A mile and a half from Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz was the site of the first lighthouse built on the Pacific Coast, then a federal prison for such notorious convicts as Al Capone. Now it is one of the city's most populart attractions.
Opened just six months before its counterpart, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge has connected the city with Oakland and the East Bay areas since 1936. A glittering necklace of lights was added to commerate its 50th anniversary in 1986.
San Francisco is one of the few places in the world people can ride on a national historic landmark. The Cable Cars are the world's last permanently operational manually operated cable car system, in the US sense of a tramway whose cars are pulled along by cables embedded in the street.
At the summit of Telegraph Hill is Coit Tower. This flutelike cyclinder was built in 1933, the legacy of Lillie Hitchcock Coit, who left $125,000 bequest to San Francisco "for the purpose of adding beauty to the city which I have always loved."
At the end of Market Street, lies the Ferry Building, which was constructed in 1898 as the main transit hub. Today, many high-end local businesses line the inside of this San Francisco icon. On most days, it features cooking demonstrations and nearly 100 stands selling the season's best produce, meats and cheeses. The Ferry Building is great place for a stroll, eating at many of the restaurants overlooking the bay and seeing what San Francisco is about.
Once called "the bridge that couldn't be built," today it is one the seven wonders of the modern world. This magnificent span, perhaps San Francisco's most famous landmark, opened in 1937 after a four-year struggle against relentless winds, fog, rock and treacherous tides.
The epicenter of the "Summer of Love," Haight-Ashbury is a part of San Francisco that will always be loved. A bustling street full of indepedent businesses and cafes, come here to people-watch, shop for vintage clothes and walk in the foot steps of many of the rock gods.
One of the most photographed locations in San Francisco, Alamo Square's famous "Painted Ladies" is indeed a visual treat. A tight, escalating formation of Victorian houses is backdropped by downtown skyscrapers, and the grassy square is an ideal midday break.
One of the most beautiful settings in San Francisco, Palace of Fine Arts features a peaceful lagoon, a large beautiful rotunda and Greek-style colonnades. A stones throw from the Exploratorium and the Golden Gate Bridge, the Palace of Fine Arts is a great respite from the hustle and bustle of your visit.