A massive bridge painted International Orange, a park with more than 1,000 acres, or a city where modern art and culture converge are frequently images that come to mind when someone thinks about San Francisco. While these classics never lose their allure, there are many more reasons to visit San Francisco.
You might be surprised by where most guests go. Here are the top places to visit in San Francisco, according to visitor data.
VISIT THE PALACE OF FINE ARTS
A shining gem of the city’s Marina District, the Palace of fine arts was initially built in 1915 to exhibit artworks for the World’s Fair. Today, it is one of the most picturesque places in San Francisco and a perfect destination for taking photos or attending a performance in the theatre.
Its design takes its inspiration from classical European architecture.
ADDRESS: 3601 Lyon St, San Francisco, CA 94123-1019, USA
PHONE: +1 415-376-1704
TAKE A DAY TRIP TO MUIR WOODS
If it’s your first time in Northern California, a short day trip to a nearby Redwood grove is a must-have experience. Redwoods are the tallest trees on the planet, and from San Francisco, it’s an hour’s drive to Muir Woods National Monument.
The park has 6 miles of hiking trails, and the Main Trail, which starts at the visitor centre, is wheelchair accessible for one mile. The park can get particularly crowded on the weekends, so a weekday visit would be best.
ADDRESS :Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA
PHONE : +1 415-561-2850
CATCH A GAME AT ORACLE PARK
Home of the San Francisco Giants, Oracle park is a beloved baseball stadium. Many design aspects of the stadium pay tribute to the team’s history, such as the 24-foot high right-field wall, which pays homage to the number of Willie Mays, the most famous Giants player, and outside the park statues are dedicated to some of the team’s best players.
The stadium sometimes hosts football and soccer games if baseball isn’t your thing.
ADDRESS :24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA
PHONE : +1 415-972-2000
TAKE A TOUR OF ALCATRAZ
A former federal prison placed on a rocky island about 1.5 miles offshore from the city, Alcatraz has remained one of San Francisco’s top tourist highlights since it opened to the public in the early 1970s.
Alcatraz was also the site of an 18-month long protest that helped spark the Native American civil rights movement.
ADDRESS :Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, CA, USA
Established around 1848 during the California Gold Rush era, San Francisco’s Chinatown is older than any other Chinese community in North America.
Take your very own self-guided walking tour starting at the much-photographed Dragon Gate at the intersection of Bush Street and Grant Avenue, and explore the vibrant neighbourhood as it takes you past unique souvenirs, local temples, Chinese herbal shops and authentic dim sum restaurants.
ADDRESS: Chinatown, San Francisco, CA, USA
VISIT ONE OF THE CITY’S MANY MUSEUMS
There’s truly something for everyone when it comes to San Francisco’s great museums.
The Exploratorium offers hands-on learning for children and adults alike. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art holds one of the largest collections of modern art in the United States.
The city also provides opportunities to learn about San Francisco’s rich history at the San Francisco Railway Museum and the Cable Car Museum, and individual cultures at the Museum of African Diaspora and the Contemporary Jewish Museum.
CElEBRATE THE LGBTQ + COMMUNITY IN THE CASTRO
San Francisco’s Castro district isn’t just the heart of the city’s LGBTQ+ community—it is also a thriving neighbourhood full of colourful nightlife, restaurants, shops, museums, and landmarks.
ADDRESS: The Castro, San Francisco, CA 94114, USA
EAT PASTA IN NORTH BEACH
The city’s own “Little Italy,” North Beach is nestled near Washington Square and Columbus and Grant Avenues.
The district is known for its classic Italian restaurants, bakeries, delis, and European-style cafes. Still, it’s also a great neighbourhood for simply walking around to people-watch and window shop.
Don’t leave without browsing the aisles at City Lights Books, and consider making the trek to Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill for a fantastic view of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges.
ADDRESS : North Beach, San Francisco, CA, USA