The jewel of California, San Francisco attracts millions of visitors each year. As the tourism industry starts to pick up again, there are many more people looking for things to do in this part of the US.
There are clear benefits to coming here. In the optimum months of the year, the sun shines and the weather is warm and welcoming. Secondly, there is simply so much to see. Here are 10 reasons to visit the great city of San Francisco.
Golden Gate Bridge
If there is one ‘must see’ on any San Francisco itinerary, it has to be the Golden Gate Bridge. No tourist should ever arrive in the city without the aim of taking a selfie at this iconic landmark.
Opened in 1937, this is a stunning structure in its own right, but it also affords the visitor some spectacular views across the Golden Gate Strait and into the city.
Fancy your chances of getting out of jail? Alcatraz had a reputation for being the most secure prison in the world. Even if the inmates were able to escape, the ability to negotiate their way off the island would have been negligible.
Legend has it that three men did escape this notorious jail. In the present day, Alcatraz is a museum and a top San Francisco tourist attraction.
Take in a Sports Game
Anyone wanting to watch sport in San Francisco will be spoiled for choice. The city boasts a number of major teams across MLB, NFL and MLS. For many, basketball is the biggest attraction and the Golden State Warriors are a successful unit.
Between 2015 and 2022, Golden State won five championships and the NBA lines continue to show the team among the favorites moving forward. In Stephen Curry, GSW have one of the greatest players of all time, and a trip to the Chase Center is high on tourists’ lists.
For an area of more historical interest, the Chinatown region of San Francisco is hard to beat. Chinese migrants began to arrive in the Gold Rush era and, since the second half of the 19th century, they’ve been an integral part of the culture.
There are a number of landmarks to see, while there is the obvious attraction of some fantastic Eastern cuisine.
Golden Gate Park
Anyone wishing to leave the hustle and bustle can find peace and tranquility in Golden Gate Park. There are many acres of lush, green woodland here, along with some unexpected sights.
It’s a perfect location for a picnic while visitors can take part in pastimes such as archery. There’s even a buffalo reserve out on the Park’s northern edge.
Alcatraz is one of the most popular museums in San Francisco, but it has plenty of competition. Around the city, there are some fascinating locations including the Legion of Honor, the Walt Disney Family Museum and the California Academy of Sciences.
If time is limited, many visitors recommend the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It has a pricier entry fee, but the huge collection of contemporary works make it worthwhile.
A Choice of Cuisines
San Francisco is known for its diverse culture and that has helped to introduce a whole host of different cuisines. The region is famed for its oysters and there are farms all around the area. Seafood as a whole is abundant here.
There’s also a wide choice of Burmese food outlets, while tourists are encouraged to try Dutch Crunch Bread. It has a soft, sweet and buttery taste which makes the bread perfect for sandwiches.
From most parts of the city, visitors will notice a curious cylindrical building. This is Coit Tower and it is an important tourist attraction for two reasons. Firstly, it is considered to be the best place to get uninterrupted 360 degree views of the whole San Francisco area.
Coit Tower is also steeped in history: Built in 1933, it was constructed as a legacy to Lillie Hitchcock Coit, who wanted to add beauty to the area. The building contains stunning fresco murals and it’s been featured in many top movies including The Enforcer and Sister Act 2.
The San Francisco area provides a fine base to a host of wine tours. California is the home of the Napa Valley, one the finest regions in the world, and there are a number of vineyards waiting to show you around.
The Sonoma Valley is also close by and there is a choice of tours by bus, or even by bike.
North Beach Stroll
As the iconic song by Scott McKenzie confirms, San Francisco was an important part of the Flower Power scene in the late 1960s. In the present day, part of that hippy culture still remains.
Those wishing to evoke those memories are recommended to take a stroll along North Beach, where they can visit the Beat Museum or hang around in bars previously frequented by Allen Ginsburg and Jack Kerouac.