San Francisco – One

San Francisco … The City by the Bay … is a wonderful travel destination. In these two photo galleries I’ll show you most of its landmarks, iconic sites and points of interest. So grab your pencil and an airplane ticket. Let’s go!

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Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California - Encircle Photos

1 Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California

The iconic Golden Gate Bridge is unquestionably the most recognizable suspension bridge in the world. Since 1937, most people walked along Crissy Field near Fort Point in Presidio park to get this view. Or they drove, walked or rode a bike across the nearly 9,000 foot length. But in 2012 the Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion opened. It offers a splendid observation area, bike and walking paths plus educational exhibits.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA 94129
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Lyon Street Steps View in San Francisco, California - Encircle Photos

2 Lyon Street Steps View in San Francisco, California

If you are an athlete, you will love the challenge of running up and down the 288 steps at the intersection of Broadway and Lyon Streets. For everyone else, you will love this spectacular view of the manicured hedges leading into the Cow Hollow neighborhood, beyond the Palace of Fine Arts and into San Francisco Bay.

Broadway & Lyon St, San Francisco, CA 94115
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Palace of Fine Arts Beside Lagoon in San Francisco, California - Encircle Photos

3 Palace of Fine Arts Beside Lagoon in San Francisco, California

In 1915, in preparation for hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition world’s fair, ten magnificent yet temporary structures were built on 630 acres in today’s Marina neighborhood. This dome building alongside a lagoon, called the Palace of Fine Arts, is the only one that remains on the original site. It was reconstructed in 1965.

3301 Lyon St, San Francisco, CA 94123
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Palace of Fine Arts Weeping Women in San Francisco, California - Encircle Photos

4 Palace of Fine Arts Weeping Women in San Francisco, California

The entrance to the Palace of Fine Arts was originally built in 1915 to simulate ruins from ancient Roman or Greek architecture. I was mesmerized by the tall colonnade leading to the main domed pergola. The sculptures on these Corinthian columns, designed by Ulric Ellerhusen, are called the Weeping Women.

3301 Lyon St, San Francisco, CA 94123
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The Cannery Del Monte Plant No. 1 in San Francisco, California - Encircle Photos

5 The Cannery Del Monte Plant No. 1 in San Francisco, California

After the 1906 earthquake, Del Monte Foods rebuilt their fruit and vegetable processing facilities into Plant No. 1 which at the time was the world’s largest cannery. After it stopped operations in 1937, it became a warehouse that was scheduled for demolition until it was purchased in 1963 by Leonard Martin. Today, The Cannery consists of over 30 shops and restaurants contained within the original brick walls.

2801 Leavenworth St, San Francisco, CA 94133
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Couple on Rented Bicycles at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, California - Encircle Photos

6 Couple on Rented Bicycles at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, California

Numerous tourists rent bikes to ride around Fisherman’s Wharf and pass the numerous historic piers along the waterfront on Embarcadero. More adventurous cyclists go across the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito. But don’t try navigating the hills of downtown San Francisco. It is far less strenuous to ride a cable car.

496 Jefferson St, San Francisco, CA 94109
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Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco, California - Encircle Photos

7 Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco, California

Hyde Street Pier offers tours of several ships that are part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park run by the National Park Service. On the left is Balclutha, a three-mast, full-rigged ship that was built in 1886. In the middle is the C.A. Thayer, a schooner from 1895. On the right is Eureka, a paddle steamboat that went into service as a ferry in 1890.

2905 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109
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Bushman at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, California - Encircle Photos

8 Bushman at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, California

Since 1980, David Johnson, better known as the “World Famous Bushman” has sat on a plastic milk crate at Fisherman’s Wharf while hiding behind eucalyptus branches. When a tourist walks by, he jumps out with a scary sound. His victims are startled while a watching crowd laughs.

236 Jefferson St, San Francisco, CA 94133
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Fisherman’s Wharf Sign in San Francisco, California - Encircle Photos

9 Fisherman’s Wharf Sign in San Francisco, California

The Golden Gate Bridge is the most iconic symbol of San Francisco but a close second is this Fisherman’s Wharf sign. It was first installed on the corners of Jefferson and Taylor Streets in 1968. Over time, it was getting rusted and corroded so $115,000 was spent in 2013 to give it a complete facelift.

2820 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA 94133
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Fresh Seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, California - Encircle Photos

10 Fresh Seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, California

If you like seafood, then head to Fisherman’s Wharf where fishermen began docking and selling their fresh catch during the 19th century. Today, the area is mostly a tourist attraction. The street vendors serve ready-to-eat nibbles in plastic cups. If you don’t want to share your snack with pesky seagulls, then enjoy your Dungeness crab and clam chowder from a family restaurant or dine at one of several national chains.

2809 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA 94133
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Laffing Sal at Musée Mécanique in San Francisco, California - Encircle Photos

11 Laffing Sal at Musée Mécanique in San Francisco, California

A must visit but hard to find attraction along Fishermans Wharf is Musée Mécanique, a collection of over 200 antique penny arcade games, nickelodeons, music boxes, fortune tellers, and vintage pinball. My favorite is Laffing Sal, a six foot somewhat creepy animated figure who delighted or scared children at Playland on the Beach from 1940 to 1972. The free museum is located at Pier 45, Shed A.

45 Sausalito - San Francisco Pier 41, San Francisco, CA 94133
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Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, California - Encircle Photos

12 Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, California

Most people know Alcatraz as the federal penitentiary that operated from 1934 until 1963. What they are surprised to learn is this was a U.S. Army fort starting in 1853. The military post was equipped with over 100 canons, 10,000 muskets and 150,000 cartridges of ammunition. The lighthouse was the first one located along the Pacific coast when it became functional in 1854. “The Rock” is now a major tourist attraction managed by the National Park Service.

[37.825862, -122.421393]
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Marine Terminal Ticket Booth at Pier 41in San Francisco, California - Encircle Photos

13 Marine Terminal Ticket Booth at Pier 41in San Francisco, California

A delightful way to experience San Francisco Bay is on a cruise and there are lots of options: sail for dinner, a brunch, an hour or for several hours. You can also buy a ticket at the Marine Terminal at Pier 41 for a ferry to several nearby locations. Regardless of which option and fleet you choose, you will enjoy the scenery and experience.

41 Vallejo - Pier 41, San Francisco, CA 94133
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Forbes Island Restaurant in San Francisco, California - Encircle Photos

14 Forbes Island Restaurant in San Francisco, California

If you are eccentric and rich, why not build your own floating island as a residence? That’s what Forbes Kiddoo did in 1980. But then it spent years at different dock locations before mooring between Pier 39 and 41 in 1999. Since then, it has been renovated from his home with three state rooms and a waterfall hot tub to a gourmet, underwater restaurant with its own 40 foot lighthouse, sandy beach and palm trees outside.

2 Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94133
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Spyhopping Gray Whale Mural by Wyland in San Francisco, California - Encircle Photos

15 Spyhopping Gray Whale Mural by Wyland in San Francisco, California

This mural of two gray whales by Robert Wyland, the famous marine artist, is number 60 in his series of 100 life-size Whaling Walls. It shows an adult female and her calf “spyhopping” which means the mammal maintains its head above water for up to several minutes. The artwork is located across from Pier 39 on Embarcadero. It was dedicated on September 5, 1994.

1789 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94133
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Pier 39 Entrance and Hard Rock Cafe in San Francisco, California - Encircle Photos

16 Pier 39 Entrance and Hard Rock Cafe in San Francisco, California

Since it opened in 1978, Pier 39 has grown into a large collection of shops, chain restaurants, snack kiosks and entertainment venues along either side of a long wooden boardwalk. It is definitely designed for tourists and especially for families with kids.

Pier 39, Embarcadero & Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94133
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Pier 39 Sea Lions in San Francisco, California - Encircle Photos

17 Pier 39 Sea Lions in San Francisco, California

Perhaps the most popular activity at Pier 39 is watching the sea lions sleep, lounge, jostle and bark on floating platforms. These half ton mammals first arrived in 1989 and at their peak in 2009, over 1,700 of the California Sea Lions had taken shel