San Francisco is one of the USA’s most cosmopolitan cities and once you add in its magnificent scenery, famous sights and its diverse cultures, you have a truly wonderful mix which is why San Francisco is one of the top destinations in the world.
Starting with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco is then spread across over 40 hills which are criss-crossed by San Francisco’s famous Cable Cars and these are a must do for visitors to the city.
Fisherman’s Wharf is one of San Francisco’s most famous places, packed with restaurants (and famous for seafood), boardwalks, shops and the legendary Pier 39 famous for its sea lions which have been pulling themselves ashore on the pier since 1989. Its not certain why they chose Pier 39, and although some people speculated that they did so at the time of the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989, it is thought they moved in whilst the docks were cleared of boats during the refurbishment that year.
The island of Alcatraz is another of San Francisco’s most famous attractions. Once home to Al Capone and other notorious gangsters, it is now a popular tourist attraction and ferries leave Pier 33 for 1.5 mile journey across the bay the ‘the rock’ daily. If you plan to do the journey we advise you book in advance and pencil in a visit on the first day of your stay in San Francisco; this is because the bay can often be shrouded by mist meaning the ferries don’t operate, thereby bumping you to the next day’s trip. Naturally if you book your trip for the final day you may be disappointed if the mists roll in.
If retail therapy is your pleasure then head to San Francisco’s Union Square. It takes its name from the period during the American Civil War when it was a focal point for rallies in support of the Union Army. Today it is home to a large collection of department stores (including Macy’s), upmarket boutiques, beauty salons and gift shops.
San Francisco’s Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in North America and the largest Chinese community outside of Asia. Stockton Street and Grant Avenue are at its heart and you will be forgiven if you feel as though you have been transported thousands of miles away to the far east!
You may also like to climb up Coit Tower to enjoy the magnificent views including Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the World, or spend an afternoon in Golden Gate Park. For the more energetic, why not cycle or stroll across the Golden Gate Bridge?