San Francisco is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. One of the most delightful cities of California, our visit here was extremely fun and memorable. Although, we were here just for 3 nights, we made use of our time pretty well. We started our trip to California with San Francisco, and boy, what a great start!
Here are some things that you must definitely do when you visit
1] Pose with the Golden Gate Bridge
This has to be on the top of your itinerary. The iconic Golden Gate bridge that every 90s kid has grown up watching in the title track of Full House, is a must visit and pretty much the pride of San Francisco. You can walk, cycle, take pictures and even dine around the Golden Gate Bridge. There are many places from where you can see different angles of the bridge and take selfies with it (duh!). The only thing to be careful of is to avoid going there on a low visibility day or you might not be able to see the bridge from the layer of fog!
2] Spend a day at the Scenic Sausalito
Sausalito is a charming community on the other side of the bay with cute houses, houseboats, restaurants and tiny shops with quirky stuff to buy! Take a ferry from the Ferry building/ Embarcadero and sail across from SF to Sausalito. Spend the day walking on the boardwalk and enjoying the scenic beauty, gorging on seafood at some of the best seafood restaurants and picking up some knick knacks for your folks. If you’re an art lover, you can also visit the art galleries here.
3] 360 degrees view of San Francisco from Twin Peaks
Fun Fact: San Francisco is a unique city built on over 50 hills! Yeah, you read that right! So while driving around the city, you might notice the steep roads and the hilly areas.
Twin Peaks are two such prominent hills that you must visit while in SF. Located almost 1000 feet in the centre of the city, you can get a gorgeous panoramic view of the entire city! There is a viewing centre, close to the parking spot and you can walk higher up the peak from there. One of the best sights of SF, this one is a must visit.
4] Book a Karaoke Room for the Singer in you
If you don’t want to puzzle the crowd with your croaky voice, book yourself a private room in the karaoke bar and sing to your hearts delight with your friends! Literally sing like nobody’s watching or listening, except for your loved ones, who wouldn’t mind it!
5] Get Twisty on the Crooked Road
San Francisco is all about steep hills and twisted streets! But the most twisted of them all is Lombard Street. In the case of Lombard Street, it was too steep for driving and hence had to be fixed. As a result, a series of eight sharp turns were created to make it more manageable making it the “most crooked street” in the city.
6] Take a Day Trip to the Vineyards
There are many options for a vineyard tour around San Francisco. Our first choice was the popular Napa Valley but unfortunately there was a huge fire in California while we were there and due to the low visibility, we had to alter our plans.
Nevertheless, we visited Wente Vineyards in Livermore Valley which was quite amazing too. It’s one of the oldest, family run vineyard in the country. You can do a tasting, a tour or simply sip on some great wines as you enjoy some live music playing in the backdrop, a platter of cheese and some great nibbles!
7] Shop till you drop at the Outlet Malls
The first thing that people will tell you when you plan a visit to the US is to shop at the outlet malls! Every brand at great prices and a mall on the outskirts of every city. Make a trip to the outlet malls near San Francisco to buy your favourite luxury brands at discounted rates. Just make sure, you don’t get too carried away, like we did!
8] Get Jailed at Alcatraz
Travel back in time and experience Alcatraz, the historic island that has been a civil war fort, a military prison and one of the most notorious federal prisons in US history. Take a tour package which includes Alcatraz Island roundtrip ferry, Access Inside Alcatraz Prison, 45-minute Cellhouse Audio Tour, Orientation video, Ranger and docent tours.
This is something we missed doing because we didn’t get the tickets. So make sure you book in advance!
9] Shop, Eat, Drink at Pier 39
My favourite place in SF was Pier 39! So lively and so much to do! There are shops, restaurants, a video arcade, street performances, the Aquarium of the Bay, virtual 3D rides, and you can also get a glimpse of the sea lions on the docks on Pier 39’s marina. There is something happening in every part of the pier, when we were here there was a magic show happening in the performance area and when we walked further ahead, there was a fudge making store doing a little song and dance performance as they prepared the fudge!
10] Drive across the Bay Bridge
The other most popular bridge in SF is the Bay Bridge. Bay Bridge is officially known as the San Francisco -Oakland Bay Bridge. It was built only six months after the Golden Gate in 1936. It shines brightly with a permanent art installation featuring 25,000 LED lights on the bridge’s cables and makes it another delightful sight to see in San Francisco.