49-Mile Scenic Drive: San Francisco Tourist Route

49-Mile Scenic Drive: San Francisco Tourist Route

Last updated: 06/17/2019

Have you heard of 49-Mile Scenic Drive? If you are planning to visit the city of San Francisco, you need to keep an eye on this curious name! It is a planned route with the main points to discover this beautiful city! Let's get to know a little more and know what are the recommended attractions?


The 49-Mile Scenic Drive is a scenic route through the city of San Francisco. It was created in 1938 to showcase the city's main attractions and natural beauty during the Golden Gate International Exposition (1939-1940), held at Treasure Island. The purpose of this Exhibition was to celebrate, among other things, the city's two newly built bridges: the Bay Bridge, bridge connecting San Francisco to Oakland, which opened in 1936; and the Golden Gate Bridge, which connects San Francisco to Sausalito, opened in 1937. The first route started at San Francisco City Hall and ended at Treasure Island. However, it has been modified several times since then, and despite the name, the current route is 46.3 miles (74.5 km) long, as shown in the map below the website. San Francisco Travel.


San Francisco is not a cheap city. If you intend to visit several attractions that have paid admission, the tip is to purchase one of the activity cards that include tickets to several attractions at a price well below that if you were to buy them individually at the box office. Discover 7 of the main options:

GO SAN FRANCISCO CARDThis card saves you up to 60% on 28 of the city's top attractions and tours, including the hop-on hop-off bus! You even have discounts and special offers in stores and restaurants! The card is available in 1, 2, 3 or 5 day versions. Price: from US$ 78

SAN FRANCISCO CITYPASSThis pass includes tickets to famous attractions and lots of discounts! The pass includes: 3 days unlimited transport by Cable Car and Muni, admission to the California Academy of Sciences, admission to a boat cruise across the bay, access to the San Francisco Aquarium and admission to either the Exploratorium or the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Price: from US$ 94

SAN FRANCISCO MEGA PASSThis pass includes 3, 4 or 5 options from over 20 tours and attractions in San Francisco. It is valid for 7 days and gives you the freedom to create your own itinerary. Price: from US$ 79.99

THE SAN FRANCISCO SEIGHTSEEING PASSChoose 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 attractions and visit them at your own pace over a period of 30 days. There are more than 20 attractions to choose from! Price: from US$ 54

SAN FRANCISCO FISHERMAN'S WHARF PASSAdmission to 5 iconic attractions in the Fisherman's Wharf area, including the Aquarium, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, 7D Experience, The San Francisco Dungeon and a Bay Cruise. Price: from US$ 90

IVENTURE CARDTake must-see tours, see attractions and enjoy San Francisco day cruises for a much lower price! The card includes a 48-hour Hop-On Hop-Off ticket and 2 or 4 attractions to choose from. Check details in versions of 3 days or 5 days. Price: from US$ 65

PIER 39 ATTRACTION PASSThe pass includes admission to the Aquarium, Bay Cruise, 7D Experience, 48-hour Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket, Magowan Infinite Mirror Labyrinth admission, and Pier 39 discounts and coupons. Price: from US$ 90.95

Read more: California: What to do in San Francisco – 5-Day Itinerary



Based on the route above, to help identify each of the attractions in the city of San Francisco that we will talk about later, we made a little map with the location of each of them:

  1. CIVIC CENTERThe Civic Center includes San Francisco City Hall, Administrative Buildings, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Museum of Asian Art, City Library and Performing Arts Center buildings: Davies Symphony Hall, War Memorial Opera House and Herbst Theatre.

    49-Mile Scenic Drive: San Francisco Tourist Route
    Civic Center region, with a temporary exhibition in front of City Hall
  2. CATHEDRAL HILL: District of the city in which Saint Mary's Cathedral is located, at the junction of Geary St. and Gough St.
  3. THE FILLMORE: Called the “Harlem of the West”, The Fillmore is a hip district with many restaurants, clubs and galleries. In the region is also “The Fillmore Auditorium”, a historic concert hall.
  4. JAPANTOWNJapantown is a neighborhood that occupies 6 city blocks. In the Japantown area there are many shops, restaurants, several theaters and two hotels. The Japan Center's Peace Square, the area's most famous shopping mall, is the focal point for many festivals.
  5. UNION SQUAREThis 1.1 hectare square is located in the center of town between Geary, Powell, Post and Stockton streets. Union Square is San Francisco's main square, where many celebratory events take place. In addition, the region is super commercial and has many shops and restaurants.
  6. CHINATOWNSan Francisco's Chinatown area begins at the Chinatown Gate at the intersection of Grant Avenue and Bush Street. in the region there is a Chinese Historical Museum, many shops and typical food restaurants.

    49-Mile Scenic Drive: San Francisco Tourist Route
    Decorated street in Chinatown
  7. NOB HILL: Nob Hill is a neighborhood in the city that sits at the intersection of California and Powell streets. Highlights in the area include the Gothic Grace Cathedral, Huntington Park and the Masonic Center.
  8. CABLE CAR MUSEUMWant to know how the San Francisco cable cars work? This is just the place. Inside, visitors can see the machinery that makes the cable cars work. Also on display are various mechanical devices, trucks, cables and brake mechanisms with corresponding explanations.
  9. PORTSMOUTH SQUAREThis is a historic site near the Chinatown area. Today, the square is considered a part of the neighborhood, earning it a nickname “Heart of Chinatown”. The park has many historic landmarks and statues.
  10. JACKSON SQUAREJackson Square is a square that concentrates several preserved mansions from the 19th century, which today house antique dealers, art galleries, gift shops, among others.
  11. NORTH BEACH: North Beach is a neighborhood in San Francisco that is a true “Little Italy” as it historically has a large population of Italian origin. North Beach is one of San Francisco's premier nightlife districts, as well as a residential neighborhood inhabited by a mix of young urban professionals, families and Chinese immigrants linked to nearby Chinatown.
  12. COIT TOWERLocated on Telegraph Hill, Coit Tower is a tower with an observation deck that provides a beautiful panoramic view of the city when the weather cooperates. (1 Telegraph Hill Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94133)
  13. PIER 39: The most famous and touristy Pier in San Francisco is full of restaurants, shops and offers an incredible view of the bay, including Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. In addition, the place is a meeting point for sea lions and houses an aquarium. Read more: San Francisco: Things to do at Pier 39
  14. FISHERMAN'S WHARF: The “Fisherman's Wharf” is a place with many options of seafood restaurants, tour boats, historic boats and many gift shops.
  15. ALCATRAZ: The famous island that used to be a maximum security prison, is currently one of the most visited tourist attractions in the city. Tickets need to be booked well in advance. Read more: San Francisco: Tips for visiting Alcatraz Island

    Alcatraz Island, which housed a maximum security prison
  16. MARITIME NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARKClose to Fisherman's Wharf is Hyde Street Pier, a site with historic vessels and the Maritime Museum.
  17. THE CANNERY: The Cannery on Del Monte Square, an inviting three-level restaurant that was once a cannery, is now packed with shops, galleries and restaurants. (2801 Leavenworth St, San Francisco, CA 94133)
  18. GHIRARDELLI SQUARE: A collection of red-brick buildings that served as a chocolate factory, it is now a charming restaurant and shopping center with outdoor seating and ocean views.
  19. RUSSIAN HILL: Russian Hill is a hilltop region of San Francisco that provides panoramic views of the bay. Here is the famous and winding Lombard Street with its 9 super sharp curves.
  20. UNION STREET: A street lined with Victorian-style houses that house art galleries, antique shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs.
  21. FORT MASON: Fort Mason is an area that is home to a large park that anchors a number of museums, theaters and galleries and is a staging area for special events.
  22. MARINA GREEN: A great waterfront for leisure and a good place to watch yacht activities. Crissy Field also offers beautiful views of San Francisco Bay.
  23. PALACE OF FINE ARTS: Built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, it was restored to its original glory and currently houses a theater.
  24. PRESIDIO: It is a recreational area of 16 thousand m², with a beautiful view of the ocean and houses the Disney Family Museum. Read more: San Francisco: Disney Family Museum
  25. FORT POINT: An old military fort that sits directly under the Golden Gate Bridge, offering an unusual view of both the bridge and the bay. Read more: Fort Point: The Fort under the Golden Gate Bridge
  26. GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE: It is the main attraction and a great symbol of the city, because it is simply the most beautiful suspension bridge in the world! O Toll is charged only in the Sausalito-San Francisco direction Read more: San Francisco: The amazing Golden Gate Bridge

    49-Mile Scenic Drive: San Francisco Tourist Route
    The iconic Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco's postcard
  27. CHINA BEACH: It is a beach with a strip of more than 180 meters of sand, great for sunbathing, swimming and picnics.
  28. LEGION OF HONORIt is a beautiful museum with masterpieces of European art from medieval times to the 20th century, many Rodin bronzes, engravings and drawings. (100 34th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121)
  29. OCEAN BEACH: With a privileged view of the Golden Gate Bridge, this beach has lots of sand and overlooks the small rocky islands called Seal Rocks. It is not recommended to swim in the region because it is very dangerous due to the sea currents.
  30. SAN FRANCISCO ZOO: The San Francisco Zoo is home to over a thousand fascinating animals like birds, gorillas, penguins and more. (1 Zoo Rd, San Francisco, CA 94132)
  31. LAKE MERCED: A beautiful lake very used in the summer for both boating and fishing.
  32. SIGMUND STERN GROVE: It is a recreation site of 130 thousand m2, which hosts open-air concerts and plays.
  33. GOLDEN GATE PARK: It is a huge park with lots of green area, outdoor activities and several attractions in downtown San Francisco. Read more: San Francisco: 10 attractions in Golden Gate Park

    Map of the huge Golden Gate Park
  34. JAPANESE GARDEN: Beautiful Japanese garden located inside the Golden Gate Park that houses a huge variety of plants and flowers. Read more: San Francisco: The Japanese Garden at Golden Gate Park
  35. MUSEUMS AT THE GOLDEN GATE PARK: Golden Gate Park is home to beautiful museums such as the California Academy of Sciences, considered the “greenest” museum in the world, and the Young Museum of Art, with a collection of works from the 17th to the 21st century. Read more: 10 amazing museums in San Francisco
  36. FLOWER CONSERVATORY: Founded in 1879 and located within Golden Gate Park, this flower conservatory is home to rare plant species from around the world. (100 John F Kennedy Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118)
  37. TWIN PEAKSThese are two hills that provide a beautiful view of the city of San Francisco. (501 Twin Peaks Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94114)
  38. MISSION DOLORES: It is one of 21 Catholic missions installed in California by the Spaniards. Read more: The 21 Spanish Missions in California.

    49-Mile Scenic Drive: San Francisco Tourist Route
    San Francisco de Asís Mission (Dolores Mission). Photo: californiamissionguide.com
  39. BAY BRIDGE: Two-story bridge connecting the city of San Francisco to the city of Oakland. The toll is only charged in the Oakland-San Francisco direction.
  40. FERRY BUILDINGIt is a passenger terminal from where ferries depart to other parts of the Bay Area, which houses a delicious market with fresh produce from local producers, cheeses, wines and a few restaurants.

    49-Mile Scenic Drive: San Francisco Tourist Route
    Ferry Building
  41. EMBARCADERO CENTERComplex of 8 buildings with several restaurants and shops.
  42. MONTGOMERY STREET: This street is the heart of San Francisco's Financial Center, with skyscrapers and many banks.
  43. SAN FRANCISCO VISITORS CENTERDo you have any questions, want printed maps or tour tips? The San Francisco Visitor Center is willing to help all tourists in 14 different languages. (900 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102)
  44. YERBA BUENA GARDENSThis is an area full of cultural attractions that include the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Metreon, Children's Creativity Museum and a playground. There are several other museums in the nearby areas. (750 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103)
  45. MOSCONE CENTER: It is a gigantic space that houses various types of exhibitions. (747 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103 – 5th floor)
  46. MODERN ART MUSEUMnewly opened after years of renovation, it has a huge collection spread over 7 floors of exhibitions and has come to be considered the largest in the world in modern art. (151 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94103)
  47. AT&T PARKhome of the San Francisco Giants baseball team, provides a beautiful view of the bay from the bleachers. The stadium offers guided tours for the public. (24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94107)

    49-Mile Scenic Drive: San Francisco Tourist Route
    AT&T Park baseball stadium
  48. SPORTS ARENAS: They include the former San Francisco Giants Candlestick Park stadium and the Cow Palace indoor arena, which hosts various sporting events, concerts and entertainment events.
  49. SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTIt is the main airport in Northern California.

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Read more about San Francisco:

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