Experience the rich cultural life of San Francisco, one of the world’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities. The many hills of the city afford visitors plenty of perfect views over San Francisco Bay.
The biggest names in retail can be found at Union Square. Virtually every fashion label in the world has set up shop in and around Square, a landmark park in the heart of the downtown shopping and hotel district.
Crossing the strait of the Golden Gate from San Francisco to the Marin headlands for 1.7 miles is the world-renowned Golden Gate Bridge, Take a walk across it - well over a mile - and enjoy a gull’s eye view of the shipping traffic passing far below. Visit Golden Gate Park, over 1000 acres of lawns, lakes and a riot of flora.
Take a ride on one of the famous cable cars in San Francisco. With over 50 hills in the city to climb, you will not only delight in the experience but appreciate the ride. Nob Hill boasts perhaps the best view of San Francisco Bay. See also Lombard street, known as the crookedest street in the world.
One of the most photographed locations in San Francisco, Alamo Square's famous "postcard row" at Hayes and Steiner Streets is indeed a visual treat. A tight, escalating formation of Victorian houses is back-dropped by downtown skyscrapers, providing a stunning contrast.
Step through Dragon’s Gate and find yourself in a totally different world. Welcome to China Town. Stroll through the 24 blocks of hustle and bustle with exotic shops, food markets, temples and museums. Buy herbal remedies, enjoy samples at a tea bar and be sure to try the best Dim Sum.
North Beach, rich in Italian heritage, compresses cabarets, jazz clubs, galleries, inns, family style restaurants and gelato parlors into less than a square mile. Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill is blessed with marvelous views. A 360-degree view of the city is visible from the observation platform at the top of the tower.
A visit to San Francisco is not complete without visiting Fisherman’s Wharf with its fishing boats, sea lions basking in the sun, seafood stalls, steaming crab cauldrons, seafood restaurants and sourdough French bread bakeries. Head to Pier 39 and explore the dining, shopping and attractions on offer. Lined with deep-water piers, The Embarcadero is literally where one embarks. And, oh, “the places you’ll go!” At the foot of Market Street, is the Ferry Building, a vibrant public space housing a food hall, restaurants and a farmers market.
A mile and a half from Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz was the site of the first lighthouse built on the Pacific Coast, then a federal prison for such notorious convicts as Al Capone. Now it is one of the city's most popular attractions. A visit to the island includes a tour of the cell house where visitors can see where the prisoners lived.