Top 10 Things to Do When Visiting San Francisco
By Kacey M. Bradley
Lifestyle Blogger and Freelance Writer The Drifter Collective
San Francisco may be small, but it certainly doesn't lack in things to do. Its 49 square miles encompass legendary bridges, culturally eclectic cuisine, riveting museums and local treats. However, many visiting are usually pressed for time, so it makes sense to narrow down their to-do list. The hilly and scenic San Francisco has many sights to explore, but the ten things below are considered must-sees by many:
Golden Gate Bridge
Perhaps the most iconic sight in San Francisco, it's possible to experience this sight in many ways - walking or driving across it, biking the side-path, or driving up to the Marin Headlands (located just north of San Francisco), a peninsula that provides a majestic above-view of the bridge. The bridge has both a pedestrian side and bike side for those who opt to walk across it.
From Pier 33, you can take a ferry to the island using Alcatraz Cruises. When there, you'll be guided throughout the grounds of one of the most historic prisons in American history. As the one-time holding cell of ruthless criminals like Al Capone, Whitey Bulger and George "Machine Gun" Kelly - in addition to the sight of the famous 'Escape from Alcatraz' - there's plenty of amazing historical nuggets to consume throughout the tour, which is particularly fun at night.
Whether you enjoy baseball or not, it's highly recommended to see a San Francisco Giants game in their beautiful home park. Regarded by many as one of the most beautiful baseball stadiums, the park features the San Francisco Bay as its backdrop, it often the eventual home of home run balls hit into there.
Speaking of the bay...
San Francisco Bay
There's plenty to do in this gorgeous bay, including awaiting in a small boat for a home run ball. In addition to that, sunset cruises, water activities and sightseeing are all available - usually with the gorgeous backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Ride the Cable Cars
Cable cars are one of the most unique trademarks of San Francisco, who along with New Orleans is known for its street-car charm. They aren't just for looking; a few dollars will buy you a cable car ride in San Francisco, with the multiple car lines travelling through Nob Hill, Chinatown and Russian Hill to Fisherman's Wharf at a steady 9mph. For an extra kick, channel your Doris Day and hang off the running boards.
Eat a Burrito
San Francisco is famous for its burritos and Mexican cuisine in general. The "Mission Burrito" features a steamed tortilla crammed with beans, rice, guac, meat, cheese and salsa fresca; it's a must-eat for anyone visiting San Fran. Locations that make a mean Mission Burrito include La Cumbre Taqueria, Taqueria Cancun, La Taqueria, El Farolito and Pancho Villa.
This famous road starts in San Francisco and ends at the Chesapeake Bay, providing a scenic route for those seeking to travel across the country. It’s one of the popular road trip sights, making it a great spot to either begin or end an epic road adventure.
Hike at Lands End
Lands End provides a series of beautiful views at the northwestern corner of San Francisco. It's a winding trail that provides sights of shipwrecks, Sutro bath ruins and Pacific Ocean views. It's a particularly great spot for a long hike or scenic stop.
Palace of Fine Arts
From a distance and even up close, the Palace of Fine Arts looks like a majestic golden Roman ruin. The architecture is fascinating in itself, surrounded by miniature lakes that feature ducks and swans. The surrounding area is a lush retreat from city life that provides a tranquil place for those seeking it.
This very hands-on museum - located at Pier 15 - is great for anyone interested in the sciences and arts, with over 600 exhibits including the popular Tactile Dome (which provides a very interesting journey using only touch). The Exploratorium is a great trip for all ages.
San Francisco is full of fun things to do, but these ten sights and activities take the cake as those that should not be missed.