Buy a Muni 1 ($11), 3 ($18) or 7-day ($24) visitor passport for unlimited rides on cable cars, streetcars (trams), trolleybuses and diesel buses, but not BART. Regular fare is $2 (Cable Car is $5).
If you're 65 or older, show your driver's license, ID or passport as proof of age and buy a Muni monthly Senior Pass ($15).
Muni's visitor passport and Senior Pass can be purchased at their kiosk (looks like a cable car) at the Powell-Market cable car turntable. You can also buy a Muni 2-for-1 street and transit map for $3 there.
Muni is the nickname of the San Francisco Municipal Railway, America's oldest public-owned large city public transit system (1912) and probably the last to call itself a railway.
Muni (San Francisco Municipal Railway)
Phone: 311 (within San Francisco)
1 (415) 701-2323 (outside San Francisco)
Bryce Canyon's colorful hoodoos (especially at dawn and dusk) give it an ethereal beauty that is more mesmerizing than the much larger Grand Canyon. Geologically, it's not a canyon, but a series of amphitheaters.
The entrance fee is $25 per car and many visitor facilities are closed in winter.
Roughly 100 miles north of the Grand Canyon (north rim) and 270 miles east-northeast of Las Vegas.
Tel: 1 (435) 834-5322
Go and have fun at Universal Studio, but if you're a movie fan and want to see a working movie and TV studio, visit Warner Bros. A guide takes you on a 2-hour tour of soundstages, sets, backlots and prop rooms when they're not in production. We saw a temporary exhibit of "Casablanca" props lent by collectors: Dooley Wilson's piano and Humphrey Bogart's tuxedo.
When we took the tour 10 years ago, Richard Thomas, star of the 1970s TV family drama "The Waltons" waved and said "Hi" as the tour van passed his movie backlot.
Since it's a working studio, Warner's limits the number of visitors to time-entry tours every half hour to reduce disrupting productions. Unfortunately, they don't allow children under 8.
Tickets are $42. Consider buying them in advance. Sometimes, same-day tickets sell out.
T-T-That's all Folks!
3400 Riverside Dr.
San Francisco has 42 hills, many of them are so steep that streets become stairways. Adah Bakalinsky has written a great walking guidebook, Stairway Walks in San Francisco. It covers more than 350 stairways in 24 walks with maps. Some are in popular tourist neighbourhoods and some are off-the-beaten path.
The Waterstones/Amazon.co.uk link is for the 5th ed. (2004). A 6th ed. is scheduled for publication in late 2006 in the States.
The Amazon.com link lets you preview a few pages.
The world's last surviving cable car powerhouse and carbarn (1887) houses a free cable car museum.
In addition to historic cable cars (including an original 1873 cable car), displays, informational video and souvenirs, you can watch and hear the motors and sheave wheels moving the cables underneath the three remaining cable car lines of one of America's few moving National Historic Landmarks (1964).
1201 Mason St (at Washington St), Nob Hill, San Francisco;
tel: (415) 474 1887
To get there ride Powell-Mason and Powell-Hyde cable cars to Washington and Mason car stop;
Yank Sing is one of San Francisco's best Chinese dim sum restaurants. Makes the annual San Francisco Chronicle's Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants list.
Its Rincon Center atmosphere is more upmarket than Chinatown restaurants, since it appeals to nearby Financial District workers.
Before or after you eat, look at the murals of California history by Anton Refregier in the old Rincon Post Office Annex. A few of them don't whitewash the Golden State's turbulent labour and ethnic past.
Rincon Center, 101 Spear St. (at Mission St), Embarcadero/South of Market;
tel: (415) 957-9300; open: only for dim sum/lunch;
Get a 360º view of San Francisco hills and neighbourhoods, Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz, San Francisco Bay and San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. It beats going to the top floor of a skyscraper.
Look at Coit Tower's vibrant frescos of life in California during the 1930s Great Depression that was commissioned by Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal to employ local artists. Then walk down the Filbert Steps. Telegraph Hill is so steep that Filbert St. is a stairway, part of it is still wooden. It has a quasi-park feel with homes clinging to the side of Telegraph Hill. You might want to watch the documentary film, "The Wild Parrots Of Telegraph Hill."
Halfway down at 1360 Montgomery St. is an Art Deco apartment building that was used as Lauren Bacall's home in the 1947 Humphrey Bogart movie, "Dark Passage."
When you reach the bottom of the Filbert Steps, you can walk up the Greenwich Steps back to Coit Tower or continue walking through Levi’s Plaza (Levi Strauss HQ) to the Embarcadero and walk, or ride a Muni F/Market-Embarcadero streetcar, to the Ferry Building or Fisherman's Wharf.
1 Telegraph Hill Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94133
1 (415) 362-0808
Walk to the top of Telegraph Hill or ride Muni #39 Coit bus.
Ton Kiang is often considered to be San Francisco's best Cantonese and Hakka restaurant. Most entrees are in the $10-15 range. Makes the annual San Francisco Chronicle's Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants list.
It's located in the Richmond District, which is 4 miles west of Chinatown, and shouldn't be confused with the Oakland suburb of Richmond in the East Bay.
5821 Geary Blvd. (between 22nd and 23rd Aves), Richmond District;
tel: (415) 752-4440;
Classic postcard views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco from Conzelman Rd. in Marin Headlands. What makes a great view across water is land on the other side. The north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge looms over Battery Spencer. You can crawl inside World War II pillboxes at Battery 129/Hawk Hill. Marin pronunciation note: Ma-RIN.
Drive north on the Golden Gate Bridge (US 101) from San Francisco. Exit at Alexander Ave. (just north of bridge). Turn left and drive underneath US 101 and follow signs for Conzelman Rd. Pull over at several turnouts for scenic views. Conzelman Rd. is only one-way west of Battery 129/Hawk Hill (1.75 miles west of US 101).
(Click on Marin Headlands Pad Map (PDF))
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org