1. Golden Gate Bridge
What comes to mind when thinking of San Francisco? Most would say the iconic and most photographed attraction, the Golden Gate Bridge, comes to mind. Known for its towering suspension cables and its international orange color, it is a site that you must see!
2. Fisherman’s Wharf
Fun, Inspirational, and Boudin’s clam chowder bread bowl are the things that come to mind when thinking about Fisherman’s Wharf. You can go to museums, aquariums, walk aboard a warship, experience a 7D theater, check out the views by the bay, watch street performers as they juggle, dance, sing, and paint, and of course you have to go to Boudin, where they are famous for their sourdough bread! (Warning: Watch out for “street performers” playing the shell game. They will take your money and you will not win! I lost $60 in 3 min and saw a guy lose $400 in 2 min. I am just warning you, don’t be dumb like I am! Haha)
3. Alcatraz (Blue Angels Show)
On any normal day you wouldn’t say you want to go to a federal penitentiary, but everyone needs to visit Alcatraz. Al Capone, George “Machine-Gun” Kelly, and Alvin Karpis are a few of the famous prisoners that were held at there. You get to take a ferry through the bay, which is amazing in itself, and then you get to see what this penitentiary was really like for 1,576 of the most dangerous people in the world. If you go during fleet week, when San Francisco honors there naval forces, you could watch the blue angels perform their flight show while you are visiting Alcatraz. That is a show I will never forget.
4. Food Trucks
Personally, I love the environment and the fun, friendly atmosphere that surrounds food trucks. I don’t know what it is, but people just seem to be happier around food trucks (or just food in general)! Presidio Picnic and Presidio Twilight are two different food truck events in San Francisco located on The Main Parade Ground. Presidio Picnic is starts March 19 to October from 11 am to 4 pm on Sundays and the Presidio Twilight starts May 18 to October from 5 pm to 9 pm. At Presidio Twilight there are around 15-20 food trucks with live music, rentable lantern-lit cabanas and chairs with fire pits. It is an amazing night for a group of friends, or a couple looking to get away for the night, or even something that is single and ready to mingle!
5. Lands End
Surf, sun, and sand is what you get at Lands End. If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, it is an amazing place to go and relax with views from the cliff or from down on the beach. Louis’ and Cliff House are two restaurants overlooking the ocean, but Louis is the more affordable place out of the two with just as good of views if you can get a window seat.
6. Painted Ladies (Alamo Square Park)
For anyone who has seen the TV show Full House, you will know what the Painted Ladies are. The famous Painted Ladies in San Francisco are across the street from Alamo Square Park. From there you can get a picture of the row of victorian styled homes and the city in the backdrop as seen in the intro to every Full House episode. Take your blanket and a book or a picnic because this park is great place to just sit down unwind.
Experience the oldest Chinatown in North America as you walk through streets filled with Chinese culture, Chinese cuisine, and shops. Chinatown in San Francisco is a city inside a city. It is filled with colorful alleys and architecture that would make you feel as if you were in China.
8. Pier 39
Sea lions, shops, scenic views, and restaurants are a few things that Pier 39 has to offer. Tens and hundreds of sea lions laying out on the floating docks attract thousands of visitors per day. There are various shops and restaurants, but I would recommend going somewhere that serves seafood, considering you are by the bay.
9. Downtown San Francisco
….. or the Financial District is a fast paced area full of corporate headquarters, shopping malls, luxury retailers, restaurants, and clubs. They have some of the finest dining anywhere from burgers, to sushi, to melt-in-your-mouth, bacon wrapped, filet mignon from the top Brazilian Steakhouses. The Cheesecake Factory on top of the Macy’s building is great for an evening dinner with views for a reasonable price.
10. AT&T Park
Crackerjacks, peanuts, bay views, a hidden slide inside the Coca-Cola bottle, and a VIP only bar hidden behind the scoreboard are all parts of AT&T Park. This is home to Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants. This park has amazing sunset views of the bay area from the mid to upper levels. Sitting in the nose bleeds has it perks if you want the bay views, but if you want to see the game, then you are going want to find lower level tickets.
11. Treasure Island
The best view you will find of San Francisco and the Bay Bridge will come from Treasure island. The lights from the Bay Bridge along with the city skyline make for an incredible view that will have you in awe. This is a must see if you are in the city. You can get to the island by bus, you can drive, or you can get a 10-15 min uber depending on the traffic across the bay bridge!
12. Lombard Street
Lombard street has got to be the steepest and curviest road I have ever seen. Eight hairpin turns line this beautifully landscaped street. It wouldn’t be the first place I would visit in San Francisco, but if you have time you should check it out. I have honestly never seen anything like it before.
13. Twin Peaks
Could be called San Francisco’s best view depending on who you ask. This spot gives you panoramic views, standing 958 feet above the city. This viewpoint is more for the naked eye than pictures. Pictures just do not do this spot justice. It gives you views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge, dowtown, the bay, and even Alcatraz in the distance.
14. University of San Francisco
….. otherwise known as “The Hilltop” is a beautiful campus mixed with all different architectural styles! The St. Ignatius Church as is absolutely magnificent and reason enough to go check out the USF campus.