Baker Beach, San Francisco

Baker Beach is a public beach on peninsula of San Francisco.

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It is a popular beach with its views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Swimming is not recommended at the beach because of the rough surf conditions and rips.

The beach is also a photo stop for those walking the cliffside Coastal Trail.

The northern section of Baker Beach nearest the bridge is considered a clothing optional beach.

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Muir Beach Overlook

Muir Beach Overlook is part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

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Muir Beach Overlook provides stunning views of the Pacific Ocean coastline and its rocky cliffs. Between the months of November and June you may be lucky and see migrating blue whales.

During World War II it was used as a site to watch for potential attacks following the bombing of Pearl Harbour. Several of the historic base-end stations remain.

Muir Beach Overlook is located north of Muir Beach on Highway One (State Route 1)

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Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco

The Conservatory of Flowers is a Victorian greenhouse and botanical garden located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

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The materials for the conservatory were purchased by businessman James Lick. He died in 1876 before construction could commence and the materials were sold by his estate. A group of businessmen purchased the materials and offered it as a gift to the City to be erected in Golden Gate Park.

The conservatory opened in 1879 making it the oldest building in Golden Gate Park. It is also the oldest wood-glass conservatory in North America. Its design is inspired by the Kew Gardens in London. The impressive wooden Victorian building has 16,800 window panes.

It houses nearly 2,000 plant species across five galleries – Aquatic Plants, Highland Tropics, Lowland Tropics, Potted Plants, and West Gallery.

The conservatory is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 4.30pm. It closes some public holidays; visit the website for full hours and pricing.

It is located at 100 John F Kennedy Drive.

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Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

The Palace of Fine Arts was constructed during the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, a world’s fair held in San Francisco.

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The Palace was designed by Bernard Maybeck in the style of Roman and Ancient Greek architecture. It is built around an artificial lagoon.

The structure was not built with durable materials as originally it was only intended to stand during the Exposition, which run from February 20th – December 4th, 1915.

Unlike many of the other buildings built for Exposition the Palace was saved. But due to its construction and vandalism it was in disrepair by the 1950s. In 1964 the structure was demolished and the Palace of Fine Arts was completely reconstructed.

Today it is a nice picnic spot or place to stroll. It is a very popular location for wedding photography.

The Palace of Fine Arts is located at 3301 Lyon Street.

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Coit Tower, San Francisco

Coit Tower is a 64 metre (210 foot) tower on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco.

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Coit Tower was paid for with a bequest from socialite and philanthropist Lillie Hitchcock Coit who died in 1929. The art deco concrete column tower was completed in 1933.

The interior features 27 murals painted in American Social Realism style by 26 artists.

It is free to enter the ground floor where many of the murals are located, but there are charges to take the elevator to the observation deck, which provides 360 degree views of San Francisco.

The tower is open April – October from 10 am to 6pm, and 10 am to 5 pm November to March. Last ticket is sold 30 minutes before closure.

Coit Tower is located at 1 Telegraph Hill Boulevard in Pioneer Park.

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