A Helpful Guide To Things To Do In San Francisco
San Francisco is among the most beautiful cities in the United States, with rolling hills and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. It is also the jewel of Northern California. The city is rich in history and has wonderful neighborhoods, parks, beaches, museums, and a plethora of entertainment options and activities.
Alcatraz Island and Oracle Park are two of the most well-known attractions, but there are numerous other places to visit. Napa Valley in San Francisco is the largest of its kind in America and is well worth a visit. Tour the city on one of the historic cable cars for an interesting experience. Let’s go exploring our list of the best things to do in San Francisco.
1. Golden Gate Bridge
The city’s defining landmark spans the Golden Gate Strait, which connects the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco Bay, and connects San Francisco to Marin and Sausalito. It’s walkable on foot but also easy to see by car at just under two miles. It is among the top popular places in san francisco. It’s difficult to understand the bridge’s magnitude or beauty until you cross it. Stop outside the Welcome Center at the statue of the bridge’s designer, Joseph Strauss, and look for the plaques explaining the bridge’s history, as well as the obligatory photograph.
2. Alcatraz Island
You may recognize it by its full name or as “The Rock.” It is the prison that housed gangster Al Capone and was open as a federal penitentiary for 29 years. It became notorious for failed escape attempts—the island is only 1.25 miles offshore, and 34 prisoners were enticed by the glittering lights of the city to try their luck swimming through the frigid, choppy waters to freedom. Today, you can take a 12-minute ferry ride out to the island and get up close and personal with the infamous prison. The interior of the island is currently closed due to COVID-19, but visitors are welcome to walk around outside the Cellhouse and Warden’s House, as well as explore historic outdoor areas such as Eagle Plaza, the Recreation Yard, and the Rose Garden. If you are a solo female traveller, you must checkout this travel guide solo female travel to San Francisco.
3. Legion of Honor
The Legion of Honor museum, built as a replica of Paris’ Legion d’Honneur, is not only one of San Francisco’s best, but also one of its most beautiful structures. It houses over 800 European paintings, including works by Picasso, Monet, and Rembrandt, as well as over 90 Rodin sculptures, including The Thinker. Make time to walk around the grounds for spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
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4. California Academy of Sciences
The Golden Gate Park Science and Natural History Museum was entirely rebuilt in 2008, and the new Renzo Piano-designed construction features unique architectural elements such as a rooftop covered in native plant life. The “living exhibits” are probably the most interesting. There is a rainforest teeming with plants, frogs, free-flying birds, and butterflies, as well as a flooded rainforest tunnel teeming with Amazonian fish. Other live animal exhibits include a recreated swamp where you can look down at Claude, the resident albino alligator with deep red eyes, and a colony of playful African penguins who swim and do flips in a tank with pyjama sharks and sea stars. The Steinhart Aquarium also has jellyfish and a living coral reef. Shake House, an experiential exhibit that allows visitors to safely experience the types of tremors that shook the Bay Area during the city’s two biggest quakes—the Loma Prieta Earthquake and the Great Earthquake of 1906—is among the less “live” exhibits.
5. Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park, home to beautiful gardens and amusing museums, is a magnificent green space in the heart of San Francisco, mostly considered the “lungs” of the city. These were arid dunes before development began in 1871. The park now has a network of walking trails and cycling paths, over 5,000 different plant species and dozens of tree species, several lakes, bridle paths, and a buffalo paddock. Among the main attractions are the de Young Museum, the Japanese Tea Garden, the California Academy of Sciences Museum with the Steinhart Aquarium, and the San Francisco Botanical Garden.
6. Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks is the name of a pair of prominent hills near San Francisco’s central business district. However, it is shorthand for the city’s best lookout, which is located atop a hill about 3.5 miles from downtown San Francisco. Beyond the view, there’s not much to see here—but what a view. The road leading to the top is currently closed, but you can still reach the summit by walking or running up a series of stairs and trails. On sunny days, it offers a stunning 360-degree view of the city and beyond. Depending on your vantage point, you may be able to see the Golden Gate Bridge to the north, Mount Diablo to the east, and the the San Bruno mountains to the south.
The Exploratorium, one of San Francisco’s most popular family attractions, is a popular science museum with exhibits for both children and adults. A large number of diverse exhibits, many of which include hands-on learning experiences, cover a wide range of topics and are all aimed to educate and entertain. Children enjoy this museum because there are so many experiments and fun things to do for kids, and most adults enjoy it as well, whether they have children or not.
8. Oracle Park
While in town, Oracle Park is a fun place to watch a baseball game. Buy tickets along the first, third, or fourth baselines, or behind home plate, if you want to gaze out over the ballpark to the breathtaking view of the ocean. If you can’t make it to a game, consider taking a 90-minute ballpark tour for a behind-the-scenes look at areas most people don’t get to see. You can learn about the historical events that occurred here as well as explore the architecture. Tours are scheduled around games and do not run every day, so make sure to check the online calendar ahead of time.
9. Napa Valley
The two best-known and largest grape-growing areas in California, Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, are less than 1.5 hours from San Francisco. Many people visit this area for a day trip to enjoy the scenery and to visit some of the locations along the way. Napa is one of the largest Californian towns north of San Francisco, located at the southern end of the valley of the same name, 52 miles from San Francisco. This is a breathtakingly beautiful area with a drier climate than the coastal regions. It was established in 1848 and is named after the long-extinct Napa Indians. The Napa Mountains form the western boundary. The Howell Mountains form Napa County’s eastern boundary and protect the valley from storms.
These are the things to do in San Francisco which you should consider when planning a trip. San Francisco is a vibrant city with plenty to do and see. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, there is something for everyone. From exploring the city’s world-famous landmarks to taking in the unique culture of the city, there is no shortage of fun and exciting things to do in San Francisco. From outdoor activities to cultural attractions, San Francisco has something to offer everyone. With the help of this guide, you can easily find the perfect activity for you and your family to enjoy. MySittivacations holidays include suggestions for each destination’s high-end and mid-range hotels.