San Francisco – EverydayInsider (TM) Trip 8

Today I am continuing our circumnavigation of San Francisco’s 49 Mile Drive. You may want to drive yourself or do a chartered tour of the whole distance with equal emphasis, but I recommend choosing to highlight certain venues. I will explain most of the stops in reasonable detail so you can learn and make your choices.

12. Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower, which is a 210-foot (64 m) landmark. It is also one of the city’s best public views of the City by the Bay as beloved and celebrated SF Chronicle columnist Herb Caen called it in the 1960s. Herb Caen lived on the curvy street up to this hill’s crest. It has always been a tremendously congested area.

Visit it either on foot or via public transportation. The hill has magnificent views of the City at sunset. Park on the route and then take SF Muni bus #39 which takes you up the formidable hill, or if you are very hardy, hike east up the steps on Greenwich. SF Muni

But, truthfully, I have never really understood why this curious structure has become a favorite San Francisco landmark. It was donated in 1929 by Lillie Hitchcock Coit, an eccentric volunteer firefighter, who ran around North Beach in men’s clothing. Her aim was to beautify the skyline.

There’s a mural inside, created as part of Roosevelt’s Federal Art Project during the Depression. It wraps around the ground floor’s circular walls, depicting the effects of the Depression on the Bay Area. What a subject. If it had been my Tower, I would have wanted something else painted there! Just go for the hill’s views.

13. PIER 39 is a few decades old, and is a totally commercial touristy eyesore. It was built on a 1,000-foot-long pier and is flanked by small boat marinas. Although it offers sweeping views of the bay and city, there are better places to spend your time and to see the same or better views! And, don’t be persuaded to go see the noisy sea-lions there. If you do go, don’t feed the animals and stay far away. They are strong and very unpredictable.

One good, useful place at Pier 39: California Welcome Center is located in the lobby of Pier 39 at level P2. This Welcome Center offers excellent, free visitor’s maps and information on Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco and the entire State of California.

California Welcome Center staff can be reached by phone at 415-956-3493 or for additional information, contact the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau at 415-974-6900.

More of the 49 Mile Drive, tomorrow.

Part 1: San Francisco Everyday Insider

Part 2: San Francisco Everyday Insider Trips

Part 3: San Francisco Everyday Insider (TM) – Flax Art and Design

Part 4: San Francisco 49 Mile Drive Venues 1-5

Part 5: San Francisco 49 Mile Drive Venues 6-7

Part 6: San Francisco 49 Mile Drive Venues 8,9,10

Part 7: San Francisco 49 Mile Drive Venue 11

San Francisco Archive

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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