San Francisco is a colorful city, known for its diversity, hippies, the oldest gay scene in the USA, Alcatraz and the magnificent big red bridge. The city’s architecture is unique, full of diverse restaurants and bars with funky vibe scenes. Here are 14 things you definitely don’t want to miss when traveling to San Francisco.
1. Golden Gate Bridge
This magnificent wonder is San Francisco’s most famous and iconic landmark. Walk, bike or drive over it and enjoy views on both sides of it. One of the great viewpoints is Battery Spencer viewpoint, where you can take beautiful pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco in the background.
2. Lombard Street
This is the most crooked, spaghettiest street in the world. Driving can take a lot of time to get over it, but it’s an experience like no other. Walking next to it is also awesome, you really appreciate the curves and tight turns from nearby.
3. Alcatraz Island and Alcatraz
The Alcatraz tour is a must, the former federal prison was home to some of the worst criminals in the USA, such as Al Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly. It became a federal prison in 1934 and it was in use for 29 years. During its 29 years there were 14 escape attempts, but no known successful escapes. It was almost impossible to escape because of its location. This is one of the city’s most popular attractions, so we advise you book your tour ahead online.
4. The largest Chinatown in the country
San Francisco offers one of the biggest Chinatowns in the country, where you will find some great chinese restaurants. The area is crowded and chaotic most of the time, but well worth exploring.
5. Bay Bridge
A bridge connecting San Francisco with Oakland was built just six months before the Golden Gate Bridge. To get a great view of the bridge, head on to Pier 14.
6. Visit Fisherman’s Wharf and The Pier 39
This area is packed with tourists, street performers, various restaurants and bars and full of souvenir shops. Stop at the Pier 39 and enjoy watching sea lions chasing the sun. Fisherman’s Wharf also offers great views of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges as well as the Alcatraz Island.
7. The Palace of Fine Arts
The monumental structure – outdoor rotunda, is one of the favorite locations for weddings and wedding parties. Relax in the park or explore around this beautiful scenery.
8. Coit Tower
Head up to the top of the Telegraph Hill and for around $7 (6€) you can get to the top of Coit Tower, for some amazing views of the city.
9. Alamo Square Park with the Painted Ladies
This is a residential neighborhood and park, where you can enjoy various park activities. This neighborhood offers an amazing views of Victorian architecture of the Painted Ladies, mostly known from the American sitcom Full House.
10. Ride with the car cable cars
Just for a few dollars you can ride the steep streets of San Francisco with the help of cable cars from the pre-automotive age, built to drive passengers through slopes that were too steep for horses. You can see the wire in the ground, powering the cable car.
11. Golden Gate Park
This is the perfect way to enjoy a sunny day. Golden Gate Park is one of the largest urban parks in the world. The California Academy of Sciences is nearby as well as the de Young Museum, the San Francisco Botanical Gardens and more.
12. Ferry Building
This is the place to buy fresh produce on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays until 2.00 pm, from regional farmers. For a great view of the Ferry building and the Bay Bridge, you can visit the hotel across the street and head a few floors up for some great pictures!
13. Union Square
In the heart of downtown San Francisco, near the city’s Financial District is the Union Square. The park is surrounded by tall buildings where you can sit back, enjoy a coffee and observe the city’s busy atmosphere.
14. Twin Peaks
To get one of the best views of San Francisco, go to Twin Peaks. Twin Peaks is 922 feet (281 meters) high and it’s the second highest point in the city right after Mount Davidson. From the top, you’ll get unique views of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridge. We recommend that you hike or drive on top of it during the day and during the night. That way you’ll get the taste of both and some beautiful pictures. If you’re going to drive to the top, go just before sunset, to see San Francisco from it at night, it’s magical!
San Francisco is big and vibrant, it offers all kind of things to do and see, it is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. That is why it makes it a popular tourist attraction.
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