Sights & Attractions in San Francisco

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Sights Overview
Name Category Location
 
1360 Montgomery Street
In the 1947 film Dark Passage Humphrey Bogart plays an escaped...
Architectural Sites North Beach
 
Maestrapeace mural
The towering mural that seems to enclose the Women's Building...
Public Art (Mural / Sculpture / Statue) Mission District
 
Alcatraz
Thousands of visitors come every day to walk in the footsteps...
Jails On the Waterfront
 
Alta Plaza Park
Golden Gate Park's longtime superintendent, John McLaren, designed...
Parks Pacific Heights
 
American Conservatory Theater
Celebrated local architects Bliss and Faville, also responsible...
Arts / Performance Venues Union Square
 
Angel Island
For an outdoorsy adventure, consider a day at this island northwest...
Parks, Islands On the Waterfront
 
Asian Art Museum
You don't have to be a connoisseur of Asian art to appreciate...
Museums / Galleries Civic Center
 
Axford House
This mauve house was built in 1877 by William Axford, a Scottish...
Houses / Mansions Noe Valley
 
Balmy Alley murals
Mission District artists have transformed the walls of their...
Public Art (Mural / Sculpture / Statue) Mission District
 
Beat Museum
This two-level museum is likely to see an uptick in visitors...
Museums / Galleries North Beach
 
Broadway and Webster Street estates
Broadway uptown, unlike its garish North Beach stretch, has plenty...
Architectural Sites Pacific Heights
 
Buchanan Mall
The buildings lining this open-air mall are of the shoji school...
Stores / Malls Japantown
 
Buena Vista Park
If you can manage the steep climb, this eucalyptus-filled park...
Parks Haight
 
Cable Car Museum
One of the city's best free offerings, this museum is an absolute...
Museums / Galleries Nob Hill
 
California Historical Society
If you're not a history buff, the CHS might seem like an obvious...
Libraries SoMa
 
Cartoon Art Museum
Krazy Kat, Zippy the Pinhead, Batman, and other colorful cartoon...
Museums / Galleries SoMa
 
Castro Theatre
Here's a classic way to join in the Castro community: grab some...
Arts / Performance Venues Castro
 
Chinatown Gate
This is the official entrance to Chinatown. Stone lions flank...
Architectural Sites Chinatown
 
Chinatown Kite Shop
This family-run shop has been selling bright, fun-shaped kites—dragons...
Stores / Malls Chinatown
 
Chinese Culture Center
Chiefly a place for the community to gather for calligraphy and...
Arts / Performance Venues Chinatown
 
Chinese Historical Society of America Museum and Learning Center
The displays at this airy, light-filled gallery document the...
Museums / Galleries Chinatown
 
Chinese Six Companies
Once the White House of Chinatown, this striking building has...
Architectural Sites Chinatown
 
City Hall
This imposing 1915 structure with its massive gold-leaf dome—higher...
Government Buildings Civic Center
 
City Lights Bookstore
Take a look at the exterior of the store: the replica of a revolutionary...
Stores / Malls North Beach
 
Clarke's Mansion
Built for attorney Alfred "Nobby" Clarke, this 1892 off-white...
Houses / Mansions Castro
 
Cliff House
A meal at the Cliff House isn't about the food—the spectacular...
Restaurants Western Shoreline
 
Coit Tower
Whether or not you agree that it resembles a fire-hose nozzle...
Architectural Sites North Beach
 
Contemporary Jewish Museum
Daniel Liebeskind designed the postmodern CJM, whose impossible-to-ignore...
Museums / Galleries SoMa
 
Creativity Explored
Joyous, if chaotic, creativity pervades the workshops of this...
Educational Institutions Mission District
 
Dragon House
A veritable museum, the store sells authentic, centuries-old...
Stores / Malls Chinatown
 
Exploratorium
Walking into this fascinating "museum of science, art, and human...
Museums / Galleries On the Waterfront
 
Fairmont San Francisco
The hotel's dazzling opening was delayed a year by the 1906 quake...
Hotels Nob Hill
 
Ferry Building
The jewel of the Embarcadero, erected in 1896, is topped by a...
Markets / Bazaars, Transportation Sites On the Waterfront
 
Feusier House
Octagonal houses were once thought to make the best use of space...
Houses / Mansions Russian Hill
 
Fort Mason Center
Originally a depot for the shipment of supplies to the Pacific...
Arts / Performance Venues Marina
 
Fort Point
Dwarfed today by the Golden Gate Bridge, this brick fortress...
Military Sites Presidio
 
Franklin Street buildings
What at first looks like a stone facade on the Golden Gate Church...
Architectural Sites Pacific Heights
 
Galería de la Raza
San Francisco's premier showcase for contemporary Latino art...
Museums / Galleries Mission District
 
Ghirardelli Square
Most of the redbrick buildings in this early-20th-century complex...
Stores / Malls On the Waterfront
 
GLBT Historical Society Museum
The one-room Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Historical...
Museums / Galleries Castro
 
Golden fire hydrant
When all the other fire hydrants went dry during the fire that...
Memorials / Monuments Noe Valley
 
Golden Gate Bridge
With its simple but powerful art-deco design, the 1.7-mile suspension...
Bridges / Tunnels Presidio
 
Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory
Follow your nose down Ross Alley to this tiny but fragrant cookie...
Industrial Sites, Stores / Malls Chinatown
 
Grace Cathedral
Not many churches can boast an altarpiece by Keith Haring and...
Religious Sites Nob Hill
 
Grant Avenue
Originally called Calle de la Fundación, Grant Avenue is the...
Neighborhoods / Streets North Beach
 
Grateful Dead House
On the outside, this is just one more well-kept Victorian on...
Houses / Mansions Haight
 
Haas-Lilienthal House
A small display of photographs on the bottom floor of this elaborate...
Houses / Mansions Pacific Heights
 
Haight-Ashbury Intersection
On October 6, 1967, hippies took over the intersection of Haight...
Neighborhoods / Streets Haight
 
Hallidie Building
Named for cable-car inventor Andrew S. Hallidie, this 1918 structure...
Architectural Sites Union Square
 
Harvey Milk Plaza
An 18-foot-long rainbow flag, the symbol of gay pride, flies...
Squares Castro
 
Hyde Street Pier
Cotton candy and souvenirs are all well and good, but if you...
Marinas / Piers On the Waterfront
 
Ina Coolbrith Park
If you make it all the way up here, you may have the place all...
Parks Russian Hill
 
InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel
Built on the ashes of railroad tycoon Mark Hopkins's grand estate...
Hotels Nob Hill
 
Jackson Square Historic District
This was the heart of the Barbary Coast of the Gay '90s (the...
Squares On the Waterfront
 
Japan Center
Cool and curious trinkets, noodle houses and sushi joints, a...
Stores / Malls Japantown
 
Kabuki Springs & Spa
This serene spa is one Japantown destination that draws locals...
Spas Japantown
 
Kong Chow Temple
This ornate temple sets a somber, spiritual tone right away with...
Religious Sites Chinatown
 
Lafayette Park
Clusters of trees dot this four-block-square oasis for sunbathers...
Parks Pacific Heights
 
Legion of Honor
The old adage of real estate—location, location, location—is...
Museums / Galleries Western Shoreline
 
Levi Strauss headquarters
The carefully landscaped complex appears so collegiate that it's...
Architectural Sites North Beach
 
Lincoln Park
Although many of the city's green spaces are gentle and welcoming...
Parks Western Shoreline
 
Lombard Street
The block-long "Crookedest Street in the World" makes eight switchbacks...
Neighborhoods / Streets Russian Hill
 
Lotta's Fountain
Saucy gold rush–era actress, singer, and dancer Lotta Crabtree...
Fountains Union Square
 
Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall
Fascinating and futuristic-looking, this 2,750-seat hall is the...
Arts / Performance Venues Civic Center
 
Macondray Lane
San Francisco has no shortage of impressive, grand homes, but...
Neighborhoods / Streets Russian Hill
 
Maiden Lane
Known as Morton Street in the raffish Barbary Coast era, this...
Neighborhoods / Streets Union Square
 
Market Street buildings
The street, which bisects the city at an angle, has consistently...
Architectural Sites On the Waterfront
 
Mission Dolores
Two churches stand side by side at this mission, including the...
Religious Sites Mission District
 
Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD)
Dedicated to the influence that people of African descent have...
Museums / Galleries SoMa
 
New People
The kids' counterpart to the Japan Center, this fresh shopping...
Museums / Galleries, Arts / Performance Venues, Stores / Malls Japantown
 
Nob Hill Masonic Center
Erected by Freemasons in 1957, the hall is familiar to locals...
Arts / Performance Venues Nob Hill
 
Ocean Beach
Stretching 3 miles along the western side of the city from the...
Beaches Western Shoreline
 
Octagon House
This eight-sided home sits across the street from its original...
Houses / Mansions Pacific Heights
 
Old Chinese Telephone Exchange
After the 1906 earthquake, many Chinatown buildings were rebuilt...
Architectural Sites Chinatown
 
Old Shanghai
Hand-painted robes, formal dresses, and jackets are sold here...
Stores / Malls Chinatown
 
Old St. Mary's Cathedral
Dedicated in 1854, this served as the city's Catholic cathedral...
Religious Sites Chinatown
 
Pacific Union Club
The former home of silver baron James Flood cost a whopping $1.5...
Architectural Sites Nob Hill
 
Palace Hotel
The city's oldest hotel, a Sheraton property, has a storied past...
Hotels SoMa
 
Palace of Fine Arts
At first glance this stunning, rosy rococo palace seems to be...
Architectural Sites Marina
 
Pier 39
The city's most popular waterfront attraction draws millions...
Marinas / Piers On the Waterfront
 
Portsmouth Square
Chinatown's living room buzzes with activity. The square, with...
Squares Chinatown
 
Precita Eyes Mural Arts and Visitors Center
The muralists of this nonprofit arts organization design and...
Arts / Performance Venues, Information Centers Mission District
 
Presidio
When San Franciscans want to spend a day in the woods, they head...
Parks Presidio
 
Randall Museum
The best thing about visiting this free nature museum for kids...
Museums / Galleries Castro
 
Red Victorian Bed & Breakfast Inn and Peace Center
By even the most generous accounts, the Summer of Love quickly...
Architectural Sites Haight
 
Rincon Center
The only reason to visit what is basically a modern office building...
Public Art (Mural / Sculpture / Statue) SoMa
 
S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien
A participant in the D-Day landing in Normandy during World War...
Nautical Sites On the Waterfront
 
Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church
Camera-toting visitors focus their lenses on the Romanesque splendor...
Religious Sites North Beach
 
San Francisco Art Institute
A Moorish-tile fountain in a tree-shaded courtyard draws the...
Museums / Galleries Russian Hill
 
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
SFMOMA closed for a massive expansion project in 2013 and is...
Museums / Galleries SoMa
 
San Francisco National Maritime Museum
You'll feel as if you're out to sea when you step aboard, er...
Museums / Galleries On the Waterfront
 
San Francisco Public Library
Topped with a swirl like an art-deco nautilus, the library's...
Libraries Civic Center
 
San Francisco Railway Museum
A labor of love brought to you by the same vintage-transit enthusiasts...
Museums / Galleries On the Waterfront
 
San Francisco Visitor Information Center
Head downstairs from the cable-car terminus to the visitor center...
Information Centers Union Square
 
San Francisco Zoo
Ever since one of its tigers escaped its enclosure and killed...
Zoos / Aquariums Western Shoreline
 
Sentinel Building
A striking triangular shape and a gorgeous green patina make...
Architectural Sites North Beach
 
Spreckels Mansion
Not to be confused with the Spreckels Mansion of Pacific Heights...
Houses / Mansions Haight
 
Spreckels Mansion
Shrouded behind tall juniper hedges at the corner of lovely winding...
Houses / Mansions Pacific Heights
 
The Stanford Court Hotel
In 1876 trendsetter Leland Stanford, a California governor and...
Hotels Nob Hill
 
Sutro Heights Park
Crows and other large birds battle the heady breezes at this...
Parks Western Shoreline
 
Telegraph Hill
Residents here have some of the city's best views, as well as...
Neighborhoods / Streets North Beach
 
Tin How Temple
Duck into the inconspicuous doorway, climb three flights of stairs...
Religious Sites Chinatown
 
Transamerica Pyramid
It's neither owned by Transamerica nor is it a pyramid, but this...
Architectural Sites On the Waterfront
 
Twin Peaks
Windswept and desolate Twin Peaks yields sweeping vistas of San...
Viewpoints Noe Valley
 
Union Square
Ground zero for big-name shopping in the city and within walking...
Squares Union Square
 
United Nations Plaza
Locals know this plaza for two things: the farmers' market held...
Squares Civic Center
 
Vallejo Steps area
Several Russian Hill buildings survived the 1906 earthquake and...
Architectural Sites Russian Hill
 
Vedanta Society Old Temple
A pastiche of colonial, Queen Anne, Moorish, and Hindu opulence...
Religious Sites Pacific Heights
 
Vermont Street
With a similar series of switchbacks, this Potrero Hill street...
Neighborhoods / Streets Mission District
 
Walt Disney Family Museum
This beautifully refurbished, brick, barracks house is a tribute...
Museums / Galleries Presidio
 
War Memorial Opera House
During San Francisco's Barbary Coast days, operagoers smoked...
Arts / Performance Venues Civic Center
 
Washington Square
Once the daytime social heart of Little Italy, this grassy patch...
Squares North Beach
 
Wave Organ
Conceived by environmental artist Peter Richards and fashioned...
Public Art (Mural / Sculpture / Statue) Marina
 
Wedding Houses
These identical white double-peak homes (joined in the middle)...
Houses / Mansions Pacific Heights
 
Wells Fargo Bank History Museum
There were no formal banks in San Francisco during the early...
Museums / Galleries On the Waterfront
 
Westin St. Francis Hotel
The second-oldest hotel in the city, established in 1904, was...
Hotels Union Square
 
Whittier Mansion
With a Spanish-tile roof and scrolled bay windows on all four...
Houses / Mansions Pacific Heights
 
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
You never know what's going to be on display at this facility...
Arts / Performance Venues SoMa
 
Yerba Buena Gardens
There's not much south of Market Street that encourages lingering...
Gardens / Arboretums SoMa
Sights Overview »

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