Set along the ocean with rolling hills and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Best Things to Do in San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the United States and one of the jewels of Northern California. The city is full of history, great neighborhoods, parks, beaches, museums, and a whole host of entertainment options.
Some of the most notable attractions beyond the famous bridge are the historic Alcatraz Island and Fisherman’s Wharf. In the center of the city is Golden Gate Park, a huge green space with all kinds of things to do. San Francisco’s Chinatown, the largest of its kind in North America, is definitely worth a visit. For an interesting tour of the city, hop on one of the historic cable cars. Which stop at many of the city’s top sites.
1 Major Tourist Places of San Francisco Gate Bridge Facts
The Golden Gate Bridge is a California icon overlooking the San Francisco Bay. It is the most photographed site in the city, with an orange structure supported by blue water. Or in many cases, peaking through a low-lying cloud. At night, the floodlight structure is equally striking.
Further north, the Golden Gate Bridge, connecting North Francisco with Maryland County. Other districts, was, at one time, a U.S. border crossing in the United States. The largest man-made sight was named by the travel service. Opened on May 28, 1937, the bridge took four years to build. The time of its completion, was the longest suspension bridge in the world, measuring nearly two miles long.
Places to visit near San Francisco
If you want to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, the road is US Hwy 101, or SR 1, and both sides of the bridge are open to pedestrians and cyclists.
The walk begins at the beginning of the bridge (accessible by the Presidio Shuttle) and ends with a viewpoint in Marin County.
Many locals enjoy biking across the bridge to the nearby waterfront town of Sausalito. There is pedestrian access on the east sidewalk; Bicycle access is on the East and West Sidewalks. The bridge is open to pedestrians and cyclists only during daylight hours.
For a spectacular view of the bridge, or for anyone interested in photographing the bridge, there are several ideal vantage points. From the San Francisco side, Nob Hill, known for its posh old mansions, offers some beautiful views over the bridge.
Another good spot is the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, in Marin County, on the opposite side of the bridge. Also, if you are planning to go on a tour of Alcatraz. There are completely open views from the boat and the island.
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2 Things to do on Alcatraz Island
The historic and infamous Alcatraz Penalty, located on Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay, is one of America’s most notorious prisons. It operated to close in 1963 and to reopen approximately as a tourist attraction in 1973. Some of America’s most famous criminals were held captives here. Including Al Birdman and Al Birdman, who would later form the basis of the fictional film The Birdman of Alcatraz.
You can take a ferry to the island and tour the site while listening to an extraordinary audio recording that provides a glimpse of life in prison rather than a historical list of facts. It is also recited by former prisoners and guards of Alcatraz.
Attractions near San Francisco
During its 30-year existence, the penal code received a total of 1,576 convictions. There were never more than 250 at any one time, even though 450 cells were about 10 feet x 4 feet apart. At times the number of guards and staff was more than the number of accused.
While most people come for the history or novelty of seeing a former prison, the island is now a prime area for seabird nesting.
An easy, convenient, and time-saving way to see Alcatraz and some of San Francisco’s other highlights, like Fisherman’s Wharf , Chinatown. The Golden Gate Bridge , is to take the combined Alcatraz and San Francisco City Tour. If you only have one day to explore the city, and Alcatraz is on your must-see list, this guided tour is the best option. Alcatraz regularly sells out, so booking in advance is strongly advised.
3 Hotels in San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf
One of San Francisco’s most popular tourist areas is Fisherman’s Wharf. If this is your first visit to the city and you only have a day or two to see the sights, Fisherman’s Wharf is a good place to start.
This old section, once a part of San Francisco’s Little Italy. This is an area known for its shops, restaurants, and beautiful setting along the waterfront. It’s a fun place to walk around and get a taste for the city. From here, you can also go sightseeing for great views of the city, or organize a fishing charter.
Some of the main attractions in the area are the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and Ghirardalli Square . Restored 19th- and 20th-century ships line the waterfront at the Hyde Street Pier. Which is now the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park . The USS Pampanito, a National Historic Landmark. This is a WWII submarine and part of the San Francisco Marine National Historical Park. Pier 39 , located in this common area, is home to over 130 stores and unique places to eat. It also provides great views looking back over the city.
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4 Attractions near San Francisco Cable Car
Cable cars were introduced in 1873 to help locals struggle with the city’s many hills. Today, the few remaining cable cars offer tourists a great way to explore the city in historic fashion. Since 1964, these tram-like vehicles have had the unique distinction of being the only public transport system to be declared a historical monument.
Powell-Mason and Powell-Hyde are the most scenic routes. The cable car will also take you to major attractions such as Fisherman’s Wharf , Ghirardalli Square , The Ferry Building , Knob Hill , and Lombard Street., If you are planning on more than a few rides or are going to go sightseeing for a few days, you should consider purchasing a pass.
Official Site: http://www.sfcablecar.com/
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5 Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park, home to gardens and museums, is a lush green space in the heart of San Francisco, often considered the “lungs” of the city. Before development began in 1871, it was an area of dry dunes. Today, the park features a network of walking trails and cycling paths, more than 5000 different types of plants and dozens of species of trees, several lakes, bridle paths, and a buffalo paddock. Main attractions include the de Young Museum , the California Academy of Sciences Museum with Steinhart Aquarium , the Japanese Tea Garden , and the San Francisco Botanical Garden .
Golden Gate Park is one of those places that can easily take just a few hours as long as a few days. Bike rentals are available, and this can be a good way to explore the park, rather than trying to do everything on foot. Alternatively, try an organized Segway tour with a local guide and hit all the major highlights.
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6 Places to visit in San Francisco Chinatown
You may have been to Chinatowns in other cities, but San Francisco’s Chinatown is another area. It is both the largest Chinatown outside Asia and the oldest of its kind in North America. Almost completely destroyed in the earthquake of 1906, Chinatown was completely rebuilt in Chinese style and was even more attractive than before the disaster.
Now with its temples, theatres, workshops, small businesses, shops, antique and souvenir shops, teahouses and traditional pharmacies, Chinatown has become one of San Francisco’s major landmarks.
If you are traveling through San Francisco during an important Chinese holiday or event, So you can expect to see an elaborate celebration. Chinese New Year celebrations are often considered the best in North America. The main street in Chinatown for tourists is Grant Avenue with the Chinatown Gateway on Grant Avenue and Bush Street.
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7 Interesting Facts about San Francisco Army of Honor
An impressive Neoclassical Beaux-Arts building in a wonderful setting, the California Palace of the Legion of Honor is San Francisco’s most exquisite museum. The Legion of Honor was a gift from socialite, philanthropist, and patron of the arts alma de Bretteville Spreckels.
Because of his love for all things Paris, the museum was designed as a replica of the Palais de la Légion d’Honneur in Paris. The Legion of Honor Museum houses a spectacular collection of Mediterranean and Nearby Antiquities, as well as European decorative arts, sculpture, and paintings.
Attractions near San Francisco
The museum is in Lincoln Park , a gorgeous green space with a golf course and coastal woodlands and a wonderful place for a leisurely walk. Outside the museum, visitors can follow the path along Lincoln Highway, which has spectacular ocean vistas and viewpoints right over the Golden Gate Bridge. Those who want a more adventurous hike can hike the Land’s End Trail . This winding cliff trail in a wooded, rugged terrain provides Pacific Ocean views and panoramas of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Official Site: https://legionofhonor.famsf.org
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8 Tourist Places in California Academy of Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences, in Golden Gate Park, is an architectural marvel as well as a multidisciplinary museum. This state-of-the-art “green” building with a sustainable design features a 2.5-acre living roof, covered with native plants and even rolling hills to match the natural landscape. The roof also has solar panels to generate electricity, and the soil serves as natural insulation. The walls are largely made of glass allowing natural light in.
Major Tourist Places of San Francisco
Inside is an incredible natural history museum, planetarium, aquarium, rainforest, and more. Steinhart Aquarium It contains 38,000 live specimens and a 25-foot-deep coral reef. The rainforest is four stories high, with all kinds of animals and amphibians in a spectacular layout. You can descend into the glass lift to the deepest depths and look through an acrylic tunnel to see the fish swimming overhead. Kimball Natural History Museum with an array of interesting exhibits, houses the skeletons of a T-rex and blue whale.
Address: 55 Music Concours Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Official Site: http://www.calacademy.org/
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9 San Francisco’s de Young Fine Art Museum
In Golden Gate Park, the de Young Museum is a fine arts museum, and one of the largest public art institutions in San Francisco. Exhibits cover a variety of frames and geographic locations. While art from North America and period interiors feature strongly in the collection, there are also many exhibits from Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the Near East. British art and folk art from Africa, the Americas and the Pacific Islands are also represented.
Official Site: http://deyoung.famsf.org/
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10 San Francisco Museums of Modern Art
After extensive renovations, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) reopened in the spring of 2016, with 170,000 square feet of exhibition space; Nearly three times its previous size. The museum now has 10 floors, with 45,000 feet of ground floor gallery space open to the public for free. In addition to the new space, the museum has also acquired thousands of new pieces. The museum houses a full range of exhibits, some from the museum’s permanent collection and others specially commissioned for the inauguration.
Address: 151 Third Street, San Francisco
Official Site: https://www.sfmoma.org/
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11 Hill Stations of San Francisco Twin Peaks
Over 900 feet high, these two unique and uninhabited hills are actually no more than the 43 hills of San Francisco, a distinction related to Mount Davidson. This is stands 33 feet high. They have one of the best views out over the city and the bay, are undeveloped, and are easy to reach.
You can drive to the North Peak parking area for great views and hike along the trails to the North and South Peak.
Twin Peaks are the only hills in San Francisco that are not and remain in their original state. The Spaniards called them “los pechos de la chola” or the Indian woman’s breasts. Even on hot days, strong, cool breezes blow over the Pacific, especially in the late afternoon. Warm clothing is recommended.
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12 Asian Art Museums
The Asian Art Museum is unquestionably one of the most important museums in San Francisco. The museum opened in 1966, based on a collection coming from art collector Avery Brundage. Brundage created a private collection he offered to the City of San Francisco in 1959 “to bridge the gap between East and West.” The museum building was rebuilt, and upon his death in 1975 at the age of 88, the museum also received the remainder of his collection of works of art as a legacy.
Building on this, the museum has continued to collect various pieces and now has an extensive collection of sculptures, paintings, bronzes, porcelain, jade carvings .The architectural pieces from Japan, Korea, China, India, Iran and other Asian cultures. is included. The works span over 6,000 years. With the construction of a new pavilion, plans are moving forward for substantial expansion.
Address: 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco
Official Site: http://www.asianart.org/
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13 San Francisco Hotels High Tea at a Historic Hotel
Enjoying high tea in a historic hotel gives tourists a sense of the grandeur of the city during the Victorian era and the turn of the century. The Fairmont San Francisco on Nob Hill, opened in 1907, is renowned for its luxurious lobby and elegant atmosphere.
The Fairmont Laurel Court offers afternoon tea service on Saturdays and Sundays. Also on Nob Hill, the Ritz-Carlton is famous for its fancy afternoon tea service in the lounge, a sophisticated reception room with spectacular city views.
One of the city’s grandest historic hotels, the Palace Hotel was constructed in the downtown area near Market Street in 1875.
The Palace Hotel wows visitors with its sumptuous Garden Court reception area, where a traditional afternoon tea is served complete with fine china, sterling silver, and classic specialties such as finger sandwiches and handmade scones.
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14 Major Tourist Places of San Francisco Exploratorium
The Exploratorium is an incredibly popular science museum, with exhibits for both children and adults to enjoy. With a plethora of diverse exhibits, and numerous learning experiences, covering a variety of areas of interest, all of which are designed to educate and entertain.
Kids love this museum a lot, with all kinds of experiments and interesting things to do, and whether they have kids or not, most adults also rave about the Exploratorium.
Address: Pier 15
Official site: http://www.exploratorium.edu/
15 Tourist places in San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts
The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco is the last remaining structure from the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this classical-looking building is beautifully situated on a lagoon. This is reflects a mirror image on the surface of the calm waters, while being drifted by ducks and swans. The palace has been restored along with the grounds, and today hosts art exhibitions and performances. The Palace of Fine Arts Theater has about 1000 patrons.
Address: 3301 Lyon Street, San Francisco
Official Site: http://palaceoffinearts.org/
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16 Golden Gate National Recreation Area
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area, not to be confused with Golden Gate Park. This is a vast natural area located across the Golden Gate Bridge from downtown San Francisco. This 600-square-mile park in Marin County is home to a myriad of attractions. That is also a beautiful place to relax and enjoy nature. Walking trails, campgrounds, picnic areas and beautiful beach areas are in the park. Few beaches have spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge. The park is also the site of the history and home of the historic Fort Baker. Which is a former US Army post dating back to the early 20th century.
Official Site: http://www.nps.gov/goga/index.htm
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17 AT&T Park in San Francisco
Home of the San Francisco Giants, AT&T Park is a fun place to take in a baseball game while visiting the city. If you can’t see a game, consider taking a ballpark tour for a behind-the-scenes look at places that are out of bounds to most people. You can learn about the historical moments that have happened here and the architecture. let’s find. Tours are scheduled around the game and do not run every day so check the online calendar in advance.
Address: 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco
Official site: http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/sf/ballpark/
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18 Ghirardelli Square San Francisco Restaurants
Ghirardelli Square occupies a restored factory area surrounded by shops, galleries, and restaurants in renovated industrial buildings. The square was inaugurated in 1964 and was the first of several projects designed to give new life to abandoned factory complexes. Ghirardelli’s old red brick chocolate factory has been turned into a hub for shoppers, art lovers, and those in search of entertainment or a good meal. Its belfry (built in 1916) is built in France as the Château of Blois. Later there are rose gardens decorated with fountains and terraces with additional roses.
19 Day Trip To Napa Valley
Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley are the two best-known and largest grape growing regions in California. Located at the southern end of the valley of the same name, about 52 miles from San Francisco, Napa is one of the largest California cities north of San Francisco. It is an incredibly beautiful region with a drier climate than the coastal areas. It was founded in 1848 and bears the name of the long extinct Napa Indians. The western border is formed by the Napa Mountains. The Howell Mountains form the eastern boundary of Napa County and they also protect the valley from hurricanes.
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20 Things to do Angel Island State Park
A 25-minute ferry ride from Pier 41 in San Francisco, Angel Island State Park is a wonderful escape to nature. The largest natural island in the San Francisco Bay, Angel Island has stunning views of the surrounding bay. Tourists can enjoy the beautiful scenery while hiking or biking on the well-groomed trails. It is possible to hike up to the summit of the island, Mount Carolyn Livermore , at 788 feet, where the views are sensational.
The island also has five picnic areas, eleven campsites, and several sandy beaches that are pleasant for walking and sunbathing. Well designed for visitors, the island has a cafe that is open all week long during the whole year (except winter) and a casual restaurant that is open on the weekends and features live music performances.
Where to Stay in San Francisco for Sightseeing
If you’re planning on seeing the top tourist attractions in San Francisco. The best place to stay is near Union Square. You’ll find lots of upscale shops, restaurants, galleries, cinemas, and hotels here. San Francisco’s famous Chinatown is located within walking distance, and Union Square is a major transportation hub. So it’s easy to get to other attractions via cable car, bus, BART, or taxi. Fisherman’s Wharf is also a popular place to stay. Thanks to its fun holiday feel and misty bay – especially for families. Which might prefer a more peaceful mood in the evenings. Below are some highly rated hotels in convenient places for sightseeing:
Luxury Hotels in San Francisco
Union Square in the Financial District, a 12-minute walk from Loews Regency San Francisco. This is one of the city’s top hotels with beautiful views of the San Francisco Bay and the city’s skyline. Other luxury options within walking distance of Union Square include. The exclusive Four Seasons Hotel and the Ritz-Carlton in an eclectic historic building on Nob Hill.
Mid-Range Hotels in San Francisco
The Chancellor Hotel on Union Square offers excellent value in the heart of all Union Square action, while the boutique Cornell Hotel de France exudes Parisian style in a convenient location between Union Square and Nob Hill. In a salt-tinged setting by the water, Courtyard by Marriott Fisherman’s Wharf is a great option – especially for families staying in this popular tourist spot just a short walk from Ghirardelli Square.
Budget Hotels in San Francisco
If you’re on a budget, the Baldwin Hotel and Herbert Hotel in the heart of downtown, a short walk from Union Square, offer excellent value. For those who can’t choose between staying at Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square, the Castle sits between the two; You can get to Fisherman’s Wharf in about 25 minutes and Union Square in 30 minutes.
Tips and Tours: How to Make the Most of Your Visit to San Francisco
Many interesting tours in San Francisco make exploring the city easy and hassle-free. Since San Francisco is a large city built on hills, with many uphill climbs and stairs, tours are an especially good idea for mobility issues, but also for those who only have a few days and want to see as much of the city as driving. Is possible without the challenges of or trying to find parking. The following tours are some excellent options for saving time, seeing the sights, and exploring some of the out-of-town areas. They also guarantee the lowest prices.
Seeing the Place in San Francisco
The best option for the traditional, no-fail, do-it-yourself sightseeing tour is the San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour. This double-decker bus tour with guided narration allows you to stop on and off major tourist destinations and is a great way to get acquainted with the city while learning a little history and seeing the highlights.
To add a splash of fun to your sightseeing tour and save your feet some extra walking, book a San Francisco Waterfront Segway Tour and cruise around Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardalli Square, and other popular areas.
Bay Cruises in San Francisco
To get out on the water and enjoy the city’s skyline in the evening, hop on a San Francisco Bay Sunset Catamaran Cruise. This 1.5-hour cruise sails past the island of Alcatraz and under the Golden Gate Bridge while the sun sets and the city lights start to shine.
Get out of town to San Francisco
Located within easy striking distance of some spectacular scenery. For some great beach viewing, shop Monterey’s Cannery Row, explore the charming seaside town of Carmel. And drive along the famous 17 Mile Drive, try Monterey, Caramel, the 17 Mile Drive Day Trip from San Francisco. Another very popular trip. Which provides an opportunity to see one of America’s great national treasures, is a visit to Yosemite National Park.
It is a must for nature lovers who want to see the famous sites of El Capitan and Half Dome and walk among the giant sequoias of Mariposa Grove. The tour offers pickup and drop-off from some San Francisco hotels and free time inside the park. For a half day tour that includes Muir Woods, Giant Redwood, and Sausalito Half Day Trip Nature, There is a good mix of sightseeing and shopping. The tour is available in the morning or afternoon and offers pickup and drop-off at the hotel for morning tours.