Easy does it through the city of icons

If you want to es­cape the chow­der crowds, here are four of San Fran­cisco’s must- see tourist spots, writes Ja­son Nahrung

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - USA SAN FRANCISCO -

1 The Golden Gate Bridge

SAN Fran­cisco is one of Amer­ica’s most charm­ing cities, boast­ing stun­ning ar­chi­tec­ture, fab­u­lous food and icons aplenty.

But there can come a time when you’ve reached your fill of chow­der, you’re tired of hang­ing off crowded cable cars, the rain­bow hues of Haight Ash­bury have lost their lus­tre, and you just want to es­cape.

Here are four easy out­ings to help ease the pres­sure while still of­fer­ing wor­thy en­tries in your travel diary. The Golden Gate Bridge, link­ing San Fran­cisco to Marin County to the north, is eas­ily reached on pub­lic trans­port, and is well worth the ef­fort. The bridge was a mar­vel of en­gi­neer­ing when it opened in May 1937, not just for com­ing in early and un­der bud­get, but for putting paid to crit­ics who said the Golden Gate Strait, with its trou­ble­some cur­rents and high winds, could not be bridged.

The sus­pen­sion bridge, about 2.7km long ( al­most 2km in its mid­dle span) and five traf­fic lanes wide, was a record-breaker in its day ( it is now the ninth-long­est sus­pen­sion bridge in the world), and re­mains a sight, boast­ing Art Deco stylings and enough wire in its two main ca­bles to cir­cle the equa­tor three times. It con­tains about 1.2 mil­lion riv­ets. The dis­tinc­tive colour – in­ter­na­tional orange – was cho­sen by Irv­ing Mor­row, the ar­chi­tect who gave the bridge its dis­tinc­tive fea­tures, to help it com­ple­ment the nearby hills and stand out to ships, es­pe­cially when the no­to­ri­ous San Fran­cisco fog comes rolling across the bay.

We walked through the scenic Fort Ma­son from Fish­er­mans Wharf to catch a lo­cal bus to and from the bridge. We found a strong, chill wind blow­ing through the wires, and a spec­tac­u­lar view of the city, Al­ca­traz and the Bay Bridge, even if the sound­track was the con­stant en­gine noise and the rhyth­mic thud of wheels pass­ing over ex­pan­sion gaps. A sim­i­larly strik­ing view is said to be had from the Marin County side.

The bridge isn’t with­out its dark side: a few signs aim­ing to de­ter jumpers are ev­i­dence that the bridge,

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