Overview: San Francisco--beautiful city by the bay. Over the years so much has been said and written about San Francisco, does it even need an... more »
San Francisco--beautiful city by the bay. Over the years so much has been said and written about San Francisco, does it even need an... more » introduction? Since you are reading this guide you are either already here or are looking forward to visiting. This guide provides information to all the must-see places that San Francisco is so well known for.
The guide is suitably planned around 20 must-see destinations that one can cover by merely walking around the city. More sights are listed in the tips section; they are best visited by car or other source of transportation. The trail is about six miles long, about half a day’s walk. But why rush? Take your time--stop for a coffee, have a yummy lunch, maybe taste some of the ethnic foods along the way and simply have fun! less «
The trip conveniently starts and ends close to BART (subway) stations. If you're looking for parking in downtown then try the lot on... more » the corner of Sutter and Stockton streets: decent prices (considering you are in the middle of San Francisco) and convenient location (only a block away from the Union Square).
Deciding when to visit? Remember to check the weather for any outing in this city. San Francisco has a slightly unusual weather pattern--summer might not be as "summery" as you would imagine. Best times, with mostly clear skies and little to no fog, are late spring/early summer or during autumn.
San Francisco has many more must-see attractions than those detailed in this guide. Here are a few: the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island housing the notorious prison, Victorian Painted Ladies of Alamo Square and Golden Gate Park--the Central Park of San Francisco. However, you will need a car to see them all. less «
It's the central plaza of San Francisco's shopping and hotel district, sometimes also considered the "heart" of the city. In the middle of the square is a 100-foot-tall monument of Adm. George Dewey; surrounding the square are shops, restaurants and department stores. Very festive during holiday season, Union Square hosts the tallest... More Christmas tree in the city. On sunny days, many locals come here to just sit around to soak up the warmth, read a book or just watch the crowd buzzing around.Less
San Francisco Chinatown holds a few accolades: It is not only the largest Chinatown outside of Asia but is also the oldest in North America. Grant Avenue is the main touristy artery with a lot of souvenir stores. While you are here try to wander off this main street to also see other parts of the Chinatown. Right after you pass Old Saint Mary's... More Cathedral (most of the bricks used to build this cathedral were quarried and cut in China) turn left on Sacramento Street to find the next POI.Less
There are several little streets (Waverly, Spofford, Ross) that still reflect Chinatown's appearance a century ago. Some of them are quite narrow and maybe also little on the shady side, but do tread with no hesitation.
After you find your way out of this little maze continue on to Stockton Street--this is the newer Chinatown of today, where the ... Morelocals shop or just hang out.Less
This part of town famous is for a medley of things: It is San Francisco's Little Italy--home to a large Italian-American community; it's historically famous for the Beat Generation of 1950s and '60s; and it's also is a red light district.
With tons of restaurants everywhere, the view down the Columbus Avenue toward the iconic Transamerica... More building is surely picture worthy.Less
Home to the famous chocolate company is a little square with many specialty stores, restaurants and--as the name hints--chocolate. Do walk into the store for free samples or to order something delicious from Ghirardelli's menu.
Hours: Mon-Thu,Sun 9am-11pm; Fri-Sat 9am-12am
Phone: (415) 771-4903
What started during the gold rush as a common place where fisherman settled is now a buzzing neighborhood popular with tourists. You'll find seafood restaurants, street food stands and, of course, Dungeness crab, clam chowder and sourdough bread. If you decide to try only one thing here, pick clam chowder in a bread bowl--yummy!
Also here are... More several interesting museums, a WWII submarine and a whaling ship.
Oh and be vigilant: The famous Bushman might be lurking around here somewhere!
This pier is one of the many attractions in the Fisherman's Wharf area. It offers scores of shops, restaurants, an aquarium and lazy, sleepy, smelly sea lions. The California sea lions of Pier 39 are a must-see in San Francisco. You can find them at the west end of the pier any time of the year, although their numbers may vary. An interesting fact... More is that nobody really knows for sure why and when they leave or come back.Less
There are two steep stairway paths to the top of Telegraph Hill; Filbert Steps are one. Most people access the Coit Tower on the top of the hill from the North Beach/Washington Square side. Another way is to climb the quaint Filbert Steps. Almost resembling a walk through a botanical garden, these steps are worth the climb.
From the top of this 200-foot-tall tower is an unobstructed 360-degree view of the city. The only inconvenience hindering a picturesque shot from the top of the tower is the glass that protects you from trying to fly off the tower.
Near the entrance of the tower is a bronze statue of Christopher Columbus donated by city's Italian-American... More community.
Admission: $4.50 Adults, $2 Children 6-12, Free under 12
Hours: Daily 10am-5pmLess
Telegraph Hill is one of the original seven hills of San Francisco (there are more than 40 hills around the city). This is a much quieter part of town, especially when compared to neighboring North Beach. Here find typical San Francisco-styled architecturally pretty street corners with cute, colorful houses.
Today, San Francisco's Red Light District is more of an artists' hang out. There are a few striptease clubs but they are outnumbered by restaurants and galleries. An interesting--maybe--historic fact is that Condor Club at corner of Columbus and Broadway was America's first-ever topless bar, opened in 1964.
Another famous fact about constantly buzzing North Beach is that during 1950s it became a center for the Beat Generation. Names like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and City Light Bookstore still ring around here.
Cafe Vesuvio and Kerouac Alley are some of the many businesses that actively participated in this cultural phenomenon.
There are four office towers in the main complex that span across several blocks. They offer three levels of stores, restaurants, galleries, cinema and more.
A few other buildings belong to the center, including the Hyatt Regency hotel with a glistening atrium inside (access it from Drumm Street or across the pedestrian bridge from Embarcadero 4 ... Morebuilding).Less
As you crossed Justin Herman Plaza to the east end of the Embarcadero Center with a very dominant (and to be honest quite, ugly) water sculpture, "Quebec Libre," you've reached the San Francisco Ferry Building.
What used to be a dedicated ferry terminal is now an upscale gourmet marketplace with a wine bar, burger joints, seafood... More restaurants, an all exclusive mushroom store, a bakery and much more.
It's the perfect place to finish your journey while you listen to the clock tower as it strikes its hourly reference.Less