Whether it’s your first time or your 10th time visiting, you won’t get tired of visiting these iconic San Francisco spots. And if you ask any residents, they are sure to mention a few of these as a must-see.
1. Hike across the Golden Gate Bridge
I know, I know, going to San Francisco and immediately getting your picture taken with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background has been done millions of times and, let’s admit, a little bit cliche. But you can’t deny how much of a symbol the bridge has become the Golden City.
If you’re looking to get up close and personal with this iconic engineering structure without being labeled as another boring tourist only looking to get Instagram points with their pictures, you can always go for a hike across the bridge. The trail starts from Baker Beach and runs for 9.5 kilometers. The view from the bridge is simply spectacular and perfect for beginners and children.
2. Palace of Fine Arts
Located in the Marina District, the Palace of Fine Arts should be on every architect and architect enthusiasts’ bucket list, and a must-see when visiting San Francisco. Constructed back in 1915 and rebuilt in 1964, the structure is one of the few survivors from the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition.
You can take a relaxing stroll on the rotunda that encloses a lagoon. Its Greek-style colonnades make it an iconic feature of San Francisco. A lot of couples come here to take their wedding pics, so be careful that you’re not photobombing someone during your visit.
San Francisco’s Chinatown is one of the oldest and largest of the Chinese communities in the world (outside of China, of course!). It is where you find the best dim sum restaurants, tea shops, galleries, and karaoke bars. The streets are lined with boba spots and all assortments of shops.
Some of the key places to stop by at Chinatown include:
- Dragon’s Gate – a postcard famous gate at the southern end of Chinatown. A popular jumping-off point when you explore the area.
- China Live – Where you find Chinese food, drink, and craft.
- Red Blossom Tea Company – A family-owned teahouse serving rare teas from Taiwan and China.
4. Alamo Square
This world-famous park sitting smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood is best known for its row of Victorian houses along Steiner Street; the subject for many postcards. The park also has a playground and tennis court for both residents and tourists to enjoy. On clear days, you get to see the Transamerica Pyramid building and the tops of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridge from the center of the park.
5. Lombard Street
Let’s not pretend you plan on missing one of San Francisco’s most iconic and frequently visited streets on your visit. Lombard Street is located between Hyde and Leavenworth streets and is famous as being the world’s “crookedest street” in the world. The street has 8 hairpin turns and was designed to reduce the steepness of the hill’s slope. This is a working street (not a park) so be careful when posing for a picture.
6. Twin Peaks
It is at Twin Peaks that you catch the best San Francisco sunrise. These two prominent hills sit very close to the geographic center of the city. The peaks of the two hills are preserved and managed by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department in order to maintain and preserve local endangered species.
Tourists absolutely love the view, making the peaks perfect for photo opportunities. There is no public transportation that takes people up to the summit of the hills but this only makes Twin Peaks a must-visit for hikers who would like a little challenge during their tour of the city.
7. Fisherman’s Wharf
Fisherman’s Wharf where you get to enjoy the company of sea lions basking in the sun. The wharf runs from Pier 39 to the Aquatic Park, and has been the hub of the city’s fishing fleet for over a century. The wharf is also famous for having the best seafood restaurants in the city. It’s the perfect way to get some grub after touring the nearby museums and historical buildings.
Oh, I could go on! There are so many wonderful spots in this great city. If you are planning a longer trip to San Francisco, check out the public tours that Extranomical Tours offers to places like Monterey, Yosemite National Park and the wine country. They can be enjoyed in just a day and will tic some other boxes on your bucket list!
Lily Brooks is an informative content writer who loves to write about home improvement, remodeling, restoration, roofing, and more. She is currently working with WeathertightRoofing, one of the leading roofing companies, which service and install Metal roofs, Shingle roofs, flat roofs and also deal with roof tiles installation in both residential and commercial applications.