10 Best Places to Visit in San Francisco

 

San Francisco beautiful nightview

Ready to experience the diverse culture, spectacular architecture and beautiful natural sights the ‘City by the Bay’ has to offer? The city is ideal for travelers who wish to relax and feast their eyes with incredible cultural, historical and natural landmarks. Check out our selection of best places to visit in San Francisco and be prepared for a holiday trip to remember.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge view during sunrise

 

No wonder we’ve placed the Golden Gate Bridge first as it is one of San Francisco’s iconic landmarks. Did you know that no less than 9 million people cross the bridge every year? Whether you take your car, bike, or wish to stroll along the walking path, take some time to enjoy the view over the city. The City by the Bay is simply breathtaking. We recommend you to walk across the bridge to better connect to the rhythm of this magical city.

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park beautiful garden

This astonishing San Francisco destination has so many treasures for you to discover, from playgrounds and lakes to monuments and cultural venues. To name just a few, The Golden Gate Park Carousel, the windmills, polo fields and chain of lakes are all worth a visit. The location is among the most visited parks in the US. Larger than New York Central Park, the Golden Gate Park will amaze you with its picturesque urban spaces. Its beautiful gardens make for a great picnic right in the middle of the city. If you are the adventurous type, why not rent a boat? You can explore the Stow Lake and reconnect with the natural world at the same time.

Conservatory of Flowers

close up of conservatory of flowers

Located in the Golden Gate Park, the Conservatory of Flowers is worth mentioning as one of the amazing places to visit in San Francisco as it has a great and long history behind. Not only it is the oldest conservatory in North America, but also one of the most visited attractions of the ‘City by the Bay’. Since its reopening in 2003, over 2 million of visitors have entered its gates. This Victorian wood-and-glass greenhouse is a must-visit location, especially for photography enthusiast. Many of the San Francisco residents actually plan their wedding or other special events at the Conservatory of Flowers. If you like both natural and historical tourist attractions, we are sure you are going to fall in love with this location.

California Academy of Sciences

inside california academy of science san francisco

Labeled as the ‘greenest museum on the planet’, California Academy of Sciences was reopened in 2008 and it now hosts not only an educational site, but also a planetarium and a natural history museum. With its rainforest dome and impressive coral reef ecosystem, this must-visit destination will charm you. There’s so much to discover under just one roof.  Take your family and enjoy some fun and educational time together. Be sure to participate in one of the planetarium shows. No matter is you are a science aficionado or not, this stunning museum with its living exhibitions and wonderful coral reefs will charm you.

Palace of Fine Arts

Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco nightview

Take your time to admire this monumental construction, located in the Marina District of San Francisco. The Palace has an impressive, well-preserved architecture which makes it a popular touristic attraction, as well as an ideal place for photography. In fact, besides hosting art exhibitions, The Palace of Fine Arts is a popular location for different ceremonies, especially weddings. Built inside of a lagoon, the construction seems features a grand classical European architectural appearance. If you are looking for a trip back in time, this will be one of your favorite places to visit in San Francisco. Be sure not to forget your camera and capture these memorable buildings and moments.

Walt Disney Family Museum

front image of walt disney family museum in san francisco

If you are a fan of Walt Disney’s movies, this should be at the top of your best San Francisco places to visit list. Devoted to the famous cartoonist, this museum offers incredible and detailed insights into his life and legacy. What will truly impress you is not only the size of this space, but also the technological means they use to bring Walt’s achievements to your attention. If you are on a family trip, your kids will love the interactive gallery, where they can see a Disneyland model of 12-foot diameter and enjoy the listening stations. A visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum is definitely one of the best things to do in San Francisco, especially if accompanied by your loved ones.

Aquarium of the Bay

aquarium of the bay in san francisco

Depending on how much time you have available, we’d recommend you to spend a day at this marine center. The diversity of aquatic animals you can see here is spectacular. There are over 20,000 species of aquatic life represented, from sharks to bat rays. Get ready for a memorable encounter with our natural world. I’m sure you’ll be amazed by the 300 feet aquarium’s tunnels.

Alcatraz

Alcatraz Island in San Francisco

Former federal penitentiary, Alcatraz Island or simply ‘the Rock’ is definitely one of the most fascinating places to visit in San Francisco. Besides visiting the cellblocks once taken care of by prisoners, you can have a walk through its beautiful gardens. As a hint, make sure to book an audio tour in advance and enjoy the breathtaking views from the island. We can assure you that the Alcatraz visit is one of the best things to do in San Fran.

Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf industrial center of San Francisco

Located one and a half miles from the prison island, Fisherman’s Wharf is another must-see location in the city. As this stands for San Francisco’s fishing industry center, you have plenty of restaurants where to try out their fish special dishes. Why not take a day or at least a few hours and also discover the submarine museum and memorial – USS Pampanito?

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts front view

What does Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Henri Matisse or Marcel Duchamp say to you? SFMOMA is the perfect location to visit in San Francisco if you are an art lover. What is more, until 2016 you can take part in SFMOMA events and exhibitions in off-site location around the beautiful Bay Area. You can skim through its official website to learn more about its collections. Feast your eyes and your soul with an unforgettable trip by exploring the culture, foods, sights and sounds of San Francisco.

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