Trace the past. Europe might have a gnarled leg up on the New World when it comes to historic ruins that you can wander among, but San Francisco has the Sutro Baths (above), built in the late 1800s as a private swimming complex and now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Start at the Cliff House and hike around this haunting remnant of a long-ago time.
City view. Even jaded locals love to visit Coit Tower, completed in 1933 with funds left to the city by heiress Lillie Hitchcock Coit. The observation deck, atop a slender concrete column rising from Telegraph Hill, affords a 360-degree panorama, including the Golden Gate and Bay bridges. Inside, the walls are graced with murals depicting scenes of the Great Depression, painted in 1933 by local artists.
Drawn and lauded. Fans of cartoons in all their permutations -- political jabs, comic books, graphic novels, Sunday funnies -- will love the Cartoon Art Museum. More than 6,000 pieces are in the collection, an extensive library is on-site and the museum regularly features a cartoonist in residence.
Illustration: © DC Entertainment
Hint of Garlic. The scent lingers after dining at the Stinking Rose, where garlic is the main ingredient. Order the Dungeness Killer Crab in the restaurant's secret sauce, or prime pork chop with a sweet garlic relish and caramelized apples.
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