With so much to see and do in San Francisco, it’s little wonder that some 25.8 million tourists head to the Golden City each and every year.
San Francisco is an extraordinary place that somehow manages to balance being one of the most densely populated cities in the US while offering up plenty of opportunities for peace and tranquility if you want it.
Here are five things to see and do when visiting this unique stretch of Northern California.
#1 – See the Golden Gate Bridge
It kind of goes without saying that you will want to experience this one-mile long suspension bridge that connects San Francisco to Marin County across the Pacific Ocean.
Architecturally stunning and jaw-dropping to see in the flesh, the Golden Gate Bridge was – at the time of its construction in the 1930s – both the longest and tallest suspension bridge in the world.
And just a short walk away is the beautiful Golden Gate Park, in which you can enjoy scenic walks and observe the native wildlife set in more than one thousand acres of gardens.
#2 – Visit Alcatraz Island
You’ve heard the legend, now see it for yourself.
Alcatraz Island was home to some of the world’s most dangerous criminals, imprisoned on this floating penitentiary off the coast of San Fran. With its ocean location and high security, Alcatraz was said to be ‘escape-proof’ before it closed its doors in 1963.
Movie buffs may also recall the film ‘The Rock’ starring Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery, which was famously filmed there.
Regular cruises take tourists to the island, but be warned it’s a popular trip so you need to book well in advance!
#3 – Catch a Football Game
There’s plenty of sporting action to savor in San Francisco.
You can watch Major League Baseball at Oracle Park, home to the San Francisco Giants, or enjoy some courtside action at the Chase Center, which hosts former NBA champions the Golden State Warriors.
But arguably the hottest ticket in town is at the Levi’s Stadium, where the San Francisco 49’ers – at the time of writing – are enjoying a perfect 8-0 start in the NFC West division. Hotly tipped to go all the way to the Super Bowl, the 49’ers sit second in the NFL Power Rankings for 2019 so far.
#4 – Head to Mission Street
For artistic types, a sojourn to Mission Street comes highly recommended.
This is home to one of the highest concentrations of street art in the world, and you can take a leisurely stroll along the thoroughfare and enjoy the hundreds of colorful murals painted on the walls – this is one of the most Insta-friendly stretches in San Francisco!
From the political to the thought-provoking, you will see a wide range of Latino and Hispanic influences on the walls, floors, parking lots and even garage doors that stretch from Balmy Alley to Dolores Park.
#5 – Take in the Sights and Smells of Chinatown
Here’s a fun fact: San Francisco is home to the largest Chinatown area outside of Asia.
A huge Chinese population has settled in the city, bringing Chinatown to life with authentic cuisine, jewelry, fashion and architecture.
Be sure to grab a snap of the Dragon Gate entrance and try some of the specialties including wonton soup, dim sum and locally caught fish.
There’s so much to see and do in San Francisco, you’ll need plenty of time to catch it all!