Is there more to San Francisco, California, than warm weather and beautiful people? You bet there is! Read on to discover some enchanting fun facts.
1. A city of many names
San Francisco was originally called Yerba Buena, a Spanish name meaning “good herb” or “good grass.” “Baghdad by the Bay” coined by columnist Herb Caen, and “The City that Knows How” are among the common nicknames of the city.
2. The city of billionaires
Did you know that San Francisco is one of the richest cities in the world? It ranks fourth in the world, after New York, Moscow and London, in terms of the numbers of billionaires that call it home. This is despite the fact that it has less than 10% of the population of the other three cities. San Francisco is also known for having the largest Chinese community in the world, outside of China.
3. The bridge that is too long to paint
An important tourist spot in San Francisco is the Golden Gate Bridge. Established in 1937, it is the world’s second longest single span. It links San Francisco with Marin County and the Redwood Empire. The Golden Gate Bridge is continuously painted and repainted all the time, because the bridge is so long that by the time the paint crew gets from one end to the other, it’s time to start over again.
4. More facts you never thought you didn’t know
Muir Woods, an unspoiled and remarkably scenic stand of giant redwoods, is located just across the Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco is the birthplace of many things that are our today. The Chinese Fortune Cookie was invented at the Japanese Tea Garden by Makato Hagiwara. Chop Suey was created in 1878 during a banquet. Denim Jeans were also invented in San Francisco. It was primarily for the use of the Gold Rush miners because they needed rough clothes that were comfortable at the same time.
5. Where there is a coffee shop for everyone
San Francisco is known for its coffee shops, of which there are over three hundred within its boundaries. It is here that the famous Irish coffee was invented. Caffe Trieste is the first coffee shop in San Francisco that was established in 1956. It is said that large portions of the famous The Godfather Trilogy script was written here by Francis Ford Coppola.
6. Of crooked streets and notorious places
Lombard Street is not the crookedest street, as is popularly thought to be. It is Vermont Avenue. The notorious Alcatraz federal prison island is located in San Francisco Bay, where Al Capone spent five years. It was closed in 1963.
7. The eccentric mayor who liked to bathe
The Sutro Baths is an extravagant public bathhouse built by the eccentric former mayor, Adolph Sutro, who is also known for building the Cliff House. The Sutro Baths is located at Ocean Beach where a massive crowd of 7000 people gathered on the occasion of its official opening.
8. Motels, star treks and plagiarizing poets
The Motel Inn on Monterey Street is the first motel in existence. It opened up in 1925 in San Luis Obispo. The name Monterey Jack Cheese is a tribute to David Jacks, who spent much of his adult life trying to sell his cheese.
Did you know that the Star Fleet Headquarters in Star Trek is located just north of San Francisco? The computer mouse was invented in Silicon Valley and the picture of a rolling hill against a blue sky which is the default wallpaper in Windows XP was shot in the Napa Valley.
Those were just a few of the many charms and secrets that San Francisco has to offer the discerning traveler. If you want to discover more, why don’t you book one of the most romantic San Francisco hotels and explore the city?
Photo of the Golden Gate, San Francisco, CA by Julie, Dave & Family