That's some popularity!
San Francisco attracts the fifth-highest number of foreign tourists in the U.S. Also, Euromonitor International ranked it the 44th most-visited city in the world.
San Francisco, California, has a charm so unique that it stands apart from all the other cities in America. Despite being a big city, it feels like a quaint little town. There are so many things to do in this City by the Bay. Some of the fun things are listed below.
The Golden Gate Bridge
You have to start your journey with the Golden Gate Bridge. You can't miss the sight of this striking-red architectural marvel, spanning the bay across the Pacific Ocean, and connecting San Francisco to Marin County. This bridge had the longest suspension span in the world when it was built. You can view this magnificent structure from a vantage point across the bridge or walk the bridge itself.
As you travel from The Golden Gate Bridge to The Fisherman's Wharf, you come across the Crissy Field beach and promenade. This is a quiet and serene place to enjoy the sight of The Golden Gate Bridge and the bay. You can relax on the beach or take a walk along the promenade, watching the ships and sailing boats go by. You can also catch some wind and kite surfers off the beach.
Another thing to do in San Francisco is to take a ferry ride to the Alcatraz Island from Pier 33 near Fisherman's Wharf. Alcatraz Island was featured in the movie 'The Rock'. The island served as a lighthouse and a prison in the 1960s; it was later granted the status of a historical landmark. Thus, it became a part of The Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
The Fisherman's Wharf is located on the waterfront, featuring the popular Pier 39, the Maritime Museum, and Ghirardelli Square. According to Euromonitor International, Pier 39 is the third-most popular tourist attraction in the U.S. It hosts a number of shops and restaurants. The biggest attraction here, however, are the several California sea lions; you can see them sunbathing on the docks. If you are a lover of seafood, there are many restaurants here that serve fresh seafood, especially some mouth-watering Dungeness crabs and clam chowder. If you're here on a vacation with kids, don't forget to visit the Aquarium of the Bay.
Lombard Street is known for being the most crooked street in the world. It is very steep with sharp hairpin turns. The crooked portion is a one-way, and allows downhill traffic. If you want the experience of tackling an obstacle course in your utility car, then Lombard Street awaits you.
The San Francisco Cable Car system is operated manually. It runs from downtown San Francisco to Fisherman's Wharf. Leave your car behind and ride aboard these quaint little cable cars to experience the spirit of San Francisco.
This tower stands atop Telegraph Hill, and offers amazing views of the city and the bay. It resembles a fire hose nozzle; the architects deny this though. However, people still believe that it was built to look like a fire hose nozzle, especially because of Lillie Hitchcock Coit's affinity towards the firemen of San Francisco. The tower also features beautiful murals by several artists.
As the name suggests, this is China in San Francisco. It boasts of having the largest Chinese community after China. China Town represents Chinese culture, traditions, art, and literature in its purest form. It has a large number of Chinese restaurants, shops, and temples with pagodas. You can truly get immersed in this exotic cultural experience.
Treasure Island is an artificially-created island in the bay between San Francisco and Oakland. You can reach it via the Oakland Bay Bridge. It is halfway from the bridge. It offers a fantastic view of the skyline from across the bay.
Union Square is called thus because it was used for rallies during the Civil War. It is a plaza in the central district of San Francisco and is home to many upscale stores like Macy's, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdale's; and boutiques like Gucci, Chanel, Dior, Giorgio Armani and Prada; and salons and art galleries, making it a center for shopping.
This is a great place to stop and relax during or after your drive through San Francisco. Be careful near the water though, as it is quite treacherous with strong rip currents and powerful waves. It is, therefore, a preferred spot for surfers who want to do some serious surfing.
Great American Music Hall
With beautiful frescoes, balconies, and columns, the Great American Music Hall has a history, that is not only unique, but also very interesting. Established a year after the 1906 earthquake, this concert hall was then named Blanco's after a house of prostitution. Sally Rand purchased it in 1936 and named it the Music Box. However, after the Second World War, the hall lost its popularity and was destroyed in a fire. In 1972, the hall was restored, painted, and named, finally, the Great American Music Hall. In 2013, a Rolling Stone poll named it the sixth-best rock club in the U.S.
San Francisco is one city where you'll find something for everyone. Whether you're there for a family vacation or a bachelor's party, you will find interesting things to do, see, and experience. The best time to visit this city is from September to November; the temperatures are warmer and the crowds are fewer.