17 Fascinating Facts About San Francisco That Will Draw You There!

As Rudyard Kipling rightly said, “San Francisco has only one drawback, ’tis hard to leave” The city of San Francisco is the commercial, cultural and tourist capital of California and rightly so, with its dreamy views, sophisticated lifestyle and for holding the tag of being one of the world’s most splendid bays. Here are some exciting facts about San Francisco that will make you want to book the next flight to the Fog City!

1. Named After a Wild Herb?!

Yerba Buena
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San Francisco was earlier known as Yerba Buena in the 1700s. Yerba Buena literally means ‘Good herb’ named after a wild mint that grew there. It was in 1847 that it was named San Francisco after Saint Fransisco de Asís.

2. Yum Yum It-It’s

George Whitney, the owner of ‘Playland at the beach,’ was the inventor of ‘It it’s.’ He dolloped a scoop of ice cream and sandwiched it between two freshly baked old oatmeal cookies and dipped it into melted chocolate, and that’s how San Francisco’s beloved treat was born.

3. Not so Chinese Cookie

Fortune Cookies
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Here's a fun fact about San Francisco you probably didn't know. The world-famous Chinese fortune cookie was invented by a Japanese man Makoto Hagiwara in the Golden Gate park’s tea garden in San Francisco. He made these fortune cookies inside which he hid a thank you note for the people who stood by him through tough times. 

4. The Era of Blue Denim Jeans

Jacob Devis and Levi Strauss invented blue Denim jeans. It was the time of Goldrush, and the miners needed some sturdy and comfortable clothing to work. During this time, Strauss met many workers, which eventually led to the discovery and era of blue denim jeans.

5. The Last Beatles Concert

The Beatles
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The Beatles’ final paid concert performance was in Candlestick Park in San Francisco. This was a part of the U.S. tour by the band in August 1966. They had an audience of 25,000.

6. Model Bear on the Flag of California

The bear’s name was Monarch, and he weighed approximately 1,100 pounds. Once a common animal in California, the grizzly bears were on the brink of extinction due to gold mining, poaching, and hunting. Monarch was one of the last grizzly bears in California, he was captured, and he then lived in the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. 

7. More Dogs Than Children?

Dogs > Children
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A fact about San Francisco that would appeal to dog lovers, according to an American community survey and U.S. census in 2016, there were approximately 115,000 children (below the age of 18) and approximately 120,000 to 150,000 dogs in San Francisco. San Francisco evidently loves doggos.

8. Celebrity Doggies                                                                                                            

Two stray dogs Lazarus and Bummer, became local celebrities, and every move of theirs was recorded, and every action was celebrated. Initially, San Francisco was not a dog-loving city per se, and street dogs were killed at the site. This changed when in the 1860s, Bummer saved Lazarus from a dog fight, and the two became inseparable companions ever since.

9. Most Crooked Street in the World!                                                                                

Lombard Street
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Situated in the east-west of San Francisco is the world’s most crooked street, The Lombard Street. It is famous for being steep, with eight hairpin turns and one block section. It is located in the Russian hill neighborhood and receives almost two million visitors per year.

10. Golden Gate Park’s 150th Anniversary                                                                          

Golden Gate Park is one of the most visited parks in the U.S. The park celebrated this 150th-year milestone on 4th April 2020. It is approximately 1,017 acres in area. The park is bigger than New York’s Central Park. It is a must-visit with secret jewels and hidden secrets in every nook.

11. The color of the Golden Gate bridge

Lombard street
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The color of the Golden Bridge is International orange, but this wasn’t originally planned. The army wanted the bridge to be colored in red and white stripes, while the navy wanted it to be yellow and black stripes. The final color wasn’t from the list of options; it was just the color of primer used to protect the steel, but the architect loved it as it blended well with the topography, and hence it stayed.

12. On the Move Historic Landmark  

The cable car system in San Francisco is the world’s last manually operated cable car system. Only three routes remain of the twenty-three lines that were initially built. These cable cars are the country’s only rolling ‘National Historic Landmark’ It runs at the top speed of 9.5mph, so passengers better hold onto their seats!

13. Twin Peaks

Twin peaks
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The twin peaks have an elevation of 925 feet. The north peak is named ‘Eureka,’ and the South peak is named ‘Noe.’ There are wooden stairs that lead to the top of both these peaks from where you can view all the way to the Marin. This fact about San Francisco can give you an item to add to your Bay Area itinerary. 

14. Alcatraz Pelican Island Prison

Alcatraz federal prison is located on the Alcatraz island of California. It housed dangerous prisoners like Al Capone. The island was named ‘La Isla de Los Alcatraces’ by the Spanish explorer and discoverer of the island Juan Manuel de Ayala. The name literally means ‘island of the pelicans.’

15. Trees to the Rescue

Redwood trees
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In 1851 there was an earthquake and fire in San Francisco that destroyed almost three-quarters of the city. According to reports, the heroes to the rescue then were the Redwood trees of San Francisco. When the fire hit the buildings made of this wood, they did not go up in smoke as the porous grain of the tree has immense water content and low resin.

16. Self-Declared Emperor 

Joshua Abraham Norton, also known as Emperor Norton, was a citizen of San Francisco. On 17th September 1859, he self-declared himself as the U.S. emperor, and people just went with it. He went on to become an iconic mascot in the city of San Francisco.

17. The Japantowns and Chinatowns

Chinatown
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San Francisco has one of the last three remaining Japantowns in the U.S. Before World War 2, there were 43 Japantowns, but the U.S. government mistakenly imprisoned its own Japanese citizens, and most Japantowns were lost then. Now, San Francisco’s Japantown is a delight during springtime when the cherry blossoms bloom.
San Francisco is also home to North America’s oldest Chinatown. It is spread across 24 blocks. It is bustling with colorful alleys, dim sum shops, karaoke bars, and galleries.

San Francisco has some secrets hidden in every nook and corner to be explored. These fun facts about San Francisco will give visitors something exciting to look forward to when visiting the city. So go there on your next vacation and uncover the beauty of this fog city. 

This post was published by Devarchita Sen

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