After being shaken (and burned) to the ground by the great earthquake of 1906, San Francisco began to take its modern shape. Many of its most functional additions have become its most popular attractions. The Golden Gate Bridge, at the northern edge of the Presidio, was completed in 1937 and is visited by some nine million people annually. East of the bridge in the middle of the Bay, and flanked by the Bay Bridge, is Alcatraz (Golden Gate National Recreation Area), the infamous prison for ‘incorrigibles’, now a major visitor draw and worth the quick boat trip from Fisherman’s Wharf to see it.
Beyond the honky-tonk charm of the major attractions, San Francisco’s cultural cadre has much to brag about. Among them are the Museum of Modern Art, and the Palace of the Legion of Honor , which has a world-class collection and hosts top-notch exhibitions, and the Asian Art Museum , which has one of the largest collections of its kind in the Western world.