Historic San Francisco



Description:

An in-depth exploration of the people and events that made San Francisco what it is today.

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Author: Dave Schweisguth


San Francisco Railway Museum

Location:

77 Steuart Street
San Francisco, CA 94105

Contact:

tel: +1 415 974 1948
fax: +1 415 974 1968


San Francisco City Guides

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Location:

100 Larkin Street
San Francisco Public Library
San Francisco, CA 94102

Contact:

tel: (415) 557-4266


Dottie's True Blue Café

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Location:

522 Jones St
In the Pacific Bay Inn, At O'Farrell St
San Francisco, CA 94102

Contact:

tel: 415/885-2767


Barbary Coast Trail Self-Guided Walking Tour

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Location:

At the corner of Fifth and Mission streets
San Francisco, CA 94103

Contact:

tel: (415) 775-1111


San Francisco Information Center

Location:

City and County of San Francisco
875 Stevenson St., 5th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

Contact:

tel: (415) 554-0800


Yoshi's

Location:

1330 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, US


U.S.S. San Francisco Memorial

Location:

El Camino del Mar at Seal Rock Drive
San Francisco, US


Lotta's Fountain

Location:

Off Kearney Street
San Francisco, CA 94104

Contact:

tel: +1 415 391 2000 (Tourist Information)


Sonoma town square

Location:

Sonoma, US


La Salette

Location:

452 First Street East, Suite H
Sonoma, US


Portsmouth Square

Location:

Portsmouth Square
San Francisco, US


The Golden Hydrant

Location:

Church & 20th
San Francisco, US


Market Street Railway

Location:

San Francisco, US


Day 1 - San Francisco


Stay at the Sir Francis Drake, whose name and doormen's uniforms celebrate the first European visitor to the area. It's central, full of character (if a planned renovation does't ruin it) and can be inexpensive if you book early enough. Start your visit where it all began, at the site of San Francisco's first settlement and the burial place of some of its founding fathers. While you're in the neighborhood, visit the golden hydrant at the corner of Dolores Park. Afterwards, eat Peruvian -- not only will you be following today's Spanish Colonial theme, you'll be celebrating a historical connection. In the early and mid-1800's, the west coast of South America was closer to San Francisco than most other places in the world. Chocolatier Domingo Ghirardelli and leading citizen James Lick came here from Peru. George Atherton (son of the namesake of the Peninsula town and husband of novelist Gertrude), born in Chile, left his wife to return to his native land, died unexpectedly and was legendarily shipped back home in a barrel of rum. Skip the rum and have one of old-time SF's favorite cocktails, the Pisco Sour, made with Peruvian liquor.


1

Sir Francis Drake

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Location:

450 Powell St
At Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94102

Contact:

tel: 800/795-7129
fax: 415/391-8719


2

Mission Dolores

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Location:

332, 16th Street
(at the corner of Dolores Street)
San Francisco, CA 94114

Contact:

tel: (415) 621-8203
fax: (415) 621-2294


4

Limon

Location:

524 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

Contact:

tel: 4152520918


Day 2 - San Francisco


Explore the monuments of Portsmouth Square, the center of San Francisco when it was called Yerba Buena and was only a few blocks long. How many can you find? San Francisco's first city hall was across Kearny Street where the Hilton stands now. The site of San Francisco's first bookstore is across the alley on the other side, and that of its first newspaper is just up Washington Street (in the old Chinatown telephone exchange, now a bank branch). Break for lunch at SF's first brewpub since Prohibition, and then explore Chinatown. See California's first cathedral, its bricks shipped around the Horn, and Sun Yat-Sen's old headquarters on Spofford Alley. Eat at Chef Jia's (the in-the-know alternative to House of Nanking), then top off the weekend just across Columbus at SF's most authentic jazz club.


3

Chinatown

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expert pick

Location:

Bush St. and Kearny St.
San Francisco, CA 94108

Contact:

tel: +1 415 391 2000


4

St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral

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Location:

660 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

Contact:

tel: (415) 288-3800
fax: +1 415 288 3838


5

Chef Jia's

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Location:

925 Kearny Street
(between Washington and Jackson streets)
San Francisco, CA 94133

Contact:

tel: (415) 398-1626


Day 3 - San Francisco


Today is all about transportation. In the morning, walk down Powell to Market and take one of the historic streetcars that serve Muni's F line to the Embarcadero. Today the Ferry Building is a den of foodies, but in its day it was the world's second-busiest transit terminal. Duck upstairs to see the enormous mosaic seal of California. Outside, look for the historical markers which celebrate an unusual event in America -- the demolition of the freeway after the 1989 earthquake. Just down Steuart Street is a memorial to the 1934 longshoremens' strike, one of the critical events leading to the establishment of unionism in the twentieth century. Nearby, lunch at crowd-pleasing Boulevard, housed in one of the few buildings to survive the 1906 earthquake, and admire its astonishing mosaic floor. After lunch, take the California Street cable car to the top of Nob Hill. Here was the nest of San Francisco's railroad moguls, their names immortalized in hotels. Just down Mason Street is the Cable Car Barn, both museum and, most impressively, powerhouse to every one of the cable cars still travelling SF's streets. Take the cable car back down California Street for grilled fish at Tadich, California's oldest restaurant. Ride or walk back down Market to home, stopping at the Pied Piper for a look at its famous mural and a moment of silence for President Harding, who died in the Palace Hotel under suspicious circumstances, and at Lotta's Fountain, where survivors of the Big One still meet every year.


3

Ferry Building Marketplace & Farmer's Market

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expert pick

Location:

Ferry Building Marketplace
One Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Contact:

tel: (415) 693-0996


4

Boulevard

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expert pick

Location:

1 Mission St
Between Embarcadero and Steuart sts
San Francisco, CA 94105

Contact:

tel: 415/543-6084
fax: +1 415 495 2936


5

Cable Cars

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Location:

401 Van Ness
(between Golden Gate and Grove Sts) Admin Offices
San Francisco, CA 94102

Contact:

tel: (415) 673-6864


6

Nob Hill

Location:

Sacramento and Taylor
San Francisco, CA 94109


7

Cable Car Museum

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Location:

1201 Mason St
(at the corner of Washington Street)
San Francisco, CA 94108

Contact:

tel: (415) 474-1887


8

Tadich Grill

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Location:

240 California St
Between Battery and Front sts
San Francisco, CA 94111

Contact:

tel: 415/391-1849


9

Pied Piper Bar

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Location:

2 New Montgomery Street
Palace Hotel
San Francisco, CA 94105

Contact:

tel: (415) 512 1111


Day 4 - San Francisco


Spend the day with the Hyde Street Pier's magnificent collection of historic ships and the Jeremiah O'Brien, the last of the amazing Liberty Ships. Nearby on Pier 45, the antique coin-operated games and instruments of the Musee Mecanique offer a little comic relief. Locals will tell you not to eat on Fisherman's Wharf, but Scoma's is a solid choice for classic San Francisco fish dishes like Crab Louie.


2

Scoma's

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Location:

Al Scoma Way
Pier 47 and Al Scoma Way (between Jefferson and Jones sts.)
San Francisco, CA 94133

Contact:

tel: 800/644-5852
fax: +1 415 775 2601


3

SS Jeremiah O'Brien

Location:

Pier 45
At Fisherman's Wharf
San Francisco, CA 94111

Contact:

tel: (415) 544-0100 / (415) 544-0101
fax: (415) 544-9890


4

Musee Mecanique

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Location:

Pier 45 at the end of Taylor St
Fisherman's Wharf
San Francisco, CA 94133

Contact:

tel: (415) 346-2000


Day 5 - San Francisco


Pack a picnic and take a ferry to the Ellis Island of the West, the entry point for Chinese immigrants from 1910 to 1940. Back on the mainland, refresh yourself with Phillipe Jeanty's classic French cuisine in the venerable Jack's restaurant. More than any other, Jack's brings back the pre-quake days when a businessman would while away the hours in a private room on the upper floors of certain restaurants. Dine with the crowd or in a private room as you prefer.


1

Angel Island State Park

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Location:

Located one mile south of the Tiburon Peninsula
San Francisco, CA 94133

Contact:

tel: (415) 435-3522


Day 6 - San Francisco


John C. Fremont set the tone for San Francisco's military history when he "captured" the Presidio in 1846 and found that the Spaniards had already deserted. Though -- or because -- it never saw enemy action, the Presidio was a favorite post for soldiers who loved the beautiful setting and the fun-loving locals. Fort Point's beautiful brick arches (echoed overhead by those of a certain bridge) had a similarly peaceful existence. The real action on the Bay was in the naval vessels that made their port here. A remnant of the U.S.S. San Francisco now forms part of a memorial to that heroic ship. The views from the Cliff House nearby offer an opportunity to contemplate the many ships that have sailed from the Golden Gate, and the many that sank just short of it.


1

The Presidio Trust

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Location:

34 Graham St
San Francisco, CA 94129

Contact:

tel: (415) 561-5500
fax: (415) 561-5315


2

Fort Point National Historic Site

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Location:

Fort Point NHS Long Avenue and Presidio of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA 94129

Contact:

tel: (415) 556-1693 / (415) 556-0505
fax: (415) 561-4390


Day 7 - San Francisco


The events of San Francisco's midcentury left their mark most strongly west of downtown. After World War II, the United Nations was established here during an international conference that took place in the Opera House and the Veterans' Building. Just to the west, Japantown, a Japanese community since the early twentieth century, was decimated by relocation during the war. The African-Americans who replaced them made the Fillmore the West Coast's jazz center, only to be displaced in turn by scorched-earth redevelopment in the '60's. The two threads meet in Yoshi's, a jazz club with a Japanese name.


2

City Hall

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Location:

1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
(Civic Center)
San Francisco, CA 94102

Contact:

tel: (415) 554-4000
fax: +1 415 554 4936


3

Japantown

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Location:

Webster and Post Streets
San Francisco, CA 94115

Contact:

tel: +1 415 391 2000 (Tourist Information)


Day 8 - Sonoma


A trip to wine country also offers an opportunity to see the northernmost of California's missions and the spot where California proclaimed its independence, less than a month before surrendering peacefully to America.


2

Buena Vista Winery

Location:

18000 Old Winery Rd.
Sonoma, CA 95476

Contact:

tel: (707) 938-1266


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