6 Sightseeing MUSTS in San Francisco, California
Arriving at college as a native to the beautiful and quirky city of San Francisco, to a freshmen on the gorgeous shores of Endicott College, I think it is fair to say I have received quite a few questions in regards to what what life is like on the opposite coast. More specifically, “is it really true that Lombard Street is the most crooked street in the world??” Yes. Yes it is. And with that comes a list of 6 popular sites to visit in the Golden Gate City. So if you ever find yourself a tourist roaming (or should I say climbing) the vertical, narrow streets of San Francisco, let these distinguished attractions serve as a guide on your travels..
Neatly winding and bending around the residential homes of Russian Hill will you find the most crooked street in the world. Lombard is a scenic route dotted with carefully designed flower pots and a GORGEOUS view of the San Francisco Bay.
Hundreds of thousands of tourists each year manifest the area for the leisurely ride that makes up Lombard. Yes, all of that for a short and sweet 5 mph ride down a curvey lane. But it is totally worth it for the photo on the gram!
Right around the corner from Lombard is Chinatown. SF’s chinatown is actually the 2nd largest outside of Asia, and the most densely populated city. Its vibrant and colorful architecture, vendors, art, restaurants, and people make it the tourist hot spot that it is. The Dragon Gate (main entrance to the district), and newly available “tea tasting” are popular draws for photos and a peek into the diverse culture San Franciscans embrace.
3. North Beach:
The North Beach neighborhood owns a rich Italian heritage with a variety in restaurants, including the BEST calzones, cafés, and popular sightseeing. Tucked away within its busy streets is the City Lights Bookstore, home to the writers of the Beat Generation. Browse the aisles for famous names or take a trip downstairs for a book on just about anything! From relationship advice to why tigers have stripes, I promise you won’t walk out empty handed. North Beach also includes a picturesque hike to Coit Tower, and gives you a taste of the many cultures along the way that San Francisco prides itself for.
4. Union Square:
If you are looking for a more shopping oriented experience, nothing beats the streets of Union Square! Big name brands such as Urban Outfitters, Zara, Abercrombie & Fitch, Tiffany & Co., and Neiman Marcus dominate the area. Or, hop on a trolly and take a tour of our grand city visiting the Museum of Ice Cream and Pier 39. I can guarantee you will be tempted to get off at every stop! You will not be disappointed with the variety in shops, theatre, and night life that makes downtown San Fran the attraction that it is.
5. Baker Beach:
I could not possibly rave about SF without talking about our beaches along the bay. If I had to choose just one beach, I would highly recommend Baker Beach. You are right along the Pacific Ocean with a stunning view of the Golden Gate and a beautiful backdrop of the colorful homes that dot the coastline. A recent misconception I have noted about Northern California is that it is not, in fact, 90 degrees every day. You may have spotted a postcard of the fog rolling in over the Golden Gate Bridge. This is because San Francisco is actually one of the most foggiest locations in Northern CA, our most overcast months being July and August! Our weather gives the Bay Area a unique and scenic quality for a morning stroll along the ocean, just be sure you don’t accidentally drift into the nudist area of the beaches!
If you are looking to explore SFs history, what better way to unearth our roots than with a trip to Alcatraz? The island is home to the West Coast’s first built lighthouse and US fort which includes a traditional ferry ride out to the island ;) The prison includes guided tours where I am sure you will hear about the infamous stories of inmates who attempted to escape the island (whether they survived or not is still up to debate)…Also, have you heard the ghost stories??