San Francisco Attractions
The number of San Francisco Attractions is enormous and will undoubtedly give every visitor something of what they like best. Personally, I most enjoyed walking and discovering things as we went along, but Lina and I would often take our scooter and park somewhere over the weekend before heading out to explore.
Golden Gate Bridge
A tourist trap deluxe and I love it! Without doubt, still the most popular of all the San Francisco Attractions. Actually, on a quiet weekday you can cross the bridge without too much hassle from other people. It's spectacular with a view to match of the city, Berkeley and Bay Area beyond. Frequently windy, the walk or bike ride can be rather exciting. You can feel a bit dis balanced as you look down at the very strong currents plowing their way through the narrow passage that leads from the Ocean to the Bay. It's not unusual for the fog to linger just below the bridge that ups the spooky sensation a notch or two.
It might be warm and pleasant in the city, but it is almost always cool and raw from the moist, cold ocean air off the Pacific - in other words, dress appropriately.
Fog City Diner & The Embarcadero
Along the Embarcadero, theis is a terrific and slightly more high-end diner. Good food and nice booths. Strolling along the Embarcadero itself is also worth doing for the stores, view and general atmosphere. From here you look over to Oakland and Berkeley across the bay, with Treasure Island in between.
Perhaps the quintessential of all the spots in the city. Chines women practicing Tai-Chi, hippies (do they still exist?) smoking weed, students and all sorts, gather in and around the park that also faces a number of great little cafes and restaurants. They tell me the bohemian and artsy feel of the city has long since vanished along with the beat generation but really, there was still a very unique atmosphere to this place.
I never went. Why? It just didn't seem worth the effort nor very attractive given the number of tourists. I suppose it's a somewhat interesting part of North American history but not for me. The ferry ride is doubtlessly enjoyable however and I know, because I've taken it to Sausalito (also a great little day-trip)and you get a wonderful view of the Bay, the Golden Gate, the city, Coit tower and yes, Alcatraz Island.
Seals and Sea Lions
I'll make a small exception for Fisherman's Wharf. There's a wonderful view of Sea Lions in the harbor that can be seen from the within the Wharf. The seals glide effortlessly up out of and back into the sea, resting and baking in the sun on the floating docks within the harbor. They're noisy, at times a little feisty, but all in all, a lot of fun, especially for the kids.
The sea lions pop up their heads every now and again pretty much all along the North shore of San Francisco. It's always fun to see their playful faces and sometimes I couldn't help but wish I could swim as effortlessly as them.
The view from the tower, located at the top of North Beach is well worth the walk up and so is, the location. North Beach has so much charm and it's really a must-see area where you can take in the narrow streets, cafes and restaurants as you dream away of a different time. Maybe this is the special charm of San Francisco, that is feels like a different time - something we long for, that's gone.
Palace of Fine Arts
This rather eccentric construction was originally built in connection with the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. It's magical and surreal-looking, situated on a small, man-made lake in the Marina district. It's worth dropping in if you're in the Marina area or want to walk to Crissy Field.
Strictly speaking, not one of the San Francisco attractions but a beautiful area for walking on the very tip of the peninsula with a perfect view of Golden Gate Bridge. If you're lucky, the fog might be rolling right under the bridge when you go. From here, you can sea seals in the ocean and take in the sea breeze as you stretch your legs.
Vista del Mar
All the way over on the West shore of the city, this is perhaps not one of the typical San Francisco attractions, but the view over the ocean is worth the trip. You can walk along the beach and I highly recommend the Cliff House restaurant for its view, although a bit pricey and packed on weekends.
China Beach & Lincoln Park
There is a great path that runs along the cliffs heading West from China Beach with a fantastic view toward the bridge and over toward the Headlands on the other side of the Bay.
We hope you enjoy the San Francisco Attractions!
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