San Francisco Tourism Tips

San Francisco is the 17th most populated city in the United States. Located alongside the Pacific ocean in the state of California, close to San Jose and Sacramento, it is regularly one of the most visited cities in the country, due to its dry summers and mild winters, plus a vast array of tourist attractions and great restaurants like this top San Francisco restaurant. Indeed, tourism accounts for more than one in seven jobs within the city.

Although it is famous for its many hills (over 40), San Francisco is easy to travel around, thanks primarily to the municipal public transit system, referred to locally as the Muni, and the city’s world famous cable cars. No trip could be complete without a ride on one of these tram-like vehicles, which have been designated as a Historical Landmark since the mid sixties. Hop-on-hop-off double decker tour buses are a great way to explore all the sights, and they have a guided narration as part of their package.

Another fabulous way to see the city skyline, especially in the early evening, is on one of the cruises, which take passengers under one and past another of the city’s most recognisable landmarks. The iconic Golden Gate Suspension Bridge is one of the most famous anywhere in the world and walkways on either side give access to both cyclists and pedestrians. Alcatraz Island’s Penitentiary, which sits in San Francisco Bay, has been a popular attraction since 1973 and has to be on any “must see” list.

One of the most visited areas of the city is Fisherman’s Wharf with its many shops, restaurants, bars and Pier 39 is highly recommended for not only its incredible views, but also the place where it is possible to see the sea lions. Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and Ghirardelli Square, where renovated factories have been turned into a centre for shoppers and art-lovers, can also be found here.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) shouldn’t be missed, with its ten floors of innovative and fascinating exhibits, which number in excess of 33,000 pieces and are all housed in a building of architectural splendour. For families, the Exploratorium is a science museum which has entertainment that appeals to both children and adults, with many interactive experiences and experiments. Alternatively, an afternoon at a Giants baseball game always tends to hit the mark in any San Francisco tourism experience. Watching from Oracle Park is a great venue, with magnificent views, not only of the match, but also looking out over the ocean beyond. If no game coincides with the visit, tours of the stadium are available.

Two other very popular spots to see some of the best views of San Francisco are from The Twin Peaks. These uninhabited hills overlook the city and bay from around 900 feet high. Access is straightforward and many people hike between the two of them. It is hardly surprising that tourism continues to flourish in one of the United States jewels, with so much to see and do in an environment that is both friendly and spectacular in equal measures.

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