San Francisco is one of the world’s greatest cities. It is the pride and jewel of the USA, offering tons of attractions. From the Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz, there is plenty of history everywhere. In fact, cable car rides are a treat by themselves. There are a lot of facts about San Francisco that you can note. Some of the interesting facts about San Francisco link to its colorful history. The hippie movement started here in the 1960s. The city is bohemian at its core with a vibrant feel. It reportedly goes back to 1835 with the arrival of European settlers.
Here are some interesting facts about San Francisco that you will love. The city is a must-visit if you are planning a USA trip soon.
Facts About San Francisco – The Top Ones
Here’s taking a look at some exciting facts about San Francisco:
1. Golden Gate Park outstrips Central Park
It may come as a surprise to many people. Yet, it is true! The Golden Gate Park is bigger than the more famous Central Park in NYC. The latter covers 778 acres while the former covers a mega 1017 acres. It is a fact that few people know about one of the city’s famous landmarks. Talk of an oasis of green and they have it in the heart of San Francisco!
2. The City has its Own Fog
As hilarious as it sounds, San Francisco has its own fog. And it has a name- Karl. They have been calling it Karl for years now. The locals use this name for the infamous fog. The origins are still unclear; many believe it came from the Big Fish movie in 2003. The movie had a giant named Karl. Many others believe it has been Karl for several decades. Today, Karl has an Instagram page with thousands of followers! It happens only in San Francisco.
3. The Chinese Fortune Cookie was Born Here
San Francisco is its birthplace. Makoto Hagiwara invented it in the late 1890s here. He was a Japanese immigrant to the city. The cookie was a big draw at the Tea Garden, Golden Gate Park. When in San Francisco, you can consider visiting Chinatown. It is home to the Ross Alley fortune cookie manufacturing unit. You can watch the making process and have a swell time. You can also buy them mint-fresh afterwards.
4. The Sea Lions Arrived After 1989
Many people believe that they are permanent natives. The fact is that they only came after 1989. They have been at Pier 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf ever since. The reasons are still unknown. The 1989 earthquake may have driven the shift. Businesses on the wharf were earlier averse to them. Yet, they are now big tourist attractions in spite of their loud noises.
5. Imagine a Black & Golden Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge could have been golden and black. It would have been the same as many bridges in the early-20th century. The current bright hue was an accident. Irving Morrow, the consulting architect for the bridge holds responsibility. He saw the eye-catching red hue of the primer coat on some steel portions. He finally managed to convince the authorities about it. He also talked of how the red-orangish hue would be fitting for several reasons. He pictured it against the fog, sky and hills. Morrow’s imagination made the bridge what it is today.
6. North America’s Oldest Chinatown
San Francisco has North America’s oldest Chinatown. Founded in 1848, this Chinatown covers a mile in its length. It is the second biggest Chinatown outside the Asian continent. A trip here is a must for all travelers to San Francisco.
7. The City has 50+ Hills
San Francisco has lovely hilly terrain as most people know. Yet, many people feel that there are 7-9 hills here. The city actually has 50+ hills with names. Some of the famous ones include Nob Hill and Russian Hill. You can also check out the Telegraph Hill. Other hills which are not well-known include Tank Hill and Golden Mine Hill. The Excelsior Heights zone is also worth visiting.
8. The City is Quite Small in Reality
Many visitors testify to the vastness of the city, with 7 million people. Yet, it is quite small in reality. It covers only 7 miles in both width and length. San Francisco is easier to visit at a go. You can see a lot of things in a single day here.
9. Alcatraz has a Non-Prison History
Alcatraz (pelican in the Spanish language) was different. It was a military fort before becoming a prison in 1934. Famous prisoners include Al Capone and Robert Stroud. Another famous prisoner was George Kelly. They came to Alcatraz via train. The wardens were always nervous about security. They often ended up loading the train car onto a barge. This used to take place without them unloading the prisoners and shifting them to boats!
10. USA’s Biggest Japantown
It is not only about checking out Chinatown. San Francisco is also home to the biggest Japantown in the country. California State was once home to 43 unique such developments. Yet, after the Second World War, many of them folded up. There are only three in the USA as per reports. The oldest and biggest of them is in San Francisco. The other two Japantown developments are in Los Angeles and San Jose. You should visit Japantown for a yummy sushi meal. Go during the spring if you are here. You will love the blooming and beautiful cherry blossoms in Japantown.
Bonus Fact – San Francisco had a Different Name
San Francisco owes its start to European settlers. They set up their tents here, founding the city in 1776. It had a different name earlier till 1846. Before the renaming exercise, Yerba Buena was its name. It means good herb in the Spanish language. The name came from the wild mint growing around the local area.
If you are planning a San Francisco trip anytime soon, make sure you check all local regulations. Do your homework on flights and other bookings. Check out furnished apartments in San Francisco for your accommodation needs. You will need an apartment near tourist landmarks in the city. Choose based on the location, amenities and the size that you desire. Book tickets to landmarks in advance; it will save you hassles later on. Remember that San Francisco is not a big city. You can cover a lot of things in a couple of days. Keep some time in hand for exploring the culinary scene of the city.