Where San Francisco - - Contents -

Get a bird's-eye view of the bay and city.

AL­CA­TRAZ CRUISES  This is the only way to get to “The Rock,” the fa­mous for­mer fed­eral pen­i­ten­tiary that housed some of the na­tion’s most no­to­ri­ous crim­i­nals from 1934-1963. Now one of San Fran­cisco’s most pop­u­lar visi­tor at­trac­tions, fer­ries de­part reg­u­larly for the is­land from Pier 33 start­ing at 8:45 am. The dy­namic 45-minute cell­house au­dio tour, of­fered in 11 lan­guages, fea­tures the voices of for­mer Al­ca­traz prison guards and in­mates who re­count es­cape at­tempts, prison ri­ots and soli­tary con­fine­ment. The night tours in­clude a nar­rated boat ride around the is­land. Tours sell out quickly, so be sure to make reser­va­tions in ad­vance.­ca­ Pier 33, 415.981.7625. Map 1, D2

AQUAR­IUM OF THE BAY Visit San Fran­cisco’s only water­front aquar­ium to get up close and per­sonal with the bay’s amaz­ing ma­rine life. Walk through crys­tal-clear tun­nels of wa­ter filled with more than 20,000 aquatic an­i­mals, in­clud­ing se­v­engill sharks, the bay’s largest preda­tors. You can touch leop­ard sharks, rays and sea stars. Daily events in­clude an­i­mal feed­ings and nat­u­ral­ist pre­sen­ta­tions. Don’t miss the per­ma­nent river ot­ter ex­hibit, where you can watch ot­ters play­ing, swim­ming and eat­ing. www.aquar­i­u­mofthe­ Pier 39, 415.623.5300. Map 1, C1

AT&T PARK Home of the San Fran­cisco Gi­ants, AT&T Park boasts breath­tak­ing city views and a clas­sic de­sign. The sta­dium fea­tures a nine-foot

tall statue of Amer­ica’s great­est liv­ing ballplayer, Wil­lie Mays, at the en­trance, home runs that splash into McCovey Cove, an 80-foot Coca-Cola bot­tle with play­ground slides, a minia­ture AT&T Park for kids and di­verse din­ing op­tions within the sta­dium. You can also take tours of the ball­park that al­low fans to ex­plore ar­eas nor­mally closed to the pub­lic. www.sf­ 24 Wil­lie Mays Plaza, 415.972.2400. Map 1, F7

BAKER BEACH  This mile-long beach lies at the base of the rugged cliffs west of the Golden Gate. No swim­ming here, but bring your cam­era for great views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marin Head­lands and Lands End. www.park­con­ser­vancy. org. 415.561.4323. Map 2, D2

COIT TOWER Upon her death in 1929, so­cialite and art pa­tron Lil­lie Hitch­cock Coit be­queathed funds for the “beau­ti­fi­ca­tion of the city.” Her heirs used the money to build Coit Tower on Tele­graph Hill. Com­pleted in 1933, the fluted col­umn pro­vides bird’s-eye views from an ob­ser­va­tion deck near the top. Lo­cal artists com­mis­sioned by the Works Progress Ad­min­is­tra­tion (a New Deal agency em­ploy­ing mil­lions of un­skilled work­ers to carry out pub­lic works projects) painted the mu­rals in­side in 1934. Ad­mis­sion to the ground-floor gift shop and mu­rals is free. Open daily 10 am- 6:30 pm. Guided mural tours 11 am Sa. 1 Tele­graph Hill Blvd., 415.249.0995. Map 1, D3

CON­SER­VA­TORY OF FLOW­ERS  The botan­i­cal won­der­land in Golden Gate Park is the old­est wood and glass con­ser­va­tory in North Amer­ica. The strik­ing white ex­te­rior is as eye-catch­ing as the in­side, which houses nearly 2,000 plant species in five gal­leries. Closed M. www.con­ser­va­to­ry­of­flow­ 100 JFK Dr., Golden Gate Park, 415.831.2090. Map 2, F5

CRISSY FIELD  A na­tion­ally pro­tected for­mer U.S. Army air­field, this strik­ingly scenic water­front re­cre­ation area is now a fa­vorite among ac­tive lo­cals and vis­i­tors. A wide (stroller and wheel­chair-friendly) trail be­tween Ma­rina Green and Fort Point is per­fect for an easy walk, jog or bike ride. Of­fer­ing un­par­al­leled views of the Golden Gate Bridge in one di­rec­tion and the city in the other, the shore­line is home to sandy beaches, pic­nic ta­bles, tidal marsh over­looks and a na­tion­ally renowned wind­surf­ing site, as well as cafes, book­stores and an en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion cen­ter. www.parkscon­ser­vancy. org. 415.561.7690. Map 2, E2-G2

DOLORES PARK This gen­er­ous square of grass on the Mis­sion District’s west side is a great place to soak up some sun on most days and an even bet­ter place to get a glimpse of real San Fran­cisco cul­ture. Kids play on the mon­ster play­ground, dogs romp to­gether and adults in cou­ples and groups lounge on the grass with pic­nics. Ral­lies and or­ga­nized com­mu­nity events are not un­com­mon sights. 18th and Dolores streets, 415.554.9521. Map 2, H6

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