Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Riding the Rails -- A Lot to Love About San Francisco

One of the many hearts inspired by the song.
I didn't leave my heart in San Francisco but there's sure a lot about this beautiful city by the bay to love.

Through the years I've heard a lot of folks say that if they could live anywhere in the United States -- and could afford it -- that place would be San Fran. I can understand after spending a couple of days there.

Fountain at Golden Gate Park
There seems to be so much civic pride in this city of about 850,000 -- from Golden Gate Park to Fisherman's Wharf to Nob Hill to Chinatown, cable cars and much more. It's clean, as far as cities go, and very inviting.

City Light Books
While taking a bus tour through the city I saw City Lights Booksellers, founded in 1953 by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter D. Martin. The guide said Ferlinghetti, who is 95, often shows up to chat to patrons..

Transamerica Pyramid

There is a lovely mix of architecture, with well-preserved buildings dating back to  Gold Rush Days of the 19th century to modern skyscrapers. Museums. Theatre. The Haight-Asbury district. Professional sports teams.  San Francisco seems to have it all. Unfortunately, that also includes a very visible homeless population.

You have the signature Golden Gate Bridge on one side of the city and the Oakland-San Francisco Bridge on the other. And in the middle of the bay sits foreboding Alcatraz  prison. Even though it's a tourist destination now, you can't help wonder what it must have been like for those who spent time on "the Rock."

A warning side at Alcatraz
Drop by Fishermen's Wharf and you'll find the usual tourist shops that sell T-shirts, caps, camera supplies, and various souvenir items.  There are some places such as Ghiradelli Square and the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park that are worth a visit.

Chinatown musician

But if you venture to Fisherman's Wharf -- and who can't resist a few tourist traps -- you'll see sea lions that found a home on Pier 39, which they apparently adopted after the big earthquake in 1989 rattled the area.

Sea lions napping at Pier 39

Like I said, I didn't leave my heart in San Francisco, but I left with some wonderful memories. 
Golden Gate Bridge

Until the next time...


  1. Though heard about San francisco yet get to know much through your post :) Thanks for sharing

  2. Thank you, Kiran. We both learn from each other and our travels.