Explore San Francisco: The best routes around the city
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With dramatic scenic beauty, world-class cuisine, a plethora of cultural attractions, vibrant neighborhoods and liberal locals, San Francisco is an easy city to love. Explore San Francisco is part of a brand-new series and is the ideal pocket companion when discovering this exciting city: a full-color guide containing 14 easy-to-follow routes through the city’s many interesting neighborhoods, from Fisherman’s Wharf to Haight-Ashbury, with excursions to Berkeley and the infamous island of Alcatraz. Insight’s trademark cultural coverage perfectly sets the routes in context, with introductions to San Francisco’s cuisine, shops and its role as a movie location. The best places to eat and drink are highlighted in each route and in the directory section, which also contains a wealth of practical information, including our selection of hotels to suit all budgets. All routes are plotted on the useful pull-out map, and evocative photography reveals San Francisco’s unique character.
later become the San Francisco Bay. Settlement and Founding 1579 Sir Francis Drake lands at Port Reyes. 1776 The Spanish arrive and the Misión San Francisco de Asís – now better known as Mission Dolores – is built. 1822 Mexico wins its independence from Spain; California becomes a Mexican territory. 1846 John Montgomery of the U.S.S. Portsmouth first raises the Stars and Stripes in present-day Portsmouth Square. 1847 The settlement of Yerba Buena is renamed San Francisco. 1848 Gold is
Company 4. See the Restaurants section for sit-down options. The Painted Ladies If you’re still not tired, walk west (or catch the 21 bus) up Hayes Street another four blocks to Alamo Square Park. This hillside park offers a view not only of the downtown skyscrapers and Civic Center, but also of the famous “Painted Ladies,” a picturesque row of colorful and ornate Victorian homes nicknamed “postcard row.” Food and Drink 1 Café Asia Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin Street; tel: 581-3630;
Room is just downstairs. Four Seasons 757 Market Street; tel: 633-3000; www.fourseasons.com; metro: all lines to Montgomery; cable-car: Powell–Hyde, Powell–Mason; $$$$ The Four Seasons knows how to cater to its sophisticated and fairly exclusive clientele, boasting an ultra-convenient downtown location, an in-house tech-center, high-end stores, and a two-story health club with an indoor pool and Jacuzzi. Golden Gate Hotel 775 Bush Street; tel: 392-3702; www.goldengatehotel.com; $$ A vintage
Another contemporary company is ODC Dance (tel: 863-6606; www.odcdance.org), known nationally for its artistic innovation. Jazz bar in Chinatown Nowitz Photography/Apa Publications Live jazz at Lou’s Pier 47 Blues Club Nowitz Photography/Apa Publications Jazz and Blues Biscuits and Blues 401 Mason Street; tel: 292-2583; www.biscuitsandblues.com; Tue–Thur 8–11.30pm, Fri–Sat 3.30–11.30pm A nationally well-respected blues club that teams Southern cuisine with live blues and a relaxed
Francisco has rightly developed a reputation for being an eco-friendly city. But as much as it tries, it is also a densely populated metropolitan area that carries the inevitable environmental concerns, ranging from air quality to water shortages. San Francisco’s greatest threat lies just below the surface in the network of seismic faults that occasionally jolt the city and can cost lives and millions of dollars’ worth of damage. F Festivals January San Francisco Sketchfest. National