5.4 Miles in North Beach
This big pretzel of a walk through North Beach (plus a bit of the Warf and a bit of Waterfront) filled in multiple gaps in my master map and offered a variety of views from the Bay to some decent peeks at Coit Tower. While not the most exciting of walks, it does start off at Pier 39 for an energy boost of tourist entertainment. Here we go!
I'm not a huge fan of tourist traps but there is something about the loud speaker entertainers and smells of seafood and sourdough that get your blood pumping before a long walk. The first few turns of this walk zig through Fisherman's Warf and a few of the interior tourist streets. The rest of the walk is primarily residential.
Because this neighborhood is wedged between the Warf and Coit Tower, it has a lot of tourists parking and walking in either direction. Despite the extra traffic, the area still feels fairly cozy and safe.
Is this area walkable? Very. For the most part the roads are wide and flat. The sidewalks are adequate and the area feels generally safe.
The Powell & Mason cable car turnaround is in this neighborhood so you can use the cable cars to get in and out of this area without needing to park a car.
My mom joined me for a large chunk of this walk, cutting some of the corners as I zigged and zagged. It was nice bumping back into her as I'd make the turn on another leg of the walk.
Of all the public recreational centers in the City, the Joe Dimaggio is arguably the most beautiful. It has views of Coit Tower and the Saints Peter and Paul Church which rings gorgeous bells throughout the day. The park offers multiple surfaces for tennis, bocci and basketball, as well as a playground and swimming pool. It does NOT, however, offer public bathrooms for passersby like myself. Instead I discovered a tolerably clean public restroom in the NorthPoint Centre (with the Safeway inside) on Mason and Bay.
Fun fact: While Joe Dimaggio spent his baseball career with the New York Yankees, he was actually a San Francisco native, growing up in this very North Beach neighborhood. His dad worked on the warf as a fisherman.
Another fun fact: Fior d' Italia is the oldest Italian Restaurant in the United States, opening its doors on 1886. It's located under the San Remo Hotel on the corner of Chestnut and Mason. I see now they offer gluten free pasta so I'm adding it to my must-try list for the next time I'm in town.
I hope you enjoyed the last four walks I took while in town in November. Not sure when I'll get back to the City again, but when I'll do, I'll keep on walking. :)