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15 Essential Things to Do in San Francisco at Least Once

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San Francisco

San Francisco is filled with incredible attractions. It can be really difficult to narrow down the essential things to do while there. Read our piece to discover 15 essential things you must do in the city at least once.

  1. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge spans 4,200 feet and has amazing panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Its original intent was to connect San Francisco and Marin County. It’s possible to cross with a bike or on foot on the western side.

  1. Walk around the Golden Gate Park

The Golden Gate Park features acres of trees, hills, and beautiful gardens. It’s the perfect place for an unforgettable picnic with scenic beauty and sweet flowers. Don’t worry about snacks; the place has a variety of treats.

  1. Relax your mind in the Muir Woods

The Muir Woods National Monument is home to some of the remaining redwoods in the world. Walking among these huge Northern California trees feels like paradise. A hike here is relaxing, and for a minute, you might just forget all the chaos in the world.

  1. Go on a tour of Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island is a former maximum prison located at the center of the San Francisco Bay. You can only get to it using a ferry. See remains of the facility and listen to narrations of former inmates on escape attempts, prison riots, and more.

  1. Go back in time with a cable car ride

The people of San Francisco invented the cable car system in 1873 to help navigate the steep hills. Today, you can use it to experience scenic views along the city’s bustling streets. These cable cars feel like an Airbus and ‌a slow-moving roller coaster at the same time.

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cable car ride

  1. Get a breath of fresh air at the Presidio

The Presidio was once a military post, but it’s now a public park. It’s the place to go for peace of mind, a quiet walk, or a bike ride on the beautiful trails. Enjoy a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge from here.

  1. Visit the Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts originated from the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The place holds the Greco-Roman-inspired ruins and the magnificent Rotunda. It’s also the place to watch adorable swans, ducks, and geese at the lagoons.

  1. Appreciate culture by visiting Chinatown

Many Chinese people came to California seeking to capitalize on the Gold Rush. They built businesses after finishing their job in the mines. The large population resulted in a settlement area and has become a tourist attraction.

Chinatown

  1. Watch sea lions at the Fisherman’s Wharf

The Fisherman’s Wharf was once a stomping ground for the Italian fishermen. Today, it’s a place for tourist shops, seafood dishes, and marine animals. A common attraction is the sea lions sunbathing and posing for photos.

Fisherman’s Wharf

  1. Shop for vintage items at the Haight-Ashbury

The Haight-Ashbury was the center point of the hippie movement in the 1960s. It’s the best place to shop for vintage items. Enjoy a walk at Janis Joplin’s former pad and the magnificent Four Seasons. The designs will take you to an era you’ve only imagined.

  1. Enjoy scenic views of the Painted Ladies

The Painted Ladies are a set of houses located in Haight-Ashbury, Lower Haight, and Cole Valley. Physical access to the houses isn’t possible; they’re only magnificent views to the eyes. Visit the area and take as many pictures as you like.

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scenic views of the Painted Ladies

  1. Have fun at Lombard Street

Lombard Street is one of the most crooked places in San Francisco. The view of the zig-zag roads is brilliant. It’s even better if you walk from top to bottom, soaking in all the scenery. When using a car, try to drive yourself for the maximum experience.

Lombard Street

  1. Watch over the city from the Coit Tower

Coit Tower was built in 1933, and it’s positioned at the peak of Telegraph Hill. It serves as a strategic place for watching the Northwest corner of San Francisco. The views of the murals at its base are worth your time. View a 360-degree prospect of the city from here.

Coit Tower

  1. Go shopping at the Ferry Building

The Ferry Building is the largest market for farmers and a home for most local artisans. The marketplace has fresh veggies, flowers, and other small-batch products. Outdoor shows happen three days a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

  1. Experience culture at the Illuminate Festival

Illuminate San Francisco is a festival of light that occurs throughout the neighborhoods of the city. View art on structures, restaurants, cars, sidewalks, etc. Some of these lights are permanent, but others are temporary.

Illuminate Festival

Summary

You now have a clearer idea of what to do in San Francisco. Which of these places will you visit first? Heighten your experience by touring the city with quality buds. Get exceptional deals on seeds here and cultivate your own premium nugs.

Shabbir Ahmad is a highly accomplished and renowned professional blogger, writer, and SEO expert who has made a name for himself in the digital marketing industry. He has been offering clients from all over the world exceptional services as the founder of Dive in SEO for more than five years.

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