Highlights of San FranciscoUSA
San Francisco is one of my favourite cities in America. This hilly city has such an interesting and eventful history. From devastating earthquakes to the major roles it has played in America’s wars, there is so much to learn here. As well as history, there are so many sights to see and exciting things to do, and (most importantly) SO many good things to eat!
In this post I hope to give you some of the many highlights of San Francisco!
Golden Gate Bridge
Arguably the most iconic sight in San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge does not disappoint! With so many view points, you are bound to get amazing photos all over the city. Hire a bike and cycle over the bridge (remember, San Francisco has some big hills!), drive over the bridge to Battery Spencer, head down to Baker Beach and see the Bridge in its entirety.
One of the most notorious prisons in history, Alcatraz was a maximum security prison housed on Alcatraz Island. Due to the fact that it was surrounded by San Francisco’s cold and treacherous waters, it was believed to be one of the most secure prisons in the world. It has also made for some unbelievable escape stories! I suggest you book your tickets as far in advance as you can as it gets sold out very quickly. If you miss out, don’t stress! If you are prepared to wake up early, you can head down to the ticket office and try to snap up some of the tickets they sell on the day.
Karl the Fog
The beautiful photos you see of San Francisco covered in fog? Well that fog has a name…it’s Karl! It even has its own hilarious Twitter page.
Another icon of San Francisco is their cable car system. Enjoy hanging off the sides and riding up and down the rolling hills of the city on the world’s last manually operated cable cars. You can still catch the cars being turned at the end of their routes before you jump on.
Let me start by saying…I am OBSESSED with Ghirardelli! Ghirardelli Square has a mix of restaurants and shops, as well as the delicious Ghirardelli store. Here you can buy chocolate and ice cream and other goodies, and did I mention it is DELICIOUS?! Please do yourself a favour and stop by here on your travels.
This vibrant tourist hot spot is where you can go to try some amazing seafood, try In-N-Out Burger, pick up some souvenirs, see Alcatraz and walk along the Piers. Pier 39 is where you can find pontoons filled with local seals. I have spent large chunks of time just standing around watching them play and jump in and out of the water!
Also known as the “Crookedest street in the world”, Lombard Street has 8 super tight turns which brings tourists to drive down or just to watch others drive! Surrounded by beautiful mansions, this is definitely a sight to be seen.
San Francisco boasts the oldest Chinatown in North America, and the largest Chinese community outside of Asia! Be prepared for some great food and interesting sights.
These beautiful Victorian houses are found on Steiner Street, and you are not mistaken if you think you have seen them before! They have appeared in over 70 movies and TV shows, they are most famously recognised from the opening of Full House. You can get a great view of these houses and downtown San Francisco from across the road in Alamo Square.
Found in downtown San Francisco, Union Square is a public plaza surrounded by blocks of upscale boutiques, businesses, shopping and restaurants. You can also find one of my favourite places of all time…CHEESECAKE FACTORY!
Getting it’s name from it’s two intersecting streets, Haight-Ashbury is the hippie centre of San Francisco. Walking the streets of this district you will find an array of shops selling vintage clothing, antiques and of course some legal drugs…for those who have prescriptions!
Honestly, this was one of my most favourite things to do in San Francisco! This little car not only navigates you around the city, but tells you stories and history along the way! The best part was that we could stop and take photos and eat wherever we wanted and take our time throughout the day.
With so much to do, I hope this blog has given you some ideas for when you visit this beautiful city! Please comment below if you have any questions or any tips to add.
Cheers San Francisco!