Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Make Sure You Hit All of San Francisco’s Top Tourist Destinations

With a whole host of famous attractions as well as masses of laid-back charm, San Francisco is without doubt one of the world's most fascinating cities and one which deserves a visit if you get the opportunity.

Boasting a rich cultural mix, awe-inspiring views, a proud history and a dynamic future, the city spreads out before eager visitors like a cosy rug warm enough to make you feel at home but enticing enough to encourage further discovery.

The Best of San Francisco

It's impossible to mention San Francisco without talking about the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Featured heavily in films and TV shows, it is immense and offers incredible views across the bay. Many people choose to cycle across this architectural gem and bikes are readily available for hire across the city.

While exploring the city, you are bound to come into contact with cable cars, which once filled the city but are now primarily used for tourists. Despite their jaunty nature, they make for a great way to get around at leisure, allowing you to see many of the sights.

Another quintessential attraction is the infamous Alcatraz Prison, which stands tall on a rocky island which is reachable by boat. Wander around the eerie prison, which once housed notorious criminals such as Al Capone and get a sense of what life would have been like for the people behind bars. To make the most of the atmosphere, visit at night and take advantage of an excellent guided tour.

If all that exploring has made you a little hungry, head down to the delightful Fisherman's Wharf, where fresh seafood is everywhere, whetting the appetite. Enjoy some local clam chowder and soak up the atmosphere created by a mix of different people, including street sellers, performers, visitors and locals.

Interesting Neighbourhoods

To get a real feel for San Francisco you should visit its many residential districts, all of which have their own unique flavour and plenty of appeal.

Not so much a neighbourhood, but definitely worth a visit, is Lombard Street, known as the worlds "crookedest" street. With eight hairpin turns, the steep street is very picturesque, featuring blooms in every colour as well as tropical birds in its trees.

The Haight-Ashbury area is another vibrant place to visit, having made its name as the centre of all things hippy during the 1960s. It is still bohemian and it's possible to go on a Flower Power Tour on Tuesdays and Saturdays, taking in hotspots such as the homes of the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin.

No trip to San Francisco would be complete without at least stopping off in Chinatown, one of the world's biggest and best. With its bustling markets, unique shops and fine restaurants, this is a great place to grab a bargain or a satisfying bite to eat.

With its glorious scenery, diversity, a favourable climate and plenty to immerse yourself in, it's easy to see why San Francisco is such a popular city. Its true appeal is in its ability to feel like a small town, despite being a major city and a unique magic which casts its spell over you, making you wish you could stay forever.

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