Beacons that once guided sailors safely to shore, relics of pre-GPS navigation, and monuments to maritime culture, lighthouses are typically a hallmark of hazardous coastline, found often in places that are particularly rugged and dramatic.
When visitors think of iconic thoroughfares in San Francisco, the mansions, manicured gardens, and hairpin turns of Lombard Street are probably the first images that come to mind. While Lombard may be the most well known, San Francisco has several other notable streets that offer travelers a local experience and some insight into the zeitgeist of the city's distinct neighborhoods. Our new series, "Streets of San Francisco" examines the offerings of the unique arteries that define the City by the Bay.
Modern California holds sprawling metropolitan areas, the biggest population of all the United States, and the eighth largest economy in the world. But prior to the mid-1800s, California was a land of sleepy settlements. Now densely populated, San Francisco had only 459 residents in 1847. Everything changed when gold was discovered east of Sacramento in 1848, and the rush of gold prospectors that followed gave rise to California as we know it today.
I've always found a magical allure to hitting the open road. Being a city dweller, walking is pretty much all I do, so getting out of town and looking at an open stretch of road from the driver's seat is really thrilling. On my latest adventure, I explored Route 92, which runs east to west from the San Francisco Bay, over the mountains to the coast. It's a nice alternative route to get to Coastal Highway 1 and the Pigeon Point or Point Montara lighthouse hostels.
The Embarcadero, San Francisco's scenic eastern waterfront, holds some of the city's most well known attractions as well as some wonderful hidden spots in between. One Saturday afternoon, I set out on the Embarcadero's pedestrian walkway to see what I could discover on the path from the Ferry Building to the San Francisco Giant's AT&T Park.
San Francisco is a city unlike any other, but snapping a few shots of that golden bridge and riding those cute cable cars is not the way to fully experience it. Enter Anthony Jones, activities coordinator for the City Center Hostel. A San Francisco native with an excess of eclectic interests, Anthony perfectly embodies the spirit of this town: diverse, interesting, unexpected, and extremely open.