Pebble Beach, California

Pebble Beach is an unincorporated community on the Monterey Peninsula in California.

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The Pebble Beach Company was formed in 1919. The Lone Cypress tree features on their logo.

The Pebble Beach Company owns and operates the Pebble Beach Resorts and four golf courses – the Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, The Links at Spanish Bay and Del Monte Golf Course.

I visited the Pebble Beach Golf Links, which is home of many golf competitions, such as the U.S Open, PGA Championship and others. It is widely regarded on of the most beautiful golf courses in the world.

Pebble Beach Golf Links is located at 1700 17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach.

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Bird Rock, 17-Mile-Drive

Bird Rock is a site on Pebble Beach’s 17-Mile-Drive in California.

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Bird Rock is a granite rock that was shaped by wind and waves. It is home to wildlife including birds, harbor seals, and sea lions.

Originally bird rock was actually covered with four to five feet of bird droppings (guano) that around the 1930s was mined for fertiliser.

After the rock was cleaned the sea lions and seals move in.

During spring and summer, the rock is covered with cormorants, gulls, and pelicans. Also from November to March you may see migrating gray whales off the coast.

17-Mile-Drive is a scenic 17 mile (24 kilometre) loop road through Pebble Beach and the Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula. The road is owned and operated by the Pebble Beach Corporation and non-residents pay a toll fee. This can be reimbursed with $35 or more purchase at one of Pebble Beach Resorts restaurants.

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Lone Cypress, 17-Mile-Drive

The Lone Cypress is a single Monterey cypress tree on the coast of Pebble Beach, California.

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The tree stands on a hillside off 17-Mile Drive, and is often acknowledged as one of the most photographed trees in North America.

17-Mile-Drive is a scenic 17 mile (24 kilometre) loop road through Pebble Beach and the Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula. The road is owned and operated by the Pebble Beach Corporation and non-residents pay a toll fee. This can be reimbursed with $35 or more purchase at one of Pebble Beach Resorts restaurants.

The Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) only grows naturally at Pebble Beach and Point Lobos. The trees can reach heights of up to 20 metres (70 feet) and live about 300 years. The Lone Cypress is believed to be as old as 250 years.

The tree looks a bit different now as it lost its leftmost branch during a storm earlier this year in February.

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Cannery Row, Monterey

Cannery Row is a waterfront street in Monterey, California.

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The street was originally known as Ocean View Avenue and was nicknamed Cannery Row due to being the site of several sardine canning factories. In January 1958 the street was officially renamed Cannery Row to honour John Steinbeck and his well-known novel Cannery Row.

Today the street is lined with shops and eateries. The covered walkway that crosses overhead use to be used to carry fish from the factory to the warehouse.

On the northern end of Cannery Row is the Monterey Bay Aquarium (886 Cannery Row), one of the largest aquariums in North America. The non-profit public aquarium opened in 1984 on the site of Hovden Cannery, an old sardine cannery, which operated from 1916 to 1973.

Monterey is approximately 120 miles south of San Francisco and 320 miles north of Los Angeles.

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Moss Landing Harbor, California

Moss Landing is a small community on the shore of Monterey Bay, California.

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Moss Landing is 24 kilometres (15 miles) north-east of Monterey, so makes a perfect rest stop on trip from San Francisco to Monterey.

I stopped at Moss Landing Harbor Visitors Dock on the way to Monterey.

In 2007 a dock was installed, which has since been taken over by hundreds of sea lions. Similar to the sea lions, which famously overtook Pier 39 in San Francisco.

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San Francisco City Hall

San Francisco City Hall is the chief administrative building for the City and County of San Francisco.

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The original City Hall building was built 1899 and was much larger than the City Hall building that stands today. The 1899 building was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake.

Construction on the new City Hall building began in April 1913 and was completed in July 1926. It was designed by architect Arthur Brown Jr of Bakewell & Brown and cost $3.5 million.

The five floor building covers two full city blocks and has more than 555,000 square feet of space inside. It is architecturally impressive with its Roman-style columns, marble floors and staircase, and elegant lanterns.

It received a $293 million upgrade and seismic retrofit in 1998, which was much needed following the 1989 earthquake.

Interesting fact the structure’s dome is 42 feet taller than the US Capitol. Also Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio married at City Hall in 1954, and sadly Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated at City Hall in 1978 by former Supervisor Dan White.

San Francisco City Hall is open to the public Monday to Friday during business hours. It is at 1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Place (on Van Ness Avenue).

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Chinatown, San Francisco

Chinatown in San Francisco is the oldest and second largest Chinatown in North America.

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The official entrance to Chinatown is the Dragon Gate at the intersection of Bush and Grant Streets. A competition was held to design the gate, which was won by architect Clayton Lee, and landscape architects Melvin H. Lee and Joseph Yee. The materials were donated by the Republic of China (Taiwan) in 1969.

Chinatown is home to kitschy souvenir shops, antique dealers, art galleries, bakeries, authentic markets and restaurants. Its busy streets and alleyways are decorated with red lanterns, flags, and ornate Chinese-style decorations.

To learn more about Chinatown it is worth visit the Chinese Culture Center, a non-profit organisation, which was formed in 1965.

Chinatown consists of around 24 square blocks, it is bordered by Kearny, Broadway, Powell and Bush Streets.

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Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco (750 Kearny Street)

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Eastern Bakery (720 Grant Street)

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Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory (56 Ross Alley)

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Old Chinese Telephone Exchange (743 Washington Street)

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First Chinese Baptist Church (15 Waverly Place)

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Yee Fung Family Association Headquarters (131 Waverly Pl)

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Wong Family Benevolent Association (39 Waverly Place)

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Soo Yuen Benevolent Association (806 Clay Street)