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10 things to do in San Francisco

27.06.17

1. Golden Gate Bridge

It’d be wrong to start the blog with anything else. The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous landmarks in the US and is not to be missed. The bridge provides you with endless photo opportunities whether you’re on it or admiring it from miles away!

To get the best experience, we recommend renting a bike and taking the day to cycle across the bridge. Not only will it be an exciting adventure down to the bridge, the cycle across is absolutely breathtaking so don’t forget to take your camera out as much as you can.

TIP: Go early to beat the crowds. San Francisco is known for its fog so try to head over when the bridge is in sight! But if the weather isn't on your side, don’t worry - just grab a hoodie!

2. Alcatraz

Alcatraz (also known as The Rock) is a former notorious maximum-security prison known to house the most dangerous of criminals.  The prison is world famous and is an incredibly popular tourist spot in San Francisco.

Head on one of the tours where you’ll hop on a ferry across San Francisco bay, providing you with awesome views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Once on the island, you can explore the exhibit at your own leisure. We recommend giving yourself a few hours for this as there’s tonnes to see and learn about!

TIP: Book as early as possible – this tourist attraction is in super high demand so don’t miss the chance to see it for yourself!

3. Fisherman’s Wharf

Instagram: @_evelena_

The Fisherman’s Wharf is a fantastic place to visit, and with so much to do you could spend all day here! If you love food (and who doesn’t?) this is the place for you. Here, you’ll find market stalls, bakeries, seafood restaurants and Ghiradelli’s - an incredible ice cream & chocolate shop.

Check out Pier 39 where you can give a friendly hello to the local sea lions. If that isn’t enough for you, there’s an Aquarium too alongside a Sea Lion Center! Grab your friends and spend the day people watching and seeing why everyone loves this awesome city.

TIP: There are hundreds of places to visit here, so don’t rush! Don’t forget to ask the locals for any recommendations on places to eat to beat the tourists – there’s always a hidden gem to be found somewhere…

4. Cable Car

Riding a cable car in San Francisco can be an awesome and hilarious experience! These cable cars have been an iconic landmark in San Francisco for hundreds of years.

The drivers are known to be very entertaining and make sure the journey is worthwhile for you. A single ride is $7 whilst an all-day pass is $21, so we recommend using it as your mode of transport for a day if you have the time. You can hop on and off whenever you wish, so make sure you’re facing towards the San Francisco bay or grab one of the poles on the outside of the cable car to get the full experience!

TIP: Don’t forget to jump off at Lombard Street, known as the ‘crookedest street in the world’.

5. Visit a Neighbourhood

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The neighbourhoods of San Francisco are extremely diverse and we recommend visiting at least one of these to truly see the ‘real San Francisco’ and live how the locals do. Each area is unique with tonnes of hotspots.

There is the Castro District, which was one of the first gay neighbourhoods in the United States, alongside Chinatown, Mission District, North Beach, Lower Haight and Hayes Valley to name but a few. Prepare to be fascinated by the individuality of each neighbourhood and don’t forget to try out the best rated places to eat there.

TIP: Whilst it’s great fun being a tourist, you’ll gain an awesome cultural experience by chatting to the locals in the area and on all your travels in the US. These are the people who’ll have the best stories to tell and the secrets of the city, so don’t be afraid to say hello!

6. Lombard Street

Lombard Street is another popular landmark, known for being one of the crookedest and steepest roads in the world! Not only this, but the street is incredibly scenic so if you head here, don’t forget your camera regardless of if you’re seeing the street from the bottom or the top!

Spend some time here watching the cars slowly make their way down, and if you’re scared of heights, try not to look down for too long yourself!

TIP: If you don’t have much time, hop off the cable car here for some photo opportunities just in time to catch the next car!

7. Golden Gate Park

Instagram: @collin498

When you’re travelling, your days are jam packed with new places and experiences and so it can most definitely get tiring. So, don’t forget to take some time out to relax, sit, and appreciate where you are. Golden Gate Park is the perfect place to do that. The park is huge and complete with gardens, lakes, walking trails, monuments and lots of activities!

We recommend fitting this into your itinerary if you can – grab a picnic and your travel buddies, and enjoy getting outdoors and exploring this beautiful park. Don’t worry if you get lost (we’ve all been there…)

TIP: Want to go all out? Explore the park on a narrated Segway tour!

8. Giants game

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If you want to get the complete American experience, then you must head to a baseball game whilst you’re in the US – and the San Francisco giants are the perfect people to see! The Giants won the World Series in 2014 so they’re worth watching at AT&T park.

Whilst you’re there, admire the view of San Francisco bay and grab yourself a huge hot dog. Be ready to lose your voice as you join in with the chants and cheers – it’s an incredible atmosphere.

TIP: Scour a few different websites and compare prices to grab a ticket at a low cost.

9. Baker Beach

Another fantastic place to relax. Baker Beach has arguably one of the best views you could possibly have whilst sunbathing and hanging out with your mates. To the right is the famous Golden Gate Bridge, so take a walk and enjoy your surroundings and don’t forget your camera for those instaworthy shots...

TIP: How about cycling across the bridge in the morning, then spending the afternoon here? We couldn’t think of a better way to rest!

10. Food 

Instagram: @cinnaholic

So it seems we’re going to have a recurring theme of ending each blog post with food, and rightly so – food is important. Plus on your travels, it’s the perfect opportunity to try new places you’d never have the opportunity to go before.

Have you heard of Cinnaholic? Well, neither had we and now we're counting down the days until it (hopefully) comes to the UK! Here you can find personalised cinnamon rolls to suit your preferences, and they are incredible!

Got a sweet tooth but cinnamon isn’t for you? No worries, because Cream is a store that specialises in ice cream sandwiches. Yes, you heard that right.. just because you left camp doesn’t mean your ice-cream sandwich days are over! Head here to satisfy your sweet tooth and be reminded why American food is AWESOME.