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San Francisco, Visitor information and pictures.


On this page you will find pictures of San Francisco’s tourist attractions, California, USA.

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.r /> 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 direction.

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.

Choosing accommodation in San Francisco.

Choice is what San Francisco is all about, and the first one to be made is whether you want to stay up on the hill overlooking the city and the Bay, or down on the shore by the Marina and Fisherman’s Wharf.

A 5 star hotel on Nob Hill, the luxurious Fairmont, may seem to offer the best of both locations: the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge is in view, but is only a 6 km drive away; it is only a 5 minute cab ride to the Ferry Building, and there is a cable-car stop just a 10 minute walk away. Among its 591 rooms in the Main and Tower Buildings there is a wide choice, ranging from King Suites with Bay View, to Standard Rooms. In fact I counted 12 separate types of room to choose from, some having their own balconies.

If you prefer to be on the Wharf, you could try the well-recommended Argonaut, part of the Kimpton group of hotels. It has 252 rooms all with a nautical theme, and its own traditional seafood restaurant, the Blue Mermaid, although much more choice is available nearby on Fisherman’s Wharf. This is a luxury but eco-friendly hotel, with a fitness centre and in-room yoga TV channel, a Business Centre and free WiFi. This hotel has its own free parking.

In a central location between the Golden Gate Bridge and the wharf is the budget Coventry Inn, in the picturesque Marina District. There may be less choice among its 239 rooms, but the beds are comfortable and a number of tourist attractions and good restaurants are close by. Here the WiFi is free, which it certainly isn’t at the Fairmont.

Those who are backpacking may prefer a Youth Hostel, not just because it is cheaper, but because they are more likely to meet like-minded people. One of the most popular is the USA Hostels’ San Francisco, in a central location just a few blocks from a cable car route. This hostel offers free pancakes and fruit for breakfast. There is a Common Room and guest laundry, as well as a mini-supermarket – in fact everything you are likely to need is there.
A close rival is Hi-San Francisco’s Downtown Hostel on Mason Street. Breakfast and WiFi are free, and there is a kitchen for guests to use, though there are plenty of restaurants and bars close by, including in Chinatown.
But if you want to be on the waterfront, Hi-San Francisco also has the Fisherman’s Wharf Hostel, in historic Fort Mason, between a park and the Bay. A bus stops outside, and the hostel puts on excursions like pub crawls and guided walks. They have rooms for up to three people, as well as shared dormitories.


san_francisco02_tomalesbay.jpg (143966 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Flying over Tomales Bay   san_francisco_38_city.jpg (100286 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Fog climbing from the seashore up mount Tomalpais san_francisco_77.jpg (156442 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Alamo Square, Victorian houses san_francisco_58_cable.jpg (133046 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Powell-Hyde-Cable Car climbing up Hyde Street
san_francisco_37_alcatraz.jpg (115806 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Alcatraz, Island and anicient jail san_francisco_23_streets.jpg (129129 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Nob Hill, view to San Francisco Bay san_francisco_22_pacific_heights.jpg (143410 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Pacific Hights, around Lafayette Park, private house san_francisco_47_cable.jpg (116269 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Cable Car on its direction changing platform
san_francisco_64_museum.jpg (195605 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Museum of Modern Art, Architect: Mario Botha san_francisco_81_cityhall.jpg (174930 Byte) San Francisco, USA, City Hall san_francisco_61_transamerica.jpg (119666 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Transamerica Pyramid
san_francisco_46_schip.jpg (90519 Byte) San Francisco, USA, old sailingship in the Maritime Museum. In the background the ancient jail san_francisco_16_highway_101.jpg (118742 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Highway 101, shortly before the Golden Gate Bridge, looking south, at 09.00 am san_francisco_48_taxi.jpg (181865 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Taxi in front of the Cannery san_francisco_54_fish_warf.jpg (160911 Byte) San Francisco, USA,  Pier 39, recreation and shopping center
san_francisco_19_bay-area.jpg (162610 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Pacific Hights, private house in a special wood construction san_francisco_21_house.jpg (118768 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Pacific Hights, private house san_francisco_53_russian_hill.jpg (141058 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Hyde Street climbing up Russian Hill san_francisco_82_union.jpg (164333 Byte) San Francisco, USA, union
san_francisco_44_girard.jpg (141192 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Ghirardelli Square, shopping center in the former chocolate factory san_francisco_69_buenavista.jpg (161736 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Buena Vista Avenue (around the Buena Vista Park), private house san_francisco_24_house.jpg (174417 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Nob Hill, private house san_francisco_14_bodega.jpg (119006 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Bodega Bay, harbor
san_francisco_42_ggbr.jpg (138215 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Golden Gate Bridge, view from Fort Point san_francisco_39_ggbridge.jpg (143675 Byte) from Spencer Battery in the Fort Baker Military Reservation; San Francisco, USA, Golden Gate Bridge, seen from Fort Baker Military Reservation san_francisco_40_ggbr.jpg (109286 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Golden Gate Bridge, seen from Fort Baker Military Reservation golden-gate-7kf.JPG (171541 Byte) golden gate bridge picture
san-francisco-golden-jgw.JPG (185951 Byte) picture golden gate bridge golden-gate-7u8z.jpg (150348 Byte) san francisco fog fog-san_francisco.JPG (113363 Byte) fog picture san francisco san_francisco_55_sealions.jpg (180507 Byte) San Francisco, USA, seals in the protected area on Pier 39
twin-peaks-4er3.jpg (168766 Byte) San Francisco picture san-francisco-6bhz.jpg (135620 Byte) City from Twin Peaks san-francisco-ki9a.jpg (133817 Byte) from Twin Peaks san-francisco-1olq.jpg (166370 Byte) View from Twin Peaks
san_francisco_59_lombard.jpg (95176 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Lombard Street, view from the Telegraph Hill san_francisco_65_hobart.jpg (135335 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Hobart Building at Market Street san_francisco_80_house.jpg (149180 Byte)San Francisco, USA, Victorian houses san_francisco_62_greenwich.jpg (226004 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Greenwich Street, view from the Telegraph Hill
san_francisco_57_shark.jpg (123151 Byte) San Francisco, USA, view to Telegraph Hill with Coit Tower san_francisco_63_cafe.jpg (189049 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Alternative coffeeshop in the financial district san_francisco_71_dolores.jpg (212632 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Dolores Avenue, unique street in San Francisco with palm trees san_francisco_76_graffitti.jpg (214305 Byte) murals, mission district; San Francisco, USA, Graffiti, murals
san_francisco_68_buenavista.jpg (151549 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Buena Vista Avenue (around the Buena Vista Park), private house san_francisco_45_gira.jpg (182359 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Plaza in Ghirardellis san_francisco_78_houses.jpg (170926 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Victorian housees san_francisco_87_lighthouse.jpg (154239 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Point Reyes Lighthouse
san_francisco_28_sutro_heights.jpg (179520 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Sutro Hights, Seal Rocks and point Lobos san-francisco_12_beach.jpg (169449 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Southern Beach of Blind Beach san_francisco_60_oakland.jpg (124814 Byte) San Francisco, USA, Oakland Bay Bridge, over the San Fancisco Bay, view from the Telegraph Hill san_francisco_30_tomales.jpg (166397 Byte) San Francisco, USA, shop and post office in Tomales, Marin County


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