The Promenade is a 4.3 mile seaside trail that leads from the marina district to the Golden Gate Bridge. Enjoy stunning views of the bridge, seasonal flowers and panoramic views of the city from the bridge. Many picnic or enjoy more natural spaces at the Presidio’s Crissy Field, which was once an army field now turned into a recreational park.
Take the trail to the one-mile the Golden Gate Bridge, to enjoy more views of the city and the Pacific Ocean. This is one of the most photographed bridges in the world, and was the longest suspension until 1964. Construction ended in 1937, and this was a major advancement in architecture during that time.
Under the bridge is the Fort Point National Historic Site, which has stood guard for over 150 years. Built for the civil war, the fort protected the Bay Area during the Gold Rush through WWII and was once named, "The Pride of the Pacific." Completed in 1861, the fort has significance due to its military history, architecture, and association with maritime history. It also provides a stunning ground-view-looking-up of the bridge.
Golden Gate Park spans around 1,017 acres. The development of the park started in 1871, and today is the third most visited park in America after Central Park and the Lincoln Memorial. Besides natural spaces, the grounds feature a variety of gardens, museums and music venues.
Little Grace Chapel was built in 1849 during the Gold Rush and later outgrew itself to become a bigger church during its history. Through the years the church received major additions and renovations, finally completing construction in 1964 with an overall Gothic Revival style. This Nob Hill church prides itself with visitations from popular leaders like MLK and Duke Ellington. Behind the scenes tours are available to discover more about the church's history and architecture.
Mission Dólares Parish
Founded in 1776, this is the oldest intact building in San Francisco. The Spanish missionaries came and settled in Yerba Buena, for what is now San Francisco, on June 29, 1776, only five days before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Before the settlement the land was occupied by the Ohlone people.
The Palace of Fine Arts is one of the architectural wonders of San Francisco. Some often forget they are in SFO and reimagine they are in the middle of Greek or Roman columns. Built in 1915, the Panama Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) opened during rough time in the city's history. The city recovered from a devastating earthquake and the globe was on the brink of World War I. The PPIE was an inspiration to bring the world together during tough times. Architect Bernard Maybeck chose his design to reflect the impression of a Roman ruin. Many of the PPIE buildings were torn down except for the PFA. Today, it still operates as an art theatre honoring the legacy of Maybeck.
If you adore the local housing in SFO, be sure to experience this remarkable Queen Anne style Victorian home from 1886. Its the last standing private home from that time period that now operates as a museum, decorated in luxuries furnishings from that time. Many admire this gem because it survived the 1906 earthquake and fire.
Built in 1873, this is the last remaining manual cable car system in America, and a historic symbol to San Francisco's past. The trams operate from 6am to midnight and fares start at $7.00 for a oneway ticket. Check out the cable car map here.
City Lights Bookstore
A landmark for San Franciscans, this book store opened in 1953 as a literary meeting place that intellectual debated many of the latest reads. Today, the bookstore features a variety of old and new books as well as readings and events, and began publishing books in 1955.
What is your favorite historical landmark in San Francisco?
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