San Francisco Points of Interest
- Walk from the Ferry Building along the water to Fisherman’s Wharf. As you walk along the peers, you can take some great photos of the seals tanning on the beach. You can see the Alcatraz Island in the distance as well as the Golden Gate Bridge. You can visit lots of cool touristy shops at the Cannery Shopping Center along the beach. It is a great place to shop for souvenirs. All the great American chain stores can be found along Fisherman’s Wharf. Visitors can find some great fish restaurants as well to taste some local specialities such as the clam chowder soup in a bread bowl or crab cakes. If you are lucky enough to have a sunny day, a walk along the Fisherman’s Wharf can be very beautiful. The Ghirardelli Square features a variety of cool restaurants and shops. This whole area is as touristy as it gets, but it is a must for every tourist who visits San Francisco.
- Take a boat cruise to Alcatraz Island to visit the prison. It is a beautiful ride on a sunny day. You can see the entire San Francisco from the distance. The island of Alcatraz is beautiful.
It is not only the home of the famous prison and the source of lots of interesting stories about some of the most famous criminals of the 20thcentury such as Al Capone and Birdman, but it is also a horticultural gem with exotic plants and flowers planted all over the island.
I really enjoyed the tour in the prison. They also had some great art installations in the open spaces, which I thought were very interesting.
The audio tour around the prison is about an hour long and it allows the visitor to learn about the history of the prison to get an idea about what it was like to be an inmate or an officer on the island. Here, you can learn about some of the escape attempts of prisoners on the island. Although, the prison inside is depressing, the island itself is really beautiful. You can do the tour in an afternoon and it costs about $30.
- Go up to the Coit Tower to see the view from up there. You can see the entire San Francisco below you. You get a beautiful view of both bridges the Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. You can also see Alcatraz Island in the distance.
- Take the tram or the BART to Castro, wonder around this gay paradise, then take the bus up to Twin Peaks.
You may remember the TV show from the nineties, however Twin Peaks in San Francisco has nothing to do with the TV show. It is the highest point of the city. You can see the entire city from up there. The view is incredible. You may want to go up there after sunset to see the whole city lit up below, however there might be some clouds and there is a chance you wont see anything. It is certainly worth a try. You may get lucky and see an incredible view of the big city by night.
- Take a walk from Union Square which is the centre of the city, check out the art installations on the square, then head up north to Chinatown.
This is the largest Chinatown in the US. It is colourful and fascinating. You can see Chinese decorations and colourful murals with the Chinese zodiac signs as you are walking up North on the streets. You can buy all sorts of stuff, that you will never need. Even the Citibank looks like a Chinese Palace. After Chinatown, continue your way up North and explore the Italian Quarter, North Beach.
This part of town hosts many Italian restaurants and pastry stores. It is a pleasant place to hang out on a sunny day. Then hike up to Washington Square, stroll around the park and check out the Saints Peter and Paul Church, where Marilyn Monroe married Joe DiMaggio in 1954.
If you have more energy left, then you should keep walking north until you hit Lombard Street. It is the crookedest street in the World. It requires some serious driving skills to drive down from the top of the hill.
After taking some photos, walk over to Powell Street and hop on a historical tram and ride it down from the top of the hill to Market Street. It s great fun to be traveling like the locals, hanging down on the side of the tram and you get to see the whole city along the way.
- Rent a bike on Fisherman’s Wharf and bike across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. The views are stunning and Sausalito is a pretty little town. It takes about 3 hours to bike over. Sausalito is a great place for lunch or an ice-cream and you can hop back on the ferry to go back to San Francisco with your bike. It s a great boat ride if you want to take some stunning photos of San Francisco as well as Sausalito from the distance.
- Check out the Golden Gate Park.
If you are an art lover you want to see the collection of the de Young Museum. There are some interesting art pieces in the DeYoung Museum, however, it is not the greatest art museum, I have ever seen.
There is a small entrance fee to enter these parts of the park, but they are totally worth seeing.
- For fun night life and great Latin American food, check out the Mission District. Here you can find some amazing Mexican, Peruvian, Colombian restaurants and some really interesting bars as well. You can find cheap Mexican food open 24/7 as well as food stands everywhere. Bands are playing on the street. It is a really fascinating neighborhood where lots of different ethnicities blend together. Mr Pollo was one of my favourite restaurants in the hood. It s a Colombian place that makes great Arepas. Limon Rotisserie is a famous Peruvian place, famous for its grilled chicken. Puerto Alegre is an excellent Mexican Restaurant in Mission.
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