Most San Franciscans don't know who many of the local streets commemorate. For tourists, it's even more obscure. Here's your big chance to be the know-it-all when it comes to the streets of San Francisco. Below is a link to a list of every street in San Francisco which has been so named, and the full name of the person it recognizes.
So while you're scoping out the headquarters of Google at Spear Street and Folsom, take a hike around for some history.
Cesar Chavez Street, for the 1960's farm-worker activist
Henry Adams Street, for the 1970's founder of the Galeria and SF's design center
Isadora Duncan Lane, for the 1920's dancer who died tragically
Jack Kerouac Alley, for the 1950's beat author
Jack London Alley, for the famed writer who was born in Oakland and died in Sonoma
Junipero Serra Boulevard, for the fighting monk who established Mission Dolores
Mark Twain Lane, for the author who lived in SF briefly
Time to take a walk, see if you can find every street on this list!
Levi's Plaza, named after the founder of Levi's jeans
Levi's Plaza, named after the founder of Levi's jeans, is just off the Embarcadero. It's peaceful and pleasantly deserted. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Fisherman's Wharf area or Pier 39 this is just the place.
Waterfront SF Cannery
Find historic Ghirardelli Square, named after the chocolate maker. The Ghirardelli family were one of the Italian families that made San Francisco and North Beach the iconic, romantic, and unique places that they are today. The Italian influence lingers here in the bakeries, confectionaries, and churches of this great area.
Fr. Junipero Serra
Inside Mission Dolores, find the statue of Junipero Serra, the fighting monk. His name graces many historic places in California. Fr. Serra was created holding a sword in one hand and a cross in the other, emblematic of his dual role to conquer and convert the indigenous peoples of the region.
Find the Hashigawa Tea House inside Golden Gate Park. The Hashigawa family from Japan invented the 'Chinese" fortune cookie. The Hashigawa Tea Garden is the favorite spot of tea-lovers, particularly in spring when the gorgeous displays of rhododendron and azalea blooms carpet the walkways.
Google has taken up residence in a building located near where Jack Kerouac, the famed beat writer of "On the Road" is commemorated in an alley named after him. Google decided to have some fun with this coincidence, and made murals in honor of Kerouac.