FOUR HOURS IN SAN FRAN­CISCO

Jeremy Tredin­nick ex­plores the wa­ter­front of the City by the Bay

Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - CONTENTS -

On the wa­ter­front of the US west coast’s most cos­mopoli­tan city

1

THE FERRY BUILD­ING We start at San Fran­cisco’s most fa­mous down­town land­mark, opened in 1898, whose iconic clock tower has been a fo­cal point for those ar­riv­ing in the port city by sea or train for more than 100 years. As the city grew, the Ferry Build­ing be­came the con­duit for com­muters from points all round the Bay, with up to 50,000 peo­ple pass­ing daily un­der its many at­trac­tive in­te­rior arches and sky­lights.

In 1999, the some­what run­down two-storey build­ing be­gan a four-year ren­o­va­tion pro­ject, and to­day it has been turned into a busy pub­lic food mar­ket based around a vi­brant in­door street called the Nave, where lo­cal farm­ers and ar­ti­sans sell fresh pro­duce, and bistros and cafés draw tourists, lunch crowds from the nearby fi­nan­cial cen­tre – and com­muters from the still-run­ning ferry ter­mi­nals. fer­ry­build­ing­mar­ket­place.com

2

COIT TOWER Ex­it­ing the Ferry Build­ing turn north, then grab a cab for the short ride to the top of Tele­graph Hill, where the Coit Tower stands, built in 1929 with money do­nated by the wealthy but ec­cen­tric Lil­lian Coit. She left a third of her es­tate to the City of San Fran­cisco, “for the pur­pose of adding to the beauty of the city which I have al­ways loved”.

The ground floor boasts su­perb wall fres­cos of lo­cal his­toric events, cre­ated by lo­cal artists as part of Roo­sevelt’s Fed­eral Arts Pro­ject. A short ride in an old, clank­ing elevator, fol­lowed by a set of steep steps, brings you to the open-air sum­mit of the tower, from where there are fan­tas­tic views of the city in all di­rec­tions. En­trance costs US$8; open 10am-5pm Novem­ber through March (10am-6pm April through Oc­to­ber); coit­tow­er­tours.com

3

ALCATRAZ A short walk down­hill on Kearny Street brings you to Pier 33, the em­barka­tion point for trips to “The Rock” – Alcatraz Is­land, which served as the US’s most in­fa­mous max­i­mum se­cu­rity prison be­tween 1934 and 1963, hous­ing char­ac­ters such as Al Capone and Ma­chine Gun Kelly. A ferry takes you two kilo­me­tres to the is­land, where you col­lect an au­dio head­set for an emo­tive and highly en­joy­able guided tour as nar­rated by both in­mates and guards from that pe­riod. It’s a sober­ing jour­ney into the harsh re­al­ity of a place most will know only from Hol­ly­wood movies. Book­ing in ad­vance is highly rec­om­mended, with ticket prices start­ing from US$35.50. al­ca­trazcruises.com

4

FISH­ER­MAN’S WHARF Hop­ping off the re­turn ferry from The Rock, turn west and wan­der along to Fish­er­man’s Wharf, the city’s wa­ter­front din­ing and en­ter­tain­ment dis­trict and its main tourism hotspot. The re­pur­posed wooden Pier 39 plays host to seafood restau­rants such as the Fog Har­bor Fish House, which serves up tasty clam chow­der in sour­dough bread “pots”, as well as the lo­cal spe­cial­ity Dun­geness crab. Once you’re suit­ably stuffed, roll on down to the end of the pier to watch dozens of res­i­dent sea lions honk­ing and loung­ing around on float­ing plankboard pon­toons. Other wharf at­trac­tions in­clude Aquar­ium by the Bay, Madame Tus­sauds and the San Fran­cisco Dun­geon. fish­er­man­swharf.org; pier39.com

5

GHIRARDELLI SQUARE At the far end of Fish­er­man’s Wharf, up a grassy slope, stands an im­pos­ing com­plex of red-brick build­ings that once housed the fa­mous Ghirardelli choco­late fac­tory. Com­pre­hen­sively ren­o­vated, to­day it has been turned into a hand­some shop­ping and din­ing com­plex. Head up to the left side of the square and you’ll find the Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Choco­late Shop, where you can try one of their world-fa­mous hot fudge sun­daes. Al­ter­na­tively, head to The Pub, choose from its wide se­lec­tion of beers or or­der one of the best Bloody Marys in town, and watch the sun set over San Fran­cisco Bay. ghi­rardel­lisq.com

ALCATRAZ IS­LAND PIER 39 FISH­ER­MAN’S WHARF Bay St GHIRARDELLI SQUARE h St Green­wic Co COIT lum bu s TOWER Av e Broadwa y H yd e St SAN FRAN­CISCO FERRY BUILD­ING St ion ss Mi St Cal­i­for­nia

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.