Gotta tell ya', San Francisco is one of my top 5 places ever. My list in random order includes Montreal, Paris, Strasbourg, Austria, Seville, Spain and, although small in size, St. Andrew's-by-the-Sea, NB. The list is defined by a feeling I got the first time I visited. Shoulders drop, breathing slows down, you feel like you know the place and it knows you. And, then there's the gasp factor. Short intake of breath, OMG look at that, I'm at.... the Eiffel Tower/they filmed Sound of Music on this spot/Salty Towers.
The architecture of the older homes in areas such as Pacific Heights is not like anywhere else I have been. This is Danielle Steele's house btw. See link below for more. To drive down a city street and have the road disappear in front of you like a rollercoaster makes you laugh/scream and it makes you wonder how they built what they built where they built it. Concern re: earthquakes, o yeah.
http://www.sftravel.com/pachit.html Sorry, no camera that day, impromptu visit to PH plus we found the historical pet cemetery!! Not able to walk around as it is under several overpasses that are under construction in Presidio Park near the bridge so it is off limits. Will try to find more info on that! Copy and paste., couldn't hyperlink. Listen to me!! Like I know what I'm talking about:))))
The drive from Marin in to the city is stunning. As you approach the Sausalito end of the tunnel, it is all rock face and pine trees. As you leave the tunnel, you follow a winding road with numerous panaromic views of the bay and sections of the bridge then you move through the final curve, and voila, the Golden Gate Bridge, in all its 75 years of glory. Once you are on the bridge, the ocean and coast line view is pretty spectacular.
The wine region on Christmas Eve day roadtrip gave me the bug to do some driving. See Doris Day post. On Boxing Day I wanted to see the ocean, so I headed to Stinson Beach. Over the hill and through the woods, deep valleys/gorges, hairpin turns, no guard rails and no lights. (Streetlights, not stoplights) Would NEVER do that stretch at night. Highway 1 continues north past Stinson Beach through heavily wooded sections of redwood and pine. Finally you reconnect with Sir Francis Drake, the main road that goes for miles until you reach San Anselmo. You meander through cattle and horse country and State Park until stoplights and pedestrians appear in San Anselmo (where I stay). One way trip: 7 miles, driving time: 50 minutes plus.