So you’re going to San Francisco. Thankfully wearing flowers in your hair is no longer a requirement. But the following are must see, must do while you’re there:
Where to go:
Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf (www.pier39.com)
They say you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but Pier 39 balks at that notion and offers everyone the chance to have a great time. Whether it be the amazing sea lions, the marketplace shopping, the gorgeous bay views, the delicious restaurants (do not miss Trish’s Mini Donuts – they are out of this world), or the myriad bits of entertainment going on all around you, Pier 39 will fill your day with excitement.
Golden Gate Park (www.nps.gov/goga/)
In 1969 this was the heart of Hippydom. Today you can still feel the peace, love, & happiness vibe all around you the second you walk into Golden Gate Park. Huge majestic trees abound and the free (yes I said free) entrance guarantees you’ll keep your pockets full while still getting to enjoy the beauty of nature and the feel of a time gone by. Make sure you take the kids to the Children’s Playground. They’ll be so worn out from all there is to do you’ll be able to put them to bed on ride home. For the big kids, make sure your check out the Japanese Tea Garden and the de Young Museum of Art. Both are filled with fantastic sites you won’t soon forget.
Ghirardelli Square (www.ghirardellisq.com)
Just like it sounds, Ghirardelli Square is home to the world famous Ghiradelli chocolate. Take a tour and see the original equipment churning out these tasty little bits of heaven. No longer just a chocolate shop, the square also has shops, restaurants, even a pub. This little detour will delight the senses and bring out the kid in anyone.
What to do:
Nothing beats a tour of San Francisco riding on a trolley car. Taking you to all the city’s main attractions and sites you are bound to see all sorts of exciting people, places and things. The beauty part is you can get an all day pass and stop wherever you want. Take a walk down the twisty Lombard Street. Grab a bite to eat at Sears Fine Food. Don’t forget all the shopping around Union Square. All the greatness of San Francisco plus the thrill of tooling around in one of their historic trolleys.
Scoma’s Restaurant (www.scomas.com)
Fresh seafood and style are synonymous with life in San Francisco and nothing will show you both of these better than dining at the famous Scoma’s Restaurant. Situated right on the pier, they hand select their menus daily ensuring only the most amazing and delectable treats will cross your palate. Two must haves (while in season of course) are the baked halibut and the steamed Dungeness crab. Both are served by impeccable wait staff in a classy and charming atmosphere.
San Francisco Zoo (www.sfzoo.org)
Partnered with several conservation associations, the San Francisco Zoo is home to many rare and endangered species of animal. From the endangered exotic Sumatran tiger to extinct in the wild Scimitar-horned oryx, you are guaranteed to see animals that are both beautiful and exceptionally scarce. Make sure to stop by the Meerkat exhibit for some laugh out loud antics. The Family Farm is another choice destination which redefines the term petting zoo.
What to see:
If you are looking for spectacular views of the whole city, go no further than Telegraph Hill and the Coit Tower. Two hundred and fifty feet tall, this art deco wonder was built in 1933 to honor the city’s fire department. It has a fantastic observation deck at the top allowing you to see both the Golden Gate and the Bay Bridge along with Alcatraz Island. Not that you haven’t already taken a million pictures, but be sure to have your camera handy not only for the awe inspiring views but also for the fantastic murals decorating the property.
Established in the 1850s, this is the oldest Chinatown in North America and the largest outside of Asia itself. San Francisco’s Chinatown is replete with historic wonders and numerous culinary delights. Chow down on dim sum for lunch and then walk it off while admiring the unique Chinese architecture that hearkens back to the old country. Every Saturday the Lion Dancers parade down the streets. This striking display is best seen in person, where you can experience its magic.
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is synonymous with San Francisco and a must visit landmark on your trip. See full article on the Golden Gate Bridge.