There is much more to San Francisco other than the iconic Golden Gate Bridge or the vintage cable cars. There’s a little bit of everything for all which includes antique museum which still runs on pennies, a penitentiary, a guided stadium tour or an authentic Japanese Garden - it houses it all. So here a list which houses some of the best options of what to do in San Francisco while you are visiting.
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most incredible San Francisco points of interest. It is complete with its Orange arches standing tall over the rocky San Francisco Bay is an iconic landmark of the West Coast and a must in your what to do in San Francisco list. It connects the San Francisco to other counties in California. One can experience this masterpiece in a sensory experience featuring color, light and sound with souvenir shops present on either side of it for you to purchase some memorabilia. With more than 10 million visitors annually it is the most popular tourist attraction of San Francisco. View it from afar, or take a trip on it with a bike, it truly is a mesmerizing experience.
Golden Gate Park
Visiting this huge park is also among the most important things to do in San Francisco. The park has over 1000 acres of lush green landscape and boasts a number of picnic areas, museums, monuments and hiking trails. It is a place where the city dwellers can relax and unwind on their weekends or after a hard day’s work. A number of cultural events and activities are held every year including the famous Dahlia festival, to celebrate the city’s official flower. If you are in the mood for a family get together or just a leisurely stroll this is the perfect place.
Palace of Fine Arts
The Palace of Fine Arts is located between the Fisherman’s Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge. This 20th century monument design was inspired by Roman architecture; it underwent a large-scale renovation in 1950s. It hosts regular art exhibitions along with a favorite for weddings and a get together, you can visit the place to enjoy nature and the variety of wildlife around.
A place which has fun activities in store for both young and old alike, Exploratorium is just the place. It houses a ‘learning laboratory’ along with numerous indoor and outdoor exhibits which makes you think about the mysteries of science and solve problem-rising situations. The best thing about this place is that it makes you learn while you are having fun.
One of San Francisco’s mainstream attractions the seafront district houses a great shopping center and also PIER 39 which is a great spot for watching seals and the famous Ripley’s Believe it or not museum. Get a taste of delicious food and avail ferries to travel to Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Cable Car Ride
It is the first city in the world to have started the cable car system and is the last of its kind remaining in the United States. It is an iconic feature of San Francisco and an absolute must in your what to do in San Francisco list, you must hop in for a ride when you visit the city. It may not be the fastest mode of transport you’ll find but the vintage themed trolleys along with the hilly terrain makes for an exhilarating ride. A one-day pass for unlimited rides cost just 20 dollars.
It is considered as one of the best and the last of antique museums around, it houses a number of coin-operated music and amusement machines which include fortune teller and pinball. Many of the machines here are more than 75 years old and yet amazingly are still in operation. The only place probably, where quarters will make your day!
Ferry Building Marketplace
A must visits for foodies, the marketplace offers delicacies which range anywhere from pastries, confections and Parisian café style food. It is a certified market for farmers which remains open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 2 pm.
AT & T park
Home to San Francisco Giants, it is one of the iconic stadiums in the US and a great place to enjoy a game of baseball. Enjoy a match with a view of glittering water body in the background or simply visit in the off season for a guided stadium tour.
The twin peaks offer breathtaking views of the city along with the sunrise and should be a must in your what to do in San Francisco list. When you are in the mood for a walk or an afternoon stroll just drop by and enjoy 360 degree views of the city. You can also go for hiking trails to explore the array of flora and fauna among the lush green vegetation around. Open daily from dawn to dusk, it’s easily accessible by metro, bus or a car.
If you want to see the rich and vibrant gay culture, lifestyle and events then a visit to the Castro neighborhood is a must. It was among the first gay neighborhoods in US and remains and prominent symbol among LGBT activists all over the world. Pay a visit to the Harvey Milk headquarters, a museum for gay right movements or come along in October to visit the Castro Street fair, which hosts a number of events including comedy, music shows and food festivals.
A must visits for History Buffs it is situated on a small rocky island, it was formerly a penitentiary now turned into a museum. Learn how the prisoners used to live in here, their daily life routines and learn stories about their numerous failed attempts to flee. One can also see various landmarks of the city including the iconic Golden Gate Bridge from here. Take a ferry ride which includes a tour guide to the island, which is available throughout the day till 6.45 pm.
South of Market Street (SoMa)
The SoMa neighborhood is the perfect place for exploring the nightlife of the city and should be a must in your what to do in San Francisco list. Housing some of the best nightclubs it attracts everyone from teens to professionals. Nightlife starts at 5pm with Happy Hours and heats up once the night progresses. So be there to let your hair down and party after a long taxing day.
Muir Woods National Movement
Situated at just half an hour’s drive from San Francisco, find yourself in the midst of 350 plus feet tall Redwood trees and is a popular San Francisco points of interest. It offers you a chance to explore the quieter and finer aspects of life far away from the maddening crowd of the city and is an excellent spot for hikers and cyclists. You can either sunbathe or swim at the Muir or Stinson Beach, located nearby.
Union Square is a popular San Francisco points of interest resting place among travelers and locals and is an absolute shoppers delight with high end stores housing world class brands. It is also the scene of many art installations such as the heart shaped sculptures created by local artists. You can visit the Tix Booth in order to get information about recent performances and watch them at half prices, get free tour maps or even get food tips. When you are tired take a break at Union Square Park, which lies at the epicenter and is surrounded by Palm trees on all sides.
Japanese Tea Garden
This is a great place to relax and unwind, far away from the humdrum of the city. Take a quiet afternoon stroll basking in the sunshine or simply meditate to contemplate. It features flora from both China and Japan and the buildings and bridges in and around here are heavily influenced by Japanese Architecture and located in the Golden Gate State Park, it is the largest of its kind in the US.
A popular place for the young Bohemian crowd, the district has yet managed to maintain its original Mexican ambience. Check out some of the street side eating joints to have some great burritos. Walk up to the Bernal Heights, situated nearby for excellent views of the city.