1. Visit Alcatraz
Alcatraz is undoubtedly one of the most famous attractions in San Francisco, and a visit really isn’t complete until you’ve experienced it. Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary is known all over the world for being a maximum high-security prison, with some of the most high-profile inmates in history, including Al “Scarface” Capone and the “Birdman” Robert Stroud. The prison is housed on its own island, making it seemingly impossible to escape, although a visit there will reveal incredible stories of how some of the inmates managed (or nearly managed) it!
Top tip- Alcatraz is an extremely popular tourist attraction, so if you want to visit, it’s important to book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
2. Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge
If the Golden Gate Bridge isn’t already on your must-do list, it should be! This amazing landmark is iconic to San Francisco, and visitors come from all over the world just to walk across it. If you want to get the true San Francisco experience, you should too. The bridge spans just over 1.7 miles, offering spectacular views of the city. It’s also one of the most photographed landmarks in the world, meaning it definitely deserves a place on your Instagram. The Golden Gate Bridge is stunning at any time of day, but if you want to take some really nice photos, we’d suggest visiting just before sunset.
3. Try the local delicacies
San Francisco isn’t just famous for its amazing attractions, but also for its mouth-watering menu of local delicacies. We’d recommend embracing the culture and trying as many traditional dishes as you can during your visit. Clam Chowder from Boudin Bakery has to be at the top of our list. The creamy, cheesy chowder is served in a thick, crusty bread bowl and is absolutely delicious. Trust us, if you don’t try it you really will regret it!
Carnitas Burritos from La Taqueria are one of our favourite dishes. These warm tortillas, stuffed with pinto beans, salsa, sour cream, guacamole and melted cheese were voted the best burritos in America, so you don’t have to take our word for it! You can’t visit San Francisco without trying the fresh seafood either, so make sure you visit Fisherman’s Wharf to sample some of the best. Need a drink to go with that? San Francisco is also famous for its craft beers, and if you want to try something local, we’d recommend Anchor Steam Beer.
4. Spend the day at Pier 39
There’s so much to do at Pier 39, that you’re guaranteed to have a good time. Indulge in a spot of retail therapy at the shops, listen to live music, be dazzled by street performers and admire the resident sea lions that call this place home. When you’re feeling hungry, dine on the waterfront at one of the pier’s many restaurants. There’s a wine bar, sports bar, pizzeria, fish house, Hard Rock café and even Nathan’s famous hot dogs.
If you’re looking for something to keep you busy, head to the Sea Lion Center, take a ride on the San Francisco Carousel, make your own music on the interactive Musical Stairs, immerse yourself in a 7D cinema experience or marvel at the beautiful marine life at the Aquarium of the Bay. Whether you’re visiting with kids or big kids, there really is something for everyone.
5. Explore the Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park is HUGE, spanning over 1,017 acres and welcoming more than 13 million guests each year. This is a great place to enjoy a day in the sunshine, and there’s plenty to see and do during your visit. Whether you want to pack a picnic and relax, or do something more active like a hiking trail, there’s plenty to keep you busy.
The Conservatory of Flowers is the oldest building in Golden Gate Park, and as you can probably guess by the name, it’s filled with stunning flowers and tropical plants. The Japanese Tea Garden is another beautiful attraction with spectacular Japanese maples, blossoming cherry trees, koi ponds and five-story pagoda. Bring your camera along and enjoy seeing a different side of the city.
6. Take a ride in a cable car
Can you think of a better way to get around? The iconic San Francisco cable cars are part of the world’s last manually operated cable car system! This means that a ride on these cable cars isn’t just a mode of transport, but a chance to experience a piece of history. The cable cars run approximately every ten minutes, from 6am- midnight each day. You can use them to get to popular spots like Fisherman’s Wharf and Lombard Street. Sit back, relax and enjoy the memorable ride, as you take in fantastic views along the way.
Ready to start planning your holiday? Click here, to view our full range of San Francisco attractions.
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