So your off to San Francisco, you have the flowers in your hair and you want to know what to do. Well here are ten tourist hot spots and a few not so known top picks for you…
Alcatraz San Francisco
1. Golden Gate Bridge
This had to be the first one. We’ve all seen this iconic bridge countless times on celluloid. Seeing it in the flesh will blow your mind. A photographers dream, this shimmering beauty isn’t painted gold (as many still think) it’s actually orange and a real hit for tourists. There’s a reason why over nine million people visit this bridge every year. It is truly epic. On May 27 2012 The Golden Gate Festival marks the 75th Anniversary of its erection so it’s a great time to be in the city with all sorts of activities going on around the waterfront.
2. Ride the cable car
Another iconic symbol of the city is the cable car. It’s a great way to get around and see the city. San Francisco is known for its steep hills, so take the weight off your feet and hop on board.
3. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
This impressive museum makes for a great day out. The city buzzes with creative energy and where better to see local artists than at this famous museum. Showcasing new and exciting modern art, the museum is also a great socializing spot with a brilliant café and bar.
4. Monterey Bay
Whilst in San Francisco you must visit Monterey Bay. Only a couple of hours away this picturesque place has beaches and restaurants to die for. Stroll down the old Fishermans Wharf and indulge in the freshest seafood imaginable.
This notorious island needs no introduction. Visit ‘The Rock’ and pretend you are one of the world’s most dangerous criminals. How would you escape?
San Francisco has a strong conservation programme and is a perfect day out for animal lovers. The creatures here have large enclosures so you can rest assured that they are very happy inhabitants.
Who doesn’t love a trip to Chinatown? Every great city in the world has one and San Francisco boasts the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. You are completely spoilt for choice here with outstanding food at every corner. Go with an empty belly and get feasting.
8. Napa Valley Wine Tasting
Wine lovers will have long dreamed about the Napa Valley. The stunning landscape makes for phenomenal wine and delicious produce. The Valley is home to some exquisite restaurants and beautiful resorts so save a day or two to plan a trip here.
9. Kabuki Springs in Japan Town
Some might say this is unusual but you’ve got to experience the communal bathing in Japan Town. The hot springs are a real treat and the sauna and steam rooms make it even better. Male and female days are allocated.
10. Guided Segway Tour
And now for something completely different. Why not enter the future and take a tour on a Segway? This has grown in popularity and no wonder as there really isn’t a more exciting way to see the sights of San Francisco.
Kiri Bowers+ created her site Travel Bumpkin out of a passion for escapism and discovery. After graduating with an English Literature degree in London, the only thing on her mind was gallivanting the globe. Currently on her second round the world adventure, Kiri has explored her roots in India, found love in Australia and eaten her way all over South East Asia.