San Francisco may be pretty small city geographically, but its attractions and amenities are some of the biggest and best in the world. Packed into these 49 square mile area, you will find architectural wonders, a great history, amazing food, and even better people. Here is a list of the 8 best things San Francisco has to offer visitors.
The cable cars in San Francisco have been transporting people around the city since the late 19th century. The cars run on tracks are are moved on underground cables on three different routes that are in operation. Their familiar bells can be heard ringing from blocks away, warning pedestrians of their presence. At the turnarounds at the end of the route, you can purchase a ticket to ride the cars. A trip on the cable car offers spectacular views of the cities celebrated hills.
The Golden Gate Bridge is the most famous bridge in the world. Spanning 1.7 miles, this bridge will leave you absolutely speechless. Once you witness this architectural marvel for yourself, you will understand why it is one of the most photographed things on earth. There are approximately 120,000 automobiles that drive across this bridge every day. You can also travel across the bridge by foot and bikes as well.
The notorious former prison, Alcatraz, is located on an island right in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Some of the United States’ worst criminals were incarcerated in this prison. The prison was closed in the 1960s and it is now open to the public for tours. The stories about Alcatraz are legendary; it is definitely worth taking a tour of the cell-house to learn all about the history of this prison.
Fisherman’s Wharf, a lively waterfront marketplace is home to some of the city’s most popular attractions: San Francisco Dungeon, Madame Tussauds, and the famous crab vendors. But there is also some cool wildlife as well. While taking a walk along the PIER 39 Marina, you will be sure to find groups of sea lions relaxing and having fun.
North Beach is the city’s Italian quarter; it is not actually a beach at all. The neighborhood is lined with romantic European-style sidewalk cafes, restaurants and shops. You will also find the spectacular Church of Saints Peter and Paul. Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill is a great vantage point for photos of the bridges and the Bay as well.
The entrance to Chinatown at Grant Avenue and Bush Street is known as “Dragon’s Gate.” Inside you will find 24 blocks of non-stop action taking place, most of what takes place on Grant Avenue, the oldest street in the city. You will find exotic shops, delicious restaurants, food markets, temples, and small museums throughout the neighborhood.
Dining in San Francisco will probably be the best attraction for many of the cities visitors. San Francisco is known as one of America’s best restaurant cities. The chefs do an amazing job of combining the freshest local ingredients with authentic international flavors. You will find basically every cuisine imaginable: Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, Moroccan, Indian, Malaysian, Mexican, Greek, Russian or “fusion.”
San Francisco is home to internationally recognized symphony, opera and ballet companies. It is very common for playwrights to introduce their works in San Francisco. You will also find a number of great museums, include The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (closed until early 2016), the Asian Art Museum, the de Young Museum, the Legion of Honor, as well as other museums and galleries that are devoted to the finest of classical and contemporary arts. Furthermore, the city is home to the California Academy of Sciences – the only place on the planet with an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum, and a four-story rainforest all under one roof.