I’ve visited San Francisco many times and have always enjoyed my stay. The best part about the city is the incredible wealth of good restaurants, definitely a foodies paradise.
There are so many places worth visiting and exploring, it’s worth taking your time to explore by foot which I’ve done a few times. I’d been to San Francisco for work several times but never had time to get to know the city as I was usually jumping out of a taxi to go to the conference center or collapsing in a hotel room. This family vacation afforded me the chance to actually see the city and surrounding area.
Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill has probably the best view of San Francisco Bay so a must stop when in the city. The tower was built and dedicated to the volunteer firemen who have died in San Francisco’s five major fires.
Muir Woods National Monument is a worthwhile side trip just over Golden Gate to see Red. Muir Woods National Monument is located on Mount Tamalpais near the Pacific coast. It is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and is 12 miles (19 km) north of San Francisco. It protects 554 acres of which 240 acres are old growth coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forests.
As long as you’re in the area, it’s not too far to go visit a winery or two, well maybe three. Fortunately everyone in my family likes wine.
A trip to the Trolley Museum is worth the time to see what drives those trolleys around the city.
Another place to visit is Grace Cathedral. Grace Cathedral has a significant collection of varied works by Jan Henryk De Rosen. The cathedral entrance has a large pair of doors, often called the “Ghiberti doors”. They are reproductions of the doors of the Florence Baptistery by Lorenzo Ghiberti, also dubbed the “Gates of Paradise”. It’s also worth noting the labyrinth that is based on the famous medieval labyrinth of Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres. There is one inside the Cathedral and one outside.
A trip to the piers and market might be called for at some point. Just don’t lay around like these guys do.
While in San Francisco, a trip to the Castro area is quite interesting. Some of the older homes are just so cool.
And don’t forgot to see the “Seven Sisters”, the beautifully manicured pastel fairy-tale Victorian homes located at Steiner & Hayes St., across from Alamo Square in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood. The “Seven Sisters” were constructed in the 1890s, surviving the 1906 earthquake and subsequent devastating fire.
Another must see is the Japanese Tea Garden, a delightful garden to spend some time in.
It’s also fun to explore the city for the many statues and murals painted on walls in different neighborhoods.
And what’s San Francisco without the Golden Gate Bridge?
I could go on but San Francisco is such a vibrant city with so much to see, how could you ever get tired of exploring the City by the Bay.