Known for its amazing climate and the endless list of world famous tourist attractions, San Francisco for tourists, is one of the most popular destinations in the whole of the US. Awesome weather, the most beautiful beaches, a rich culture, mouth-watering food, and an endless array of interesting tourist spots, what else can a perfect destination sound life for a traveler?
However, covering each and every destination in San Francisco can never be possible in a single visit. Therefore, if you are visiting this great city for the very first time, and are confused about what to do in San Francisco, here is a list of the top 10 things than you cannot miss out on. Also, if you are traveling on a budget, you can follow these 10 tips to save money and travel cheap in San Francisco to help you save in the best way possible on your travel.
1) Walk all the way across the Golden Gate Bridge: Opened in 1937 as the largest suspension bridge in the world, The Golden Gate Bridge connects San Francisco with Marin County. Before the construction of the bridge, these two places were connected only by ferry. This metallic bridge is the most photographed bridge on the face of the earth. The best way to explore this beauty is by taking a walk or ride all across it, with beautiful views of the bay as well as the city. Here is a quick guide for you to experience the Golden Gate Bridge in the best way possible.
2) Hop on to the Cable Car and enjoy a Joy Ride! Your travel to San Francisco would be incomplete without a ride on its historic Cable Car! These iconic historical cable cars have been traveling the hilly terrain of San Francisco since 1873. Apart from serving as a mode of transportation for the locals, these cable cars also attract tourists to experience its uniqueness. With its ringing bells and travelers hanging out of the carts, traveling through these cable cars is nothing less than a joy ride. Moreover, apart from enjoying your journey, you will also get to know the rich history behind them which still makes them run on the streets of San Francisco.
3) Visit the Fisherman’s Wharf: Visiting the Fisherman’s Wharf provides you with an endless array of activities to indulge in. From serving its guests with some of the best seafood items in the most lavish of the restaurants to a collection of some of the best attractions in San Francisco, this very place has it all. Some of the most prominent of the locations that you might not wish to miss at the Fisherman’s Wharf include The Cartoon Art Museum, Musée Mécanique, Pier 39 & Pier 45, and Ghirardelli Square. If you want to catch up with those cute sea lions that migrated to San Francisco after the 1989 earthquakes, do not miss out on Pier 39!
4) Take a Ferry to Alcatraz Island: This one is surely one of the most interesting places to visit in San Francisco. Alcatraz Island is home to an abandoned prison. You can take a day tour or a night tour of the same. With an audio guide, explaining the stories of former prisoners and guardians of this historic prison makes your visit even more interesting. Not to forget, you get to take a ferry ride all the way to the island and then back to the city. You may even choose to relish on a glass of wine or beer on your way back to SF. The tickets to the Island are sold by various private companies. However, the tickets usually get blocked weeks in advance. Therefore, make your booking in advance to not to miss out on this great experience.
- Tour Expense: Approximately between $30-$50
5) Explore Union Square: Union Square is one of the most famous neighborhoods of the city amongst locals as well as tourists. It has San Francisco’s best restaurants, bars, shopping outlets, as well as art galleries. If you want to party and experience San Francisco’s nightlife, this is the very place to go to in the city. There is always something entertaining going on in the streets of Union Square. Moreover, if you get lucky enough, you may even get to attend a live concert or an event, free of cost!
6) Connect with the Aquatic life at the Aquarium of the Bay: Get a chance to experience and connect with the underwater marine life at this unique place. The aquarium consists of 300 feet of tunnels surrounded by water all around, preserving the aquatic life of the bay area. The jellyfish and the leopard shark are amongst some of the most important attractions of the aquarium. You will also get a chance to touch and interact with a few unique water creatures including the starfish and the anemones.
- Timings: 10:00 A.M. – 6 P.M.
- Ticket Price: Adult (13-64): $29.25, Child (4-12): $19.25, (Kids 3 and under enter free), Senior (65+): $24.25
- Booking Link: https://www.aquariumofthebay.org/tickets/
7) Gorge on some delicious Food at the Ferry Building: The Ferry Building Marketplace is one of the most popular places for food sampling as well as shopping in the whole city. It houses some of the best café’s, bakeries, as well as restaurants of the city to fight with your hunger cravings. You can also relish a hot cup of coffee, or maybe a glass of wine at some of the finest coffee shops and wineries. Also, this place is perfect to pick up some souvenirs for your near one back home!
8) Explore Chinatown’s Rich Culture: Several major cities across the globe have an authentic Chinatown; however, San Francisco has four! Moreover, the one situated near Grant Avenue is the biggest one outside Asia and the oldest one in North America! Therefore, if you wish to experience the Chinese culture or delish on some spicy Chinese food, just head to one of the Chinatowns without a second thought!
9) Climb all the way to the top of the Twin Peaks: To capture the best of the views of the whole city along with the bay, there is no better place to head to except for the Twin Peaks. Moreover, the peaks are situated in a peaceful place, away from the urban concrete buildings, with greenery and animals all around, providing you with a sense of peace and calm. You can choose to drive all the way up or take up an adventurous climb, up the stairs to the top of one of the peaks to have a 360-degree view of the whole city. This trek could also be one of the most pleasant things to do for couples traveling to SF. Try to visit on a clear day so as not to miss out on the beautiful view of the bay from the top.
- Timings: 5 A.M. – Midnight
- Entry: Free of Cost
10) Enjoy a Bonfire at the Ocean Beach: A 3.5 mile long stretch of white sand and calm water, Ocean Beach is one of the calmest beaches of San Francisco. You might not feel like getting into the waters due to low temperatures. However, an evening stroll across the tranquil waters can never go wrong. Moreover, Ocean beach is the only one across the city which allows night time bonfires. Therefore, gather around with your fellow travelers or maybe even some locals and spend a beautiful night admiring the beautiful skyline of the city on one side and endless waters on the other side. Also, you need not worry about your safety while staying at the beach late till night in SF!
Just indulging in the above mentioned 10 activities will surely provide you with the true essence of San Francisco. However, if you wish to explore a bit deeper, you can take up on of the Walking Tours – San Francisco. Also, if you find the list of what to do in San Francisco to be helpful, you must also check out the list of these Top 10 things to do in New York to plan your trip to New York in the best way possible!