San Francisco is a diverse destination, encompassing nature, history, art, science and some of the most beautiful scenery along the West Coast of the United States. It is not only hip, but pop culture and old traditions are neatly packed into this one fabulous city.
The Golden Gate Bridge is acclaimed to be one of the world’s most beautiful bridges. Its bright orange towers and sweeping main cables glow in the sunshine or are engulfed in the fog that frequents this area. No matter if you drive, walk or bicycle across this engineering marvel, the views are spectacular.
No visit would be complete without a ride on a cable car. These cable-powered streetcars have been transporting people up and down the fabulous hills of San Francisco since 1873. A highlight of the ride is actually at the end (or beginning) at the turnaround. Watch while drivers push the cable car on a rotating platform 180 degrees for the trip back up the hill.
A long strip along the waterfront is home to the Cannery, Ghirardelli Square and Pier 39. A working waterfront, also called Fish Alley, sells tons of sole, shrimp, salmon, and squid every year. Crab season (mid November - June) is the time for seafood lovers. There is shopping, entertainment, restaurants and vendors who sell Dungeness Crab ready to eat.
In addition to the expected displays of sea life, this unusual aquarium invites visitors into the hidden world of life under San Francisco Bay. A moving walkway takes you through two crystal clear tunnels, 300 feet in length, surrounded by 700,000 gallons of filtered Bay water and more than 23,000 aquatic animals.
This steep and winding street is the most photographed street in San Francisco. Tourists come to Russian Hill to see, drive or walk down the "crookedest street in the world," with eight hairpin turns. The Hyde Street Cable Car makes a stop at the top of Lombard Street. Along with the dramatic view of Lombard Street, there are awesome views of Fisherman’s Wharf and the Bay.
Walking through the dragon-adorned Pagoda Gates leads visitors into the colorful and exciting area of San Francisco known as Chinatown. It is tightly packed with exotic shops, ethnic food markets, and excellent restaurants. In February each year, the Chinese New Year is celebrated here with parades and dancing dragons.
Once a federal prison housing dangerous and notorious criminals, Alcatraz (The Rock) now welcomes tourists into the cellblocks once occupied by the likes of Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelley, and the Birdman of Alcatraz. Self-guided audiocassette tours have dramatic narratives of Alcatraz’s grim history, including realistic sound effects one would hear in prison.
If you are a Walt Disney fan, then this is the place to visit. Here you will learn more about the fascinating and inspiring story of Walt Disney – the man behind Mickey Mouse and Snow White. This fun museum features historic materials and artifacts, including early drawings and animation, movies, music and much more.