If you're going to San Francisco, you won't need to be sure to wear a flower in your hair, but you will need to be ready to experience what is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the United States. Situated on the great Pacific Ocean and steeped in hills, and sometimes plenty of fog, San Francisco has the ability to impress even the most seasoned travelers. San Francisco trips will almost always include sightseeing ventures that include the Golden Gate Bridge, and if you are exploring by car, you might head for the lookout at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Here, you can park and enjoy hiking and a beach with great views of the symbolic structure. Condé Nast Traveler magazine's readers poll placed San Francisco as the top American City for more than a decade straight, so you can bet that if you plan a San Francisco getaway, there will be no shortage of attractions. In addition to enjoying the city's famed dining scene, you might include consider including these following attractions in your trip to San Francisco. Especially during the summer, the San Francisco hotels can be packed, so be sure to make your lodging reservations as far in advance as possible.
If you head towards the Golden Gate Bridge and the water, you will come across a few other destinations that make for good points of interest for San Francisco trips. Probably the most touristy area of San Francisco is Fisherman's Wharf. Found on the water at Embarcadero and Taylor Street, there are city buses that head this way, or you can find parking nearby. Fisherman's Wharf is a wildly popular tourist destination, and at its famed Pier 39, you can watch a horde of sea lions going about their daily lives. There are a bunch of shops found at the pier, and you can grab some good eats as well. Crab cakes and clam chowder are among the more savory delights, and you can satisfy your sweet tooth as well. It can get pretty busy here, and it's definitely worth checking out. Within minutes of arriving at Fisherman's Wharf, you will certainly notice the small island out in the bay with an unusual building on it. The notorious Alcatraz Island is among the most highly recommended San Francisco day trip considerations, and if you have time, it shouldn't be skipped. Year round, ferries depart from Fisherman's Wharf for Alcatraz Island, where the famous prison awaits the curious. You can add a day or night tour of Alcatraz to your San Francisco getaway, and the boat ride out offers scenic views of the city.
When the weather is nice in San Francisco, many visitors and locals alike enjoy hanging out at Golden Gate Park. Located near the Golden Gate Bridge, it stretches from Stanyan Street to the Pacific Ocean. You can expect varied settings here, and outdoor recreation is the name of the game for many. The park's trails are ideal for biking, rollerblading, jogging, or walking, and there are plenty of open green spots for a relaxing picnic. The Golden Gate Park has sports fields and even a golf course, and if you are up for less of a workout, the Japanese Tea Garden is a most welcome respite. It will cost a few bucks to get into the gardens, but it is well worth it. Back towards the Golden Gate Bridge, the Exploratorium at 3601 Lyon Street is a science museum that some consider to be the best of its kind in the world. Ideal for any family San Francisco getaway, the Exploratorium has hundreds of exhibits that are based on human perception and science, as well as art. Many of these exhibits are hands on, offering hours of fun. The great thing about San Francisco is that many of the best attractions are found within relative proximity of each other. West of the Golden Gate Bridge, where the San Francisco Bay joins the Pacific, the California Palace of the Legion of Honor is considered to be a very worth addition to any San Francisco Trips. Modeled after the Legion of Honor Palace found in Paris, France, this beautiful neoclassical museum has thousands of art pieces to behold, from such artists as Rodin and Andy Warhol. The museum has a nice café with outdoor seating available, and the lawns and paths allow some of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
At some point in your San Francisco getaway, you might feel the need to include an interesting San Francisco day trip. If you like Garden of Eden-like settings and consider yourself even the slightest of wine connoisseurs, it's hard to pass up a tour of California wine country. Both Sonoma and the Napa Valley are located within a few hours tops from San Francisco, and while you can always drive there to explore, if you plan on sampling all the award-winning wines, it might be best to find a guided tour. With plenty of charming inns, bed and breakfasts and other hotel options, you may even consider staying overnight at either Sonoma or Napa, depending on how much time your trip to San Francisco allows. A trip to San Francisco is a wonderful thing, and most anyone who visits here will find plenty of fun things to do. San Francisco trips mix so much of what makes California such a prime destination. Head north, south or east of the city, and the countryside holds plenty of possibilities, but with so much to do downtown, you can certainly entertain yourself without going far. If you like San Francisco's liberal attitude, you might consider making nearby Berkeley the focus of a San Francisco day trip. It is arguably one of the country's best college towns.More Local Trips