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San Francisco


Today, we're taking a look at another one of the United States' iconic cities - San Francisco. This hilly city sits on a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay in Northern California - and since it's founding in 1776, it's evolved into a cultural, commercial, and financial center. With plenty of famous landmarks and attractions dotting the city - it's also one of the country's top tourist destinations as well.

We'll start the trip off in the city's Central Business District - with a number of the city's tallest buildings like Transamerica Pyramid, 555 California Street (formerly Bank of America Center), and 345 California Street in full view.


A view of San Francisco's stunning skyline at nighttime.


At the center of the city's skyline is the distinctive, pyramid shaped Transamerica Pyramid. Upon its completion in 1972, it was the world's 8th tallest building - and even though it's not the tallest skyscraper in the city anymore (since surpassed by the 1,070 ft. Salesforce Tower, completed this year), it's still the most iconic.


We venture out of downtown and onto the city's infamously hilly streets - and it gets especially steep on Lombard Street. This street is famously known for a one block stretch where it zigs and zags down the hillside - and these 8 hairpin curves have given it the title of "The Most Crookedest Street In The World". The crookedness serves a purpose, too - as it was intended to slow down vehicles and to reduce the steep gradient of the hillside, all while offering incredible views of the city.


Located northwest of Lombard is the stunning Palace of Fine Arts. Constructed in 1915 for the Panama-Pacific Exposition, this Greco-Roman palace and attraction - complete with a rotunda and columns - has remained one of the city's most popular landmarks ever since. Art exhibitions are still shown regularly, and it also serves as a park and popular wedding destination.


Our next destination can be found on top of the city's steep Telegraph Hill - the beautiful Coit Tower. Built as a gift from the late socialite Lillie Hitchcock Coit, this 210 foot tall art deco tower has remained an icon on the San Francisco skyline ever since its opening on October 8th, 1933.


For our next destination, we catch a ferry ride at Pier 33 to visit "The Rock" - Alcatraz Island. This small island in San Francisco Bay was developed in the mid 1800s with military fortifications, a lighthouse, and most famously - a prison. Once a small military prison, it quickly grew in size and served as a federal prison from 1934 to 1963, housing some of the country's most hardened criminals like Al Capone. The rugged terrain and frigid water made it the perfect place for inmates - and the unforgiving punishments handed out here gave it a harsh reputation. Although it's been abandoned for decades - it's still one of the city's most well known landmarks and tourist attractions.


The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is located in the heart of the city and is another one of the city's most distinctive landmarks - the current building was constructed in 1995 and houses some 33,000 pieces of artwork. It's one of the world's largest modern and contemporary museums - any visit here is sure to inspire the mind.


The earthquake of 1906 brought much devastation to San Francisco and its skyline - and the old city hall was one of its most prominent buildings brought to rubble.  The new San Francisco City Hall, re-opened in 1915, has remained an icon on the skyline ever since with its distinctive Beaux-Arts Dome rising 307 feet above the city.


Last but not least is the city's most iconic landmark - the legendary Golden Gate Bridge. This 8,981 foot long suspension bridge spans a narrow straight connecting San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean - and has been open for traffic since 1937. Despite the name, the bridge is actually painted in a brilliant "international orange" color, and it makes for a truly stunning sight, day or night.



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Previous Update: "U.S. Skylines"



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There is a stunt jump at the bridge an at the windy windy road...oops, sorry, other game. 

Yes, but it's because it's so recognizable. Again, nice work.

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Wow! Very beautiful !!!! Golden Gate in last picture is really amazing ! 


Nice work !

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You've done a fantastic job with San Francisco. DarkNite really brings out the best in lots, especially the City Hall. :thumb:

It's also nice to see the Maxis Coit Tower and Golden Gate Bridge in this entry.

This may have an obvious answer, but I must ask: is Lombard Street a prop, or is it actually a road that vehicles can drive on? I'd be really impressed if it's the latter.

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I remember driving at the roads of San Fran with my Audi TT on Midtown Madness 2. Good times *:D

Very beautiful recreation of the city you have here *:thumb:

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@Duco Heh, I was actually thinking of GTA a bit when I was doing the Lombard scene, along with the SF level in THPS1 (If anyone remembers that one). Glad you liked it *:)

@RobertLM78 Thank you very much! Lombard was definitely a scene I didn't want to leave out *;)

@etg-nc2nyc Thanks, glad you liked the Lombard scene! *:)

@tariely *:thumb:

@TekindusT Thanks for the comment! Surprisingly they weren't that bad - and the night lighting was actually pretty decent despite the fact they're over 15 years old!

@ESP15 Thank you very much, glad you liked the Golden Gate! *:)

@Androgeos Thanks for the comment! No, it's not functional unfortunately - the street is just a little model I made in 3dsmax. Would be cool though if I could find a way to make it functional and make a .gif out of it, but I'm not sure if it's possible.

@Terring Thanks for the nice words! Never owned the SF version of Midtown Madness - but your comment brought back some good memories from back in the day when I used to play the Chicago one all day long *:D

@The British Sausage Thank you very much! *:)

@tonyr Thanks for the nice words! *:)

@dabadon5 Thanks for the great comment *:lol: Glad you enjoyed *:thumb:

@JP Schriefer Thanks for the comment! I hope I'll be able to visit one day as well *:)

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