Sitting by the ocean in northern California, San Francisco could be a world away from some of its brasher neighbors like Los Angeles. And while there is no shortage of iconic landmarks (the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz) you shouldn’t let a trip to this city turn into an exercise of simply ticking off the boxes of things that you have to see. A big part of the enjoyment of being here involves simply soaking up the unique atmosphere which you can’t get anywhere else in the world. Here are just a few of the things which you should see on a trip to this beautiful corner of the United States.
Golden Gate Bridge
Even if you are only in town on a short trip and staying in a San Francisco Airport hotel, you will still want to catch a glimpse of one of the most iconic tourist attractions on the entire planet. Don’t miss seeing the structure at night when you will get a totally different impression of it. Walking or cycling across the bridge is the best way to enjoy it slowly, and you are certainly going to want to stop for a picture or two on your way across.
One of the best-loved and most attractive areas of the city is Fisherman’s Wharf. Out to sea, you will be able to spot Alcatraz Island, which is well-worth a visit in itself. The oldest section was once known as Little Italy, and it has now been transformed into an area which boasts shopping, restaurants, and a pleasant stroll along the waterfront. Getting out on a boat is certainly worthwhile, and a way to experience a different side of the city.
Take a Ride on the Cable Cars
A rickety and bumpy ride up and down the hills of San Francisco is one of the essential experiences of a trip here. These vehicles date back to the 19th century, and while there are only a few remaining from their heyday, there are lines which can whisk you over to some of the most popular places in the city. It is worth buying a pass if you are going to be spending a few days here.
While you may have been to Chinatown in other cities and think that there couldn’t be much difference in this one, now is the time to think again. The largest Chinatown outside of Asia makes you feel like you have traveled across to the other side of the world with its temples, theatres, antiques and souvenir shops. If you are here during the Chinese New Year celebrations, you are certainly in for a treat.
Golden Gate Park
Finally, for people who love getting outdoors into nature, the Golden Gate Park is the place to go. Walking trails and cycling paths criss-cross around this area of green space, and thousands of different species of plant call this place home. A must-visit!
*This is a collaborative post