If you find yourself in San Francisco with a little time on your hands and yearning to take a 3.8 mile journey across the city, then the Barbary Coast Trail is for you. This trek starts at the steps of the old Mint Building at 5th and Mission and takes you on a historical journey through the Financial District, China Town, Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, Telegraph Hill, North Beach, and many more streets, alleys, and creative walkways. All you have to do is follow the 170 brass markers embedded in the sidewalk like the one pictured above.
Try not to get too distracted by all the shops and stores that you pass along the way, although a quick dash into City Lights Booksellers and Publishers can’t really be prevented. As you make your way through the city, also consider taking a break and getting a drink at Vesuvio, Specs, or Tosca, better known as the Holy Trinity Bars of North Beach. As an added bonus, if you stay alert you may just catch a glimpse of the wild parrot flock that roams freely in the trees of San Francisco.
Your San Francisco Odyssey will take you by a staircase on Telegraph Hill marked only by a modest plaque stating that it is the Jack Early Park. Hike up the steps and you will find one of the best views in the city. The SF Gate promotes it as the best place to propose marriage.
Put on your walking shoes, fill your water bottle, and get out there and explore this incredible city by the sea.