Classic San Francisco
Collected by Natalie Taylor, AFAR Local Expert
Iconic bars, crazy curvy streets, and the picture-perfect Painted Ladies
Twin Peaks, San Francisco, CA, USA
The best views of San Francisco are from the top of Twin Peaks, the two hills that are located in the geographic center of the city. Only from Twin Peaks can you get a 360-degree view of the entire city. If you are lucky, on a clear day you can...
Steiner St, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
Cue "Full House" music. Alamo Square's famous "Painted Ladies" or "Postcard Row" as many know it. After 9 months of traveling last year, I planned a short stay in San Francisco, yet months later, I'm still here in the City by the Bay.
4519, 261 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
In an age when many independent bookstores have surrendered to the advance of chain stores and Amazon, City Lights is a true survivor. Since it was founded by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1956, it has served as a gathering place for San...
540 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Crazy for Kerouac? Mad for Ginsberg? Head to the Beat Museum in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, where many of the writers, artists, and thinkers you’ll be learning about spent their time drinking and carousing in the 1950s...
155 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
A San Franciscan watering hole since 1907, Comstock Saloon serves up classic cocktails (think Negronis and Manhattans) in the buzzing North Beach neighborhood. The bar is run by the bartending duo of Jeff Hollinger and Jonny Raglin, previously of...
1 Telegraph Hill Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Since it was constructed at the top of Telegraph Hill in 1933, Coit Tower has been an integral part of San Francisco’s downtown skyline. Named after a 1920s patron to the city’s firefighters—but not designed to resemble a firehose, as the urban...
242 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Salty, fatty, and doused in an Italian sweet and sour agrodolce sauce, the fried pig tails at Tosca are just the thing to accompany the bar’s list of rare Italian reds. For more drinking tips, check out our feature "How to Drink Anywhere in the...
899 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
San Francisco's Muni system can be scummy, inefficient, and scary, but I'd recommend any visitor take the bus vs. a cab at least a few times. Other than walking, riding the bus is the most entertaining and memorable mode of transportation. In a...
Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Sometimes all it take to make a road famous are eight, tight hairpin turns. This one way street was designed in this manner to compensate for the steep incline (27 degrees) of the hill it’s on. Traffic on the hairpin area is reserved for eastbound...
I discovered this Marin Headlands view of the Golden Gate Bridge on one of my very first trips to San Francisco. In my three-plus years living in the Bay Area, I still haven’t found a view to top it. My favorite time to visit is just after sunset,...
601 Vallejo St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Caffe Trieste, in the heart of North Beach just off Columbus, is an authentic San Francisco experience where little has changed since Kerouac's day. The North Beach location, which opened in 1956, is a great place to sit down, enjoy a coffee, and...