Perhaps Tony Bennett said it best: "I left my heart in San Francisco..." If you have been there, you surely know to what he refers. My mother spent some time there during World War II and I believe that she too left her heart there. And on my very first visit, I succumbed as well, to the magic that requires your heart in exchange for the experience. The Golden Gate Bridge, trolley cars, sourdough bread, Ghirardelli chocolate and hills only a mountain goat could love -- these are but a few of the infinite number of things that define one of the greatest cities in the country.
If you are in fairly good physical shape and up for a hike, I would suggest a walking tour that starts at the new Pac-Bell Baseball stadium. Follow the Embarcadaro around the Bay to Fisherman's Wharf and all its visual, auditory and olfactory sensations. Check out the farmer's market and have some fresh crab at Aliotto's. Then head over to Pier 39 to enjoy the sounds of seals and gulls as you gaze out across the frigid waters toward Alcatraz. Stop for a soothing Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista Cafe. Then, if you don't stay too long, walk straight up over the hill -- following the Powell-Hyde cable car route -- and down the other side to the shopping district in the heart of the city. Your heart may be pounding but the view from the top of the hill -- near Lombard Street -- is sensational. Besides, you can stop the trolley almost any time and climb aboard to enjoy the view and the ride as well as the rhythm of the bell-ringing conductor.
There are more sights, sounds and things to do than you could ever squeeze into a single afternoon. Heck, stay a few days. Take a ferryboat ride out into the bay and underneath the engineering marvel called the Golden Gate Bridge. But be very careful. When you pack up to head home, you may just find that you have left your heart in the City by the Bay. But that's an excellent excuse to return.
Tastes and Tours of San Francisco
A Morning in Sausalito
Consisting of some indescribably delicious Eggs Benedict at a marvelous hotel called the Miramar, up on the hill and overlooking the bay, it was a scene almost right out of a movie... Read more