San Francisco’s popularity has been built with its frequent choice as location for popular movie and television shows and made its landmarks recognisable worldwide. Tourism is the backbone of the San Francisco economy with more than 16 million visitors arriving in San Francisco every year and making Pier 39 near Fisherman’s Wharf the 3rd most popular tourist attraction in the USA.
The climate of San Francisco has made it ideal for outdoor activites with more than 320 km of bicycle paths and bike lanes throughout the city. Skateboarding has two homes in San Francsico at Marina Green & Embarcadero and on the San Francisco Bay its all about Sailing, Windsurfing and Kitesurfing.
The city’s Major League Baseball team “San Francisco Giants” can be found playing at AT&T Park just next to South Beach park which was opened in 2000 as part of a redevelopment of the area.
There are more than 200 parks within the San Francisco area but the biggest and best-known park is Golden Gate Park which reaches from the Pacific Ocean east to the centre of the city. The most famous of the national parks is the island of Alcatraz which is located 2.4km offshore from Pier 33.Alcatraz island which is often referred to as “The Rock” was officialy designated as a US Military Prision on the 21st March 1907, and the construction began on the main cell block in 1909 and was completed in 1912. Robert F Kennedy closed Alcatraz penitentiary on the 21st March 1963 and it has now no longer a federal prison but is still the site of the oldest operating lighthouse of the west coast of the USA.
The island of Alcatraz was declared as a National Historical Landmark in 1986 and has appeared a number of times in popular culture and media as official no prisoner has ever successfully escaped.