Set along the ocean, with hills in backdrop, it is the heart of West Coast. With some of the country’s best restaurants, it offers a fine dining experience to travellers. From Alcatraz to Golden Gate, every thing about San Francisco is a true charmer. This city of good times has had revolutions, business booms and even natural dooms, but has held its spirit in thick and thin of times. Victorian houses lined together, cable cars prowling the streets, and adventurous long hiking trails, have never failed to make travellers fall for the city. Not the greatest bonus, but you also get to smoke marijuana legally here. Living up to the traditional travellers, there are wide array of gardens, museums, and beaches. Here are top things to do in San Francisco.
Golden Gate Bridge – It is most iconic spots on West coast, and most photographed bridge on the planet. It connects San Francisco to Marin County. The postcard picture of bridge can be taken from Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point. There are also pedestrian and cyclist walkways for scenic strolls.
Fisherman’s Wharf – This waterfront community is popular for its shops, array of restaurants, and beautiful setting. Travellers flock here especially to Pier 39 for seafood, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, and Ripley’s Believe it or Not.Also worth clicking are sea lions sunbathing in docks.
Golden Gate Park – It is the Central Park of San Francisco, and lungs of the city. It is home to Trails, picnic spaces, playgrounds and museums. Most popular attractions are de Young Museum, California Academy of Sciences Museum, Japanese Tea Garden, and a Botanical Garden with 5000 species.
Alcatraz Island – This rocky island is popular for the former military and federal prison that has once housed Al Capone. It is accessible by ferry tour rides that include award winning audio commentary with voices of former inmates and prison guards. It is same prison from Hollywood flick ‘The Rock’.
Chinatown – SF City has four Chinatowns, the one on Grant Avenue is the largest one outside Asia. Its origin dates back to the great gold rush on West Coast. It is popular for authentic Chinese food, buying souvenirs, taking photos. Must visit is fortune cookie factory and see how they’re made.
Union Square – It is the shopping epicentre of city with array of shops, cafes, hotels, and a bustling nightlife scene. Round the year it is home to events, rallies, etc. When visiting on Christmas, you can also enjoy ice skating here. It also is popular for being a park with grassy spaces and palm trees.
Lombard Street – It refers to the single block of it between Leavenworth and Hyde. It has eight hairpin turns, flanked with beautiful flowers, with red brick pavement on its sides. It is also known as crookedest street. It is a perfect place for photo buggers and top of street offers excellent views of it.
Cable Cars – Riding iconic red, white & gold cable car is must in SF City. It is last manually operated cable car system in the world, and functions on three lines in the city. It is most used by tourists trying to experience something new. Getting a day pass from transport agency is a money saver.
Palace of Fine Arts – Originally built for the Panama Pacific Exhibition, this Greco Roman ruin has been home to tennis courts, military storage and now an art gallery. You will easily spot ducks, Swans, geese, in pond inside the complex. Round the year it hosts art exhibitions, performances.
Exploratorium – This experiential science museum that is all about hands on learning is one of best family attractions in SF City. Top attractions in here are labyrinth of Tactile Dome, magnetic sand sculptures, indoor tornados, 10,000-toothpick sculpture of San Francisco. It is favourite amidst kids.
Twin Peaks – Unarguably, it offers the best views (360 degree view) of the SF city and bay area. At height of 900 plus feet, it is uninhabited and perfect for drives with free parking on top, or hikes. At top of the peak there also is a park that exhibits the SF City history before it was developed.
Angel Island – It is the second largest island in SF Bay, and a state park. It is accessible by ferry ride. On island you can take an open air tram tour of the island, or choose to hike the island highest peak Mt. Livermore. It also has camp sites for longer stays, delicious food serving cafes and restaurants.
AT & T Park – It is home to the San Francisco giants, one of the most famous teams in league. They have won the World Series 8 times, last one in 2014. It is built on SF bay area and offers spectacular views. Watching a baseball match can be a great American experience, along with ballpark tour.
Museum of Modern Art – SF City MOMA is spread across 10 floors with 170,000 square feet of exhibition space housing photography, installations, video, performance art, digital art and industrial design. It has more than 29,000 pieces of work capable of intriguing anyone and everyone.
Walt Disney Family Museum – Located in Presidio, this 19th century brick building with 40,000 square feet of exhibition space is must visit for Disney lovers. The galleries exhibit Walt Disney’s early life, childhood, life through construction of Disneyland, awards he won, and historic drawings.
Life is short, and the world is wide!