San Francisco, popularly called ‘City by the Bay’ is a magnificent city set along the water. The city looks picturesque with its rolling hills and stunning with its unique architectural splendor. Some of the most notable landmarks of California are situated here. Let us explore the top three attractions of San Francisco. These landmarks include Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and Fisherman's Wharf. If you are planning to spend your vacation in San Francisco, getting acquainted with these iconic landmarks will be helpful and offer an insight into these places beforehand.
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is a prominent landmark in the United States. The reddish orange colored frame of the Golden Gate Bridge overlooking San Francisco Bay’s blue waters simply looks magnificent. The bridge in itself presents an awesome sight whether you look at it on a clear day or you happen to see it on a foggy day as well. San Francisco is connected with Marin County as well as other districts further north with the Golden Gate Suspension Bridge.
Once upon a time, the Golden Gate Bridge was designated as the greatest man-made creations in the U.S. and continued to be so for many years. The bridge remained a prominent landmark of San Francisco for years on, but the Transamerica Pyramid now claims this distinction. Even though, the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most beautiful bridges in the world and remarkable for its stunning scenic views around it.
It took four years for the Golden Gate Bridge to be constructed. It was finally inaugurated on 28th May 1937. During the time of its completion, the bridge was considered to be the world’s longest suspension bridge. More than 100,000 lorries and cars use the bridge on an average day. The bridge offers a fascinating sight when it is flood-lit in the evening. Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill is among the best places to get a beautiful view of the bridge. Joseph B. Strauss, the man responsible for constructing above 400 major steel bridges around the world, was also the builder of the Golden Gate Suspension Bridge. A monument dedicated to him can be found standing at end of the bridge.
The Alcatraz Island is a fascinating destination to visit in San Francisco. It is home to the notorious and historic Alcatraz penitentiary (prison), which was into operations for nearly 30 years. The Alcatraz penitentiary stopped functioning as a prison in 1963, but was reopened for tourists in 1973 and has ever since become a famous tourist attraction.
The Alcatraz penitentiary was home to some of the most infamous prisoners of America such as Al Capone and the “Birdman”. In fact, the popularity of the “Birdman” was such that it even became a subject of a fictional movie called “The Birdman of Alcatraz”.
If you are planning a visit to this famous attraction in San Francisco, you need to take a ferry to reach the Alcatraz Island. Having reached here, you can now explore this historic site with an audio recording, which has been done quite well and provides a glimpse into the prisoners’ lives and all that happened at the notorious prison. Some of the former guards and inmates of the prison have also done the narration. Truly, the prison is a major attraction for most tourists, but the Alcatraz Island has also become an important area for nesting sea birds. Thus, bird watching is also a great pastime for the tourists here.
The Fisherman’s Wharf is most popular place for tourists visiting San Francisco. This old part of the city was earlier famous as the “Little Italy of San Francisco”. As you visit this place, you will discover many restaurants and shops amid the beautiful setting along the waterfront. The Fisherman’s Wharf, as its name aptly suggests, is home to many fishermen who are still operating out of here. Fishing charters can be arranged for the tourists to take them around this area. The visitors can also go on sunset and evening cruises to get spectacular views of the San Francisco city.
The Fisherman’s Wharf is home to major attractions. The Ghirardelli Square and the Wax Museum are must visit places here. Consider heading to Pier 39, situated in the general area here, where you will find many unique places to eat and over 130 stores for shopping. The Fisherman’s Wharf is a completely entertaining place. A variety of entertainment activities and events can be found taking place here throughout the year. Tourists visiting San Francisco for the first time usually begin their tour of the city with a visit to this great fun place. Strolling around the Fisherman’s Wharf will give you a flavor of the city.