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Alcatraz

Critics' choice
Attractions, Museums

'Alcatraz' is Spanish for pelican, but to its inmates it was simply known as 'the Rock'. The West Coast's first lighthouse was built here in 1854, but it...

Alcatraz Island
Major venue

Chez Panisse

Critics' choice
Restaurants & cafés

This is where chef/owner Alice Waters created California cuisine more than 35 years ago. Her modest, wood-framed restaurant still reigns supreme, serving...

1517 Shattuck Avenue
Major venue

City Lights

Critics' choice
Shops

The legacy of Beat anti-authoritarianism lives on in this publishing company and bookshop, co-founded by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1953. Be sure to head...

261 Columbus Avenue
Major venue

Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market

Critics' choice
Shops

Since the restored Ferry Building reopened in 2002, the Ferry Plaza farmers' market has become a sightseeing attraction in its own right. White tents spill...

Ferry Building, Embarcadero
Major venue

Fillmore Auditorium

Critics' choice
Music

The 1,200-capacity Fillmore was built in 1912, but is better known as the venue in which Bill Graham launched his rock-promotion empire. The performers who...

1805 Geary Boulevard
Major venue

Gump's

Critics' choice
Shops

Established in 1861, Gump's is the place where moneyed San Franciscans buy wedding presents, china and a variety of baubles, from black pearls to custom...

135 Post Street
Major venue

Mission Dolores

Critics' choice
Attractions

Founded by a tiny band of Spanish missionaries and soldiers in 1776, and completed 15 years later, Mission Dolores is the oldest structure in the city and...

3321 16th Street
Major venue

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

Critics' choice
Art, Museums

The second-largest US museum devoted to modern art, SFMOMA moved here from Civic Center in 1995, reaping enthusiastic approval as much for its $60-million...

151 3rd Street
Major venue