San Francisco is one of the most exciting cities in America. Its economy has boomed in recent years, driven by the vast wealth of Silicon Valley. The major tech companies are headquartered here, with a few exceptions. Some of the most ambitious and highly paid people on earth have flocked to San Francisco. To be in San Francisco can feel like being in the centre of the world.
It’s also packed with cultural attractions and many great restaurants. The Castro District is certainly America’s most famous gaybourhood. San Francisco is a city you need to experience at least once in a lifetime.
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge linking the strait between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco. It opened in 1937 and it remained the world’s longest suspension bridge for the next three decades. It was a major feat of engineering at a time when the American economy was surging ahead of its European counterparts. The New World was about to eclipse the Old World.
You can hire a car and drive across it. As running a car in San Francisco can be expensive, you could consider taking a bus over the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s featured in so many American movies, not to mention songs. The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the iconic landmarks of California. It’s considered to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing bridges in the world.
Golden Gate Park
The Golden Gate Park is free to enter, making it an attractive prospect in a city where money doesn’t go that far. It’s full of interesting attractions to explore. You can spend a long time here – it’s over 1,000 acres. Take a stroll around the Japanese Tea Garden, the Botanical Garden and take a hike – should the mood take you – up Strawberry Hills. It’s a very scenic park with ample photo opportunities. You’ll find plenty of places to get coffee too.
There are museums in the park that are worth visiting, especially for history buffs. The de Young Museum boasts thousands of artworks, from pre-Colombian to Indonesian treasures. The main attraction at Golden Gate Park is the California Academy of Sciences.
California Academy of Sciences
The most visited museum in San Francisco, this is of the most important science museums in America. It’s really four museums covering different aspects of the sciences. There’s the Steinhart Aquarium, the Morrison Planetarium, Osher Rainforest and the Kimball Natural History Museum. Depending on your areas of interest, you could focus on one particular part of the museum. There are guided tours you can join. You’ll find over 900 species in the aquarium, including exotic creatures like flashlight fish.
San Francisco boasts one of the world’s finest gay scenes. By the 1970s, the Castro District was the beating heart of gay America. No other city had had such a big and dynamic gay scene since Weimar Berlin. It represented the emergence of LGBT+ Americans from the shadows. The Stonewall Uprising and the first Pride marches started the gay liberation movement.
Today the Castro district is still packed with gay bars. It’s a great place to party. San Francisco is more famous these days as the home of Silicon Valley. The tech giants shape the world we live in, and many of them do it from their headquarters in San Francisco. But if you asked Americans in the 1970s what sprang to mind when they thought of San Francisco, they’d probably have said “It’s kinda gay.” Read More: A Gay Guide to the Castro
One of the most charming districts to explore in San Francisco is Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s a waterfront community with many restaurants to explore. Many are geared towards seafood. You’ll find some hearty American comfort food here. Take a stroll down Pier 39 – a good spot for photos. There are also several museums of curiosities to explore.
Some of the James Bond film A View To A Kill was shot around Fisherman’s Wharf. In a very James Bond-y spirit, you could take a trip to the ever mysterious Alcatraz Island. Between 1933 and 1963, it served as a rocky island prison for some of America’s worst crooks. Banged up on this forbidding, lonely island meant there really was no escape. You can visit it today, explore the former prison cells and wonder what it would have been like to be banged up on Alcatraz.
by Alex | On: Gay San Francisco