Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Favorite Walking Tour on Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA

Columbus Ave, San Francisco

It is fun to walk along Columbus Avenue in San Francisco. Columbus Avenue is 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. 

With little written about this street, I did find information on Wikipedia and a Via (CSAA) article written by Camille Cusumano, June 2004

I use Columbus Avenue as a major street artery that connects to many diverse points of interest crossing from Market to Fisherman's Wharf.  Columbus goes through the North Beach neighborhood (although there is not a beach here today) where there is an Italian influence by Washington Square.  It is situated between Russian Hill and Telegraph Hill (near Coit tower).

You may view one of the crookedest streets, Lombard Street, and easily wander 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 when driving, you will find some confusing five and six way intersections.  This street is an original part of Montgomery Ave, the street was changed to Columbus in honor of the Italian population.

Walking Tour Starts at Fisherman's Wharf

The best way to experience Columbia Avenue is by walking.  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.

My Insider Secrets
  • City Lights Bookstore
  • Francis of Assisi – The city’s namesake which also contains a small reproduction of Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi
  • St. 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
Disappointed:  I am sad to report the Joe DiMaggio’s Restaurant, a icon within North Beach, is now closed (October 2010). There were very elegant leather booths and interesting DiMaggio artifacts. I will miss their delicious food! 

Experience the different flavors on this walking tour down Columbus Ave. in San Francisco! 

Off the beaten path in local communities ~ The Fun Tour Guru 

Please share with us your favorites in this neighborhood!

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(Before I head into my next story, I am excited to announced my new home - internet address of which will be available across the internet in 2-3 days. No worries, you will be redirected from the old address. It is official, as the Fun Tour Guru, you may wander with me off the beaten path. I look forward to my goal of writing about many local communities – if you are a member of Tourism or Marketing agencies, please contact me to line up opportunities.)

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