Columbus Ave, San Francisco
My latest exploration takes me along Columbus Avenue in San Francisco. Columbus may be a very familiar and well known street to most people. It runs diagonal across San Francisco from the Fisherman’s Wharf to the Financial District ending at Montgomery.
It is interesting that the only information on the internet that I found about Columbus Ave was on Wikipedia and a Via (CSAA) article written by Camille Cusumano in June 2004.
I use Columbus Avenue as a major street artery that connects me to many diverse points of interest crossing from Market to Fisherman's Wharf. Columbus goes through the North Beach neighborhood (although you won't see a beach today) where there is an Italian influence by Washington Square. It is situated between Russian Hill and Telegraph Hill (where Coit tower is).
You may view one of the crookedest streets, Lombard St., and easily roam into Chinatown and the Financial District by the Pyramid Building. This area is packed with lots of history – from the old Barbary Coast (1800’s) to the Beat Generation (1950s) and writers like Jack Kerouac. Be careful if you are driving, you will find confusing five and six way intersections. Originally part of Montgomery Ave, the street was changed to Columbus in honor of the Italian population.
Walking Tour Starts at Fisherman's Wharf
I think the best way to experience Columbia Ave is by a walking tour. Start at Fisherman’s Wharf (at the sign in my picture) and I predict you will not be able to go the full length without stopping at cafes, restaurants, book stores, bakeries, and even nightclubs. I really don’t want to recommend one over the other as you discover each one on your own. I found a fabulous little neighborhood restaurant with great pizza after watching Beach Blanket Babylon.
Five Recommends Sightseeing:
- City Lights Bookstore
- Francis of Assisi – The city’s namesake which also contains a small reproduction of Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi
- Sts. Peter and Paul Church (Washington Square) – This is where Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe came for photos after they were married at City Hall.
- Stinking Rose Restaurant, 325 Columbus Ave, (415) 781-767 (Delicious! if you like garlic)
- Beach Blanket Babylon – One of a kind San Francisco theater, never boring (415) 421-4222 Open Wednesday - Sunday