|On this page you will find pictures of San Francisco’s tourist
The colonizing of the San Francisco area (named after St Francis of
Assisi) began in 1776 when a fort at the “Golden Gate” was built by
Spanish colonists. The city boomed following the discovery of gold in
1848, and quickly became the largest city on the west coast. The arrival
of the railroad from the Atlantic to the Pacific in 1869 made San
Francisco a very important port for US trade.
San Francisco is situated close to the San Andreas Fault, making it
vulnerable to earthquakes. The earthquake of 1906 destroyed
three-quarters of the city and killed several thousand people. The city
was quickly rebuilt and is now reckoned to be one of the most attractive
U.S. cities, although it still experiences regular minor earthquakes. In
spite of its uncertain seismic situation, it has grown from a population
of 400,000 at the time of the 1906 earthquake to 6.5 million in the
present day San Francisco Bay Area.
Chief among San Francisco’s tourist sites is the world famous Golden
Gate Bridge, one of the world's most beautiful and most photographed
bridges. Completed in May 1937, its total length is 1.7 miles (2.7 km)
with a clearance above water of 220 ft (67 m). The Golden Gate Bridge is
part of the U.S. Highway 101, and tolls are collected in the southbound
Built on more than 50 hills, the city is also famous for its cable car
system. The first line started public service in 1873, and the system
survived an attempt to close it down in 1947, when the Citizen's
Committee to save the cable cars began a petition. San Francisco’s cable
cars are now retained mainly as a tourist attraction, and you can learn
more by visiting the Cable Car Museum at 1201 Mason Street.
For shopping and dining in the historic part of San Francisco, head for
Ghirardelli Square where you will find a chocolate factory offering
tours; or for food outlets and farmers’ markets in an historic
architectural landmark, try the Ferry Building Marketplace.
Alcatraz, a Federal Prison from 1934 – 1963 on an island in the middle
of San Francisco Bay is one of the top attractions in the area. Book
online for the tours which go 7 days a week. Alternatively on Thursday
to Monday evenings you can join the spooky Alcatraz Night Tour, a self
guided walking tour of the prison using headphones.
Finally, don’t miss the Maritime National Historic Park, which is
located at the west end of the world famous Fisherman's Wharf, itself a
fascinating area of piers and boardwalks. Here you will see a fleet of
historic vessels, and can visit the Maritime Museum and Library.