San Francisco

Visit San Francisco

San Francisco Cable Car

San Francisco Cable Car

San Francisco beauty and charm makes this California's most favorite city to visit. San Francisco is concentrated in a small 49 square mile area and public transportation is excellent. There is no need of a car to get around. Popular attractions are the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39 and Alcatraz Island.

Take the Big Red Tour Bus to get around San Francisco traffic and limited parking space. Watch the sea lions lay in the sun at Pier 39.  Have lunch at famous Alitos Restaurant in Fisherman's Wharf or clam chowder next door at Boudins Bakery at the Wharf.

Take the ferry from Fisherman's Wharf  to Sauslito and enjoy the restaurants and botique shops at this sea side community.

Get an aerial view of San Francisco from Coit Towers or check out cars navigating the very crooked streets of Lombard.

San Francisco is beautiful with lots of things to see and do.

Things to Do in San Francisco

Pier 39

Pier 39 San Francisco

Other than the Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39 is the most visited destination in San Francisco. Pier 39 has a carnival atmosphere with lots of food, breathtaking scenery, tourist attractions and tour buses.

Popular attractions at Pier 39:

Aquarium of the Bay
The 
Aquarium of the Bay is towards the front of Pier 39 and a fun attraction if you like aquarium exhibits.

California Sea Lions
Next, walk through Pier 39 main entrance where you will come to the California Sea Lions. Mostly male sea lions resting on wooden pallets in the west Marina.  

The sea lion population can increase to 900 sea lions in the winter. During summer, they migrate south to Channel Islands but there are still plenty of sea lions who stay year-around.

Harbor Cruise
You'll also notice lots of harbor boat tours. The "Blue & Gold" line is a popular harbor cruise that will take you around (but not in) Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. There are other companies that conduct similar tours. The Alcatraz tour where you tour the Alcatraz facility leaves from Pier 33. When it comes to beauty, there are few places as beautiful as San Francisco on a clear (non foggy) day.

Click Pier 39 to Google Map and Direction


Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most photograph structure in the world with more than 10 million visitors per year. See Bridge History for more info on history and construction.

Bus Tours

The easiest way to experience the Golden Gate Bridge is to take one of the many bus tours that leave from Fisherman’s Wharf. The most popular tour bus is the Big Bus Tour – Hop on / Hop Off that departs from Fisherman’s Wharf / Pier 39. The tour bus makes many popular stops including a look out point on the Golden Gate Bridge. You can depart the bus, take pictures and wait for the next bus to arrive 20 to 30 minutes later.

Walk the Golden Gate Bridge

Start at Bridge Plaza (to the south) and walk to Golden Gate Vista Point to the north. Both sides of the bridge are surrounded by the Golden Gate National Park.

Free walking tours of the Golden Gate Bridge offered on Thursday and Sunday by volunteers at San Francisco City Guide. See FREE Walking Tours for more details on sightseeing tours of the bridge and the San Francisco area.

Also, consider walking tours that will give you history of the bridge and point out many of San Francisco landmarks and secret hideaways. Some tours use tour guides while other tours offer self-guided audio.

The best months to walk the Golden Gate Bridge are Sept, Oct or early Nov when the weather is clear and warm with less foggy days. Summer months of June, July and August tend to be very foggy and Dec thru March tend to be wet and rainy.

Dress Warm

The bridge can be very cold and windy so dress warm with a sweatshirt and windbreaker. The best way to prepare for a visit to the bridge is to dress in layers so you can put on a sweatshirt or windbreaker jacket as you ascend the bridge and encounter more wind. Avoid wearing a baseball cap because the wind is too strong and may blow it away.

Click Golden Gate Bridge Map to Google Map and Direction



Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco

Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco

As you walk west from Pier 39, you will arrive at San Francisco  Fisherman's Wharf. Three of San Francisco most popular seafood restaurants at the wharf are Alioto,   Castagnola and  Tarantino. The food is excellent but a little pricey because these restaurants are in a major tourist location. If you don't want an indoor restaurant meal, try the  outdoor fish markets that serve crab, fish, shrimp and just about anything related to seafood. The outside fish markets are quick and "relatively" inexpensive. Castagnola's also has an outside restaurant with chairs & tables on the sidewalk. 

Take the Big Bus Tour around San Francisco and enjoy San Francisco major attractions in the least amount of time. This Hop On / Hop Off bus tour allows you to visit San Francisco attractions without worrying about driving, traffic or parking. The bus tour is narrated and you exit at any of the destination stops. Spend as much time as you want. Get back on the bus when you're ready. Bus runs every 20 minutes. This is the best way to experience the Golden Gate Bridge, Haight Ashbury District, Golden Gate Park and many more popular attractions, all without driving.

Click Fishermans Wharf Map to Google Map and Direction


Alcatraz

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

The ferry ride from Pier 33 to Alcatraz Island takes 10 minutes. Once on Alcatraz, you may be greeted by a park ranger or volunteer who gives a wonderful speech to the crowd about the history of Alcatraz (better known as the Rock) and what you can expect to see.

Since so many popular movies have been made at Alcatraz, there are movie props all over the place. As you walk to the main entrance from the dock, you will be handed an audio headset that describes everything you will see along with the history of the “bad guys” and attempted escapes. The self-guided audio tour is very well done and effortlessly directs you where to look and where to go.

Alcatraz tour is one of the most popular tourist attraction in San Francisco and the ONLY MAJOR ATTRACTION THAT REQUIRES ADVANCE BUY. If you come to San Francisco on a weekend (that’s not raining) or during the summer and expect to walk up and get a ticket for the Alcatraz tour ….. FORGET IT.

Only one company is allowed to ferry people to Alcatraz and THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE TO BUY TICKETS at Alcatraz Ticketing. The other ferry/sightseeing companies will only take you in the boat around Alcatraz Island and bring you back to Pier 39 but you don’t get off to tour the prison.

Buy tickets online at least 1 week in advance for the weekend during winter and fall and at least 2 weeks advance during spring and summer. Peak tourist time in summer may require 1 month advance buy. The good news is that it’s easy to buy online. Just go to Alcatraz Ticket or call (415) 981-7625 to buy tickets.

Click Pier 33 Map (where ferry to Alcatraz departs) to Google Map and Direction


Cable Cars

San Francisco Cable Car Ride

San Francisco Cable Car Ride

The cable car experience defines San Francisco. Riding the cable car is a great way to see San Francisco, especially Knob Hill & Russian Hill. Experience the steep incline streets of San Francisco without hiking up those "hilly" streets. You can see a depiction of the cable car routes at cable car routes

The 5 most popular places to board cable cars are:

   Market & Powell St
   Aquatic Park (across the street from Ghiradeli Square)
   Bay & Taylor St. (Fisherman Wharf)
   Market & Drumm St.
   Market & Van Ness St.

The cable cars run approximately every 20 minutes. Fare is $6 each way for kids (5 and over) and adults.

Click Cable Car - Powell and Market Street Map to Google Map and Direction


Chinatown

San Francisco Chinatown Entrance at Bush and Grant Bl.

San Francisco Chinatown Entrance at Bush and Grant Bl.

San Francisco Chinatown is the second largest Chinese settlement in the U.S. with New York being the largest. The best way to experience Chinatown is on foot. Just walk through the streets of Chinatown in San Francisco and you'll get a glimpse of what it's like to be in China. I have been told that Chinatown in many ways mimics urban cities in China. This is an interesting parallel since Chinatown borders Union Square, one of the most touristy area in San Francisco.

Don't just walk on the main streets, try walking down smaller side streets. Visit the many outdoor markets and pick a restaurant for authentic Chinese food. As you walk ....... stop and close your eyes ..... Listen to the sounds and the smells of Chinatown. It's a fantastic experience without traveling to China.

Enter Chinatown from the main entrance on Bush and Grant Street, then walk down any of the side streets and explore this exciting area of San Francisco. The area is very safe and tourist friendly. Look up at the apartments and you'll see clothes hanging outside the windows to dry. You smell fresh herbs and other scents that you may not be familiar with. It's a different world, all within a few blocks of your hotel if you stay in Union Square.

You'll see the Chinese open markets of live chickens, hanging ducks, crawling crabs, live fish swimming in tanks .... all awaiting to be sold fresh. You won't see that in your neighborhood supermarket.

The main tourist shopping is on Grant Street. The main entrance on Bush and Grant is a good place to start your Chinatown journey. You'll see restaurants and gift stores from the main gate at Bush street up to Broadway.

Click Chinatown Map to Google Map and Directions


AT&T Park - Giants Baseball Tour and Game

ATT Park

ATT Park

AT&T Park and Tour is a "must see" attraction even if you're not a baseball or Giants Baseball fan. The stadium is spectacular and the seats inside the stadium overlook the San Francisco Bay.

The real fun comes with the park tour. Tour tickets can be purchased at the stadium Dugout Store or Online for $22.00 (adults), $17(senior 55 and over), $12 kids (12 and under) and free (military & kids 2 and under). The 60 minute "behind the scene" tour is fantastic where you visit places most people will never see.

When I took the park tour, half the group were women who were not baseball fans. They enjoyed the incredible architecture of the stadium (inside and out), the phenomenal view of the bay inside the park from every angle, the miniature AT&T Park behind left field plus the biggest reason for taking the tour ..... access to places only the players and staff go including: luxury suites, press box, player dressing room, dugout and indoor batting cage.

You honestly feel like part of the AT&T Park family because tour guides and staff treat visitors so well. The luxury and press boxes alone are amazing as you sit in the seats and experience what the "big shots" do on game day. You will get an entirely different perspective of "game day" and the ballpark. The tour gives you a glimpse inside this business empire that you would never experience unless you were a fortunate insider.

Tours are available everyday at 10:30am and 12:30 pm except as posted on their website . 

Getting to the park is easy from the city as you can take the 
N-Judah or T-Third Muni Train from Embarcadero Station and exit at 2nd and King Street Station.

You can also take the Muni Bus # 30, 45, 47, T-Owl, N-Owl that stops within one block of the ballpark. More directions for car and public transportation can be found at Direction to AT&T Ball Park

If you prefer to walk, the park is little more than a one mile walk from Embarcadero at the Ferry Terminal Building. Just walk south on Embarcadero until you reach the stadium. The walk is pleasant with a view of the bay.

Keep in mind that all tour stops are subject to change depending on team schedule and area availability so you must be flexible. If there is some area of the ballpark that the tour can not visit that day, it's always for a good reason, usually involving preparation for the day's event, so just roll with the schedule, be polite and go with the flow. I guarantee the AT&T Park Tour will not disappoint you even if you have no interest in baseball. For you Giants or baseball fans, this tour should be top priority on your visit to San Francisco. Game day tickets and tours available at tickets and tours

Click AT&T Park to Google Map and Directions


The Cannery and Ghirardelli Square

Ghirardelli Square San Francisco

Ghirardelli Square San Francisco

The Cannery and   Ghirardelli Square

Just west of Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf on Embarcadero is the Cannery and Ghirardelli Square. The Cannery is located just off Jefferson Street on 2801 Leavenworth Street. The area is a waterfront marketplace of unique shops and restaurants that offers excellent wines and spirits of every variety. The Cannery is great for souvenir shopping for that unique gift to take back to family and friends.

Ghirardelli Square is next to The Cannery (900 North Point Street) at the corner of Beach and Larkin. It's on the west side of Fisherman's Wharf, two blocks east of Van Ness Avenue and one block west of the Cable Car turnaround at Beach and Hyde Street.

Ghirardelli Square is no longer a chocolate factory but offers small retails shops and a few restaurants.

Click The Cannery to Google Map and Directions


Lombard Street   (One of the Worlds Most Crookedest Street)

Cars Driving Down Lombard Street

Cars Driving Down Lombard Street

Lombard Street between Hyde and Leavenworth is known as one of the world's crookedest street. Tourist love this area because the beauty and photo opportunities are incredible. This section of Lombard is only 1/4 mile, one way street that curves back and forth (known as switchbacks) to allow cars and pedestrians to safely navigate the steep 27% grade. Normal steep grades are 4% to 5%.

Watching the cars slowly navigate the tight turns at 5 MPH along with the beautiful mansions and colorful flowers makes this section of Russian Hill one of the best spot for photography in San Francisco. Most of Lombard Street is uneventful and begins at Presidio Blvd. (inside the Presidio) and breaks off at Telegraph Hill, then re-joins at Wintrhrop and ends at Embarcadero.

The section of Lombard Street at Hyde Street is at the top of the hill where cars start the slow winding downhill drive. Hyde and Lombard Street is also a stop for the Powell-Hyde Cable Car. The view from Hyde & Lombard is spectacular looking down the winding street with the beautiful San Francisco Bay as the background.

At the bottom of the crooked street (Lombard St.) at Leavenworth, you can take great photos of cars going down the hill along with the mansions of Russian Hill as your background. If you walk or take the bus (Muni) to the area, be prepared to walk several blocks of steep incline streets to get within sightseeing and photo range.

The pictures you take will make the trip worth it, plus the walk getting there through Russian Hill and nearby Coit Tower is nothing short of amazing as you take in all the beautiful Victorian homes and sights of San Francisco.

There is a cable car stop (Powell-Hyde Cable Car Line) near the intersection of Lombard and Hyde Street. My advice if you use the cable car to see Lombard, do it early morning or weekdays as there may not be any room on the cable car to re-enter once you get off.

Click Lombard Street to Google Map and Directions


Sausalito 

Sausalito

Sausalito

This premier seaside town in Marin County is a favorite day excursion for both locals and tourist. Sausalito sits on the North end of the Golden Gate Bridge and accessible by car, bike, foot or ferry. Most people drive over the bridge directly into Sausalito. Tourists traveling without a car can arrive by tour bus (which usually stops in Sausalito), public bus or ferry. Taking the ferry from Pier 41 (Fisherman's Wharf) or the Ferry Terminal Building at Embarcadero is my favorite way to get to Sausalito.

The view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and the San Francisco Bay is spectacular on a clear day. The ferry passes right by Alcatraz and on a clear day, you can take amazing photos of the Golden Gate Bridge from different angles. The downtown waterfront area is the most popular location in Sausalito where the ferry arrives. The waterfront area, particularly Bridgeway Street, are lined with restaurants, eateries and small boutique shops. The view is absolutely spectacular and you can just walk down Bridgeway Street taking in the many shops, eateries and wonderful aroma. One of the best seaside restaurant for seafood is 
Scomas located on Bridgeway Street.

If you arrive by car, there is the Golden Gate National Recreation Area just next door to downtown where you can take in the beauty of the coastal Redwoods. Muir Woods with its giant Redwoods is just 12 miles away.

If you decide to stay in Sausalito for the night, the area has many 4 and 5 star hotels as well as small bed and breakfast inns.

Sausalito like nearby Tiburon is a city where you as a tourist can relax in a small town atmosphere surrounded by plenty of places to eat and shop. The photo opportunities are plentiful. Sausalito is truly a place you will want to visit over and over again.

Getting There:

Most tourist simply take the Blue & Gold Ferry from Fisherman's Wharf or Ferry Terminal Building which docks at Sausalito where all the popular shops and attractions are located.

From San Francisco by Car :   Golden Gate Bridge North to Highway 101 - Take first exit at Alexander Street Exit and follow into Sausalito or just follow the signs to Sausalito. Approximate 2 miles north of Golden Gate Bridge.


Other Fun Things to Do and Events

Wooden Boat Tour

Seaplane Tour of Bay

Marine Mammal Center


Angel Island 

Angel Island

Angel Island

Angel Island .... Most Under-Rated Attraction

Angel Island has to be the best kept secret from tourist. This small island sits in the San Francisco Marin County Bay and has a spectacular view of the Bay area including San Francisco. Angel Island is only accessible by ferry or private boat. Blue & Gold Ferry  leave Fisherman's Wharf and the Ferry Terminal Building several times daily. Once on the island, you have a choice of taking the tram tour, walking on the perimeter road and observing the fantastic view of the bay or hiking the trails and take in the natural beauty of the Island.

You can rent a bike on the island or bring your own bike on the ferry. The perimeter road is perfect for biking and allows you to exercise while taking in the beauty of this island and the San Francisco Bay.

The island has a cafe and and outdoor cantina with an oyster bar. You can pack a lunch, take it with you on the ferry and eat on the picnic benches at the island. Every inch of this island is tremendously scenic.

Walking the perimeter road is the best way to take advantage of all the wonderful photo opportunities that Angel Island has to offer, especially the San Francisco Bay. You can walk the entire island perimeter in 3 hours.

Angel Island offers an escape from the urban city and has been preserved as a National Historic Landmark. It has been a California State Park since 1956, but was used as an Army Installation during the Civil War known as Camp Reynolds. From 1910 - 1940, Angel Island was used as an immigration station to process immigrants primarily from China. Angel Island is known as the Ellis Island of the West. Angel Island in WWI and WWII was used to process Army troops embarking and returning from various theater conflicts.

Japanese and German POWs were also held on this island during WWII. Now a California State Park and National Landmark, Angel Island offers fantastic walking and hiking trails.

If you don't want to walk, then take the regularly schedule open air tram tour. The tour last an hour and cost about $15. The tour will take you to historic landmarks such as the old immigration station. The scenic view you'll get of the San Francisco Bay as the tram travels the island perimeter is just breath-taking. The tram tour gives you the full history of the island as well as plenty of fantastic photo opportunities on a clear day.

Visiting Angel Island is totally opposite of visiting San Francisco. You won't find wall to wall tourists, restaurants, bars or anything else that resemble civilization. This is a place to take in the peaceful and natural beauty of the bay area via the ferry transport.

I recommend staying a minimum of 3 hours on the island. This gives you time to take the tram tour or self guided walking trails, then grab a bite to eat and of course, take fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime pictures on a clear day.

Pack a picnic basket and make this an extra special trip, eating lunch at your leisure and exploring the island at your own pace. The weather is not always predictable. It could be foggy in San Francisco and clear on Angel Island, so come prepared. Dress in layers so you can strip clothes away as needed but always protect yourself from the cool air of the San Francisco Bay.

Things to Do on Angel Island:

   Fantastic Walking and Hiking Trails
   Great Sightseeing by tram tour, walking or biking
   Great Biking Trails (bike rentals about $13/hour)
    
Segway Tours (about $70)
    Nature Walks
    Photo Opportunities
    Camping
    Live Music overlooking bay at Cove Catina and Oyster Bar
    Tram Tour (about $13)


Golden Gate Park

Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park

Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park is San Francisco's Central Park. The area is large and open with over 1000 acres smack in the middle of a mega-urban city. The three biggest attractions at Golden Gate Park are the California Academy of Science, De Young Art Museum and the Japanese Tree Garden.  You will enjoy visiting all three attractions.

Planning
Visit time to any one of these museum or gardens can take 1 to 4 hours depending on your level of interest. Each museum or garden has its own admission price. Cost and directions can be found on the info links below. Each museum and garden are worth the admission and supports the up keep of these world class exhibits.

Whenever I visit San Francisco, I take the Muni Bus to Golden Gate Park sometimes just to take in the large green surroundings which is such a change of pace from the surrounding city. Sometimes I just stroll through the botanical garden with my camera and look for unusual photo opportunities. Golden Gate Park is an escape from the surrounding urban jungle much like Central Park in New York.

Download Golden Gate Park Map

Many Free Events
The cool thing about Golden Gate Park is there are many free events and you don't have to pay admission to a museum to enjoy the park. To find the latest happenings at the park, just click Golden  Gate Park Events. The link is also provided below under link info.

Click Golden Gate Park to Google Map and Directions

4 Main Attractions in Golden Gate Park

California Academy of Science

California Academy of Science

California Academy of Science

Even if you're not the scientific type the  California Academy of Science Museum is fun to visit with live alligators and an indoor Rainforest contained in a 90 foot glass dome. From Costa Rica to Borneo, you get a glimpse at what a tropical Rainforest looks like with all the flying insects and plant life.

This museum also has a huge aquarium that's worth a visit even if it were the only attraction. In addition to other scientific exhibit, this museum is worth the price of admission and kids absolutely love this place especially the rain forest, planetarium and aquarium.

There's even adult nightlife at the museum every Thursday night with live DJ or band and every week has a theme. Learn more at Museum Nightlife


DeYoung Art Museum

De Young Art Museum

De Young Art Museum

The DeYoung Museum is a premier art exhibit that will interest most every one, even if you're not into art. There's always special exhibitions that comes to the DeYoung Art Museum for a short period of time that are unique and fun to visit.

Again, you don't have to be a lover of artwork to enjoy the exhibits. One day I stumbled into the DeYoung to see the Andy Worhol exhibit which was tremendous. I'm not really an artsy kind of guy but the exhibit was incredible and kept my interest for hours.

Check the DeYoung Museum website to see the latest happenings before your visit. DeYoung attracts the best of the world's art so make this museum a part of your visit.


Japanese Tea Garden

Japanese Tea Garden

Japanese Tea Garden

The Japanese Tea Garden is just beautiful and everyone who visit Golden Gate Park should visit. Five acres of beautiful Japanese Garden creating a magnificent escape from the hustle & bustle of the city. You'll learn all about the Japanese custom of tea and drink the most superb tea in the world. Visit the Japanese Tea Garden for more info.


San Francisco Botanical Garden

San Francisco Botanical Gardens

San Francisco Botanical Gardens


Not to be confused with the Japanese Tea Garden, this stretch of greenery boast of 75,000 different types of plant life. There are trails and bridges to walk and relax all through Golden Gate Park. After a hectic day of sightseeing in the city, this is the perfect way to relax in the afternoon.

The garden is part of the Golden Gate Park complex and is situated all around the Golden Gate Park with the main entrance at Ninth Ave & Lincoln Way. More info can be found at San Francisco Botanical Gardens. Keep in mind there is a small fee for entrance if you're not a San Francisco resident.


Free TV Tapings

tv taping ticket

tv taping ticket

1 iota

Great website to get free tickets to live TV tapings and hot reality shows including late night shows.  Many popular tapings have available seating unlike some other company sites but of course, the sooner you act, the better your chances.  1 iota is a West Hollywood based company that specializes in delivering a passionate audience to various TV studios with live tapings so you may be require to tell 1 iota online  why you like a particular show that you want tickets to.  Learn More


On Camera Audience

On-Camera Audiences, Inc. is a full-service television audience company based in Burbank, CA. They are directly contracted by television production companies to manage all aspects of their studio audiences. A one stop place to get your free tickets to TV show tapings that include game shows, Sitcoms and Late Night Shows. Keep in mind that popular tapings are hard to get and may require being placed on a waiting list.  Learn More


TVTix.com

Tickets are offered at No Charge ! Compliments of the show and TVTix.com. Your tickets will be generated on your computer screen for immediate printing. You will need your printed tickets in order to be admitted into any studio. Show tapings can run as long as 4 hours. Age minimums are enforced. Always bring a Photo ID with a birth date to the studio. Do not overbook. Your entire party must be present, or your party may not be admitted.  Learn More


Jeopardy Game Show

Located at the Sony Studio in Culver City. This is the OFFICIAL SITE  for ordering Free tickets to the popular Jeopardy Game Show. Order tickets up to 4 people but be sure you can attend  the dates you choose. Learn More


Wheel of Fortune

Located at the Sony Studio in Culver City. Attend FREE live taping of the Wheel of Fortune. Up to 4 people. This the OFFICIAL SITE to order your free tickets.

Learn More


Coit Tower 

View of Coit Tower

View of Coit Tower

You can’t miss it. It’s that tall white tower that sticks out of the San Francisco landscape as you walk to Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39 or the Financial District. For many years, I only viewed Coit Tower as I walked along Embarcadero, never wanting to make the steep climb to the tower. Then one day, I decided to visit Coit Tower, and all I can say is .... WOW.

On a clear day, the view from Coit Tower is spectacular. Probably one of the best view that San Francisco has to offer.

The 210 foot tower stands atop Telegraph Hill and gives you a 360 degree view of San Francisco. Inside the tower are murals that depict the early life of California. You can see the Golden Gate Bridge as well as most of the city and take great pictures at the base of the tower entrance near the parking area.

The cost to enter Coit Tower is free but to take the elevator to the top will cost $8 where you pay at the gift shop near the entrance. You can take great pictures without paying $8 right from the base entrance / parking area. The view from the parking lot area is almost as good as the top of the tower where you have to view through small protected windows that may obstruct light when taking pictures.

As you take the steps up the tower, you’ll see some of the most beautiful Victorian homes and gardens that line the pathway to Coit Tower. The beauty and photo opportunity alone is worth the trip. There’s also a chance you may encounter wild parrots that make Telegraph Hill their home.

Coit Tower was built in 1933 and the history behind Coit comes from a eccentric socialite name Lilian Hitchcock Coit who loved the fireman of San Francisco and was a volunteer firefighter herself. Back in the early days of San Francisco, fires were prevalent and could literally wipe out the city, so fireman where revered given the lack of firefighting technology that exist today. Lilian’s estate after her death funded the building of Coit Tower in memory of the brave firemen.

The easiest way to get to Coit is take the #39 bus from Pier 39 or Washington Square in Little Italy.  See Bus #39 Route & Schedule for details. The bus will take you directly to Coit Tower and you can avoid the steep walk up the hills. Also, you can drive to Coit Tower but the parking lot is small and you may have to wait a long time before someone vacates a parking space not to mention dealing with the long traffic line into Coit Tower during peak hours.

The best way to combine two popular sightseeing events in San Francisco is to checkout Lombard Street, one of the world’s crookedest street and watch the cars slowly navigate down the tight turning switchbacks. You get an awesome view of San Francisco as well as post card type pictures of San Francisco with Victorian homes in the background. 

Then walk down Lombard Street to Telegraph Hill Blvd and walk up to Coit Tower. Just follow the signs. There are signs that point to Coit Tower all over Lombard Street where many tourists gather to view the crooked street and the beautiful surrounding landscape.

Click Coit Tower to Google Map and Directions


Haight District

Haight Street, San Francisco

Haight Street, San Francisco

From Market Street near downtown or Union Square, catch the Muni Bus# 7 (Ortega & 48th St.) going west towards Golden Gate Park and get off at either Stanyan Street (borders Golden Gate Park) or Sharader Street or Cole Street (both on Haight Street). This will put you on the highest point of Haight Street to the west near Golden Gate Park where you can walk downhill on Haight Street while taking in all the sights.

You can walk up Haight from Market Street (heading west) but you'll have to ascend some very steep streets and this can be very strenuous if you're not in good shape or not use to strenuous walking. Haight street is very steep so just take the Muni Bus 7 or 71 up Haight to the very west end and walk downhill. This way you'll enjoy the journey much better.

Weekends and late afternoon on weekdays are the best time to walk down Haight Street where you'll feel the vibe of this ex-hippie neighborhood. As you walk down Haight, you can catch the Muni Bus #7 almost anywhere to get back to Union Square or the Financial District. I personally like to walk down Haight from Stanyan Street on the top hill all the way down to Market Street. Keep an open mind and realize you're in SAN FRANCISCO. The bizarre is what makes this neighborhood interesting.

You will see a lot of diversity on your walk. Haight Street to the west near the Golden Gate Park is very affluent but as you continue down hill heading east, the neighborhood turns from high end shopping and boutiques to pipes and counter culture shops in lower Haight. On your walk down Haight, look for homes of popular musician of the 60's ...... Janis Joplin lived at 122 Lyon Street. The Grateful Dead lived at 710 Ashbury and members of Jefferson Airplane lived at 2400 Fulton Street.

Click Haight District Map to Google Map and Directions



Ferry Building / Embarcadero

San Francisco Ferry Building

Ferry Building

The Ferry Building is located on Embarcadero where Market Street ends. The Ferry Building is a lot more than just a terminal building to transport people across the bay but also serves as a terrific marketplace inside with restaurants, eateries and bakeries.

In addition, Farmers Market sets up on Tuesday and Thursday @ 10am - 2 pm and Saturday mornings @ 8am-2 pm. Renowned as the best Farmers Market to visit with great selection, education on food and agriculture that attracts 25,000 visitors each week.

Click Ferry Building / Embarcadero Map to Google Map and Directions


San Francisco  Hotels 
and More  

Click for details.