San Francisco Bucket List

San Francisco, Bay Bridge [courtesy of ThinkStock – iStockphoto]

San Francisco is one of those cities you just have to visit in your lifetime. The question is, what are the absolute must-sees and dos while you’re there? We’ve wracked our brains, sifted through the most must-seeattractions and, after much deliberation, have come up with the ultimate San Francisco bucket list.

Below, you can find out exactly what sights and activities you really shouldn’t miss. So, when you’re searching for a hotel in San Francisco, remember to check how far your accommodation is from the attractions that most interest you.
Explore: Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park is one of the largest man-made parks in the world, as well as easily ranking among

San Francisco, Golden Gate Park [courtesy of ThinkStock – iStockphoto]

the most exciting. It’s a visually stunning place for starters, while it’s filled with lots of interesting attractions too. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; we’ll take a look at the former first.

Golden Gate Park is home to a wealth of beautiful gardens. If you want to feel like you’ve been transported to a green paradise, make sure you check out the Japanese Tea Garden. You do need to pay to explore it, but it is well worth it. That said, if you get here bright and early on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday (as in before 10:00 local time), you’ll be let in for free. San Francisco Botanical Garden and Strawberry Hill are two other notable beauty spots.
Golden Gate Park is also home to the California Academy of Sciences. If you have time, you should definitely take a look in here, especially as it’s one of the largest natural history museums in the world.
Eat: Mission District
Eating some of the best local food is an absolute must no matter where you go, but in San Francisco you’ll be in for a real treat. Probably la creme de la creme for foodies is the Mission District, which is where you’ll find some of the city’s top restaurants across all budgets.
Now, while you can get a wide range of cuisines here, it’s the burritos that possibly stand out most. In fact, you’ve probably already heard that the Mission District is famous for this delicious dish – and we think this reputation is very well deserved. The best places to go to try them include El Toro Taqueria (Valencia Street) and Papalote (24th Street).
Cross: Golden Gate Bridge
When you hear the name Golden Gate Bridge, you immediately think of San Francisco – and the

San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge [courtesy of ThinkStock – iStockphoto]

reverse is also true. As the city’s ultimate icon, it is an absolute must-visit. Instead of just gazing at from one of the local viewing points, take the time to walk or cycle across it.

Don’t worry, you won’t have to battle with the traffic, as there’s a decent pedestrian walkway. Actually crossing the bridge is an unbeatable means of appreciating its colossal size (it’s 1.7 miles long) and incredible architecture. Plus, if you have time you can also take a look around the Marin headlands when you reach the other side. Here, you’ll find Kirby Cove, which is a great place to see the bridge you’ve just crossed in all its glory.
Discover: Alcatraz

San Francisco, Alcatraz [courtesy of ThinkStock – Stockbyte]

Finally, you can’t miss Alcatraz, which is another of the city’s most famous attractions. This former
penitentiary bid farewell to its last inmate in 1963 and these days welcomes tourists in their droves. Of course, as it ushers in so many visitors each day, it’s well worth taking any opportunity to see it at less crowded times, and one of the best ways to do that is by simply opting for a night tour.

On night tours, visitor numbers are limited (though will still reach the hundreds) and you get treated to a slightly different itinerary of activities to during the day. What’s more, coming here at night when the corridors are quieter really enhances the effect of all the old – and often chilling – stories you’ll hear.

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