Known for its mountainous landscape, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, beautiful victorian houses, cable cars and year-round fogs, San Francisco is one of the main cities of United States and is located in the northern part of California. The Alcatraz prison is one of the famous landmarks of the city and it is located in the bay of San Francisco.
From a tourist point of view there are a lot of things to do in San Francisco which bring almost 17 million visitors each year to this city. From museums to coffee shops there are numerous places in the city to explore
Here are ten things to in San Francisco whether you are new to the city or you are a frequent visitor.
10. Aquarium of the Bay
The Aquarium of the Bay is located at the edge of Pier 39 at Beach Street and Embarcadero in San Francisco California. Local marine life from the San Francisco Bay and neighbouring waters is the main focus of the aquarium. The aquarium was opened in 1996 and currently it holds 60,000 fish of 273 different species.
The aquarium is divided into three separate parts, first one is called Discover the bay and it exhibits moray eels, pipefish, garibaldi and other fishes in satellite tanks. The second is Under the Bay which is the largest exhibit in the aquarium including a 300 feet long tunnel featuring sea creatures and the third is Touch the Bay where you can touch and feel sea creatures.
09. Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco was first opened as a wing of M.H de Young Memorial Museum in Golden Gate Park but it was relocated to the San Francisco city Library building as the collection grew and the previous facility could not display all the pieces of art.
This museum has one of the largest collections of Asian art in the world and has over 18,000 works of art some of whom are six thousand years old. There are separate galleries which are dedicated to display the works of arts of Iran, Central Asia, South Asia, Japan, Korea, China and the Himalayas.
08. Ghirardelli Square
Located in the Fisherman’s Wharf area, the Ghirardelli Square is a famous public square known for its restaurants and shops. There were once over 40 different shops selling speciality items and some of these shops are still operating in the square.
Domingo Ghirardelli bought an entire block of the city to built the headquarters of his company the Ghirardelli Chocolate company but in 1962 the square was bought by William M. Roth and Lurline Matson Roth his mother and they hired a landscape artist and converted the square into retail complex for restaurants and shops.
The aim to build the Exploratorium was to create an experience which was based on inquiry and to explore the world through art, human perception and science. The Exploratorium is regarded as the most significant science museum of the 20th century.
The Exploratorium was opened in 1969 and it was founded by the renowned educator and physicist Frank Oppenheimer at the Palace of Fine Arts. There Exploratorium provides many different ways to explore the world around us which include exhibits, websites, events and webcasts.
06. Mission District
The Mission District in San Francisco is famous for the amazing and delicious Mexican Wraps, which is a steamed tortilla and is packed with cheese, rice, guacamole, beans, salsa and some combination of meat. These are extremely delicious and are very popular among the citizens of San Francisco.
In 1969 these Mexican wraps were first introduced to the city of San Francisco at the La Cumbre Taqueria. Now there are over a dozen of taquerias which serve amazing burritos. Some of the famous ones are the Taqueria Cancun, Pancho Villa, El Farolito and La Taqueria.
05. Presidio of San Francisco
Part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Presidio of San Francisco was previously a military base that has been now converted into a park. It is located on the peninsula in San Francisco, California. It is both a California Historical Landmark and a National Historic Landmark.
From April through October the Presidio of San Francisco becomes a popular picnic spot, Off the Grid which is a food truck gathering offers numerous food vending spots, live music and lawn games. There are also campouts at the Presidio after the evening.
04. Alcatraz Island
The Alcatraz island in the San Francisco Bay was a military fortification, a military prison and a lighthouse post, the military prison was later converted into a federal prison which operated from 1933 to 1963. Alcatraz was one of the most secure prisons in US and there is only one successful escape attempt during its 30 years.
Now the prison has been turned into a tourist attraction and people visit the place for its historic value and to take an inside look at how the iconic prison looked and felt from the inside. The prison has also been featured in a lot of movies and TV series.
03. Fisherman’s Wharf
One of the most popular tourist attraction of San Francisco, California is the Fisherman’s Wharf which surrounds the area from the Ghirardelli Square to Kenny Street. Two cable cars run through the area, one is the Powell-Hyde cable car running to Aquatic Park and the other is Powell-Mason cable car which run from nearby.
There are numerous tourist attraction all around this area some of which are the Ghirardelli Square the Musee mecanique, the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, Wax Museum and the Ripley’s Believe it or not Museum.
02. Union Square
Located in downtown San Francisco, California the Union Square is a public plaza and it is spread across an area of 2.6 acres . This place is also considered the central shopping district of the city, a theater and a hotel also surround the plaza. The area got its name due the fact that the Union Army used this place for gathering support in the American civil war days.
Today this plaza has the biggest collection of upscale boutiques, art galleries, gift shops, departmental stores and beauty salons in the entire United States. It is a major tourist attraction especially for those who are in a mood of shopping and spending some money.
1. Golden Gate Bridge
At 4,200 feet in length the Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge at the time of its opening in 1937. It is one of the most recognizable American structures and it is certainly the most photographed structure in the history of United States. The American Society of Civil Engineers have declared the Golden Gate Bridge as one of the Modern Wonders of the World.
The bridge also has sidewalks where visitors can take a walk along side the bridge and enjoy the beautiful view of the San Francisco Bay. There is also a dark side to the bridge as ever year a lot of people choose this bridge to commit suicide by jumping off from it into the cold water below.