Top 10 Hidden Gems in San Francisco’s Financial District

 

We know finding the best places to see and experience in San Francisco’s Financial District can be difficult, so we put together this detailed list of the best of the best so you can make your choice wisely.  Each location gives its own unique flavor to the area that you should be sure to check out on your next visit! If you know another location that should also be included in our list - or one that should be removed - please let us know!

1.   The Transamerica Pyramid

600 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA, USA

About this location: This is a 48-story futuristic building and the second-tallest skyscraper in the San Francisco skyline is the Transamerica Pyramid at 600 Montgomery Street between Clay and Washington Streets in the Financial District of San Francisco, California, United States. From its completion in 1972 until 2018, when the newly built Salesforce Tower exceeded its height, it was the tallest building in San Francisco. The building no longer houses the Transamerica Corporation's headquarters, which has moved its U.S. headquarters to Baltimore, Maryland. However, by being represented on the logo of the company, the building is also connected to the company. This historic building is an amazing sight and a must-see for anyone new to San Francisco!

2.   The Ferry Building

1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA, USA

About: One of the famous landmarks in the Financial District is the Ferry Building. Designed by an American Architect named A. Page Brown in 1892, the building was  styled in Beaux Arts style and was completed in 1898. He was inspired to make such a design because of Seville’s Giralda bell tower from the 12th century. You’ll see that the Ferry building’s entire length in the front is centered on an arched arcade. Make your way into this lovely structure with a large clock tower that measures 245 tall and has four clock dials with a diameter of 22 feet. You’ll be amaze as you walk through the building  as you view a breathtaking scene of the Bay Bridge. What a great place for taking pictures, having a delicious meal, and hearing the calming soundwaves of the bay!

3.   Schroeder’s Restaurant

240 Front St, San Francisco, CA, USA

About: Schroeder’s Restaurant offers a Bavarian-inspired beer which is a favorite drink of San Francisco residents and business professionals since a hundred twenty years has passed. They provide a friendly environment in a convenient downtown location. Originally, the place was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire. Later on, it was built again by Henry Schroeder in 240 Front Street. Thi is first famous among male clients downtown but opened its doors to females in the 1970s. Until now, Schroeder’s has been popular for offering drinks and dining to Financial District customers. Andrew Chun and Jan Wiginton are the new owners who revitalized and remodeled the restaurant including a new exterior, interior detailing, and communal seating. They also introduced Chef Chris Borges modern, German menu.

4.   Exploratorium

Pier 15, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA, USA

About: Exploratorium wouldn’t be known if Frank Oppenheimer started everything. He is a professor, a high school teacher, a cattle rancher, and an experimental physicist at different times. He has the capability to create a “library of experiments” while doing other things like teaching at a university, enabling his students to investigate scientific concepts at their own pace, following their own interest. Frank created Exploratorium to inform the public regarding science and technology hoping that visitors will appreciate it while understanding what really happens around the world and learning things in nature.

5.   Wells Fargo Museum

420 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA, USA

About: Wells fargo museum is one of the spots where you can learn about history. You’ll know how Wells Fargo functions in the  California Gold Rush, San Francisco history, early California stagecoach travel, and the settlement of the American West. Located in the financial district of San Francisco, this place will let you experience a stagecoach, running antique banking machines, a working telegraph, videos, and authentic objects such as an original 1868 stagecoach, historic coins, money, maps, and photographs. You can enjoy interactive exhibits that are open to tourists of all ages. You can also buy Wells Fargo branded toys, collectibles, and accessories in the museum. Admission here is free and you can have advanced reservations and guided tours when you get there.

6.   Punch Line Comedy Club

444 Battery St, San Francisco, CA, USA

About: Punch Line San Francisco started its operation in 1978 where it once known as a dressing space for The Old Waldorf, a nearby rock club. Jonathan and Anne Fox, as well as Jeffrey and Patricia Pollack, created the place and later on sold to Bill Graham in 1980. It has progressively been reputable as a premier comedy club  for both performers and fans with the aid of House MC Bobby Slayton. The Pitbull of Comedy returns yearly as the headliner. They think that jokes can be told anywhere, but they are committed to the art of comedy while having an intimate atmosphere they provide for both performers and viewers. That’s how they win the hearts of reader’s votes and make a name of the Best Comedy Club in the San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Chronicle.

Punch Line San Francisco first opened its doors in 1978, in what was once a dressing space for The Old Waldorf, a nearby rock club. Jonathan and Anne Fox, as well as Jeffrey and Patricia Pollack, formed the venue, which was sold to Bill Graham in 1980. The Punch Line rapidly established itself as a premier comedy club for both performers and fans with the aid of House MC Bobby Slayton. Every year, the Pitbull of Comedy returns, but this time as the headliner, of course. Jokes can be told anywhere, but the Punch Line's commitment to the art of comedy and the intimate atmosphere it offers for performers and viewers helped us win readers' votes for Best Comedy Club in the San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Chronicle.

7.   Transamerica Redwood Park

600 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA, USA

About: In 1969, Transamerica Redwood Park was conceived by Thomas Galli. Later completed in 1972 with Pereira's Transamerica Pyramid Tower, the city's tallest structure. The place was once part of the Barbary Coast waterfront while being filled and finally settled by the Montgomery Block building before being demolished in 1959. They have planted 80 mature redwood trees brought from Santa Cruz Mountains. Now, fifty of the original trees remain that provide shade and a greenery scene in the middle of glass and steel skyscrapers. As you visit the park, you’ll see boulders, shrubs, and bermed planting beds with ferns and flowering plants.

Architect William Pereira delineated a half-acre property for a pocket park on the site plan for the Transamerica tower complex in San Francisco's Financial District. The park was conceived by Thomas Galli in 1969 and completed in 1972 alongside Pereira's Transamerica Pyramid Tower, the city's tallest structure. The site, which was once part of the Barbary Coast waterfront before being filled and finally occupied by the Montgomery Block building before being demolished in 1959, was planted with 80 mature redwood trees brought in from the Santa Cruz Mountains. In the midst of the area's glass and steel skyscrapers, fifty of the original trees remain, forming a shaded, green oasis. The park also contains boulders, shrubs, and bermed planting beds with ferns and flowering plants, in addition to the redwoods. It has exposed-aggregate concrete pavers and is protected by a tall steel fence with three gated entrances that are open throughout the week. A rough-edged, Cubist-inspired border is formed by the rectangular pavers.

8.   San Francisco Railway Museum

77 Steuart St, San Francisco, CA, USA

About: Try visiting the San Francisco Railway Museum which offers a ride to an antique rail transit in its “natural environment”. It is a few cities in the world that lets you experience old engines under your feet, enjoying the sway of cars itself and the brakes. Plan your trip after visiting “museums in motion” to make a great experience in San Francisco’s Financial District neighborhood. You can also see displays on the F Market & Wharves' vintage streetcars, and national landmark cable cars that are still functioning and running along the city’s streets. The museum is located across the street from the Ferry House,  at the intersection of Don Chee Way and Steuart Station. Admission is free.

 

San Francisco is one of the few cities in the world where you can ride antique rail transit in its "natural environment" — the rumble of the engines under your feet, the swaying of the car itself, the scent of the brakes. Visit the museum before or after your magical trip on the "museums in motion" to round out your experience. The San Francisco Railway Museum is a small railway museum in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood. This small museum includes displays on the F Market & Wharves' vintage streetcars as well as national landmark cable cars that still run along the city's main thoroughfares. The museum is across the street from the Ferry House, at the intersection of Don Chee Way and Steuart Station. The museum is free to enter.

9.   Portsmouth Square

City College of San Francisco, Chinatown / North Beach Campus 745 Kearny Street between Clay Street and, Washington St, San Francisco, CA, USA

About:  Portsmouth Square is a very popular destination and known as “Heart of Chinatown''. A lot of residents meet here to play football, practice tai chi, and 

socialize. The 1.3-acre plaza has a rich history with  statues, markers, and plaques in the area. You can see this on a full city block  bordered by Washington, Kearny, Clay and Walter U. Lum Place. There are two parts of the square. The upper level is where you’ll see large event spaces, seating areas, a playground, and a pedestrian bridge planned to become an elevated mini-park that connects to the Chinese Culture Center. On the lower level, you’ll see a playground, smaller gathering spaces, and an indoor clubhouse under the bridge. Basically, it’s a popular place for early-day activities.


The 1.3-acre plaza rests on a full city block bordered by Washington, Kearny, Clay and Walter U. Lum Place, named after a local advocate who fought for Chinese American rights. The square is divided into two levels. The upper level has large event spaces, seating areas, a playground and a pedestrian bridge planned to become an elevated mini-park that connects to the Chinese Culture Center. The lower level also has a playground, smaller gathering spaces and an indoor clubhouse under the bridge. The four-level Portsmouth Square parking garage is positioned under the square and accessed via Kearny Street. Pedestrians reach the plaza from all corners as well as from Clay and Washington streets.

10.  Embarcadero Center

San Francisco, CA, USA

About: One of the complexes in the Western United States is Embarcadero Center. It is one of the largest structures in downtown San Francisco. It has four building complexes with luxurious office space, hundreds of stores, restaurants, utilities, and modern multiplex cinema. They also have a fitness center on three levels. The 9.8-acre land is located in San Francisco’s Financial District surrounded by Clay (to the north), Sacramento (to the south), Battery (to the west), and the Embarcadero (to the east. During winter time, they have an outdoor ice skating rink. The place accommodates offices for 14, 000 people.

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