What is it about San Francisco that makes visiting it yearly a mandatory thing for me? Is it the food? Heck yeah! The views? Absolutely! The culture? Without a doubt! So basically it is everything about San Francisco that calls my name throughout the year inspiring me to make a return visit.
Here are a few recommendations when visiting San Francisco:
Hop On and Hop Off Tours – San Francisco has so much to do and so much to see it can be hard to get to it all. Hop On Hop Off tours are the most popular way to see San Francisco. There are 40+ stops at major San Francisco landmarks where you can Hop On and Hop Off at your leisure. Tours are via an open-topped double-decker bus for the very best sightseeing views. This is the best way to be able to get around and visit all the attractions. Multiple day passes are available and you can also purchase additional tours from them.
Cable Cars – San Francisco’s cable cars are one of two National Historic Streetcar Landmarks in operation (New Orleans’ St. Charles streetcar line is the other). Cable cars were invented in 1873 and named a national historic landmark in 1964. There are 3 cable car lines and no experience is more uniquely San Francisco than a ride on a cable car.
Additional ways to get around:
Muni – San Francisco’s network of fuel-efficient Muni buses, light rail Metro trains and historic streetcars covers all corners of the city. Affordable, safe, convenient and environmentally friendly, choose Muni for your commutes and adventures.
BART – Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) connects the San Francisco Peninsula with Oakland, Berkeley, Fremont, Walnut Creek, Dublin/Pleasanton and other cities in the East Bay.
Things to See
Ferry Building – The Ferry Building is like a container of food goodness and a shoppers dream. Strolling through you can stop in at vendors to buy bread at the Acme Bread Company, sit down for a meal of freshly shucked oysters at Hog Island Oyster Co., grab some unique ice cream at Humphry Slocombe as well as visit all the other many vendors to try their wares. If you are lucky enough to be there on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday make sure to check out the Farmers Market. It is culinary heaven and it can render you speechless as to all there is to choose from and enjoy.
Alcatraz – Make sure to book your Alcatraz trip in advance to ensure you do not miss seeing this historic prison known as “The Rock”. The prison operated from 1934 to 1963 and housed infamous inmates such as Al Capone. Listening to the self-guided audio tour is fascinating and you can only begin to imagine what it was like to be a prisoner at Alcatraz.
Fisherman’s Wharf – World famous tourist attraction home to world-class dining, shopping and attractions. Some attractions within the area include Pier 39,the Aquarium of the Bay, Ghiradelli Square to stock up on chocolate, the Sea Lion Center and take a Bay Cruise on the Blue and Gold Fleet. Whatever your interest, there is something for everyone at Fisherman’s Wharf!
Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge that was built in 1937 and has been referred to as one of the most beautiful and most photographed bridges in the world. The color of the bridge is officially an orange vermilion called international orange to help enhance the bridge’s visibility in fog. The bridge is popular with pedestrians and bicyclists and has dedicated walkways on either side of the six vehicle traffic lanes.
The Main Reason I Visit San Francisco
I will freely admit I have a Dim Sum obsession and to me Yank Sing is the place to go. If you have never tried dim sum, I highly recommend it. Dim sum is a style of Chinese cuisine (particularly Cantonese but also other varieties) prepared as small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. Servers come around with food on carts and you point at what you want. There is usually a fried cart and a steamed cart as well as many other options. Not only is the food spectacular but the experience of watching all the carts moving around and seeing everyone’s enjoyment while eating is why no matter how many days I am in San Francisco, I go to Yank Sing every one of them.