San Francisco Attractions
The San Francisco Bay Area known for many things. It’s where you’ll find the Golden Gate Bridge, it was home of the Grateful Dead, the location of The Summer of Love and the epicenter of the Gold Rush in 1849. It is the place where some of the biggest and most well known companies were founded, such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Youtube, eBay, Twitter and more. It is the place where drinks like The Martini, Pisco Punch and tequila sunrise were created. And that is just a short list of the reasons why San Francisco is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
San Francisco is a truly unique destination offering a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural diversity, and cutting-edge technology to experience while you are here. With its iconic landmarks, breathtaking views, and rich history, San Francisco is a city that truly has something for everyone. In fact, it is pretty safe to say that there is are so many amazing things to see in San Francisco, that is would be nearly impossible to see them all in one (or even a few) trips. While thing things you add to your itinerary will mainly depend on personal preferences, there are definitely a few attractions that you should make sure to see while you are in town. Below is a short list of the best attractions and things to see in SF.
Top Attractions and Things to Do in San Francisco:
- The Golden Gate Bridge: The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous landmarks in the world. The bridge is a suspension bridge that spans the Golden Gate Strait, connecting San Francisco to Marin County. The bridge is open to pedestrians and cyclists, and offers stunning views of the Bay Area. First proposed by engineer Joseph Strauss in 1916, construction began on January 5, 1933. Although strong winds, fog and other harsh conditions made things difficult, construction was completed in 1,604 days (months ahead of schedule) before officially opening on May 27, 1937.
- Alcatraz: Alcatraz is a former federal prison located on Alcatraz Island near San Francisco. Built to be the most secure prison in the world at the time, it was closed in 1963 after being in operation for less than 30 years. Alcatraz house some of the most notorious criminals in the world including Al Capone and is located on a small island in the San Francisco Bay.
- Golden Gate Park: This vast and beautiful urban park offers a variety of recreational and cultural opportunities, including hiking trails, gardens, museums, and cultural institutions. Golden Gate Park is located in the western part of the city and is easily accessible by car, public transportation, or bike.
- Painted Ladies: The Painted Ladies are a row of Victorian houses that are among the most photographed landmarks in San Francisco. These colorful homes are located in the Alamo Square neighborhood and can be easily reached by car, public transportation, or bike.
- Muir Woods National Monument: Located just north of San Francisco in Marin County, Muir Woods is home to some of California’s oldest redwood trees that tower over 250 feet tall. Visitors can take guided tours through this ancient forest or explore on their own with miles of hiking trails available throughout the park.
- Palace Of Fine Arts: This historic building was originally built for the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition and now houses an art museum with rotating exhibitions from local artists as well as traveling exhibits from around the world.
- Cable Cars: Take a ride on one of San Francisco’s famous cable cars for an unforgettable experience! You can hop on at any of the three lines that run throughout downtown SF – Powell-Hyde Line (which goes up Nob Hill), Powell-Mason Line (which goes through North Beach), or California Street Line (which runs along Van Ness Avenue).
- Lombard Street: Known as “the crookedest street in America” Lombard Street is a must-see when visiting SF!
- Exploratorium: This interactive science museum offers hands-on activities for all ages including exhibits about physics, biology, chemistry and more. There are also special events such as lectures by scientists or workshops where visitors can learn how to build their own robots or make music with everyday objects.
- de Young Museum: Located in Golden Gate Park this art museum features permanent collections from American artists as well as rotating exhibitions from around the world.
- Pub Crawls: San Francisco is one of the best drinking cities in the world with hundreds of amazing pubs throughout the city. Head out to any popular neighborhood and make your own crawl or grab a ticket to on of the popular San Francisco Pub Crawls.
Cool Neighborhoods to visit in San Francisco:
- Fisherman’s Wharf: A popular tourist destination in San Francisco, The wharf is home to a variety of restaurants, souvenir shops and attractions like Pier 39 and the USS Pampanito submarine.
- Chinatown: Chinatown is San Francisco’s oldest neighborhood and one of its most popular tourist destinations. The neighborhood is home to a variety of restaurants, shops and cultural attractions.
- North Beach: San Francisco’s “Little Italy” is located just south of Fisherman’s Wharf and is a great place to grab dinner or have some drinks at popular bars like Columbus Cafe, Tupelo, Northstar Cafe and more.