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Top 10 Things to do in San Francisco

In this post, we’ll show you the top 10 things to do while in San Francisco. 

San Francisco Lombard Street
Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash / Lombard Street, San Francisco

This is based on a fun trip to The Golden City. 

Share your own experience or ask a question in the comments below. 

And stick around until the end of this video for a bonus attraction with amazing views of San Francisco. 

Here are our top 10 picks: 

1- GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE 

The Golden Gate Bridge spans the strait that connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean.

It was the world’s longest suspension bridge when built in 1937.

It is now one of the most renowned icons of the United States, as well as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

It is also claimed to be the world’s most photographed bridge due to its worldwide orange hue and stunning surroundings.

Take a walk or drive over this iconic monument to find the finest spot for a selfie, or even take a boat ride beneath it.

Don’t miss the Presidio, a vast area on an ex-army station near the Golden Gate Bridge.

2- FISHERMAN’S WHARF 

Fisherman’s Wharf acquired its name from the fisherman who moored their boats at the San Francisco wharf in the 1800s.

And fed the swarms of Gold Rush fortune seekers.

Since the 1970s, this historic area has been a world-renowned tourist destination.

Visit Pier 39, which has a variety of shops, restaurants, and other activities, as well as a unique view of the sea lions basking near the pier.

Ghirardelli Square is near the far end of Fisherman’s Wharf.

This well-known monument was once a chocolate factory founded by an Italian immigrant.

Ghirardelli Square now has one-of-a-kind stores, award-winning restaurants, and a five-star hotel.

Don’t miss out on the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and Historic Pier 45.

There you can see the Vessels from the 2nd World War. 

3- PALACE OF FINE ARTS THEATRE 

The Palace of Fine Arts was erected for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

It was to prove to the world that San Francisco could be rebuilt as an international metropolis.

After following the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire.

A lagoon and pathways can be found in this architectural wonder inspired by Roman ruins, making it a popular setting for art shows and weddings.

Did you know the Palace is thought to have inspired Queen Amidala’s regal palace in Star Wars?

Visit the neighboring Marina District Lighthouse and Wave Organ if you have time.

This artwork interacts with the San Francisco Bay’s waves.

4- GOLDEN GATE PARK 

Golden Gate Park is a wonderful location for walks, picnics, and reading, providing a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Dutch Windmill Golden Gate Park
Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash/ Dutch Windmill, San Francisco, United States

In this 1,000-acre urban park, you’ll discover gardens, meadows, hills, lakes, playgrounds, and buildings.

The park contains many exciting attractions.

Such as the Conservatory of Flowers, a Victorian-style glass greenhouse. 

Murphy and Dutch Windmills, which were built for park irrigation.

A charming Stow Lake with the Golden Gate Pavilion and Strawberry Hill.

The 55-acre San Francisco Botanical Garden.

The de Young Museum, America’s oldest public Japanese public; and many other attractions. 

5- BEAUTIFUL STREETS 

San Francisco has it all.

Rolling hills and magnificent ocean vistas.

Lovely streets dotted with colorful and adorable residences. 

Check out the following areas while you drive or stroll about the city to experience the city.

Painted Ladies, located in Alamo Square, is a collection of Victorian and Edwardian residences.

Built with brilliant colors that highlight the architectural characteristics.

From Alamo Square Park, you can get a great view of the Painted Ladies and downtown San Francisco. 

Lombard Street is a steep one-way street with eight tight curves.

Making it “The Crookedest Street in the World,”.

And 16th Avenue Tiled Stairs is a local initiative that converted 163 steps into artwork.

There are plenty of more interesting streets and communities to explore.

Are you planning a trip to San Francisco and having trouble finding information?

6- SUTRO BATHS 

Sutro Baths, built in the 1890s, was the world’s biggest indoor swimming facility, with six saltwater pools and one freshwater pool.

However, the baths were a failure due to excessive maintenance expenses. In the 1960s, they were converted into an ice skating rink.

Unfortunately, the structure burnt down shortly after, leaving the once-glamorous location in ashes. Visit the Baths around sunset for the greatest photo opportunities.

The Camera Obscura is a gigantic image-projecting device.

All based on one of Leonardo da Vinci’s 15th-century creations.

This is also near the Baths.

The gadget provides live 360-degree views of the Seal Rocks Area. Other sights at Lands End should not be overlooked.

7- CHINATOWN 

The Grant Avenue Chinatown is the largest outside of Asia and the oldest in North America among San Francisco’s four Chinatowns.

It was founded in the mid-nineteenth century and has played an important role among North America’s Chinese immigrants.

The community has maintained its language, customs, and identity.

As predicted, there are various traditional Chinese stores and restaurants here.

As well as well-known sites including Dragon’s Gate, Sing Chong Building, Tin How Temple, and Portsmouth Square.

San Francisco has many additional intriguing neighborhoods. More ideas may be found in our next trip guide.

8- FERRY BUILDING & MARKET 

The Ferry Building, located on the Embarcadero, is a terminus for ferries crossing San Francisco Bay.

This monument, constructed in 1898, was the city’s greatest building effort at the time.

It has a culinary hall and a marketplace where you can buy locally sourced and sustainable goods.

From the building, you can see the lovely Oakland Bay Bridge.

Visit the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market to purchase fresh produce from local farmers as well as a variety of other things.

Don’t miss Pier 7.

This has stunning views of the Oakland Bay Bridge on one side.

And San Francisco’s Financial District, which is home to the Transamerica Pyramid on the other.

9- ALCATRAZ 

This island is famous for the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary.

Which is escape-proof due to strong bay currents and nearby chilly seas.

Built-in the nineteenth century, the jail became known as “The Rock” and imprisoned over 1,500 of America’s most brutal criminals.

Including Al Capone. Yet

However, due to a poor reputation and hefty maintenance expenses, the institution was forced to close in 1963.

Today, Alcatraz Island is available to the public and provides a stunning perspective of San Francisco.

Tickets to the island are frequently sold out, so make your reservation as soon as possible.

10- RIDE A CABLE CAR EXPERIENCE 

San Francisco’s gorgeous steep hills would be incomplete without its classic cable cars.

Ride one of the vehicles of the San Francisco cable car system, the world’s last of its kind. They run every ten minutes.

Andrew Smith Hallidie invented cable vehicles in San Francisco in 1873.

He initially put it through its paces at night.

It remained the city’s major transit system for more than 30 years after it was adopted by the masses as a new mode of public transportation.

San Francisco has three cable car routes.

The Powell/Hyde and Powell/Mason routes are the most popular since they run through big high hills and provide spectacular city vistas.

A turnaround junction is also part of the San Francisco cable car system.

Before returning, the automobiles are manually turned around.

Did you know that San Francisco boasts a plethora of distinctively designed streetcars?

The city has the most diversified collection of trams in regular transportation operations in the world.

How can you tell the difference between the two systems?

Streetcars and cable cars both use steel tracks, while streetcars use an overhead wire.

And now for the promised bonus: visit the famed Coit Tower for unparalleled views of the financial sector and the entire San Francisco area.

This 210-foot (64-meter) tower atop Telegraph Hill was constructed in 1933.

It was to commemorate its principal benefactor, Lillie Hitchcock Coit.