- 14 San Francisco Surprises
- San Francisco — Some Top Attractions
- San Francisco
San Francisco – Some Top Attractions
There is enough to experience and explore in San Francisco to fill a hundred itineraries but most visitors want to see the more famous sites right away. Here is a basic list of the "must see" attractions and areas of San Francisco. For more information on any of these attractions and activities, visit.
• Cable Cars – There are three lines for this famous transportation system, Powell-Hyde, Powell-Mason and the California Street Line.
• Golden Gate Bridge – Explore on foot or by car, bicycle, tour bus or fire engine tour. Travel under the bridge on a bay cruise or soar over it by helicopter or seaplane. This famous landmark is celebrating its 75th anniversary in May, 2012.
• Alcatraz and Fisherman's Wharf – Fisherman's Wharf is the most visited section of San Francisco. Enjoy street performers, fresh seafood , unique shops and visit the Boudin Museum & Bakery Tour to see loaf after loaf of San Francisco's famous sourdough French bread baked. Take in the fresh sea air as you watch fishermen coming and going from their daily journeys. Visit the sea lion colony on the west side of Pier 39 home of the Blue & Gold Fleet and Aquarium by the Bay. Alcatraz, the former federal prison, once housed some of the most notorious criminals. Today it's a national park, reachable by a brief boat ride from Alcatraz Landing.
• Chinatown – The entrance to Chinatown at Grant Avenue and Bush Street is called the "Dragon's Gate." Inside are 24 blocks of hustle and bustle, most of it taking place along Grant Avenue, the oldest street in San Francisco. This city within a city is best explored on foot; exotic shops, renowned restaurants, food markets, temples and small museums comprise its boundaries. Visitors can buy ancient potions from herb shops, relax and enjoy a "dim sum" lunch or witness the making of fortune cookies. For a more "local" scene, walk one block over to Stockton Street.
• Union Square – The landmark park is the heart of the city and is known for fantastic shopping. Sporting new granite plazas, a new terraced stage on Post Street, light sculptures designed by artist R.M. Fischer, a café, the TIX half-price ticket center, and four grand entrance corner plazas bordered by the park's signature palms, the remodeled square pays tribute to the Square's distinctive history and captures the unique flavor and beauty of San Francisco.
• Asian Art Museum – Located across from City Hall, this is one of the largest museums in the world devoted exclusively to Asian art with a collection of nearly 15,000 works spanning 6,000 years.
• Civic Center - Be inspired by the architectural beauty of San Francisco's City Hall and attend a performance by the San Francisco Symphony, Opera or Ballet.
• Ferry Building Marketplace – Remodeled and repurposed in 2003, this gourmet galleria celebrates regional purveyors and cuisine. The Farmers Market is a spirited gathering of local farmers, high quality artisan producers and independent food businesses, catering to food connoisseurs alike.
• Mission San Francisco de Asis and the Mission District – The heart of San Francisco's predominantly Hispanic neighborhood is 24th Street, a colorful collection of restaurants, taquerias, Mexican bakeries, fresh produce markets and specialty shops. Mission Dolores at 16th and Dolores streets is the oldest structure in San Francisco. The largest collection of murals in the city, each reflecting the pleasures, passions and pitfalls of their respective creators, adorns buildings, fences and garage walls throughout the neighborhood.
• North Beach – Rich in Italian heritage, San Francisco's version of "Little Italy" compresses cabarets, jazz clubs, galleries, inns, family style restaurants and gelato parlors into less than a square mile. Bakeries and delicatessens serve up traditional Italian delicacies. A perfect spot for cappuccino and espresso, North Beach is transformed into one of San Francisco's most electric playgrounds by night; live music and dancing keep the streets swinging.