FUN FACTS ABOUT HOME ATTRACTIONS
Every time I visit San Francisco, I go on tours, visit the local museums, and read up on the city’s history, all of which lead me to compile a list of fun and interesting tidbits about the city.
Here are 25 things you probably didn’t know about San Francisco. This page contains affiliate links for which I receive a small commission.
This city by the bay was previously called Yerba Buena. Yerba Buena means “good herb” in Spanish. It was founded in 1776 and renamed in 1846. The public square in Yerba Buena was located in Portsmouth Square in Chinatown.
1SF has the second largest Chinatown outside of Asia. It is also the oldest in North America. It’s about a mile long and a half miles wide. Over 100,000 people live in Chinatown, which is the city’s most densely populated neighborhood. Take this fun tour of Chinatown to sample some of its tasty dishes.
In Chinatown, SF, the lights are turning on at dusk. Free Guide to San Francisco Planning! Become a subscriber to receive the latest San Francisco travel tips, insider’s advice, a free e-guide, and more! On this self-guided tour, you’ll learn more about Japantown, the largest and oldest Japantown in the US.
In the China exhibit at the Asian Art Museum, you’ll find pieces of art from around 221 BC. Use the Go Card to save money when you visit.A total of more than 50 named hills make up the city. Many believe there are only seven or nine hills, but there are actually more than 50. Some of the best known are Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill, and Twin Peaks. Among the lesser known ones are Golden Mine Hill, Excelsior Heights, and Tank Hill.
The SF Bay waters are known to be filled with dangerous sharks, but there are actually no man-eating sharks there. Many sharks live in the bay, but they are mostly small and not very dangerous. Although there are numerous great white sharks living close by in the Pacific Ocean, they rarely make their way into the bay. A great white shark was spotted feeding in SF Bay and caught on camera for the first time in October 2015!)
Near Alcatraz Island, a ferry cruises.
You can taste the winners and other entrants at the public tasting held a few weeks after the Chronicle Wine Competition winners are announced. SF is home to the largest competition of American wines in the world. You can sample the winners and other entrants at the public tasting.
In addition to loving wine, the locals also love independent films. SF hosts more than 50 film festivals each year, some of which are large international ones. The Greek Film Festival, the Jewish Film Festival, and the American Indian Film Festival are some of the smaller ones that focus on a very specific film selection.
Only two cemeteries remain in the city because you cannot bury your dead within its boundaries. One is behind the Mission San Francisco de Asis, while the other is in the Presidio. Because of space concerns, the board of supervisors voted in 1902 to stop all burials within the city limits. As a result of this move, the current graves were moved down to Colma between the 1920s and the 1940s.
In the Mission de Asis Cemetery, there is a gravestone.
Philio Farnsworth invented the first electric TV at 202 Green Street in San Francisco in 1927.
On June 26, 1945, the United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco at the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center.
About 90% of the damage to the city in 1906 was caused by fires that started after the earthquake.
The Panama Pacific Exposition in 1915 was the rebirth of San Francisco after the devastating 1906 Earthquake. It gave the city a chance to rebuild and prove to the world that it was once again an international city. More than 19 million people visited this nine-month event from around the world.
The Golden Gate Bridge’s color is International Orange. It wasn’t on the original list of colors. The architect chose this color because it was the primer used to protect the steel for the bridge during transit and he liked it better than the other options.
Golden Gate Bridge and a sailboat
US Navy wanted the Golden Gate Bridge painted in black and yellow stripes instead of a solid color. This would make it easier to see through fog, especially if it was under attack.
It is estimated that there are hundreds of earthquakes each year in the Bay Area, but most of them are so small (less than a 3.0) that you cannot feel them, and they are rarely discussed. Find out why earthquakes happen.
Al Capone arrived at Alcatraz by train. The warden was so concerned about security that they loaded the train car onto a barge instead of unloading the prisoners from the train and transporting them to a boat. As they feared he would attempt a escape or cause trouble if removed from the train car before Alcatraz, Capone was the main reason.
SF is not the foggiest place in the US, that honor goes to our friends to the north, Point Reyes. They are not only the foggiest place in the US, but also in North America. However, we do get our fair share of fog here as well. During July and August, our weather is the foggiest, covering us more than 100 days a year.
The city and county of San Francisco are home to only about 830,000 people, while the entire bay area is home to more than 7 million people.
At any given time, there are over 3,500 restaurants open in SF, so there is always something new to try.
Here are some of the most famous people born in San Francisco:
Actor Danny Glover was born on July 22, 1946
February 20, 1902: Ansel Adams, photographer & environmentalist
May 31, 1930, Clint Eastwood, actor/director
Actor Bruce Lee was born on November 27, 1940
Actor Alicia Silverstone was born on October 4, 1976
Actress Aishea Tyler was born on September 18, 1970
Actress Natalie Wood was born on July 20, 1938
The birth date of Jerry Garcia, musician, is August 1, 1942
March 26, 1874: Robert Frost, poet
It was Makoto Hagiwara of San Francisco who was the first person in US to serve fortune cookies in his tea garden in the late 1890s. He is also responsible for the famous Japanese Tea Garden in SF’s Golden Gate Park.
SF-made fortune cookies
A bendy straw was invented by Joseph B. Friedman in San Francisco after observing his daughter’s frustration with a straight straw. He received a patent on it in 1937.
The city is only seven miles long and seven miles wide, so you can see a lot in one day.
The Golden Gate Bridge was built in four years (1933-1937). The rebuilding of the Oakland side of the Bay Bridge took 11 years (2002-2013).
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San Francisco is a spectacular, fun city on the central coast of California about 350 miles from L.A..
It’s bursting with a youthful energy thatwill guarantee you have an amazing and unforgettable adventure.
On the northern end of the San Francisco peninsula, the city invites you to explore hip neighborhoods, elegant buildings,beautiful parks and gardens, and enjoy a liberal, relaxed atmosphere.
And there’s no end of things to see.Union Square, in the heart of downtown, is San Francisco’s finest shopping region.
The neighborhood is famous for wide streets,clanging cable cars and some amazing shopping.
And don’t forget about the Square itself,which is a great place to sit back,relax and do some serious people-watching.Just a few minutes north, San Francisco’s Chinatown is 8 blocks of bustling activity with storefronts and alleyways selling all manner of strange and exotic goods. One of the largest Chinese communities in the US, San Francisco’s Chinatown is filled with exotic sights and sounds and a little bit of eastern mystique.
Less than a mile to the east, the Embarcadero is a busy waterfront roadway that runs right around the port area, with some of San Francisco’s most famous landmarks, including Market Street, the Bay Bridge and the San Francisco Ferry Building. Fisherman’s Wharf is at the northern end of the Embarcadero and has a great assortment of shops, bars and restaurants, and is right on the bay. Here you can grab a relaxed meal and a cool drink and be entertained by colorful street performers, or just enjoy the views along the waterfront. A short stroll away is Pier 39 which has someof thebestviews of San Francisco Bay, and a resident sea lion community that has been basking in the sun at the Pier for more than 20 years.
The island fortress of Alcatraz sits ominously in the bay and is now a popular attraction, with tours departing from Fisherman’s Wharf several times a day. Up until 1963, The Rock was home to America’s hardest prisoners but where there was once only concrete, steel and barbed wire, there are now gardens and wildflowers.
If you listen carefully, the eerie passages and cramped cells still echo with footsteps from the past. Not far from downtown is the Haight-Ashbury district where Victorian styled buildings echo with memories of the hippy days of the 60s.
There are still many pockets of counterculture where the Summer of Love lives on, and cafés, smoke shops and music stores still sell peace and love.
Halfway between Fisherman’s Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge is the Palace of Fine Arts A survivor from the 1915 Panama-Pacific Expo, and built in the Beaux-Arts style, it’s covered in greenery and surrounded by a peaceful lagoon.
It’s a perfect place for a quiet afternoon stroll.
At more than a thousand acres, Golden Gate Park stretches almost halfway across the peninsula and contains the Conservatory
of Flowers and the tranquil Japanese Tea Garden.
The park is the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors, or just relax and recharge in some peaceful surroundings. The Golden Gate Bridge sits majestically over the mouth of the bay, and invites millions of visitors to the city each year. Almost 2 miles long and 750 feet high, the Golden Gate Bridge connects San Francisco to the nearby Marin Headlands.
The pedestrian walkway spanning the length of the bridge is a superb way to see sweeping views across the bay and out over the Pacific Ocean. Baker Beach is located just to the west of the Golden Gate Bridge and has spectacular views across the mouth of the bay to the distant Marin Headlands.
It enjoys a reputation as San Francisco’s best sandy beach, but the views alone are worth the trip. Just north of San Francisco in Marin County, the ancient redwoods of Muir Woods National Monument tower up to 260 feet high with some dating back almost 800 years. Local rangers can provide guided tours along pathways that loop through the forest, or visitors can enjoy the hush sounds of nature and explore one of America’s natural treasures at their own pace.
On the eastern side of Marin County is the charming bayside hamlet of Sausalito. In its early days it was a small artist colony, but now it’s a relaxed bayside community filled with cafés and art galleries.
A short stroll down any street will bring you to some of the most beautiful views across the bay. And over there, in the distance, beckoning like a siren’s song is dazzling
San Francisco – tempting you back for another taste.
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A temptation you’ll find hard to resist