When it comes to major American cities that are true international cities, few can hold a candle to the city of San Francisco. The city of San Francisco has played an important role in the development of the United States, especially involving its westward expansion and the growth of California. As far as things to do in the city, there are so many options for visitors to take part in that it sometimes is hard for a traveler to see everything they wish to see before their vacation comes to an end. The city of San Francisco offers historical sites, art galleries, sporting events, a vibrant waterfront, beautiful natural areas, famous landmarks, wonderful shopping and what some describe as incomparable eating establishments for the lucky visitors to the city to partake of.
Here are five great places to visit in the city of San Francisco.
While many visitors to San Francisco may see Alcatraz as an overdone tourist attraction, it actually is one of the best and most interesting places to visit in the entire city. Alcatraz is a former federal penitentiary, housing some of the infamous prisoners in America’s past, and sits in the middle of San Francisco Bay on Alcatraz Island. The prison was closed long ago, but tours are still given of the cells, prison yard, and more and are quite interesting from a historical perspective. The view of San Francisco Bay and the city of San Francisco during the boat ride over to the island and then from the island itself are very rewarding. This onetime prison is now a national park and a true historic site. The museum located within the old prison has a fascinating display of artifacts from the time when the prison was still being used. A trip to and tour of Alcatraz is a very worthwhile use of a vacationer’s precious time.
2. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
Anyone with even the slightest interest in either history or maritime history will be more than entertained and occupied with a trip to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. A visit to the park allows guests to both view and learn about the shipping history that San Francisco is famous for, it also includes a number of interactive activities for visitors including a boat tour and a boatbuilding workshop. There is a long history grouping San Francisco and the maritime activities of explorers, traders and military ships together and it is all explained and celebrated at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park.
3. The Exploratorium
More than a children’s museum, The Exploratorium is home to a wide variety of science exhibits and displays that will please visitors of all ages. The Exploratorium is home to a large number of interactive exhibits which entire families can enjoy. Visitors to the museum can learn about the brain, DNA and many other mysteries of the natural world. A trip to The Exploratorium is a great way for a family visiting San Francisco to spend part of a day on the town.
4. The Cannery
One of the lesser known shopping areas in the city of San Francisco is The Cannery. While not as widely known as other areas, The Cannery is still a nice place to spend a morning or an afternoon. The mall itself was converted from a Del Monte Fruit Company factory and is home to some of the more unique shops and eating establishments in the city. A great many original purchases can be had at The Cannery, and a whole lot of fun as well.
5. Telegraph Hill
One of the best views of the city of San Francisco can be had from the top of Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill. This is a very popular stop for tourists, with one of the main reasons being that is entirely free of charge. Those considering visiting Coit Tower should be prepared for a workout as the tower and the hill it sits atop are both long steep climbs. Coit Tower was built at the top of Telegraph Hill in 1933 and is filled with twenty-six murals done by artists using a variety of subjects and materials. One of the more interesting sights to see on Telegraph Hill are one of the flocks of wild parrots found in the United States, these birds have descended from parrots that have either escaped or been released from captivity. Many of the more famous landmarks in the city can be seen from the top of Coit Tower, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Pier 39, Treasure Island, the Bay Bridge, Angel Island, the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Russian Hill, Lombard Street, Nob Hill and the Financial District.
Visitors to the city of San Francisco are lucky in the fact that they have a wide array of activities to participate in and sites to see. Whether travelers to the area wish to explore the waters and coastline of the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay, or if they choose to seek out more urban pursuits like shopping and exploring the waterfront area as well as the many historical buildings, there are more than enough options to occupy the pickiest of travelers. San Francisco and the surrounding area offers many things that are not offered any where else in the United States, if not the world. A visit to San Francisco is a great way for an individual, couple or entire family to experience the kinds of things they will remember for the rest of their lives.