Welcome to Funky San Francisco
A good place to start your exploration is Union Square at the center of San Francisco, north of Market Street and bordered by Powell and Stockton streets. Here you can relax on a bench beneath a shady tree and watch the shoppers, theatre goers and cable cars rush by. This are houses several classy hotels and exclusive boutiques and is close to the theatre district in Geary Street. It is a popular spot for tourists. Be sure to check out the Frank Lloyd Wright building at 140 Maiden Lane. From the tops of many of the hills throughout San Francisco, you can catch glimpses of the famous Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge has pedestrian access, so you can walk or cycle over it at your leisure. The Financial District is also well worth a visit. San Francisco’s only real high-rise area is home to Lotta’s Fountain, the impressive structure modelled on Seville’s cathedral tower known as the Ferry Building, and the indoor Ferry Plaza Farmers Market that remains a great place to try local produce. This area also hosts some great cafes and fine restaurants and the Embarcadero Center shopping mall. In order to get some idea of what San Francisco looked like prior to the famous fire of 1906, head over to Jackson Square Historic District. Nearby stands the 48-story Transamerica Pyramid, the city’s tallest structure, and just three blocks away you can immerse yourself in the delicious cuisine and brightly ornamental bustle of Chinatown. If you want to brave a visit to Alcatraz, the former high-security prison in San Francisco Bay, it is best to book two weeks in advance, especially in peak season. Go to Pier 33 to catch the boat to Alcatraz and hire a self-guided audio tour to get the low down on one of the world’s most famous prisons. The climate in San Francisco is mild, ranging from the high 50s F in the rainy season from November to January to the low 70s F in August through October. But even when it is raining or covered in fog, San Francisco offers great hospitality in its cosy jazz bars, superb restaurants, art galleries and museums.