Summer of 2013, we went on vacation, and the destination is San Francisco California, There are so many reasons why this place is one of the best tourist destination in USA.
- The weather is cold (Perfect place to chill out from the summer heat)
- It can be reach by any kind of transportation – plane, car, truck, bus
- A lot to see in one place. – stores, restaurants, gift shops, tourist spots
- Array of tourist spots. – Golden Gate bridge, Piers, Museum of fine arts, Japanese tea garden, Chinatown, Japantown, Fort point, Colt Tower, Lombard Street, Steep streets of SF, Alcatraz island, Haight Asburry St.
- Line of shopping places. – Westfield, Union Square, Chestnut Street shopping, Embarcadero Center, Haight street shopping, North Beach etc.
- Around the world Gastronomic destinations in one place. – San Tung Chinese Restaurant, Farina Foccacia Italian Restaurant, Ozuma Japanese Restaurant, Nopa American Restaurant, etc.
- Ride a cable car.
I love San Francisco except the traffic and parking spaces. So far, the least friendly place for drivers and big cars as per my experience. Take note, we are tourist and it took us one hour finding a parking spot, and its in a garage. We paid $35 after we checked out. I can’t imagine how it feels when you live there and you own a car. Because the roads are narrow, it is usual that you see cars parked on the side of the road with broken side mirrors, dented doors, loosed bumpers or even totally wrecked. As per my count, I saw four cars with situation mentioned above.
We will be back next time since we never got a chance to visit Alcatraz which is our main goal in San Francisco. We didn’t expect that we can’t do a walk-in tour. The tour to the island is fully booked until 3 weeks from our visit. For those who are planning to visit San Francisco and your main destination is Alcatraz, check online the available tour dates of Alcatraz before booking your trip to San Francisco. Here’s my list of tourist places to visit in San Francisco.
1. Japanese Tea Garden -
The Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco, California, is a popular feature of Golden Gate Park, originally built as part of a sprawling World’s Fair, the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894. For more than 20 years San Francisco Parks Trusts’ Park Guides have given free tours to San Francisco Parks trust members, providing context and history for this historic Japanese-style garden.
The oldest public Japanese garden in the United States, this complex of many paths, ponds and a teahouse features native Japanese and Chinese plants. The gardens 5 acres (2.0 ha) contain many sculptures and bridges.
2. Golden Gate Bridge –
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. The structure links the U.S. city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to Marin County. It is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and the United States. It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Frommers travel guide considers the Golden Gate Bridge “possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world”.
3. Palace of Fine Arts -
The Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District of San Francisco, California, is a monumental structure originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in order to exhibit works of art presented there. One of only a few surviving structures from the Exposition, it is the only one still situated on its original site. It was rebuilt in 1965, and renovation of the lagoon, walkways, and a seismic retrofit were completed in early 2009.
In addition to hosting art exhibitions, it remains a popular attraction for tourists and locals, and is a favorite location for weddings and wedding party photographs for couples throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and such an icon that a miniature replica of it was built in Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim.
4. Lombard street
- Lombard Street is an east–west street in San Francisco, California. It is famous for having a steep, one-block section that consists of eight tight hairpin turns. The street was named after Lombard Street in Philadelphia by San Francisco surveyor Jasper O’Farrell.
5. Downtown San Francisco (including Japantown, Chinatown, Cable car tour, Haight Ashbury, Pier 39, Fisherman’s wharf)
6. Fort Point -
Fort Point is a masonry seacoast fortification located at the southern side of the Golden Gate at the entrance to San Francisco Bay. This fort was completed just before the American Civil War by the United States Army, to defend San Francisco Bay against hostile warships. The fort is now protected as Fort Point National Historic Site, a United States National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service as a unit of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
That concludes my trip to San Francisco, Hope this blog post can help you decide which place to visit on your next trip. As for the food, I will be posting food in San Francisco in a different blog post. Thank you for reading and have a fun time Traveling.