Golden Gate Bridge
This high level suspension bridge is the quintessential symbol of San Francisco. Walk (dress warmly) or bike across its 3-mile arc connecting San Francisco with Hwy 101. Watch speed limit--traffic fines doubled on bridge.
Former maximum security federal penitentiary that held such notorious criminals such as Al Capone, "Creepy" Carpis, and Robert Stroud, the "Birdman of Alcatraz." Closed since 1963 due to the high cost of maintenance, it was reopened in 1972 as a recreation area with a self-guiding trail, cellblock tour, slide show and ranger programs.
Round trip admission (includes ferry trip and audio tour): $9 adults, $8 seniors 62 and up, $4.50 children 5-11. Winter daily 9:30am-2:45 pm; Summer daily 9:15am-4:15pm. Ferries from Pier 41 depart every half hour, at 15 and 45 minutes after the hour. (415) 546-2700
There are good seafood restaurants here, sidewalk vendors selling fresh-boiled Dungeness crab and sourdough, museums, street performers, barking sea lions in the boat harbor and much more to see and do. As you head west, you will see a view of Coit Tower, rolling hills and the Golden Gate Bridge. Ferries to popular destinations, such as Alcatraz and Sausalito, start here at the piers. It's much easier to take a bus than to hunt for a parking space in this area. Public parking lots are available along Beach, Bay, North Point and Francisco streets.
Firemen saved the life of Lillie Coit as a child--the eccentric heiress built this observation tower in their honor. Coit Tower is the best way to see a panorama of the city. It is situated on top of Telegraph Hill. You can climb the stairs or take the 39 ("Coit") bus.
(415) 362-0808 Admission (elevator to top of tower) $3 Adults, $2 seniors and students, $1 children 6-12 Daily 10am-7pm.
Palace of Fine Arts
Baker Street. Resembles a Roman ruin. Built for the Pan Pacific Expo of 1915. Holds a 1000 seat theater and the Exploratorium. Daily. Dawn to sunset. Free
Fort Mason Center
At Buchanan St. and Marina Blvd. Fort Mason Center is a World War II embarkation point that has been transformed into a regional cultural center. Former warehouses are now galleries, workshops, classrooms, studios, and even a well-known vegetarian restaurant. Four theatres, museums, a second-hand bookstore, numerous craft studios, and about fifty resident non-profit organizations are also here. A variety of events are presented weekly. Daily 8 a.m.-midnight. Free; charges for some events and galleries.
Phone 24-hour Information Line (415) 979-3010 Closest Bus Stops 22 (Fillmore) and 28 (19th Ave)
San Francisco Maritime Library Building E. More than 250,000 historic artifacts. Daily 10-5; 415-556-3002
Mexican Museum 441-0404 Building D 1st Floor
Museo Italo Americano 673-2200 Building C, 1st Floor Wed though Sunday, noon-5:00
San Francisco African-American Historical and Cultural Society 441-0640 Building C, 1st Floor Wed though Sunday, noon-5:00 Library hours are noon-5:00 p.m.
San Francisco Zoo
Open Daily 10-5 Admission $7; over 64 and ages 12-15, $3.50; ages 3-11, $1.50 free to all first Wed. of the month.
MOMA--San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Open Daily Except Monday 24-Hour Info. 415 357-4000 151 3d
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
(in Fisherman's Wharf) includes:
Hyde Street Pier- displays a coastal lumber schooner, a ferry, a tugboat, and a sailing vessel launched from Scotland in 1886 Daily 9:30-5, September 16-May 14; 10-6, May 15-Sept. 15 Admission $3; ages 12-17, $1; free to all first Tues. of the month. 415-556-3002
Maritime Museum Daily 10-5 Free. 415-556-3002