Are you planning a trip to San Francisco and need a place to start? This article will describe the Top Ten Best Places to...
Number 1: Golden Gate Bridge
First up is the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge. Completed in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge is regarded by many to be the most beautiful bridge in the world, combining ambitious engineering and awe-inspiring views. The bridge can be experienced by car, bike, or on foot and remains a must-see and -do while in San Francisco. Not only does it represent San Francisco, but it’s a great way to spend time outdoors in San Francisco’s perfect weather!
Number 2: San Francisco Zoo
There’s a lot to see in this urban oasis nestled against the Pacific Ocean. The San Francisco Zoo is home to a stunning and important botanical collection as well as more than 250 species of animals, many of which are highly endangered. From the smallest insect to the tallest giraffe, you’re sure to find a story that touches and inspires you.
Number 3: Yerba Buena Gardens
Whether you are looking for a place to bring the family, or are just in need of some fun and adventure, you must take a trip to the stunningly gorgeous Yerba Buena Gardens. Located in the Gardens proper are the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, a contemporary arts center in the â€ŠNorth block, and Zeum, an award winning children's media and technology museum in the South block. An ice skating rink, a bowling alley, and a restored 1905 carousel originally located at Playland-at-the-Beach can also be found in the South block. Eateries within the gardens include the B Restaurant and Grill and the Samovar Tea Lounge on the North block's terrace, Mo's Grill on the South block's upper walkway, and a snack shop by the carousel. Also, every May-October the Gardens offer over 200 free artistic, cultural and community programs as part of what is called the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. It is definitely a must see destination for the San Francisco bound!
Number 4: Chinatown
Are you ready to experience the largest Chinatown outside of Asia? Then you need to visit Chnatwon San Francisco. Visitors can easily become immersed in a microcosmic Asian world, filled with herbal shops, temples, pagoda roofs and dragon parades. In addition to it being a starting point and home for thousands of Chinese immigrants, it is also a major tourist attraction — drawing more visitors annually to the neighborhood than the Golden Gate Bridge.
Number 5: Fisherman’s Wharf
The perfect place to experience the bay is at the Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39. Home to many San Francisco attractions, at Fisherman’s Wharf you can let your imagination run wild! Experience the sailing days of yore on the Hyde Street Pier or hop on a cable car that has been carrying passengers for over 100 years. This is just the beginning. Fun at the Wharf also includes Alcatraz tours, Ghiradelli Square, Aquarium of the Bay, Angel Island, San Francisco Bay cruises, and much, much more!
Number 6: Cable Cars of San Francisco
With all of this sightseeing you plan on doing, you will need a way to get around town! Hop on-board one of San Francisco’s most characterizing modes of transportation—the authentic Cable Car! These historic vehicles are not self-powered; rather they move using a mechanism that grips cables that run beneath San Francisco's streets. You’ve never experienced anything like this, so make sure to get your All-Day Passport, sold for $14 by the conductors on the cable cars. You won’t be sorry!
Number 7: Golden Gate Park
Need to escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy San Francisco city? Then make a stop at the Golden Gate State Park and unwind. Golden Gate Park, one of the world’s largest man-made havens, covers over 1,000 acres of San Francisco’s downtown and ranges more than 50 city blocks. The Golden Gate Park is home to the world-renown California Academy of Sciences, the tranquil Japanese Tea Gardens, and the oldest glass and wood Victorian greenhouse in the western hemisphere, where more than 800 live butterflies flitter around you as you stroll through the home of over 10,000 plants from around the globe.
Number 8: Union Square
No vacation is complete without some serious shopping! The perfect place to pick up the latest San Francisco fashions, or find the right souvenir for your friends and family back home is waiting for you at Union Square! Union Square is the largest and most frequented shopping area in San Francisco. You will find some of the most recognizable brands, the luxury brands and intermingled you will find the occasional boutique that will wow you as very few areas of shopping can provide. It's the obvious place to meet, enjoy coffee, or just let the world go by as you soak up some sun.
Number 9: Japantown
The gateway to Japanese culture, cuisine, and shopping awaits you at Japantwon San Francisco! The area is home to Japanese (and some Korean and Chinese) restaurants, supermarkets, indoor shopping malls, hotels, banks and other shops, including one of the few U.S. branches of the large Kinokuniya bookstore chain. Also, San Francisco's Japantown celebrates two major festivals every year: The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival (held for two weekends every April), and the Nihonmachi Street Fair, held one weekend in the month of August. If you are lucky enough to be traveling in those months, these are festivals you definitely need to make time for!
Number 10: Painted Ladies
No, this isn’t what you think! This is a tourist attraction that can’t be skipped in San Francisco. The San Francisco Painted Ladies are a row of Victorian homes located on Steiner Street between Hayes and Grove. When viewed from Alamo Square (the park across the street), the Painted Ladies are in stark contrast to the modern skyline of downtown San Francisco. This contrast has made the Painted Ladies the most famous of the 14,000 Victorian homes in San Francisco. If you’ve ever seen the hit American television show “Full House” you’ve definitely seen the Painted Ladies in all their glory. Take a picture here with your family and wave “hi” to Uncle Jesse and Uncle Joey!
For more fun things to see and do in San Francisco, make sure to explore the Ettractions.com website using the tabs above. Have a great time on your vacation to the bay!
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