San Francisco is often called "Everybody’s Favorite City," a title earned by its scenic beauty, cultural attractions, diverse communities, and world-class cuisine.
Measuring 49 square miles, this very walk-able city is dotted with landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, Cable Cars, Alcatraz and largest Chinatown in the United States. A stroll through the city’s streets can lead from Union Square to North Beach to Fisherman’s Wharf, with intriguing and diverse neighborhoods to explore at every turn.
A walking city, San Francisco offers more than 30 walking tours canvassing every corner of the city. San Francisco gives you many reasons to come and explore the destination in a new way on each visit. Here are few activities to explore:
A walk across the Golden Gate Bridge
Once called ‘the bridge that couldn't be built’, today it is one the seven wonders of the modern world. The Bridge connects San Francisco to California's northern counties. With its tremendous 746-foot tall towers, sweeping main cables, signature International Orange color, and Art Deco styling, it is a sensory experience featuring color, light, and sound. A walk across the Golden Gate Bridge is often called ‘the walk of walks’. Considered one of the foremost engineering triumphs in the world, the bridge is the seventh longest suspension bridge in the world. The bridge is open to pedestrians including persons with disabilities and on wheelchairs on the East Sidewalk from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Be sure to check out the new Bridge Experience which debuted during the bridge’s 75th anniversary.
San Francisco is one of the few places in the world people can ride on a national historic landmark. The cable cars are the world's last permanently operational, manually operated cable car system, in the U.S. sense of a tramway whose cars are pulled along by cables embedded in the street. These historic vehicles are not self-powered; rather they move using a mechanism that grips cables that run beneath San Francisco's streets. The cable cars run on Powell-Hyde, Powell-Mason and California Street. The Cable Car Museum located in the Washington-Mason powerhouse and carbarn on Nob Hill overlooks the huge engines and winding wheels that pull San Francisco’s cables. It also features three antique cable cars from the 1870s, photographs, mechanical displays and a fun gift shop.
Popular with tourists, Fisherman's Wharf is full of waterfront marketplaces, silly museums and family fun. Fishing boats, sea lions basking in the sun, seafood stalls, steaming crab cauldrons, seafood restaurants, sourdough French bread bakeries and historic ships add to the atmosphere. The historic F-Line streetcar and two cable car lines terminate in the area and sightseeing boats and boat charters link to Alcatraz ("The Rock"), Angel Island and other points around San Francisco Bay. Take an early morning walk down "Fish Alley" to see fisherman at work. Later, the Wharf is boardwalk-style family entertainment with decidedly tourist attractions such as Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum, the Red & White Fleet, the Wax Museum, and of rare interest to local San Franciscans, the Aquarium. For maritime-lovers and WWII buffs, the San Francisco Maritime Museum is a must visit.
From amazing views and sea lions to clam chowder bread bowls and California wines, your visit to San Francisco starts at PIER 39. Kick off your visit by exploring two levels of dining, entertainment, shopping and attractions, all surrounded by unbeatable views of the city and the bay. Whether you're traveling with the kids, looking for a fun and romantic date setting, or just seeking a getaway with friends, the possibilities are endless at one of San Francisco's most beloved destinations.
San Francisco’s urban winery scene
An hour’s drive from San Francisco is the legendary Napa Valley, quintessential destination for dining and wine-tasting. Calistoga in Napa County is famed for its mineral waters and baths. San Francisco’s Wine country destinations also include Santa Rosa, the region’s largest town, and Petaluma with its riverside walk, and Sonoma. San Francisco’s burgeoning Dogpatch neighborhood also offers a promising experience for wine lovers. Visitors can easily make a day of it just checking out the stores, the Sonoma Mission and eateries hugging the main square in Sonoma or venture forth to explore one of the many farms and ranches featured in the Sonoma County Farm Trails guide. Lake County to the north, boasts majestic Clear Lake at its centerpiece and Mendocino offers wine country by the sea. Jack London State Park offers Broadway Under the Stars during the summer months.
One of the most photographed locations in San Francisco, Alamo Square's famous "Painted Ladies" is indeed a visual treat. A tight, escalating formation of Victorian houses is back-dropped by downtown skyscrapers, and the grassy square is an ideal midday break. The grassy square itself is an ideal midday break. One of 11 historic districts designated by the Department of City Planning, the area includes several bed and breakfast inns.
With world-class wineries, artisanal cheese makers and small farms just a short drive away, San Francisco is awash in culinary riches. The quality and quantity of the restaurants here make San Francisco an unparalleled food city. The city is best known for its farm fresh, ingredient-driven food showcased at restaurants like the Foreign Cinema, Greens and Boulevard. The #1 restaurant in the U.S. also happens to be in San Francisco. The Slanted Door a recent winner of the James Beard Foundation. San Francisco is regularly rated by culinary media and foundations as one of the finest restaurant cities in the world, and it’s easy to understand why – with 49 square miles of great dining, San Francisco is a Mecca for the mouth. The City’s diverse, distinct blending of cultures, creativity and proximity to fresh, sustainable ingredients continues to attract great chefs, with a trail of devoted foodies following in their wake. Stir-fried or simmered. Slow food or street food. Haute or hip. Farm-to-table or caviar and Champagne. No matter what your taste, San Francisco has a menu to match it.