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Which things to do in San Francisco to enjoy your stay there?

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I am Yura Matskevich, traveled around 74 countries, travel is my passion, on pages I share useful information.

San FranciscoIf you are looking for the place rich in things to do, then look no further than San Francisco as this is one of the US cities which can offer you a lot of interesting things to do. Forty hills and Cable Car have transformed San Francisco into an exciting ride: up and down, ooh and ah. Here, there is a suspension bridge and beautiful “Golden Gate”, Victorian mansions which look similar to the wedding cakes in the exclusive Nob Hill, and the trendy shops in a relaxed and creative gay Castro quarter. San Francisco has a lot of faces.  There is the world’s biggest Chinatown, Japanese Park and the area under the name of Russian Hill there. While driving around Napa Valley you will feel like in France, though it seems a bit unusual that in the country of hot dogs they can make such delicious wine which is worth tasting only once to fall in love with it forever!

San Francisco is big and interesting city. It is also remarkable for the fact that, despite its size, the road is not congested and the streets are not busy with people (such as in New York or Los Angeles), so it is not difficult to have quiet time during the day and enjoy the city and its attractions without haste. San Francisco is a place that is worth visiting.  San Francisco is famous for its rollicking atmosphere and fun. But in addition to bars, nightclubs and dancing in the glow of the laser, the city offers travelers to get to know it and its attractions from the inside.


Thing to do number 1: Visit the Museum of Ripley “Believe it or not”

the Museum of RipleySome people think of museums as of something boring but this is not a standard museum. Visiting the Museum of Ripley called “Believe it or not “is a must for each tourist as only here you can see so many unusual things:

  1. elephant with two trunks,
  2. Egyptian mummy or rather its mummified leg
  3. pressed female torso,
  4. Picture which was made on the basis of the film of the voice recorder

The museum is located on two floors and occupies a total area of over 1000 square meters. The exhibition is divided into 17 themed galleries and has about 400 artifacts. You can be photographed next to the wax replicas of the tallest man on the planet and a musician with three legs, see a mummy and a mermaid with Fiji (in fact, is nothing more than a monkey’s head, put on a fishbone) and understand the technology of manufacturing of dried human heads. A mirror maze and laser race will entertain children.

Interesting: This place will impress any traveler, especially if you like everything non-standard.


Thing to do number 2: Visit Union Square

Union SquareIf you have time, just take a walk and at the same time have some fun by visiting Union Square where you can have great time:

  1. doing shopping in the fashionable boutiques,
  2. eat delicious food in the beautiful restaurants
  3. enjoy the night life in the trendy nightclubs

Once in San Francisco for Christmas, be sure to go to Union Square where there is the highest, the lush and luxurious spruce in the United States is situated. On the square in front of the Christmas tree there is a skating rink, on the perimeter of which visitors will find cozy cafes.

Interesting: This place is for those who like spending money for entertainment, nice clothes from the fashionable designers and tasty food.


Thing to do number 3: Visit the Aquarium of the Bay

Aquarium SteinhartIf you travel with children, then be sure to go to the Aquarium of the Bay – in the aquarium you can see the animals that live in the San Francisco Bay:

  1. jellyfish
  2. octopuses,
  3. rays
  4. leopard sharks

Interesting: And in the children’s village, opened in Golden Gate Park, kids can frolic on the rides and a huge playground with modern equipment.


Thing to do number 4: Visit the Museum of California Academy of Sciences

It will be very interesting to visit the museum where you will be able to see:

  1. the African animals,
  2. giant dinosaur skeletons with open jaws

On the territory of the museum there is also a planetarium and rainforest which is a home to 40 species of birds.  In the paleontological department there are numerous skulls of prehistoric animals, as well as a giant skeleton of tyrannosaur. The Department of ecosystems can go down in a glass tunnel to the perfect imitation of a coral reef inhabited by more than 2,000 underwater inhabitants, and visit located under a glass dome rainforest with many species of flora and fauna. Flooded Amazon jungle will be acquainted with anacondas, piranhas and other threatening inhabitants of this region. The ultramodern planetarium offers you to learn how the Universe looked after the Big Bang. Here you can also look at the actual picture of the starry sky.

Interesting: You can watch the anacondas and piranhas, if you go to a glass underwater tunnel (hall of the flooded Amazon forests).


Thing to do number 5: Visit the Aquarium Steinhart

If you love sea life, then don’t miss the chance to enjoy watching different kinds of sea inhabitants as this place is a home to all kinds of:

  1. fish,
  2. snakes,

Interesting:  You can touch hermit –crabs cancers and starfish going to the touch sensitive swimming-pool.


Thing to do number 6: Visit Ocean Beach, Rodeo Beach, Baker Beach

If you are fond of sports, then go to the beach Ocean Beach where you will be able to run and practice various sports on the coast. Swimming is not recommended here because of the big waves. But Rodeo Beach is the perfect place for families with children: here they will be able to:

  1. gather colored stones,
  2. launch the kite in the sky

If you admire fishing, then it is better to go to the beach Baker.

Interesting:  Do you like sunbathing naked? Then the best choice for you is the North Baker beach which is situated a little to the north from the beach Baker.


Thing to do number 7: Take a tour around the city by cable car

he city by cable carFunicular in San Francisco is a nice reminder of the time when there were no buses and cars. Spending only a few dollars, you will have a great opportunity to take a ride in a retro style vehicle on the hills of the city and its districts:

  1. Union Square,
  2. Chinatown,
  3. Fisherman’s Wharf.

Interesting: This tour will be interesting both for adults and children. It is more convenient to go sightseeing than driving the car.


Thing to do number 8:Go to Alcatraz

Do not forget to visit one of the most famous prisons in the world. Its sinister building is no longer used for its intended purpose (the last prisoner left the prison in 1963), but thanks to Hollywood movies, such as, for example, “Escape from Alcatraz” 1979 Alcatraz remains a popular tourist attraction, luring more than a million visitors a year.. Powerful, thrilling and exciting emotions are guaranteed to everybody.

Interesting: If you’re interested in the life of Alcatraz, you can take an audio tour, which includes interviews with former prisoners and guards.


Thing to do in number 9: See Golden Gate Bridge

You probably know about the most famous San Francisco landmarks, or have already seen it in American films, showing this city. The length of this delightful bridge is 2737 meters. Thus, it is connected with the county of Marin. There are some distinct bands for:

  1. Cars
  2. Cyclists
  3. Pedestrians

Interesting: This place is worth seeing as it is one of the main sights of San Francisco city.


Thing to do number 10: Climb to the Tower Coit

the Tower CoitEvery big city, among other attractions, needs a great building to be associated only with it:

  1. In New York City this is an Empire State Building,
  2. in Paris – the Eiffel Tower,
  3. In San Francisco you will find Coit Tower.

To get inside the monument you can for free, but if you want to take the elevator to the top, it will cost you about $ 7 for adults.

Interesting: From this Tower you can enjoy wonderful views of the city.


Thing to do  number 11: Go down the stairs of Telegraph Hill

If you looked at Coit Tower and enjoyed the view of the city, now it’s time to go down the stairs – a total of 400! But it’s worth it, because on your way you can see:

  1. the beautiful houses,
  2. gardens
  3. bright beautiful plants

Interesting: Going down, do not forget to look around – you can see wild parrots.


Thing to do number 12: Walk in the Golden Gate Park

the Golden Gate ParkIf you like the Central Park of New York, believe me, it can’t be compared to Golden Gate Park because of:

  1. its million trees.
  2. the Conservatory of Flowers

This place is perfect for couples in love who can enjoy the beautiful flowers and the whole atmosphere of beauty and pleasant scents.

Interesting: the Conservatory is the oldest Victorian conservatory.


Thing to do number 13: Look at the Ferry Building and eat at the Market Street

One good thing that has turned from Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 – the revival of the waterfront of San Francisco. Some facts from the history:

  1. The earthquake damaged the freeway, which is cut off from the rest of the embankment of the city.
  2. As a result, the highway was demolished and embankment was left.
  3. Attraction here is the Market Center Ferry Building, which was originally opened in 1898,then it was renovated and reopened in 2003.

This majestic building at the foot of the Market Street is certainly worth seeing, but the real reason why you need to come here is the food.

Interesting: There is a great farmer’s market, which is opened on Tuesday and Saturday until 2 pm, where you can really eat and take a meal with you.


Thing to do number 14: Watch the baseball game at AT & T Park in San Francisco

ATT-Park-ParkingOf course, most of the cities are proud of their baseball stadium, but this one is the most popular.

If you got there in the baseball season, you just have to go to watch the game.

Why is it a good idea to go to the stadium?

  1. First of all, it is possible to feel the spirit of the team and to feel the whole atmosphere of the game better than just watching on TV
  2. A nice bonus is great food. What could be better than a tasty hot- dog and tense game?

Interesting:  This stadium is rather popular among the tourists who visit it every year as well as the local people enjoying basketball game.


Thing to do number 15: Visit Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

Why is it interesting to visit Asian Art Museum of San Francisco?

  1. The first reason is that it is the largest museum of the New World devoted exclusively to Asian art.
  2. The second reason is that its extensive collection includes more than 15 thousand exhibits from India, China, Japan, Indonesia and other Asian regions.

Magnificent Indonesian statues, paintings and a collection of Japanese porcelain, products made of semiprecious stones, furniture of the Chinese emperors, medieval armor and equipment of the samurai are just some of the gems of its vast collection.

Interesting: This museum is recommended to everybody who is interested in Asian culture as you will be impressed by so many worthy exhibits there.


Thing to do number 16: Visit Museum “Wells Fargo”

Museum "Wells Fargo"A large part of the exhibition of the museum “Wells Fargo” is devoted to the glorious years of the Gold Rush. Among the most interesting exhibits there are the following:

  1. nuggets samples from different fields,
  2. tools for production of gold,
  3. clothes,
  4. shoes and items of everyday life of gold miners.

Interesting: It is interesting to find out more about the period of life within the years of the Gold Rush. Here you have the chance to see it with your own eyes.


Thing to do number 17: Visit Chinatown

  Chinatown in San Francisco is the best Chinatown in the United States because:

  1. There are many good local restaurants,
  2. There are a great number of shops and other attributes of any other Chinatown in the world,
  3. Its size is comparable to Chinatown in New York, but this one is located on the hills that create a certain atmosphere.

Interesting: Just take a walk there yourself and you will understand why it is the best place to have a rest in the pleasant atmosphere.


Thing to do number 18: Visit Embarcadero

mbarcaderoThis is the main promenade of the city, where the majority of the piers of the city are located. From this pier completely various vessels depart:

  1. small excursion ships
  2. ferries that connect Downtown of San Francisco with other cities in Bay Area,
  3. large oceanic travel liner.

To get to the Embarcadero, you can proceed down Market Street to the very end, where it abuts the seaport and easily-recognizable Ferry Building.

Interesting: You can take one of the old city trams, walk, ride a bike or pedikabe.


Thing to do number 19: Visit Ghirardelly square and factory

It is also located on the Embarcadero. There are:

  1. more than 40 specialized shops
  2. a lot of restaurants

Many of them were discovered during the construction of the factory building in the early 19th century. The main thing in this square – this is certainly the factory itself, which since its inception has been engaged in the production of chocolate. Now chocolate Ghirardelli is one of the symbol of California.

Interesting: You can have a look how the chocolate is being made in the one restaurants of the factory.


Thing to do number 20: Visit the Lombard street

he Lombard streetAlthough the street is quite long, but around the world it is known only because of one block on Russian Hill between:

  1. Hyde street
  2. Leavenworth street.

This street was the project of construction of one local resident who owned the land. Since the natural slope of 27 degrees was impassable for cars of that time (and even today), as well as dangerous for pedestrians, it was decided to make a winding road.

Interesting: Today it is the most winding road in the world.


Thing to do number 21: See the Victorian Houses

Victorian houses are located on Alamo Square. They are close to the downtown area. You can hear the other name in media which is the Painted Ladies. The term was created for small houses, built in the Victorian style painted in three or more colors, with different decorative finishes. Generally, in San Francisco there are still a large number of such houses. What can you do here:

  1. Enjoy the view of funny small houses
  2. Take a picture of the colored houses

Interesting: The most famous and most photographed houses are located on the square Alamo.


Thing to do number 22: Visit Haight-Ashbury

Haight-AshburyNice area of ​​San Francisco made history in 1967, during the hot summer around a hundred thousand hippies gathered here to celebrate the famous Summer of Love.

It was then that the hippie ideology evolved from a subculture in a powerful motion proclaims the core values ​​of:

  1. free love,
  2. creativity
  3. non-material values

Well, the Haight-Ashbury received the honorary title of the place “where it all began.” Today Haight-Ashbury – still full of life, energy and it is the lively area of San Francisco. There are many themed shops associated with the hippie culture, designer boutiques, music and bookstores. Restaurants and bars are competing with each other in originality, always proclaiming the values ​​of the hippies.

Interesting: Among the attractions of Haight-Ashbury – historic hotel The Red Victorian, settled down in an old mansion of the carmine color and leading its history since 1904, and houses typical for San Francisco of the late 19th century concerning its architectural style of «painted ladies».


Thing to do number 23: Go to Hills Twin Peaks in San Francisco

Hills Twin PeaksThis place is very famous, above all, thanks to the cult TV series from the 90s. These mountains have nothing to do with the film, unfortunately, but there are always a lot of travelers on the “twin hills”. The most popular place here is an observation deck Twin Peaks. It offers a really great view of:

  1. the city,
  2. the valley,
  3. the mountains
  4. the panorama of the bay area.

Main observation deck Twin Peaks is named after the name of the Christmas Tree Point and is located on the northern hill of Eureka. South Hill Noe is no less beautiful, but to get to it is much more difficult. Interesting: On the observation deck there is a telescope that can be used for free to see what is happening in the Market Street.


Thing to do number 24: Visit de Young Museum

There is a magnificent collection of anthropological artifacts which can trace the history of humanity plus a great collection of American art of 19-20 centuries – the main reason why the de Young Museum is among the most visited museums in San Francisco:

  1. Painting and sculpture,
  2. home decoration and arts and crafts from the first decades of US history

All this is presented in the museum as fully as possible. An additional nice bonus is that de Young Museum is located in the park “Golden Gate” in the vicinity of the bridge of the same name, so you can not only get a “dose” of culture, but also to walk in the fresh air.

De Young Museum was named by the name of the director of the agency “Associated Press” Michael de Young, among others known for his collecting hobby. Mr. Young was able to collect one of the world’s finest collections of Early American art, which he presented to the public in 1895. In 2005, the de Young Museum moved to a new futuristic building which is more spacious, but quite controversial from an architectural point of view.

Interesting: At the museum the tower has appeared which spurred public interest – the entrance to it is free, and from the top you can enjoy a beautiful view of San Francisco and the bay.

Arriving in San Francisco, you will discover the most amazing American city where each tourist will easily find a lot of things to do according to his taste.



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I am Yura Matskevich, traveled around 74 countries, travel is my passion, on pages I share useful information.

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