Top 10 San Francisco Attractions
San Francisco is a charming city filled with distinct neighborhoods, beautiful waterfront views, and some truly iconic destinations. If you are considering a trip to San Francisco or already have one booked and are packed and ready to go, here are the top ten San Francisco attractions that would be a shame to miss while spending time in this historical port city.
1. Haight Ashbury - If you are looking to satisfy your inner hippie self, the intersection of Haight Ashbury is one of the San Francisco attractions that will be near the top of your list of places to go. Tuck a flower behind your ear, gather your good vibes, and get ready to see some gentle people where the Summer of Love took place in 1967. Haight Ashbury is located in what is considered the Upper Haight, and you can find Amoeba Music, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, and Magnolia Pub and Brewery in this neighborhood. The Haight Ashbury has stayed true to its Bohemian past and is located in one of the most vibrant of all San Francisco districts.
2. Golden Gate Bridge and Park - One San Francisco area attraction that is both beautiful and breathtaking is the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park. The Golden Gate Bridge was built in 1937 and at the time of its completion was the longest suspension bridge in the world. While no longer holding that title, it is still possibly one of the most memorable tourist destinations you will visit in San Francisco. The Golden Gate park comprises over 1,000 acres and is home to a peaceful Japanese Tea Garden, the California Academy of Sciences museum, and even a bison and buffalo paddock.
3. Fisherman's Wharf - This is one of the top ten San Francisco attractions because of all the excitement that is always going on along the waterfront. With varied dining options like Bistro Boudin (featuring fresh-made sourdough bread), street performers, and the famous sea lions by Pier 39, you'll want to remember your camera for all the fantastic photo opportunities you'll find at the wharf.
4. Lombard Street - Of all San Francisco attractions, this may be the most unique. Take the Powell-Hyde cable car to the top of Lombard Street and walk your way down this quarter-mile stretch of street that has switchbacks, designed to compensate for the incredibly steep hill the houses here are built on. Lombard Street is considered by many to be the most crooked street that can be found anywhere in the world.
5. Alcatraz - Go to prison at Alcatraz, also called The Rock, one of the most remote of San Francisco attractions. Catch a ferry with Alcatraz Cruises LLC, and rest easy knowing you'll be allowed to leave at the end of your tour. Alcatraz is now operated by the National Park Service and they have great programs to teach visitors about the colorful history of this military installation turned Federal penitentiary.
6. Cable Cars - The cable cars are the only rideable San Francisco attractions options. Take the cable cars to various destinations such as Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, and Nob Hill using the Powell-Mason, Powell-Hyde, or California lines. Visitors to San Francisco of any age will enjoy riding the cable cars and it is one of the most fun ways to get around and see some of the city!
7. San Francisco Zoo - One of the best family-friendly places to go out of all the top ten San Francisco attractions is the San Francisco Zoo. With over 250 species of animals, including a cassowary, giant anteater, and snow leopard, several dining options, and interactive activities like a steam train, this will be a wonderful San Francisco day trip for you.
8. Chinatown - This is one of the top ten San Francisco attractions not only because it is the oldest Chinatown in the United States but also the largest Chinatown outside Asia. The first Chinese immigrants arrived here in 1848 and their legacy is a thriving community offering many restaurants serving traditional Chinese food, Chinese herbal medicine houses, and exciting cultural events throughout the year.
9. Anchor Brewing - For the craft beer drinkers who enjoy microbrewery tours, this is a prime example of quality San Francisco attractions ideal for you. With a strong historical presence in San Francisco, use of traditional brewing methods mixed with current technology, and an interesting tour followed by a beer tasting, this will educate and interest both drinkers and non-drinkers alike.
10. Union Square - Don't forget to make a stop in one of the most popular shopping destinations in San Francisco. Attractions here include Banana Republic, Coach, Kenneth Cole, and Louis Vuitton. Grab a bite to eat at Bistro 69 or Posh Bagel before heading back out and satisfying your fashion needs. Before you leave, stop at Ghirardelli Chocolates for a little something for your sweet tooth!
Photo courtesy of: San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau Photo