Sightseeing and things to do in San Francisco
Perhaps the most famous sight in the city is also the most remote. Formerly a legendary prison, home to the notorious Al Capone, Alcatraz is now one of the world's most popular and iconic visitor attractions.
It is to the credit of the body in charge of its upkeep that it hasn’t become over-commercialised or sanitised – it is still raw and utterly gripping, due in no small part to the exceptional audio guide that’s leads visitors around its bullet-riddled corridors.
Introduction to San Francisco
Tony Bennett may have left his heart there and Scott MacKenzie urged visitors to wear flowers in their hear, but to try to pin San Francisco down to a single image or idea is impossible – and it would deny the heart and soul of what is an incredibly diverse city.
The area of Haight-Ashbury was the epicentre of the hippy movement in the 1960s and the heartland of flower power. Today it's as exciting a neighbourhood as can be found anywhere in the world, alive with cafe culture, bookshops, cool vintage clothes stores and some of the most colourfully-painted homes around. Everything is soaked through with the spirit of creativity and imagination and is truly unlike anywhere else on earth.
Downtown San Fran is everything an American city should be: busy and exciting, with looming skyscrapers and a wealth of art, culture, cuisine and entertainment that should keep every taste satisfied.
Of course, no San Francisco tours would be complete without a pilgrimage to the Golden Gate Bridge. Striking, beautiful, spectacular – the bridge symbolises the iconic nature of this city and how it fascinates millions of people from around the world every year.
Set on a rock in the Bay of San Francisco, the image of the rock of Alctraz shrouded in mist is so romantic that it is easy to forget that you are looking at a prison! Today there are no inmates and taking a ferry to the island and wondering in the prison is a must-do.
The Golden Gate Bridge
Possibly one of the world's most famous bridges, stretching out from the San Francisco Bay. Head to the bridge during daytime hours when the bridge is open to pedestrians to enjoy the wonderful views.
The distinctive San Francisco Trolleys are the best way to navigate the steep hills of the city. A joy to ride simply sit back, relax and enjoy the view.
An absolute must-do for the views. When cruising on the bay you will have Alcatraz to one side, the Golden Gate Bridge to the other and the city spreading out in front of you on the hill.
A quirky city such as San Francisco needs to be explored in a quirky fashion. Carefully designed Segway tours – on the coolest ride of the 21st century allow you to do exactly that.
The Crooked Streets
Lombard Street and Vermont Street are known around the world as the crooked streets. Both situated on a steep hill it is said that the reason for the "crookedness" is to reduce the gradient, however they become popular for their interesting visual appeal.
Golden Gate Park
Overlooking the Golden Gate Bay and home to the famous Japanese Tea Gardens the impeccably kempt Golden Gate Park is a wonderful place for a stroll or a picnic.
Lying in the Golden Gate Recreation Area the Muir Woods National Park is a peaceful costal forest where you can stroll among stunning redwood trees and enjoy wonderful views of San Francisco.
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