Things to do in San Francisco

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Avator By Jonathan Owen
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Published 19th August 2022
Last modified 4th July 2023
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Things to do in San Francisco, America

San Francisco is a must-see destination on any American road trip. With its stunning scenery, friendly people, and delicious food, this city has something for everyone. Some of the top things to do in San Francisco include visiting the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and taking a boat tour to explore the world-famous Alcatraz prison. There are endless experiences to be had in San Francisco, so come and see for yourself all that this amazing city has to offer.

Take a walk around this wonderful with our travel insurance team’s top things to do whilst visiting the American city.

Visit the Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is a must-see attraction in San Francisco. This magnificent span opened in 1937 after a four-year construction process that involved overcoming challenges such as strong winds, fog, rock, and treacherous tides. The bridge stretches for 1.7 miles and is anchored by towers that reach a height of 746 feet. At the time of its construction, it was the tallest building in San Francisco.

The suspended roadway is supported by two cables, each more than 7,000 feet in length and containing 80,000 miles of wire, which stretch over the top of the towers and are anchored to the shore. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this iconic landmark in person.

Take an Adventure to Alcatraz

Looking for a thrilling adventure? Take a boat ride over to Alcatraz Island. This infamous location has a long and storied history, serving as a military prison, a maximum-security penitentiary, and a site of conflict between Native American activists and the FBI. It’s no wonder that people feel a chill when they set foot on “the Rock.” Alcatraz is open every day except for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Day, and advance tickets are recommended, especially during peak season.

To reach Alcatraz from Piers 31-33 in downtown San Francisco, you’ll need to take a ferry, which includes transportation and entry to the island. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to explore one of San Francisco’s most iconic landmarks.

Visit the Oracle Park

For an authentic American baseball experience, Oracle Park should be at the top of your list. This is the home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team and is located in the South of Market area at the corner of 3rd and King streets. In addition to hosting baseball games, Oracle Park also hosts other popular events that offer beautiful views and top-notch amenities. No matter what event you attend at Oracle Park, you’ll be sure to have a memorable time.

Hop on a Cable Car

Riding a cable car is a quintessential San Francisco experience that symbolizes the city’s innovative spirit and rich history. These iconic vehicles have been transporting people around the city for nearly 150 years and were designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1964. To ride a cable car, you can either find a seat or hold onto the handles as you hang on for the ride. The cable car gripmen control the grips to move the cars, and the distinctive ringing of the cable car bell can be heard from blocks away as it is used to get the attention of intersecting traffic.

Today, the San Francisco cable cars are well-maintained by the agency responsible for their upkeep, ensuring that this timeless mode of transportation remains a key part of the city’s charm.

Take a walk to Pier 39 Fisherman’s Wharf

Pier 39 is a popular waterfront complex that offers a range of shopping and entertainment options. One of the standout attractions at Pier 39 is the Aquarium of the Bay, which features a moving walkway that takes you through tunnels to view the magical underwater world. The aquarium displays local marine life, including leopard sharks, sea bass, sea jellies, anemones, and river otters.

You can also visit the end of the pier for free to watch hundreds of sea lions bark and slither around. If you want a less crowded viewing experience, you can walk to Pier 41 next door to observe the sea lions from a distance. Keep in mind that the sea lions migrate south to breed during the summer months, but they usually return in August.

Wonder at the Lombard Street

Experience the thrill of navigating the winding turns of Lombard Street. This iconic street, located on Russian Hill between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets, is known for its eight sharp turns that have earned it the reputation of being the most crooked street in the world. If you’re looking for a unique and memorable experience in San Francisco, make sure to add Lombard Street to your itinerary.

Check out The Painted Ladies

A famous Victorian-style home, known as one of San Francisco’s “Painted Ladies” and located near Alamo Square Park, is back on the market for $3,550,000. This 2,500-square-foot 19th-century property gained attention in early 2020 when a local software engineer purchased it with plans to renovate it.

If you’re interested in owning a piece of San Francisco history, this iconic home on one of the city’s most recognizable blocks could be your chance.

Witness some of Mother Nature’s finest on a Yosemite day trip

Yosemite National Park is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, and it’s no surprise that it inspired the creation of national parks. If you’re planning a visit to Yosemite, be sure to add Half Dome, Glacier Point, and Mariposa Grove to your itinerary. Hikers will want to explore the popular John Muir Trail and Mist Trail, but there are also many lesser-known trails to discover in the Tuolumne Meadows area.

In addition to the rainbows that often appear in the park’s waterfalls, visitors may also be treated to the rare sight of lunar rainbows, or moonbows, in the mist of the falls during late spring and early summer. No matter what time of year you visit, Yosemite is sure to leave a lasting impression on you.

Take a walk around Chinatown

If you’re searching for delicious dim sum and lively karaoke bars, look no further than Chinatown in San Francisco. This vibrant neighborhood is a top destination for visitors and locals alike, with an abundance of shops, boba spots, and restaurants to explore. Chinatown is also known for being one of the most walkable neighborhoods in a city famous for its hills, making it easy to explore on foot.

Whether you’re seeking tasty food, exciting nightlife, or just a stroll through a lively neighborhood, Chinatown has something for everyone.

Taste the Wonderful Seafood

San Francisco is known for its excellent seafood, thanks in part to its location on the water. The city is home to a variety of seafood restaurants, ranging from old-school establishments that have been around for centuries to modern restaurants run by star chefs. These restaurants often feature local specialties such as oysters, king salmon, and Dungeness crab, which is a highly prized seasonal treat. Whether you’re looking for a traditional seafood experience or something more innovative, you’ll find plenty of options in San Francisco.


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