Destinations

Best Things to Do in San Francisco

Tony Bennett would hate to cut back his beloved San Francisco to 10 heart-stealing sights. From iconic sights just like the Golden Gate Bridge and the nation’s first official Chinatown, San Francisco is a vacationer’s dreamscape. And with the brand new Salesforce Park downtown,  San Francisco appears to be including new options virtually by the hour.

On prime of world-class opera, symphony and museums, guests can come any time of 12 months and revel in world-class mountain climbing and out of doors actions. The solely factor that stands in your means is normally a bit chilly fog – which is definitely free-air conditioning and wonderful for the pores and skin, by the best way.

The solely dangerous information a couple of journey to San Francisco is that there isn’t any means you’ll be able to cowl every part in a single go to. On the brilliant facet, you may uncover countless causes to return again.

But should you solely have time for ten issues in Mr. Bennett’s metropolis by the bay, listed below are our prime recommendations.



Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy

This new customer’s heart is well worth the drive or bus fare to the top of Geary Boulevard. Besides framing unforgettable views of the Pacific Ocean, the middle affords nice items and mementos, in addition to a small however spectacular cafe stocked by native produce. If the wind, fog and rain occur to be working in opposition to you in your journey, head to Lands End Visitor’s Center for all the gorgeous glory of the Pacific and no take-home sniffles or flu. If you’re employed up an urge for food after your stroll, Louis’ Restaurant simply down the road affords a comfort-food menu with seating that can have your perched proper over the Pacific.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: Lands End Visitors Center affords not solely beautiful views of the Pacific however a novel and fascinating historical past of San Francisco.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: Leave time for among the best hikes in San Francisco correct, proper alongside the coast on the Lands End trails.

Read more about Lands End Visitors Center →


SkyStar Wheel

Photo courtesy of SkyStar Wheel

Installed as a part of Golden Gate Park’s a hundred and fiftieth anniversary celebration in 2020, SkyStar Wheel spins and towers 150 ft tall over Golden Gate Park’s Music Concourse, providing breathtaking views from downtown San Francisco all the best way to the Pacific Ocean. The rides final between 9-12 minutes, and tickets vary from General Admission ($18); Seniors & kids ($12); and youngsters age 2 and underneath experience free. Due to its central location in Golden Gate Park, the SkyStar Wheel affords a novel vantage of all of San Francisco. And with all of Golden Gate Park unfold beneath your ft, it is simple to plan a whole San Francisco day beginning with a whirl across the SkyStar Wheel.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: As one of many latest San Francisco sights – and with a restricted window to expertise it – the SkyStar Wheel is value a spin.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: SkyStar will stay in San Francisco till March 2025.

Read more about SkyStar Wheel →


The Ferry Building

Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy

We’re beginning off this record with the Ferry Building as a result of, whether or not by boat, automobile, bus, trolley or foot, all factors lead from the San Francisco Ferry Building. Whether you need to hike the hills of North Beach, push by way of the bustle of Chinatown, peruse reward outlets on Nob Hill, or stroll the Embarcadero all the best way to Fisherman’s Wharf, it is arduous to discover a higher place to begin than the Ferry Building. And it isn’t simply a place to begin – the Ferry Building has been redesigned to incorporate some great artisan outlets, good spots for grabbing that one thing particular to carry again residence.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: The Ferry Building must be thought of “Point A” for anybody beginning a San Francisco journey.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: If you occur to be downtown on a Saturday morning, do not miss the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market. It affords a style of the unbelievable number of vegetables and fruit that solely California can provide.

Read more about The Ferry Building →


Fisherman's Wharf

Photo courtesy of San Francisco Travel Association

Like the cable vehicles and the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf is quintessential San Francisco. It’s usually the primary vacation spot for vacationers, and its specific model of vitality mixes newcomer pleasure, retail kitsch, robust maritime heritage and a vibrant West Coast welcome. Fisherman’s Wharf invitations passers-by to pattern Dungeness crab and clam chowder, to cruise the Bay, to select up requisite memento t-shirts, and – better of all – to soak within the temperate sunshine or marvel on the fog because it rolls in throughout the water. If you occur to be on the town on July Fourth, it is a widespread place to view the annual fireworks present.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: Fisherman’s Wharf has the very best focus of conventional vacationer actions of any space of San Francisco.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: If you actually need to earn that huge seafood platter and San Francisco brewed Anchor Steam beer for dinner, stroll the 2 miles from the Ferry Building down the Embarcadero to Fisherman’s Wharf.

Read more about Fisherman’s Wharf →


Chinatown

Photo courtesy of San Francisco Travel Association

It’s arduous to think about a visit to San Francisco with out a Chinatown go to. Whether you make the grand entrance into Chinatown beneath the dramatic portal at Grant Avenue and Bush Street, or maybe simply occur upon the district whereas making your means about San Francisco, you’ll be able to’t assist however be impressed by this city-within-a-city. Along its streets, unique components are hawked, silks and jade are proffered, and colourful mementos are bought to vacationers.

If you occur to be planning a go to in February, do your finest to catch the Chinese New Year celebration in Chinatown, one of many largest of its sort on the earth outdoors of China itself.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: Chinatown is like visiting a complete different nation inside one metropolis.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: San Francisco affords superb cultural range, together with Northbeach and the Mission District.

Read more about Chinatown →


Golden Gate Park

Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy

Considered the biggest cultivated city park within the nation, this unbelievable haven boasts greater than 1000 acres of gardens, meadows and woodlands. The park stretches three miles inland from the Bay, and inside its bounds are the de Young Museum, the Japanese Tea Garden, Strybing Arboretum, the California Academy of Sciences, the Conservatory of Flowers and 27 miles of footpaths. Despite the great thing about its seemingly pure environment, the park is solely man-made. Visitors can spend a number of days simply exploring this wealthy and numerous park, in addition to the Ninth and Irving neighborhood outlets and eateries which can be very shut by.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: Golden Gate Park is as essential to San Franciscans as Central Park is to New Yorkers.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: The park is sort of solely on a slight decline all the best way to the Pacific, so it is a light stroll from its east entrance to its western finish.

Read more about Golden Gate Park →


Salesforce Park

Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy

If you want a break from concrete throughout your stroll downtown, head to the plush gardens of the Salesforce Park, a real city oasis. Seventy ft above the Grand Hall, the Park runs all the size of the Transit Center’s practically four-block stretch. Home to 600 bushes and 16,000 crops organized in 13 completely different botanical function areas, the most recent public park within the San Francisco Bay Area is for the profit and delight of all. Whether it is for a leisurely lap across the grounds to get pleasure from excellent views of the City, or to seize a bench and revel in lunch, Salesforce Park is a prime San Francisco attraction.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: Although it is new and does not have the cache of the older San Francisco sights, the Salesforce Park is rising in direction of iconic standing by the day.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: Check the web site without cost occasions like poetry readings, Swing Dance classes and Tai Chi classes.

Read more about Salesforce Park →


Alcatraz

Photo courtesy of iStock / MBPROJEKT_Maciej_Bledowski

Once simply an previous jail, Alcatraz is having fun with a makeover as a local plant conservatory and historic “must-see.” During Alcatraz’s 34 years as a jail, most of its inmates have been merely high-risk escapees and troublemakers. Still, the jail performs strongly in nationwide reminiscence due to notorious residents like Al “Scarface” Capone and Robert “Birdman” Stroud. Tours of the island focus largely on the desolate jail itself, together with cell blocks, the cafeteria and the jail yard. If you propose nicely prematurely, you may get a spot on the tremendous widespread evening tour of Alcatraz. Even should you’re not planning on the evening tour, get your tickets to this widespread vacationer vacation spot nicely forward of time.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: Alcatraz will not be solely an thrilling journey but additionally affords an enchanting historical past of San Francisco Bay.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: If you benefit from the ferry journey to Alcatraz, think about these different ferry rides: Sausalito, Tiburon, and Angel Island.

Read more about Alcatraz →


Golden Gate Bridge

Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy

One of the world’s most well-known bridges, the Golden Gate spans 6450 ft and hyperlinks San Francisco to Marin County. Completed in 1937 at a price of $35 million, the “Bridge That Could Not Be Built” is now a landmark seen from many factors across the Bay. Besides the brand new customer’s heart on the south facet of the bridge, the bike lanes on the west facet of the bridge have been widened.

The finest method to see the bridge is on foot, so put a while apart to stroll throughout the 1.7-mile span. Even should you solely make it half-way, the views will probably be nicely value it.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: Visiting San Francisco and never seeing the Golden Gate Bridge is like visiting New York City and never visiting the Empire State Building.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: The new customer’s heart on the Golden Gate Bridge affords items, snacks and a few fascinating historical past of the long-lasting bridge.

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Tunnel Tops Park

Photo courtesy of The Presidio Trust

With Golden Gate Park chopping virtually midway by way of all the City, and quite a few different inexperienced areas dotted all through, San Francisco is understood for its parks. The latest park, San Francisco Tunnels Tops, is the end result of a $118 million greenback imaginative and prescient to attach the scenic greenery of the Presidio hills to the beautiful vistas of San Francisco Bay. The result’s an area full of hidden surprises like campfire circles to jaw-dropping vistas of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands. One of probably the most kid-friendly areas in San Francisco, Tunnel Tops options big play buildings constructed from fallen tree trunks and boulders, in addition to an indoor Field Station for households if the surface climate will get tough. Be positive so as to add this newest San Francisco gem to your journey plans!

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities as a result of: Although there are various parks and inexperienced areas in San Francisco, Tunnel Tops Park is a must-visit for anybody needing a break from the City.

Tom’s knowledgeable tip: Leave time to go to the Battery Bluff Park, simply down the road from Tunnel Tops.

Read more about Tunnel Tops Park →


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