From a culture teeming with tech startups, a diverse food scene, and trendy neighborhoods to high-value must-sees like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and mountain cable car rides, there are many things that make San Francisco a must-see destination. fun trip. .
Known for being at the epicenter of the hippie movement in the late 1960s, San Francisco prides itself on being an open-minded city with a bohemian soul.
Reading: Fun fact about san francisco
With a varied history dating back to 1835, when the first European settlers arrived in the city, there is much to know about San Francisco. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite San Francisco facts that might surprise you.
- 1 1. golden gate park is bigger than central park
- 2 2. the famous fog of san francisco has a name
- 3 3. the chinese fortune cookie was invented in san francisco
- 4 4. Pier 39’s famous sea lions are not long-term residents of the city
- 5 5. The Golden Gate Bridge Was Meant to be Black and Gold
- 6 6. San Francisco is home to the oldest Chinatown in North America
- 7 7. san francisco is built on more than 50 hills
- 8 8. san francisco is not a big city
- 9 9. alcatraz was not always a prison
- 10 10. san francisco is home to the largest japantown in the united states
- 11 11. burials are prohibited in san francisco
- 12 12. but, there is a pet cemetery!
- 13 13. the city has not always been called ‘san francisco’
- 14 14. San Francisco is home to the only rolling National Historic Landmark in the country
- 15 15. san francisco – the historic city
1. golden gate park is bigger than central park
a fun san francisco fact that might surprise you is the fact that new york city’s famous central park is 20% smaller than san francisco’s glorious golden gate park. Central Park in New York covers 778 acres, while Golden Gate Park is 1,017 acres.
2. the famous fog of san francisco has a name
there are two things san francisco is known for; steep rolling hills and mist…. referred to by locals as karl. the origins of the name are uncertain; Some people believe that the mist is named after the giant Karl from the movie Big Fish in 2003, however others have said that the mist has been called Karl for decades. however, the most famous resident of the city has a name and an instagram account with more than 250 thousand followers!
In the late 1890s, Makoto Hagiwara, a Japanese immigrant from San Francisco, invented the modern fortune cookie, which he served at the Golden Gate Park Tea Garden.
for a unique experience, one of our favorite san francisco travel tips is to go to the ross alley fortune cookie factory in chinatown. Here, you can see how fortune cookies are made by the dozen and buy them fresh to enjoy!
4. Pier 39’s famous sea lions are not long-term residents of the city
The famous sea lions basking in the sun on Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf haven’t always been there. A cause no one has been able to explain, the sea lions arrived after the 1989 earthquake. Originally, the business owners on the pier didn’t like the sea lions being there because they were too noisy, but now they’re a big tourist. attraction.
5. The Golden Gate Bridge Was Meant to be Black and Gold
Like most bridges in the early 20th century, the famous Golden Gate Bridge was originally meant to be black and gold. The bright color came about as a result of Irving Morrow, the bridge’s consulting architect, noticing the conspicuous reddish-tinted primer coat that was painted on part of the steel.
We had to do a lot of convincing to get the bold color approved, but Morrow advocated that the bold red-orange hue complement the gray mist, gold and green hills, and blue water and sky; He was not wrong!
6. San Francisco is home to the oldest Chinatown in North America
There are many reasons why visiting Chinatown is at the top of many “what to do in San Francisco” lists. Established in 1848, the city’s Chinatown is the oldest in North America. Not only that, it’s a mile long and half a mile wide, it’s also the second largest Chinatown outside of Asia.
7. san francisco is built on more than 50 hills
It is not unknown that San Francisco is a mountainous city. however, you may be surprised to learn that the city is built on more than 50 hills. While many believe that the city is only made up of 7 or 9 hills, there are actually more than 50 named hills. Some of the best known are Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill and Twin Peaks. while other lesser-known hills include Gold Mine Hill, Excelsior Heights, and Tank Hill.
8. san francisco is not a big city
a san francisco fact that might come as a surprise; Despite having a population of over 7 million people, the city is quite small. At only seven miles long and wide, San Francisco is definitely not big! however, its small size makes it easy to visit the city, as it’s not hard to see a lot in one day.
9. alcatraz was not always a prison
alcatraz (meaning “pelican” in Spanish) hasn’t always been a prison. In fact, before becoming a prison in 1934, Alcatraz was used as a military fort.
Some of the former prisoners include George Kelly, Robert Stroud, and Al Capone, who arrived at Alcatraz by train. the warden at the time was so concerned about safety that they loaded the train car onto a barge instead of unloading the prisoners from the train and transferring them to a boat.
10. san francisco is home to the largest japantown in the united states
Once upon a time, there were 43 different Japanese towns in the state of California alone. however, after World War II, most of the Japanese towns were lost, leaving only three in the country in total. The largest and oldest Japantown in the United States is located in San Francisco. the other two japantowns are located in san jose and los angeles.
san francisco travel tip: if you’re in san francisco during the spring, be sure to head to japantown for a sushi lunch among the cherry blossoms.
11. burials are prohibited in san francisco
in 1902, the city’s board of supervisors voted to stop all burials within the san francisco city limits, due to space issues. To make more space, the current tombs were moved to Colma, 15 minutes south of the city. due to this restriction, only two cemeteries remain in the city; one is behind the mission san francisco de asis, and the other is the national cemetery in presidio.
12. but, there is a pet cemetery!
Located under the 101 overpass in the Preso is the Preso Pet Cemetery, which was founded in the 1950s. The small cemetery is the final resting place for more than 400 pets that belonged to military families. inside the cemetery, there is a small sign that says “the love these animals gave will never be forgotten”.
13. the city has not always been called ‘san francisco’
Founded in 1776, the city of San Francisco did not receive that name until 1846. Before the name change, the city was known as “Yerba Buena,” which means “good herb” in Spanish. the city got its original name from the wild mint that grew around the areas where early European settlers pitched their tents.
14. San Francisco is home to the only rolling National Historic Landmark in the country
san francisco’s famous cable cars are the only rolling national historic landmark in the united states. Every year, millions of people board a cable car to enjoy the nine-mile-per-hour ride.
15. san francisco – the historic city
If you consider yourself a bit of a history buff and wondering what to do in San Francisco, you’ll be pleased to know you won’t be short of sights and experiences. The city is home to more than 200 iconic historic buildings, 11 historic districts, and 14,000 Victorian homes.
For some memorable views, be sure to head to Alamo Square (don’t forget your camera!), where you can see the modern city skyline contrast with the Victorian “postcard row.”
Did any of these san francisco facts surprise you? tell us in the comments! Or, if these facts have sparked some ideas for some San Francisco travel tips so you can cross off your bucket list in the future, head over to our website where we can tell you everything there is to know about exploring San Francisco with Trafalgar.