mansions)
    • Stockbridge Ave, Atherton Ave, Isabella & Elena, Brittany Meadows (mansions)

    San Mateo

    • Coyote Point trail
    • San Mateo Bridge
    • Tom Sawyers trail (reservoir)
    • Highway 35 ("Skyline") from 92 to 9

    Hillsborough

    • Mansions of the Hayne Rd/ San Raymundo area
    • 45 Berryessa Way (a really weird house)

    Colma

    • Necropolis (Cypress Lawn at 1370 El Camino Real south of Serramonte Blvd)

    Mountain View

    Saratoga

    • Villa Moltalvo

    Silicon Valley


    Six Days in San Francisco

    DAY 1: walking tour
    • Fisherman's Wharf area (Jefferson St)
    • Pier 39 (Jefferson St & Stockton)
    • Fisherman's Wharf ( walk Jefferson St west to Hyde St)
    • Cable car to Union Sq
    • Union Square
    • Walk Geary Blvd east to Market, left on Market, left on Kearny
    • Crocker Galleria
    • Walk left on Sutter, right on Grant
    • Chinatown (Grant Ave between Bush and Broadway)
    • Dinner in North Beach
    DAY 2: walking tour
    • North Beach (walk left on Columbus Ave to Washington Square)
    • Telegraph Hill
    • Coit Tower
    • Walk down the Filbert steps
    • Levi Plaza
    • Walk to Market St
    • Justin Herman Plaza
    • Embarcadero, Hyatt Regency
    • Skyscrapers along Market St
    • Civic Center
    • Dinner in the Cow Hollow
    DAY 3: driving tour of western part
    • Rent a car
    • Drive from Market st west to
    • Twin Peaks
    • Drive back to Market St, turn right on Portola, straight to the ocean,
    • turn right into Great Pacific Highway, 2 kms
    • Golden Gate Park
    • Haight Ashbury
    • Cliff House/Sutro Baths
    • (Sutro Heights: turn right into Geary, first right, park, walk up the hill) drive east on Geary Blvd to 34th, left on 34th,
    • Palace of Legion of Honor
    • Lincoln Blvd
    • Baker Beach: turn left on Bowley St
    • Golden Gate Bridge (park in visitor area, before the bridge)
    • Yellow Bluff (across the bridge, turn right and then left to Fort Baker)
    • Dinner in Sausalito
    DAY 4
    • Drive south on Golden Gate Bridge Freeway to Marina Blvd
    • (Marina, Aquatic Park, Wave Organ)
    • Park and walk to Baker & Beach
    • Palace of Fine Arts
    • Drive south on Divisadero, turn right into Pacific
    • 3200 block of Pacific Ave (near Presidio)
    • Drive south on Presidio, turn left on Fulton
    • Alamo Square (Fulton & Scott)
    • Drive north to Geary Blvd, turn right, 2kms,
    • St Mary Cathedral (Geary & Gough)
    DAY 5
    • Drive to Bay Bridge
    • Treasure Island
    • Drive to Berkeley (80 east, Ashby exit, left on Telegraph)
    • Berkeley: Telegraph Avenue to Bancroft
    • Berkeley: campus
    • Drive south on Bancroft, right to University Ave, left on University, 2kms
    • drive 80 east to Richmond Bridge to 101 north to highway 1 exit
    • Mt Tamalpais
    • Muir Woods
    DAY 6
    • Ferry to Alcatraz
    • Ferry to Tiburon
    • Dinner in Tiburon

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