Visit the Golden Gate Bridge with its 748-foot towers and sweeping cables. The bridge was finished in 1937 and is now one of the most photographed bridges in the world. Over 10 million people a year visit the bridge. Hike the trails of the Golden Gate National Park which are located at both ends of the bridge. Or visit the Bridge Café for a healthy snack featuring local cuisine. A must is a visit to the Round House which has a photo booth that, with the help of a green screen, will put you atop the south tower or climbing the main cables hundreds of feet above the ground. You can also take a personally guided tour and learn the history of the Golden Gate Bridge. The best time to visit the Golden Gate Bridge in May and June or September and October as you should be sure to avoid the fog that is common during the summer and winter months.
Alcatraz Island, also known as “The Rock” can be seen 1 ½ miles offshore of San Francisco. This island was once a lighthouse, a military fort, a military prison, and a federal prison housing some of the world’s most notorious convicts such as Al “Scarface” Capone and the “Birdman” Robert Stroud. Now Alcatraz Island is home to many rare flowers and plants, marine life, and thousands of sea birds. Make sure you allow at least 2 ½ hours from the mainland back to the mainland to make sure you have enough time to take the Cellhouse Audio Tour and explore the island and see the historical exhibits.
When I picture San Francisco I picture people running up to catch Cable Cars and jumping on. San Francisco’s cable car system is the last manually run cable car system in the world. Running since 1873 you can now take a ride on one of these cars from Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf. Visit the Cable Car Museum at 1201 Main Street, San Francisco California 94108 for a free ride through history as you learn about the inventor, the technology, and the bell ringing contests.
The San Francisco Zoo is home to over 250 species of animals. The Children’s Zoo features a Meekcat and Prairie Dog Exhibit, and Insect Zoo, a Family Farm and so much more to delight the child in all of us. Go on an Australian Walkabout and see the red and grey kangaroos and the wallaroos, you may even be able to see a little joey in its mother’s pouch. Gorillas, Lions, Grizzly Bears, Penguins, there are so many animals to see make sure you leave enough time and wear your good walking shoes.
Fisherman’s Wharf is home to some of the best cuisine in the world. Sit and enjoy a meal in one of the fine dining restaurants or stop at one of the crab shack for fresh Dungeness crab or enjoy a bowl of seafood chowder in a sourdough bowl. Now that you are full sit back and watch the street performers, clowns, jugglers, mimes, musicians, and fire eaters, but watch out for the Bushman as he scares unsuspecting people. Stop and visit the sea lions off of Pier 39, depending on the time of year there can be hundreds of these basking in the sun.