San Francisco is known to be one of the most photogenic cities in the world and no one can deny it.

1. San Francisco‘s Bay Bridge is one of those you want to cross just to see it from a far

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The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, leading to Oakland, from the port of San Francisco.

The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge (known locally as the Bay Bridge) is a complex of bridges spanning San Francisco Bay in California. As part of Interstate 80 and the direct road between San Francisco and Oakland, it carries about 240,000 vehicles a day on its two decks. It has one of the longest spans in the United States.

The toll bridge was conceived as early as the gold rush days, but construction did not begin until 1933. Designed by Charles H. Purcell, and built by American Bridge Company, it opened on November 12, 1936, six months before the Golden Gate Bridge. It originally carried automobile traffic on its upper deck, and trucks and trains on the lower, but after the closure of the Key System transit lines, the lower deck was converted to road traffic as well. In 1986 the bridge was unofficially dedicated to James Rolph.

2. It makes you a more creative person than you thought you are.

Abstract and dream-like version of The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, leading to Oakland, from the port of San Francisco.

When you witness beautiful sceneries you often finding ways to be creative and say “I did that”. San Francisco has A LOT of places you would find yourself doing that with your photos.

3. And it just never gets boring!

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A closer look at the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, this time with a different feel. Warmer colors.

This was the first time I saw the Bay Bridge. I was mesmerized by the beauty, the reflections, the warm tungsten lights and the amazing structure. If that looked so amazing what would the Golden Gate Bridge look like?! Was my thought.

4. With only a few feet away

The Port of San Francisco, the Fairy building and the starting point of the city leading to Market street, from a small nook.

The Port of San Francisco is a semi-independent organization run by a five-member commission, appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Board of Supervisors. The Port is responsible for managing the larger waterfront area extends that from the anchorage of the Golden Gate Bridge, along the Marina district, all the way around the north and east shores of the city of San Francisco including Fisherman’s Wharf and the Embarcadero, and southward to the city line just beyond Candlestick Point. In 1968, the State of California via the California State Lands Commission for the State operated San Francisco Port Authority (est. 1957) transferred its responsibilities for the Harbor of San Francisco waterfront to the City and County of San Francisco / San Francisco Harbor Commission through the Burton Act AB2649. All eligible State port authority employees had the option to become employees of the City and County of San Francisco to maintain consistent operation of the Port of San Francisco.

6. The city is alive at all times. Night!

Fourth and Market

Market Street is an important thoroughfare in San Francisco, California. It begins at The Embarcadero in front of the Ferry Building at the northeastern edge of the city and runs southwest through downtown, passing the Civic Center and the Castro District, to the intersection with Corbett Avenue in the Twin Peaks neighborhood. Beyond this point, the roadway continues as Portola Drive into the southwestern quadrant of San Francisco. Portola Drive extends south to the intersection of St. Francis Boulevard and Sloat Boulevard, where it continues as Junipero Serra Boulevard.

Market Street is the boundary of two street grids. Streets on its southeast side are parallel or perpendicular to Market Street, while those on the northwest are nine degrees off from the cardinal directions.

Market Street is a major transit artery for the city of San Francisco, and has carried in turn horse-drawn streetcars, cable cars, electric streetcars, electric trolleybuses, and diesel buses. Today Muni’s buses, trolleybuses, and heritage streetcars (on the F Market line) share the street, while below the street the two-level Market Street Subway carries Muni Metro and BART. While cable cars no longer operate on Market Street, the surviving cable car lines terminate to the side of the street at its intersections with California Street and Powell Street.

Market Street has been compared to Fifth Avenue, Broadway, and the Champs-Élysées.

7. Or day! A city full of tourists

Union Square in the busy holiday season

HISTORY:

Union Square was originally a tall sand dune, and the square was later set aside to be made into a public park in 1850. Union Square got its name from the pro-Union rallies held there on the eve of the Civil War. The monument itself is also a tribute to the sailors of the United States Navy.

Union Square was built and dedicated by San Francisco’s first American mayor John Geary in 1850 and is so named for the pro-Union rallies that happened there before and during the United States Civil War. Since then the plaza has undergone many notable changes, one of the most significant happening in 1903 with the dedication of a 97 ft (30 m) tall monument to Admiral George Dewey’s victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War. It also commemorates U.S. President William McKinley, who had been recently assassinated. Executed by Robert Aitken, the statue at the top of the monument, “Victory”, was modeled after a voluptuous Danish-American stenographer and artist’s model, Alma de Bretteville, who eventually married one of San Francisco’s richest citizens. Another significant change happened between 1939 and 1941 when a large underground parking garage was built under the square; this meant the plaza’s lawns, shrubs and the Dewey monument were now on the garage “roof.” It was the world’s first underground parking garage and was designed by Timothy Pflueger.

During the late 1970s, and through the 1980s and 1990s, the area became somewhat derelict as the homeless began to camp in the space. San Francisco’s rowdy New Year’s parties used to happen yearly at the plaza with some sort of civil disruption and rioting happening afterward. In early 1998 city planners began plans to renovate the plaza to create more paved surfaces for easier maintenance, with outdoor cafes, and more levels to the underground garage. Finally in late 2000, the park was partially closed down to renovate the park and the parking garage. On July 25, 2002, the park reopened and ceremony was held with then Mayor Willie Brown. “Use it; it is your square”, said Mayor Willie Brown. In 2004 Unwire Now, a company founded by entrepreneur Jaz Banga, launched a free Wi-Fi network in Union Square which was championed by Mayor Gavin Newsom. The network remains in place today.

8. And we all know how much tourists love shopping!

Grant and Market

Among the stores you can find on/off Market street are: Armani Exchange, Ferrari, Apple, Ferrari, MAC and more. So, shop away!

9. Whatever it is you want, San Francisco’s Union Square has got it!

Union Square

Seriously, you can spend anywhere from $50 to $200K in one area!

10. Of course a beautiful city has an amazing looking city hall

City Hall

San Francisco City Hall, re-opened in 1915, in its open space area in the city’s Civic Center, is a Beaux-Arts monument to the City Beautiful movement that epitomized the high-minded American Renaissance of the 1880s to 1917. The structure’s dome is the fifth largest in the world – taller than that of the United States Capitol by 42 feet.

The present building replaced an earlier City Hall that was destroyed during the 1906 earthquake, which was 2 blocks from the present one. It was bounded by Larkin Street, McAllister Street, and City Hall Avenue (a street, now built over, which ran from the corner of Grove and Larkin to the corner of McAllister and Leavenworth), largely where the current Public Library and U.N. Plaza stand today.

The principal architect was Arthur Brown, Jr., of Bakewell & Brown, whose attention to the finishing details extended to the doorknobs and the typeface to be used in signage. Brown’s blueprints of the building are preserved at the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. Brown also designed the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, Veterans Building, Temple Emanuel, Coit Tower and the Federal office building at 50 United Nations Plaza.

11. When you walk around you just feel like you belong there!

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Busy Powell street just before Christmas

Powell Street is a street in San Francisco, California that connects from Market Street through Union Square, North Beach, Nob Hill, Russian Hill and ends at Fisherman’s Wharf.

The street, along with Market, is known to be the starting point of the Powell-Hyde Street terminal line for the San Francisco Cable Car, which ends on Hyde Street at Aquatic Park Historic District.

The street was named for Dr. William J. Powell, surgeon of the U.S. sloop of war Warren, which was active during the conquest of California.

12. So you keep on walking and can’t stop looking up

Downtown San Francisco a view from one of the streets

13. And you keep looking

Downtown San Francisco a view from one of the streets

14. Until you suddenly have to look down and you find the Bay Bridge again

Downtown San Francisco a view from one of the streets

The Bay Bridge can be seen from so many places and every time you see the bridge it just adds so much to the beauty of the environment!

15. After a while you want to get out of the center to explore even more

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Pedestrian Bridge connecting a parking lot to Pier 39

Pier 39 is a shopping center and popular tourist attraction built on a pier in San Francisco, California. At Pier 39, there are shops, restaurants, a video arcade, street performances, an interpretive center for the Marine Mammal Center, the Aquarium of the Bay, virtual 3D rides, and views of California sea lions hauled out on docks on Pier 39’s marina. The marina is also home to the floating Forbes Island restaurant. A two-story carousel is one of the pier’s more dominant features, although it is not directly visible from the street and sits towards the end of the pier. The family-oriented entertainment and presence of marine mammals make this a popular tourist location for families with kids.

16. When you cross the bridge you reveal more magical places

Venetian Carousel at Bay End of Pier 39

May, 1983 – Diving pool at Bay End of The PIER replaced with Venetian Carousel from inside Palace of Fun Arts.

January, 1989 – PIER 39 is named the third most-visited attraction in the country by USA Today.

January, 1990 – California sea lions begin arriving in droves on PIER 39′s K Dock, creating a local and international sensation. To date, the population has grown as high as 1,701.

17. After riding such a fun carousel won’t it make sense to see a battleship?

The SS Jeremiah O’brien, just a few feet away

The SS Jeremiah O’Brien is one of two remaining fully functional Liberty ships of the 2,710 built and launched during World War II. The O’Brien has the distinction of being the last unaltered Liberty ship and remains historically accurate. Moored at Pier 45, Fisherman’s Wharf, she is a premier San Francisco attraction.

A living museum on the National Register of Historic Places and a National Historic Landmark, the O’Brien transports you back almost seven decades to when sailors braved the harshest of high seas and threat of enemy attack.

18. If you’ve already seen an old battleship it’s time to see an old prison – Alcatraz!

The first thing we saw when docked at the Alcatraz Island. Is that an escape vehicle?

Alcatraz Island is located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) offshore from San Francisco, California, United States.  Often referred to as “The Rock”, the small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison (1868), and a federal prison from 1933 until 1963. Beginning in November 1969, the island was occupied for more than 19 months by a group of aboriginal people from San Francisco who were part of a wave of Native activism across the nation with public protests through the 1970s. In 1972, Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

Today, the island’s facilities are managed by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area; it is open to tours. Visitors can reach the island by ferry ride from Pier 33, near Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco. Hornblower Cruises and Events, operating under the name Alcatraz Cruises, is the official ferry provider to and from the island. Hornblower launched the nation’s first hybrid propulsion ferry in 2008, the Hornblower Hybrid, which now serves the island, docking at the Alcatraz Wharf.

19. After you’re done with Alcatraz it’s finally time to see the Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge from the beginning (San Francisco side)

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait, the mile-wide, three-mile-long channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The structure links the U.S. city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to Marin County, bridging both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait. The bridge is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and the United States. It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The Frommers travel guide considers the Golden Gate Bridge “possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world”.  It opened in 1937 and was, until 1964, the longest suspension bridge main span in the world, at 4,200 feet (1,300 m).

20. From

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The Golden Gate Bridge if you’re hiking from Baker Beach

21. Every

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The Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach

22. Possible

The Golden Gate Bridge from a vista point on the way to Sausalito

23. Angle

The Golden Gate Bridge from a vista point on the way to Sausalito (panoramic)

24. Then you take your time in Sausalito

Sausalito, overlooking Angel Island

Sausalito is a San Francisco Bay Area city in Marin County, California. Sausalito is 8 miles (13 km) south-southeast of San Rafael, at an elevation of 13 feet (4 m).  he population was 7,061 as of the 2010 census. The community is situated near the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge, and prior to the building of that bridge served as a terminus for rail, car, and ferry traffic. Developed rapidly as a shipbuilding center in World War II, the city’s industrial character gave way in postwar years to a reputation as a wealthy and artistic enclave, a picturesque residential community (incorporating large numbers of houseboats), and a tourist destination. It is adjacent to, and largely bounded by, the protected spaces of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

25. If you’re done for the day you go to your hotel and look at the view

The view from the 18th floor of the Holiday Inn, on Pine St and Van Ness Ave.

26. And because you like it so much you wake up at 5am to catch the sunrise

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The view from the 18th floor of the Holiday Inn, on Pine St and Van Ness Ave.

27. So you start getting creative again

The view from the stairways of the 18th floor

28. And another day begins

View from the same place. Looking towards San Francisco Port (Bay Bridge)

29. You hop on the nearest cable car

The cable car from Powell Street. Where everything starts

The San Francisco cable car system is the world’s last manually operated cable car system. An icon of San Francisco, the cable car system forms part of the intermodal urban transport network operated by the San Francisco Municipal Railway. Of the twenty-three lines established between 1873 and 1890, three remain (one of which combines parts of two earlier lines): two routes from downtown near Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf, and a third route along California Street. While the cable cars are used to a certain extent by commuters, the vast majority of their 7 million annual passengers are tourists.

They are among the most significant tourist attractions in the city, along with Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Fisherman’s Wharf. The cable cars are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The cable cars are not to be confused with San Francisco’s heritage streetcars, which operate on Market Street and the Embarcadero.

30. You hop off, to see where Marilyn Monroe got married

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Saints Peter and Paul Church, San Francisco

Saints Peter and Paul Church is a Roman Catholic Church in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. Located (somewhat ironically, due to 666 being number of the beast) at 666 Filbert Street, it is directly across from Washington Square, San Francisco and is administered by the Salesians of Don Bosco. It is known as “La cattedrale d’Italia ovest,” or “The Italian Cathedral of the West,” and has served as the home church and cultural center for San Francisco’s Italian-American community since its consecration.

During 1926-1927, the church was the target of radical anti-catholic anarchists, who instituted five separate bomb attacks against the building in the space of one year. On March 6, 1927, police shot and killed one man and seriously wounded another, Celsten Eklund, a radical anarchist and local soapbox orator, as the two men attempted to light the fuse of a large dynamite bomb in front of the church. The dead man, known only as ‘Ricca’, was never fully identified; Eklund died of his wounds some time later without giving any information about his co-conspirators.

31. Than you hop on a cable car again

The cable car from Powell Street. Where everything starts

32. So you can hop off again to see Lombard Street

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Lombard street from Hyde St

Lombard Street is an east–west street in San Francisco, California. It is famous for having a steep, one-block section that consists of eight tight hairpin turns. The street was named after Lombard Street in Philadelphia by San Francisco surveyor Jasper O’Farrell.

Lombard Street’s western terminus is at Presidio Boulevard inside The Presidio; it then heads east through the Cow Hollow neighborhood. For twelve blocks, between Broderick Street and Van Ness Avenue, it is a principal arterial road that is co-signed as U.S. Route 101. Lombard Street then continues through the Russian Hill neighborhood and to the Telegraph Hill neighborhood. At Telegraph Hill it breaks off to the south, becoming Telegraph Hill Boulevard, leading to Pioneer Park and Coit Tower. Lombard Street starts again at Winthrop Street and finally terminates at The Embarcadero as a collector road.

33. Then you hop on one last time and get off the at the last stop

The cable car from the last stop, next to fisherman’s wharf

34. When you’re there it’s time to explore the area

Small piece of beach next to Hyde street pier

35. Go further and find a beautiful palace

The Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District of San Francisco, California, is a monumental structure originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in order to exhibit works of art presented there. One of only a few surviving structures from the Exposition, it is the only one still situated on its original site. It was rebuilt in 1965, and renovation of the lagoon, walkways, and a seismic retrofit were completed in early 2009.

In addition to hosting art exhibitions, it remains a popular attraction for tourists and locals, and is a favorite location for weddings and wedding party photographs for couples throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and such an icon that a miniature replica of it was built in Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim.

36. That was also in a famous movie. Do you remember what movie?

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The Palace of Fine Arts

37. Awed by the colorful exclusive homes at Haight Ashbury

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Haight Ashbury

Haight-Ashbury is a district of San Francisco, California, named for the intersection of Haight and Ashbury streets. It is also called The Haight and The Upper Haight.  The neighborhood is known for its history of hippie subculture.  The district generally encompasses the neighborhood surrounding Haight Street, bounded by Stanyan Street and Golden Gate Park on the west, Oak Street and the Golden Gate Park Panhandle on the north, Baker Street and Buena Vista Park to the east and Frederick Street and Ashbury Heights and Cole Valley neighborhoods to the south.

38. Relaxing with the surrounding nature

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A lone tree next to the Golden Gate Bridge

39. Being amazed by the extremely tall Redwood trees

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Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods National Monument is a unit of the National Park Service on the Pacific coast of southwestern Marin County, California, 12 miles (19 km) north of San Francisco and part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It protects 554 acres (224 ha), of which 240 acres (97 ha) are old growth Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forests, one of a few such stands remaining in the San Francisco Bay Area.

40. Time to head back to the center of San Francisco

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The Transamerica Pyramid

The Transamerica Pyramid is the tallest skyscraper in the San Francisco skyline. The building no longer houses the headquarters of the Transamerica Corporation, who moved their U.S. headquarters to Baltimore, Maryland, but it is still associated with the company and is depicted in the company’s logo. Designed by architect William Pereira and built by Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company, at 853 ft (260 m), on completion in 1972 it was the eighth tallest building in the world.

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