5 Can’t Miss San Francisco Architectural Landmarks

palace of fine arts

San Francisco is unmatched when it comes to its sheer wealth of architectural landmarks. From towering monuments created by generous philanthropists or the city to those grandiose businesses and residence formed from wealth, San Francisco landmarks show the iconic structures and styles of the city

Here are the top 5 San Francisco Landmarks that you should visit when you come to the city.

Coit Tower

by Gregory Jordan

One of the five San Francisco landmarks that you shouldn’t miss is the Coit Tower. This tower was constructed in 1933 through the use of funds left by Lillie Hitchcock Coit, a wealthy resident of San Francisco and patron of arts. The Coit Tower is 210 ft. tall and it is located on the Telegraph Hill’s top. It provides the neighborhood of North Beach a fascinating backdrop and offers the best landscapes and views of San Francisco Bay if you go to the tower’s observation deck.

San Francisco Victorian Houses

Victorian houses are the counterpart of Brooklyn’s Brownstones, and you can see them from block to block in some neighborhoods in San Francisco. They have extreme ornamentation that you may see and think of them as whimsical. They are hand-crafted using the pest and fire resistant tree called the redwood which grows in the northern coast of California. There are Victorian homes that are open for the public, while some are not and you can just simply enjoy them from outside. These Victorians are one of the San Francisco landmarks that show the resilient spirit of the city.

Where to see Victorian houses in San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury District.

Palace of Fine Arts

palace of fine arts
by James the photographer

This was erected for the 1915 Panama-Pacific exposition is a duplicate of a temple in Ancient Greece which whisks and overpowers visitors away into that era. This is one of San Francisco landmarks and is considered as one of the romantic places in the area. The park and the buildings that surround it are full of couples, children and picnickers who come to relax in the science museum within the complex.

Pro tip: Don’t miss the Exploratorium, a hands-on science museum and a delight for visitors of all ages.

Mission Dolores

This is one of oldest San Francisco landmarks located at the Dolores Park and among the most northern Spanish missions which once dotted the country down to the place called Patagonia. Inside Mission Dolores was erected in 1776. It also holds some key artifacts dating from early California and San Francisco history. The Basilica of Mission Dolores which is located right at the next door from Mission Dolores is a Catholic church which was constructed in 1913. The Catholic church is also a very interesting architectural structure in the area for its ornate details which is of Baroque Spanish origin and styles.

Pro tip: The highest point of Dolores Park provides one of the best viewpoints of downtown San Francisco. Worth the uphill walk up the block.

Grace Cathedral

by StartAgain

The Grace Cathedral is the version of the Notre Dame of Paris, France which crowns the Nob Hill just like an elegant and beautiful queen. The features of the Gothic Cathedral include an amazing glasswork, gargoyles that resemble a dragon and bronze doors from the Renaissance era. It is also on the line of the cable car which makes it easy for you to visit from the Fisherman’s Wharf and downtown area.

Pro tip: If you’re going to Chinatown and/or North Beach, Grace Cathedral is only a short detour.

These are the San Francisco landmarks that you should not fail to visit if ever you have to visit the place. You have to see these San Francisco landmarks as your visit would not be complete if you neglect to see them for yourself.

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