The neighbourhood of North Beach in San Francisco is one of the most popular places among locals and tourists alike because of its beauty, variety and character. With its Old World delicatessens, cafés and restaurants, it is fondly called the ‘Little Italy’ of San Francisco. In 2007, it was recognised as one of the Top 10 Great Neighbourhoods in America by the APA (American Planning Association). It is also a place of pilgrimage for the admirers of the Beat movement, who come here to seek the old hangouts Ginsberg and Kerouac. However North Beach has much more to offer, beyond poetry. Have a look at some of the top attractions in the North Beach.

Washington Square Park

Situated in one of the perfect settings, with Peter and Paul Church (where Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were photographed after getting married) in the backdrop and a number of eateries surrounding the site, Washington Square Park is perhaps the most popular public space in the North Beach main-town area. We recommend, getting a blanket along with a meal basket for a picnic with your family or partner. If you don’t want to carry a basket, you can always buy delicious street food from the eateries.

Coit Tower & Pioneer Park

Coit Tower & Pioneer Park provides one of the most splendid views of the city, especially during sunrise and sunset. This is one of the reasons it has become a favourite landmark among visitors and residents alike. It was donated by Lillie Hitchcock Coit in 1929 to make the skyline look more beautiful. Lillie Hitchcock Coit was considered to be unconventional as she used to run around North Beach wearing men’s clothing back then. Inside, you will find a mural which has been a part of Roosevelt’s Federal Art Project.

Columbus Tower/Sentinel Building

Since 1972, Sentinel Building has been home to Zoetrope Studios, belonging to Francis Ford Coppola, the famous film director who has directed cult classics such as ‘The Godfather’ trilogy. The copper green building is a significant place in the history of San Francisco and has many stories to tell. The notorious and corrupt character, Abe Ruef had his headquarters here. Later, the building was also transformed into a radio station and a recording studio, where the iconic Grateful Dead and Kingston Trio were recorded. Presently, there is a cafe, at the street level, where you can have a quick meal and head over to the Zoetrope screening room. If you are lucky, you may get the permission to see the place where Martin Sheen had recorded the voiceovers for “Apocalypse Now”.

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