San Francisco is one of the most visited cities in the world and no wonder, with its creative, unconventional vibe, cultural diversity, famous landmarks, and seaside scenery.
Iconic Landmarks in San Francisco:
The Golden Gate Bridge is an instantly recognizable symbol of San Francisco. The adjoining Golden Gate Park is a place of footpaths, forests, and meadows where American bison and other local wildlife roam, redwood trees tower overhead, and magical places such as the Japanese Tea Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers can be found.
The Palace of Fine arts in the Marina District is housed in an architecturally arresting structure originally designed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. The place was almost demolished afterwards along with other buildings from the Exposition, but it was so loved by people that a Palace Preservation League was founded while the Exposition was still going on by people who wanted it kept. However the structure was not built to last and had to be taken down in the 1960’s and rebuilt. It is a unique spot to pose for photographs or enjoy a picnic by the surrounding lagoon. Afterwards visit the Exploratorium, cnow housed by the Palace. The Exploratorium has over 400 participatory exhibits and activities that mix science and art. It was founded by physicist and educator Frank Oppenheimer, who wanted to inspire people to explore and try to understand the world around them.
Places to Go in San Francisco:
Spend a day San Franciscan style, taking it slow by the San Francisco Bay. Walk along Fisherman's Wharf where street performers compete for your attention. Small seafood restaurants, museums, and Sea lions can all be found here. Take a harbour tour around the Bay to get the best view of the city then go to Alcatraz Island, the famous prison, known as the rock was considered inescapable because of its location on a rocky outcropping which juts out of San Francisco Bay, and is surrounded by cliffs and choppy water. Walk through the prison with an audio tour, complete with the sounds of guards giving orders, cell doors slamming, and prisoner interviews. Afterwards take the time to view the city from Alcatraz Island.
What makes San Francisco so special is the diversity and eclecticism of its people and neighborhoods. If you can, take the time to explore different neighborhoods such as Chinatown, North Beach, Haight-Ashbury, the Mission District, and others to find out what makes each so distinct.
Eating and Drinking in San Francisco:
San Francisco is known for its diverse range of restaurants and fine dining, it has more restaurants per capita than any other major city in North America. Many gourmet restaurants feature organic or locally grown products paired with wine from the nearby Napa Valley. Asian food, such as Thai, Korean, Chinese and Japanese is in abundance in San Francisco. Fisherman’s Wharf is the spot for seafood, while the Mission area is the best for Mexican and Latin American food. There are also many vegan and vegetarian restaurants in San Francisco.
The San Francisco Ferry Building is a microcosm of culinary delights in the form of the country’s best farmer’s market. With shops, restaurants and over 200 market stalls, you’re sure to find something to spark your taste buds.
San Francisco has many microbreweries where you can enjoy a delicious local brew. San Francisco is also known for its nightlife and it has something for everyone. To find a good spot to dance the night away, ask a local for a recommendation or pick up a copy of the The SF Bay Guardian or the SF Weekly to help narrow down your choices.
Bon Appétit, and enjoy your trip to San Francisco!
Photo: California Travel and Tourism Commission/ ShutterStock