Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco California
Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco California

By Lee Foster

(Update Note: My ebook SF Travel & Photo Guide: The Top 100 Travel Experiences in the San Francisco Bay Area  has been released for $3.99 on Amazon at The ebook parallels my app on this subject available for $3.99 from Apple and Google See an announcement of the ebook on my website at The app has also been announced on my website. I have  answered some questions about the app. The app works on smart phones and tablet devices, but not on laptops or desktops. The ebook can be read on all devices.)

I am releasing here the content in this new travel ebook/app in ten alphabetical “clusters.” Each cluster will have 12 sections of the total 120 in the ebook/app. This is alphabetical release 6 of 10. Other clusters released now include: cluster 1  cluster 2 cluster 3 cluster 4 and cluster 5.

This release on a website will not have the full functionality of the app structure, including its Google maps showing you contextually all the subjects around you. The ebook version is convenient because you can carry the content around with you in one small package and not require  connectivity. The 10 releases on this websites will show the text and photo of all the items, the full “SF A-Z” content listings, but will not be able to present, as the app and ebook do, all subjects in a clickable Table of Contents menu as grouped in an area (such as Embarcadero) or in the themes/subjects (such as Culture/Museums). However, after the 120 subjects are released, I will post the Table of Contents Outline and will post each of the 120 items individually to give a “website ebook” approximation of the app and ebook.

These folks have secure dated voucher tickets, no wait in line and some discounts, for Bus Tours, Boat Tours, Alcatraz, Muir Woods/Sausalito, Attractions/Museums, Wine Country, and more. See their All San Francisco Tours.

So, here is the sixth release:

SF A-Z, Alphabetical cluster 6 of 10: 

Golden State Warriors 

The Golden State Warriors is the region’s winning basketball team. The team is likely headed from its current home in Oakland at the Oracle Arena to a new home in San Francisco along the Embarcadero. Stay tuned.


This would give San Francisco its third major sports team, beside the baseball San Francisco Giants and the football San Francisco 49ers.

The Golden State Warriors have a logo on their jersey of the new tower of the east side span of the Bay Bridge, which perhaps symbolically allows them to be a part of San Francisco and a part of the East Bay forever. This could be a wise logo decision so as not to alienate the fans.

As anyone who follows sports knows, the Golden State Warriors in 2017 were at the top of their game, winning the national title. We’ll see if that the team becomes a winning dynasty. 

Your Best Shot: Catching an image of Kevin Durant and Steph Curry in a parade to celebrate a championship is a possibility, but keep in mind that team success is not eternal.  Only a couple of years ago sports fans were betting on the 49ers Colin Kaepernick in a similar situation. 

Your in-person sports experience and possible close-up photos at a game would mean buying a ticket, so what does that cost? At a ticket broker such as StubHub, the price (as I write this) starts at about $90 and runs to $14,000. 

If You Go: 

Area: East to Oakland/Berkeley 


Address: 7000 Oracle Arena Coliseum Way, Oakland, CA 94621 

Phone: None 

Price: $90 and up on StubHub

Google Maps

Google Maps and other digital map producers have transformed the way we travel and get our travel information.

For the ebook edition, use your phone, tablet, or computer to pull up a Google map. In the app version the maps are an integral part of the product.

It is remarkable to think of how different our map situation was just a decade ago.

Now we can key in an address on our device, most likely a smartphone, and come up with the exact destination.

We can move our fingers in or out to get a closer or a farther out context on a map.

We can get directions from our current location to the destination, along with a route, and absorb that information as a written record, a visual path, or a spoken command.

On the app version we can see on a map every address as a location, automatically.  We can also see the context of what subjects are around the desired destination. This can help us plan. This helps make an app product different from a printed book, an ebook, or a website presentation.

The map on our device is also totally compact, requiring no further expense, beyond the potential licensing cost for the software. There is no cost to print and no bulk of a paper product to carry around. The phone is not weighed down or bulked up by maps.

Digital maps can also project just how long it will take us to get to our destination and precisely how far away is the destination.

As time goes on, it is likely that more and more of our travel information and insight will be enhanced by digital maps from Google and other providers.

My hope is that you will have a better travel experience in and around San Francisco due to map capacities.

Gourmet Ghetto Berkeley 

Alice Waters and her Chez Panisse restaurant remain a presiding spirit over Berkeley’s celebrated Gourmet Ghetto, where I happen to live.

Here are my four recommended stops if you want to immerse yourself in this remarkable stretch of Shattuck Ave in Berkeley, especially the block between Cedar and Rose Sts, about six blocks north on Shattuck from the Downtown Berkeley BART station.

Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse restaurant (see information below) is in and will remain in a stratosphere all its own.

Alice began the restaurant in 1971. The vision behind Chez Panisse has been immensely influential. She helped unleash the triumph of the entire organic and fresh/local effort in America back in the 1970s and 1980s. California, with its gifted climate for year-round growing, was the logical place for this revolution to occur. Today the vision is mainstream, even at your local supermarket.

Alice also made a very important business decision at the start. She owns the building. Her restaurant is not vulnerable to a high-rent future.

Your Best Shot: A shot of your food in this culinary cathedral is almost a requirement. Chez Panisse lunch prices are more reasonable and the meal is less elaborate than the detailed evening banquets. Lunch occurs upstairs in the restaurant, which is light and airy. You can also wander over to the open kitchen to watch the staff and make a quick, casual photo of these artists at work.

Across the street from Chez Panisse, you can plunk down exactly $12.08 of your hard-earned money at Cheese Board Pizza, arguably the most popular restaurant in modern Berkeley, For that amount you will receive a large box with half of a vegetarian pizza, enough for two people. You can also get an inventive salad, which might have “spelt” in it. If you need to Google “spelt” for a Wikipedia explanation, you are in for a delicious new treat.

The restaurant is located at 1512 Shattuck (, 510-549-3183). The venue has a cute “parklet” on the street, makes only one kind of veggie pizza every day, usually has live music, and magically attracts a huge patronage. They make about 1,200 pizzas per day.

Next door is The Cheese Board Collective (1504 Shattuck, (, 510-549-3183). The people inside this establishment love cheese. They are in no hurry to sell you anything. Sample a few cheeses under their expert tutelage. Find something you like, and they’ll custom cut any size portion you wish.

A vast collection of worldwide cheeses is sold here, ranging in geographic origin from Europe to California to Wisconsin. Cow, goat, and sheep milk cheeses are available. The knowledgeable palates of the career cheese-sellers make the store one-of-a-kind.

Around the corner, the late Dutch coffee enthusiast, Alfred Peet, started his Berkeley “coffee revolution” in 1966. The flagship store is Peet’s Coffee (2124 Vine,, 510-841-0564). Visit the special side room display filled with coffee-milestone memorabilia honoring Peet. Paraphernalia of the coffee roasting, grinding, and serving craft are also shown. It took a few pioneers, such as Peet, to get the notion of quality coffee roasting and fresh grinding into America’s highly caffeinated blood stream.

For a more detailed discussion of the Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto, see my write-up at

The information below is for Chez Panisse restaurant.

If You Go: 

Area: East to Oakland/Berkeley 


Address: 1517 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709 

Phone: 510-549-5525 

Price: Moderate to Expensive

Haight Ashbury

Haight Ashbury is a place and perhaps also a state of mind that existed and continues to persist on the eastern fringe of Golden Gate Park.

The 1967 Summer of Love celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017. Some mature travelers and visitors look back on that era and ponder the uninhibited sex, the promise of chemically induced enlightenment, and the reality that many believed the military-industrial complex was out of control and proceeding in Vietnam contrary to the public will. The competing urges to protest or drop out wrestled for the soul of each young person.

Your Best Shot: It is not easy to photograph a past that has disappeared. Shops that epitomized the scene slowly fade away. The Love of Ganesha, 1573 Haight St, remains. Think drug paraphernalia and crystals. Put yourself in the image also if that is you, today and tomorrow, recorded digitally forever, ready to go permanently into the social  media record. 

Haight Ashbury is both yesterday and today. Today there are 20-somethings in the neighborhood, still walking around in tied-dyed T-shirts, happy to just enjoy their lives and a new era, unencumbered by the past. The DNA of the era seems to have been passed to them. The email message that the Haight Ashbury era is over probably got sent to their spam.

The area is fun to explore today, walking east on Haight from Golden Gate Park, perhaps stopping first at Amoeba Music, 1885 Haight St. The Haight will mean more if you can find a tour leader or an info source that can guide you on the way it was. Wikipedia is a start, see below.

Grateful Dead Musician Jerry Garcia’s image is on a tie-dyed T-shirt, waiting for you out there, somewhere. You’ll just have to find it.

Keep your olfactory senses alert for the pungent sweet smell of marijuana and incense, which lingers in the Haight, and enjoys the new legal protections of modern California. A strong sense of Eastern mysticism still pervades the Haight, as evidenced by clothing and art objects in shops.

The info below is for The Love of Ganesha shop, an example of a fragile hold on a vanishing era. 

If You Go: 

Area: Golden Gate Park 


Address: 1573 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117 

Phone: 415-863-0999 

Price: Moderate

Half Moon Bay Town 

Half Moon Bay is an engaging seaside town, the most substantial human habitation along the San Mateo Coast, south from San Francisco. Floriculture flourishes here, due to the cool climate and the close proximity of San Francisco Airport for flying flowers to market. You’ll see mammoth greenhouses along the Coast Highway 1 south of town.

Highway 92 leads over the hills from HMB to the Peninsula, but the narrow road can become choked by traffic.

Spanish and Portuguese were among the early settlers. The town was called Spanishtown before it became Half Moon Bay. Cunha’s Country Store (448 Main St) was for decades the all-purpose emporium, but now survives by serving up deli sandwiches to visitors.

Take a stroll on Main St, where the blue Zaballa House (326 Main St) is the oldest building. At 270 Main St, the Greek Revival-style house from the 1860s was the home of Pablo Vasques, son of the original land-grant owner.

Your Best Shot: A lonesome landmark house in the hills back of town on Higgins Canyon Road is an interesting photo op. The Johnston House is a New England style “saltbox” house, ordered by catalog in 1853. It still stands in isolated splendor, suggesting an earlier era. You could make a photo conveying the same lonely emotion as Andrew Wyeth’s famous painting, Christina’s World. 

The prefab Johnston House was manufactured in New England and shipped by boat around The Horn. The boards were floated ashore here. Horses dragged the wood up the hill, where a carpenter assembled the house.

Half Moon Bay hosts several major festivals each year. They include the Portuguese Chamarita Festival 7 weeks after Easter, a parade in the Fourth of July weekend, and the Art and Pumpkin Festival in October.

A long beach west of town offers good public access for an ocean-side walk. 

If You Go: 

Area: South to San Mateo Coast/Bayside 


Address: Tourism office at 235 Main St, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 

Phone: 650-726-8380  

Price: Free

Hilton Cityscape Elevated Views 

San Francisco is such a lovely city that a visitor often longs for an elevated viewpoint from which to see all the hills, the landmark buildings, plus the Bay and ocean landscape.

One of the newer such options is Cityscape Lounge, the 46th floor restaurant/bar at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, 333 O’Farrell St. The space was formerly used only for special events, but is now open to the public each day 5 p.m. to midnight.

The Hilton San Francisco Union Square Hotel plays a unique role in lodging in The City and in the West. At almost 2,000 rooms, it is the largest hotel in The City and on the West Coast if you exclude some of the “gaming” hotels in Las Vegas. The Hilton also takes a progressive stance on “sustainability.” For example, you don’t need to buy expensive bottled water on the property. On the contrary, you can fill your own water container at a “hydration station” in the lobby area, saving money and the environmental cost of disposable plastic bottles.

Your Best Shot: After positioning yourself near a picture window, the view from Cityscape can create a memorable photo. Return visits will add alternative perspectives, depending on light at different times of the year.

Wander around to enjoy the 360-degree view. By dusk and night the beloved details of SF, such as Union Square, assume a twinkling and magical existence.

California, San Francisco: The Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands
California, San Francisco: The Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands

Where else might you go for elevated views of The City?

One long-time favorite is the Top of the Mark restaurant/bar at the Inter-Continental Mark Hopkins Hotel, 999 California St.

At Macy’s, 170 O’Farrell St, on Union Square, there is an eighth-floor observation deck and outdoor dining at the Cheesecake Factory restaurant. You look down immediately on the Square

The elevator to the top of Coit Tower, 1 Telegraph Hill Blvd, gives you a perspective on the North Beach area.

The free Tower view at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, shows the greenery of the park and the western portion of The City.

Multiple perspectives on San Francisco can enrich the travel experience. There is no equal to a close-up walking tour of Chinatown/North Beach. The view from the Bay on an excursion boat or ferry is another outlook. Memories of grand landmarks from choice locations, such as the Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach or the Marin Headlands, add further dimensions.

Those who collect elevated views of San Francisco welcome the addition of Cityscape as a new enhancement.

The info below is for Cityscape.

If You Go:

Area: Downtown


Address: Hilton San Francisco Union Square, 333 O’Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Phone: 415-923-5002

Price: Moderate

Historic Trolleys Along the Embarcadero 

San Francisco offers practical transportation along the Embarcadero and into downtown on the F-line with historic trolleys/streetcars.

There is a free San Francisco Railway Museum, 77 Steuart St, which is kitty-corner from the Ferry Building. It tells the story of these “museums in motion.”

The historic trolleys/streetcars are in addition to the main celebrity historic transportation system of San Francisco, the Cable Cars, which are a story and a route of their own.

The F-line historic trolleys/streetcars have been carefully collected from all over the world, refurbished, and put into service. They are an excellent way to travel up and down the Embarcadero, and then deep into Downtown.

Your Best Shot: You can get two icons in one photo if you wait near the boarding platform for the trolleys in front of the Ferry Building, as they head towards Fisherman’s Wharf. Consider a shot with the historic trolley moving slowly past the historic Ferry Building tower.

The vintage trolleys/streetcars (now numbering about 50) work well on the flat topography of the Embarcadero and Market St. The 50 are originals rather than replicas, dated from after the invention of electric trolleys in Richmond, Virginia, in 1888, all now carefully restored and maintained. Some come from Europe.

You switch to Cable Cars for the hilly areas of San Francisco, where cables pull the cars up steep hills.

The museum at 77 Steuart is a large rectangular room right on the transportation route, so it is convenient to access. The museum is not large, partly because all its historic objects are literally out on the street, rolling forward.

The reality is that visitors simply love these trolleys/streetcars as well as the Cable Cars. All contribute to the romance of travel to San Francisco. The museum will appeal to children as well as adults.

Tasteful collectibles in the gift shop of this non-profit San Francisco Railway Museum include classic posters of the vintage trolleys/streetcars.

One interesting collectible, dropped onto a DVD, is a 1906 film promoting San Francisco, made by the Miles Brothers. Unknown to them, they were filming just a few days before the famous Quake of April 14. They strapped a movie camera to a trolley and proceeded down Market Street. The filmmakers hired some of the 200 automobiles then in the city to zigzag in and out for special effect. You see the movement of people in the bustling life of this U.S. West Coast capital. Everyone is unaware, of course, of the destruction and devastation that will soon occur from the earthquake and fire.

The historic F-line along Market Street has had continuous rail service since the 1860s. Steam trains, horse-drawn cars, and finally electric trolleys/streetcars carried passengers.

San Francisco’s special blend of nostalgia and contemporary practicality is evident in the historic trolley/streetcar rail collection as well in the Cable Cars.

The info below is for the San Francisco Railway Museum.

If You Go:

Area: Embarcadero


Address: 77 Steuart St, San Francisco, CA 94105

Phone: 415-974-1948 

Price: Free for museum, moderate for streetcar rides

Hyatt Regency Interior 

The interior of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Francisco has a dramatic design flare, making it an attraction in itself.

This hotel features an airy atrium lobby with a grand fountain sculpture.

The John Portman-designed structure at Market and California Sts emphasizes the soaring openness of the mammoth lobby. The hotel website (see below) claims this 17-story interior space is the largest hotel lobby worldwide.

Your Best Shot: The widest angle on your phone or camera may be your best bet, getting the fountain and the atrium, plus perhaps yourself, in the image. The fountain and the soaring atrium, with elevators going up and down, make a beguiling vertical still photo or video.  

Charles Perry’s remarkable sculpture in the atrium is called Eclipse. This twisting metal apparatus makes four tons of steel appear to be suspended effortlessly above the water.

Activities of interest to many travelers are also only a few steps away, including the lively outdoor arts/craft vendor scene along Market St, the vibrant Ferry Building across the outdoor plaza, and a ride on the California St Cable Cars.

If You Go:

Area: Embarcadero


Address: Hyatt Regency Hotel, 5 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA  94111

Phone:  415-788-1234 

Price: Free to peruse lobby

Hyde Street Pier Historic Ships 

The Hyde Street Pier presents to visitors nine ships and boats that played a critical role in the maritime history of San Francisco Bay and the West.

The pier is part of Fisherman’s Wharf. Details, including many historic photos and videos, can be seen across the street at the Visitor Center, 499 Jefferson St, corner of Jefferson and Hyde. A few steps away, there is also a display at the San Francisco Maritime Museum (see address and website below).

Your Best Shot: The Balclutha sailing ship is the beauty for a photo. Put yourself in the frame to build your nautical selfie collection. 

What you see, docked permanently at the Hyde Street Pier, are nine ships and boats that helped transform 19th-century San Francisco, the West, and the U.S. In that century, San Francisco was the main and vital West Coast port. Los Angeles was still a sleepy and undeveloped town.

Make the acquaintance of:

Balclutha: An 1886 square-rigger. The romance of the 19th-century sailing era comes into view when you gaze at the 256-foot-long Balclutha. This is the only square-rigged ship left on San Francisco Bay. The vessel carried California wheat to Europe.

Hercules: A steam-powered tugboat. Hercules was used for open-ocean towing of timber ships and barges between San Francisco and the Pacific Northwest.

C. A. Thayer: A wooden-hulled, three-masted schooner built to carry lumber along the California coast. Constructed of strong Douglas fir in 1895, the Thayer was maneuverable enough to take lumber from small ports, such as Mendocino, along the coast. Sometimes lumber was winched down to the ship with long rope lines secured to bluffs above the ocean.

Alma: A wooden-hulled flat-bottomed scow schooner built to carry bulk cargo, such as hay, around the Bay and the Sacramento Delta. The flat bottom allowed the scow schooner to maneuver in shallow water and wait for the next high tide if it caught on the bottom.

Beyond these four, there are more historic nautical treasures awaiting you.

If You Go: 

Area: Fisherman’s Wharf


Address: 2 Marina Blvd, Building E, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94123 

Phone: 415-561-7000

Price: Entrance charge to Hyde Street Pier


Iconic Photo Views

Everyone will have their own favorite Iconic Views of San Francisco to see and photograph. Here are my recommendations. Your time is valuable. I’ve been watching the scene for decades. These are places I will gladly revisit to savor the nuances of San Francisco and the region.

Each of these subjects has its own write-up in my presentation.
Alamo Square Victorians. This park offers fine views of Victorian houses with the modern city in the background.

Cable Cars/Cable Car Museum. Go to the museum, also called the Cable Car “Barn,” to see the amazing innards of the cable car system.

Chinatown Walking Self Tour. Enjoy the architecture. Maybe locate some red lanterns strung across the street on Grant Ave.
Coit Tower and the Crookedest St. Coit Tower is a legacy salute to the firefighters after the 1906 Quake and Fire. See the outside with the Christopher Columbus sculpture. Be sure to see the WPA murals inside. Take the elevator to the top. West of you is the Crookest St, a quirky zigzag attraction in itself.

Conservatory of Flowers. This Victorian greenhouse contains an ever-changing floral tribute in Golden Gate Park. Flower beds are in the foreground and the lacy white Conservatory is in the background.

Transamerica Pyramid from Coppola’s Zoetrope Bldg. See the modern Financial District with old North Beach architecture juxtaposed. See my write-up for the exact location.

Fort Funston Hang Gliders. You’ll witness a lyrical sight from the bluffs on the southwest side of The City.

Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point. The south side view of the famous attraction is the place for encountering the Bridge and perhaps walking out on the structure.

Baker Beach/Golden Gate Bridge. This is my single most favorite view in The City, with the waves crashing on the beach and the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. This is a great afternoon-light experience.

Muir Woods. Don’t miss the unforgettable and iconic towering redwoods to be seen north of San Francisco in Marin County.

Intro/About/The Author

What are the Top 100 Travel Experiences in the San Francisco Bay Area? Award-winning travel journalist Lee Foster, a local, provides the answers, assisting you to make wise use of your valuable exploration time. What are the best things to see and do?

Foster selects the most interesting subjects in 10 areas of San Francisco, such as Fisherman’s Wharf or Golden Gate Park. He includes a few subjects also from North in Marin County, East to Oakland and Berkeley, and South to the San Mateo Coast and Stanford. Additionally, he groups subjects thematically by special interest, such as Culture/Museums and Nature/Hikes. Everything can be seen from a clickable Table of Contents outline by area and special interest subject. All the sections are then shown in an easily understood “SF A-Z” order.

For each subject, Foster presents a succinct write-up on why the subject was selected, based on his watching over the area for 40 years. Foster provides all the practical details you might want for a visit, such as a phone, exact address (for easy map search), and website for more information.

A noted travel photographer, Foster also offers a Your Best Shot paragraph for each subject, assisting you to get the objective photo and the selfie that will make your visit to the subject memorable. Almost everyone visiting San Francisco will want to create and share some of their own photos. Lee can help make the photo quest successful

Within each subject presented, there are numerous details that only an experienced observer can accumulate. For example, “What time of day would be best for a visit to Baker Beach, with its views of the Golden Gate?” Answer: Afternoon from 3 p.m. until sunset, you’ll see the western-positioned sun fall on the Bridge. Sometimes you’ll want to know the precise location where a special experience and photo are possible. For instance, “Where exactly should I stand to get that fabulous view of old North Beach, the Coppola Building, with the Transamerica Pyramid in the background, showing SF Old and New?” Answer: Exactly at the corner of Kearny and Columbus on the uphill side. Another question: “Where is that park where you can see the Victorians with the city skyline in the background?” Answer: That’s Alamo Square, a great place for a picnic.

Your Author: Lee Foster 

Lee is an award-winning travel writer and photographer and long-time resident of Berkeley, across the Bay from San Francisco. His work has won eight Lowell Thomas Awards, the highest awards in travel journalism. He has been named Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year. All the write-ups and photos here are from Foster.

He has several parallel books/ebooks on San Francisco and Northern California. You can see them on his Amazon Author Page ( and in independent bookstores (

Much of his travel journalism can be seen on his website at About half of the 300 worldwide travel writing/photo coverages on the website are about San Francisco and Northern California. The others range from Egypt to Bali. You can Search for a SF/Norcal subject or worldwide subject and find his presentations, all available for free on the website.

Lee’s travel writing/photos have appeared in all the major U.S. travel magazines and newspapers, plus in more than 300 Lonely Planet travel books. You can see his digitally ready photos at Most of his licensing of photos occurs to major magazines and book companies, from the local AAA Via to National Geographic. Foster also offers an inexpensive Personal Publishing secure license for individuals who simply want a photo for their blog, website, book, or wall décor.

Contact Lee at [email protected] if you have any suggestions on SF/Norcal travel and this presentation. New aspects for all these travel subjects emerge. Your experience, whether good or bad, is helpful to Foster as he continues to evaluate what should be in this select list.

Foster believes that few areas have done more than SF/Norcal to preserve the environment or improve the basics of travel, including attractions/dining/lodging.

SF/Norcal ranks as his favorite place on Earth. The more he has seen of the world, the more he appreciates his home territory. He hopes that this presentation makes your own exploration more enjoyable and insightful.

Note that the content of this ebook is also available as an app, titled “SF Travel & Photo Guide,” from Apple ( and Google (

Jack London Square/Oakland Waterfront 

Oakland boasts a fondness for Jack London, its native literary son. Jack London Square, at the foot of Broadway, contains London’s cabin from the Yukon and Heinold’s Saloon, where London supposedly polished his literary skills.

The city of Oakland grew up along the waterfront, now called Jack London Square. This multi-block area of shops and restaurants struggled for identity, even as the author did.  London has always been the city’s cherished son. He was the figure around whom a themed waterfront area could be built. London’s books on Alaskan adventures, featuring man surviving against nature, won worldwide readers.

Your Best Shot: Get an image of the sculpture of Jack London, perhaps without and then with you in it. The sculpture is at the waterfront, near the Scott’s Seafood restaurant.

Popular attractions here include shopping at places like Cost Plus World Market and dining at the fish restaurant, Scott’s Seafood. The Jack London Cinema features nine state-of-the-art theaters.

As mentioned, while at the Square, stop by Jack London’s cabin, his Yukon abode from the winter of 1897-1898. Next to the cabin, quench your thirst at Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon. It is said that London acquired his self-made literary education at Heinold’s, where they had a dictionary. Inside, you’ll find London photos and memorabilia.

Jack London Square has nightlife vitality. The lively venue is the jazz club known as Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West. Yoshi’s also features Japanese dining.

A Sunday Farmers Market draws large crowds looking for everything from specialty apples to goat cheese.

The Oakland waterfront, associated with the Square, has many features. One is the robust Port of Oakland, seen best on the ferry between San Francisco and Oakland. (See my write-up Ferry SF to Oakland.)

Franklin Roosevelt’s Presidential Yacht, the Potomac, a National Historic Landmark, is now permanently berthed at Jack London Square. The public can sometimes tour the boat or participate in yacht excursions out on the bay.

An Amtrak Train Station is the departure point for trips to Sacramento, Seattle, and Los Angeles.

From the Square, walk or taxi/Uber up Broadway into downtown Oakland. My write-ups Oakland Downtown and Oakland’s Museum of California can guide you in that area.

If You Go:

Area: East to Oakland/Berkeley


Address: Jack London Square, Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607

Phone: 510-645-9292 

Price: Free

See Lee’s four Northern California books/ebooks on his Amazon Author Page.
See Lee’s books/ebooks
on his Amazon Author Page and in Independent Bookstores


Aside from this ebook/app, I publish other books/ebooks about San Francisco and Northern California. One is titled The Photographer’s Guide to San Francisco. My main book/ebook on Northern California is Northern California Travel: The Best Options. Those volumes, including some more on California, can be seen on my Amazon Author Page. My further books on Northern California are Back Roads California and Northern California History Weekends. One of my California books, Northern California Travel: The Best Options, is now available as an ebook in Chinese.



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