ZINVO's Favorite Destinations: San Francisco
Next stop on our ZINVO's Favorite Destinations tour is the vibrant west coast city of San Francisco. Journey with us as we strap on our ZINVO Blade and visit the City by the Bay.
San Francisco has a rich history filled with adventure, rapid growth, destruction, and rebirth. It was first founded by Spanish Colonists that named it after Saint Francis in 1776. It then became part of Mexico in 1821 after independence from Spain, then became part of the United States in 1846 after the Mexican-American War.
San Francisco was a focal location for the 1849 Gold Rush, hence its nickname “49ers”, where it experienced tremendous growth with the promise of incredible riches. People migrated to San Francisco from all over the US and the world to realize this promise and used their new found riches to establish a banking industry, develop a port, and lay the groundwork for a railroad that made the city a vibrant modern financial powerhouse.
Today we know San Francisco for being the home of the “hippie movement” in the 1960s, the Internet “dot com” boom (and bust) of the 1990s, and more recently the home of tech giants, Google and Facebook and other Silicon Valley startups. All of these billion-dollar startups are reminiscent of the Gold Rush days and has made San Francisco one of the top five most expensive cities in the US.
With all of this vibrant history and industriousness, tourists flock to the city no only to enjoy its cool summers, but also to see the sites that are a symbol of the city’s evolution into what it is today.
Skyline and City Hall
The skyline we see today began when the Transamerica Pyramid was completed in 1972, which began a “Manhattanization” that lasted until the 1980s. However, one of the most iconic and memorable buildings is also its oldest: City Hall, which you can see behind the ZINVO Blade Gunmetal. City Hall was destroyed in the earthquake of 1906, but was rebuilt and was ready for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Today it stands 19ft taller than the US capitol and attracts millions of visitors.
San Francisco Bay
During the Great Depression of 1929, when the rest of the US was suffering, San Francisco’s banking industry survived and thrived. They invested into huge projects, such as the Golden Gate Bridge which was completed in 1937. This impressive and beautiful bridge marks the entrance to San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean and deserves a visit and a ton of Instagram posts.
The San Francisco Bay is home to several islands such as Angel Island (Ellis Island of the West), and the world famous Alcatraz. Alcatraz was a military fort built in the 1850s that was transformed into a federal penitentiary during the Great Depression. The movie The Rock was famously filmed here, and it is a fun destination with a tour that will test your courage.
Port of San Francisco
You can’t visit San Francisco without visiting their piers and harbors. The port of San Francisco is home to the San Francisco Marina Yacht Harbor, which is the oldest recreational marina in San Francisco. It has 727 berths and is near the popular Marina Green Park where many events take place.
A trip to the South Beach Harbor is a must. There you will find a modern harbor, located between Pier 40 and AT&T Park that has 700 berths and a great view of the city. Close by you will find multiple dining options and the exciting South of Market (SoMA) area to explore.
San Francisco is a city that houses a fantastically diverse people that range from the free-spirited to the tech-focused. It's a place that's been endowed with plenty of riches as well as its fair share of misfortune, but the tenacity of its residents have made it into an energetic space that's welcoming to all. It's this combined spirit of openness and determination coupled with its surrounding beauty that makes San Francisco one of our favorite destinations to visit.