Taking travelers around a city that he knows intimately, native Californian Jerry Dunn showcases San Francisco's many different neighborhoods in this National Geographic guide. The Financial District shapes the city's famous skyline with its sky-scraping buildings, but it also contains gems bespeaking the past, including the Palace Hotel, with its stained-glass-domed dining room; and the gold-rush buildings of Jackson Square. Next it's onto shop-filled Union Square and high-class Nob Hill, with its famous view from California Street overlooking the Bay Bridge. Dunn helps you find hidden temples and locally favorite restaurants in Chinatown, while Italian pizzazz, Beatnik memories, and magnificent scenery await in North Beach. Fisherman's Wharf is a crowd pleaser, with its stands of crabbers selling their daily catch and plenty of restaurants to sample the local fare. Here, too, you can embark on an adventure to Alcatraz.
The Marina has its fabulous bay views, parklands, and street after street of Victorian beauties, along with two must-see museums: the science-oriented Exploratorium, and the world-class Palace of the Legion of Honor. Golden Gate Park has undergone recent flux, most notably in the rebuilding of the de Young Museum, unveiled in 2005 with its striking copper facade and spiraling tower. Dunn then brings you through the up-and-coming Haight-Ashbury district and over to the Civic Center area, where the Asian Art Museum and its monumental collection of Asian art mesmerizes. Finally, you explore the revitalized South of Market area, showcasing the Modern Museum of Art, the new Giants stadium, and the Ferry Building, which, while still working as a ferry terminal, contains a vibrant assortment of upscale shops and wine-tasting bars. There are special in-depth features on the cable cars, the Beat generation, the Mission District's murals, and more, as well as specially commissioned 3-D artworks, including a magnificent rendition of Alcatraz.
You can also get to know some of the neighborhoods better through guided walking tours--one, for instance, highlights Haight-Ashbury, while another focuses on Union Square. The book is rounded out with detailed background information, including a wide variety of restaurants and hotels and important travel information.
Completely updated and revised, with brand-new photographs, the 4th edition includes new experiential sidebars, insider tips from National Geographic experts and others, as well as a useful "charting your trip" section that helps you plot your upcoming trip to the Golden State.