Alternative landmarks in San Francisco

Known as ‘Everybody’s Favourite City’, San Francisco is famous for its incredible ethnic and cultural diversity, as well as for its raft of landmarks that are renowned the world over.

Part of the reason why it’s one of the world’s most visited cities is the fact that it offers something for everyone, from the Victorian architecture found in the leafy backstreets to the iconic fog that blankets the Golden Gate valley in the summer. If you are looking forward to visiting the city for the first time during your USA holiday tours, here are some of the alternative landmarks you won’t want to miss.

The beauty of the Golden Gate Park

While the Golden Gate Bridge is undoubtedly one of the unmistakable landmarks in the city skyline, the Golden Gate Park is also popular with visitors and offers peace and tranquillity amidst an urban metropolis. An urban park sprawling more than 1,000 acres, which was constructed in the 1870s, it is home to a wealth of beauty spots including the Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco Botanical Garden and Stow Lake – with the latter being the largest manmade lake in the park. It’s this variety of scenes that has helped it rank among the top five most visited parks across the whole of the USA.

Ascending the steps of Telegraph Hill

One of the original seven hills of San Francisco, Telegraph Hill is famed for its incredible views across the Bay and if you climb the near-400 steps to reach the top, this incredible photo opportunity will certainly have been well earned. The hill takes its name from a windmill-like structure called a semaphore, which was erected back in 1849, the main purpose of which was to inform the rest of the city about the nature of the ships entering the bay. On top of this was a pole, which had two raisable arms, with the type of ship indicated by the configuration of these arms.

While one of the landmarks here is the Art Deco Coit Tower, Telegraph Hill is also famous for its flock of wild parrots. These are mainly parakeets that have descended from escaped or released pets. It’s for this unusual wildlife encounter that your trip to Telegraph Hill is a must.

McElroy Octagon House

First built in 1861, Located in the Cow Hollow region of the city, the McElroy Octagon House is one just two houses of its kind in the city. It once stood across the street from its current location and after being left abandoned and neglected, it was moved across the street in 1951 where an incredible restoration project commenced. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, it is a fantastic landmark for those looking to learn about the history of, not only San Francisco, but America as a whole, with the considered interior representing both the colonial and federal period of American history. Because of its location, it might be best to view it using a handy San Francisco map by clicking here to ensure you can make the most of your brief visit.                                                                              

Image Credit: Phil Whitehouse (

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