San Francisco architecture combines practical, retrospective and modern influences into a functional, if surprising, hive of activity.
-ization of the city with expanded bike lanes, ridership and political activity. In a similarly mobile manner, recession-born food carts are still the hottest thing in food culture and easily enjoyable at
(or wherever they are). And via the efforts of the
installations has been dramatically on the rise.
is probably the best known and most accessible. While nobody less than
on the assumption that trees wouldn't grow. The park is now (by far) the largest outdoor recreation area in the city and plays host to numerous and events.
to look, rather than be, Chinese.
On a residential scale, SF housing stock is long and skinny - 25 feet wide is a common width, and often split lengthwise - with lots of little rooms. A mansion by todays standards, the
is a well preserved/restored example, and open to the public. The "
provide an iconic photo op, but are private residences.
volunteers lead a number of excellent architectural and related tours, providing deeper in-the-flesh exploration.Tagged for Architecture...
American Conservatory Theater
Mashing up classic and contemporary performances in a intimately vertical (and historic) theater beside Union Square
, the ACT can be great!
Sweet dreams are made of these...
Mothballed for 3 decades, in 2006 this 200,000 square foot Moorish Revival
castle in the Mission
was purchased for Kink.com, the world's largest producer of S&M pornography!
Built in 1892 by an eccentric policeman
on 17 acres, the Caselli mansion has been an apartment building for most its otherwise majestic history.
Delightful theater, excellent films
Children's Creativity Museum
More m than moma
Center of politics, marriage and celebration... often at the same time
The world's 5th largest dome in the world is a centroid of activity - gay and straight marriages, civil rights and antiwar protests, Gay Pride
, the occasional Flashdance party, among others.
Stunning views, historic building, government owned restaurant
An enduring city celebrity (since 1858
), the Cliff House rewards a closer look despite some wear for the years. Seated near Lands End
, the Sutro Baths
, and the north end of Ocean Beach
- the Cliff House is a historic building with freshly baked meals :)
A visual stimulator
The namesake tower gets the attention - but the hike and the views►
are the main attraction!
Conservatory of Flowers
Located just inside Golden Gate Park
from the Panhandle
, the oldest surviving flower conservatory in the western hemisphere (1878) and consists of 25 tons of glass - and after a 2003 restoration, it seems likely to hold the title for a while longer yet :)
Contemporary Jewish Museum
Fresh art, fresh building
With 63,000 square feet of lively and diverse Jewish artwork in an eye-popping 2008 building, the CJM lives up to it's namesake and then some.
de Young Museum
A fine fine art museum
Opened in 1895 with a hyper-modern rebuild in 2005, de Young is among the oldest and best museums in the city - inside and out!
Adjoining the windy bay on the sunny side of town, San Francisco's downtown (officially "Financial District") provides unusual visual expansiveness and fresh air in a hyper-urban locale.
Running along the bay from AT&T Park
up to Fisherman's Wharf
, the Embarcadero provides a break from the city's steep inclinations
. As such, it's widely enjoyed by locals and visitors on foot, bicycle
, skateboard, rollerskate, etc... although traffic can be an issue both on the sidewalk and off.
F Market Streetcar
Historic outsides, brand new interior
Matching historical resilience (eg, surviving both the 1906 Earthquake
and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake
's destruction of the adjoining Embarcadero freeway) and persistent visibility along the Market Street corridor up to Twin Peaks
- the Ferry Building enjoys iconic status in the city, and has exploded onto the food scene since its latest renovation in 2003.
Golden Gate Bridge
Icon of the Golden Gate
The Golden Gate Bridge is not to be missed! It's best up close and personal. The bridge is a bit less than 2 miles across - an excellent hike or bike
ride. Be sure to wear warm clothes, as it is often windy and/or cold►
Holy Cathedral, Batman! Gothic is bigger than you
's heavyweight hood ornament is a must-visit for those intrigued by cathedrals and architecture
. In addition to stunning stained glass, there are two meditation labyrinths►
(outside and in), and three massive organs.
Dating a painted lady
Lace up your corset
and ride the cable car
(California Line) over to Pacific Heights for a
trip back to the late 1800's!
A very little bit of Japan in SF
The largest and oldest Japantown in the United States. With excellent sushi restaurants, a Japanese mall, a supermarket, and the delightful Kabuki Springs & Spa
and more packed into about six blocks "J-Town" makes a great visit. It adjoins the Fillmore District, Pacific Heights, Western Addition, and annually hosts the Cherry Blossom Festival
Legion of Honor
A site to behold, inside and out
Adjoining with the eye-popping Lands End
trail, the Legion of Honor sits on some of the finest real estate in San Francisco, and the interior lives up to the honor!
Get your wiggle on
Iconic of San Francisco, the Lombard street hairpins are a quick hit of fun. If the weather is bad, or the location inconvenient - feel free to skip it. It's relatively close to the Maritime Museum
and Aquatic park
Lifeblood of early San Francisco
With one of the world's best natural ports, San Francisco owes much of its prominence to oceanic travel and Maritime Museum is a great visit for history
and maritime buffs. The Balclutha►
, a tall sailing ship from 1886, is the crown jewel of the bunch (7 total). The USS Pampanito
submarine/museum is run by the same organization, but a few blocks away on Pier 45.
The original missionary position
A city in itself...
Museum of Modern Art
MOMA augments an exciting permanent collection
with vibrant exhibitions
, all housed in a delightful building of exo-art. The curation runs to the modern side of modern art (edgier than New York's MOMA
), but it's a reputable museum and lags behind the cutting edge of urban art
Not just a bad tranny joke...
Post-industrial skyscrapers juxtaposed behind sparkling Victorian gingerbread!
Palace of Fine Arts
A little bit of Rome in SF
Shiny happy glitter
Piedmont has pushed the boundaries of petroleum for 30+ years►
with a wild collection of shiny, shimmery, sexy - and synthetic - clothing!
San Francisco Centre
San Francisco's primary upscale shopping location. Stonestown Galleria
is the only other mall within the city, and it's much smaller.
SF City Guides
With more walking tours
covering most of the city, SF City Guides provide a phenomenal resource for anyone interested in the cultural history of SF and/or exploring by foot
St Mary's Cathedral
His hyperbolic paraboloid
"The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption" is commonly known as Saint Mary's Cathedral, and even more commonly referred to as "that thing!" - owing to its intriguing prominence on the San Francisco skyline, particularly from the south.
Amazing music, hall
Piercing the city's skyline like pharaoh's pyramid on a crash diet, the Transamerica Building is primarily a visual landmark, although there is little park with greenery at ground zero.
Consistently ranked the number one public university in the country, Cal may be best known for it's historical
role in the free-speech and antiwar movements both spearheading and defining the 1960s.
More fun than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick?
If being in the middle of the ocean, in the middle of a war, under water, in overheated cramped quarters floats your boat - definitely check out the USS Pampanito!
Art, Politics & Water :)
Old and East in the West :)
A gallery of tribal and eastern art housed in the only publicly accessible Frank LLoyd Wright
work in San Francisco, the Xanadu Gallery covers great time and space a half block from Union Square
Yerba Buena Gardens
Some pretty good yerba
Before San Francisco became "San Francisco" it was called "Yerba Buena" - Spanish for "good herb".