What To Do In San Francisco

April 14, 2020

Are you planning a trip to California? Do not miss out on the iconic city of San Francisco. The Magnificent Victorian House, the ancient tram, scenic waterfront, and high red bridge make it become a veritable ‘Bay City’. As a leader of the dining trend, San Francisco can fulfil your appetite from Michelin-starred restaurants to bustling street food. The world-renowned symphony, ballet, drama, opera and seasonal festival making it a well-deserved place must be visited. 

The Golden Gate Bridge 

As the shooting location of ‘Venom’, The Golden Gate Bridge has become the most popular scenery in San Francisco. It spans the mouth of San Francisco Bay. The tower of The Golden Gate Bridge is 227 meters high which rises into the sky. 

The bridge body is fiery red and charming, which has a professional name ‘International Orange’. If the whole bridge is red, why is it called ‘Golden Gate’? Let us look at the answer. Early explorer John C. Fremont thought San Francisco Bay Mouth Strait (water spanned by the Golden Gate Bridge) looked like a strait called Chrysoloras (Golden Horn) in Istanbul. So, it is reasonable to name the bridge, as the waters spanned by a strait. 

When you are driving, walking, or cycling along this 2.7 kilometer bridge, please note that the wind may be bitter on the bridge. It is often foggy in summer. There are many bicycle rental shops near the bridge (Blazing Saddles and San Francisco Bicycle Rentals are two of the popular rental companies). Detailed route maps will be provided with bicycles. It is recommended across the bridge from San Francisco to Marin County, Sausalito, and Tiburon with garden views. A return trip with a local ferry boat is also provided. Along the pathway of the southern section, you can also visit the historic Fort Point. The cap fort was built in 1861. It is used to protect the golden gate when The Golden Gate Bridge is under construction. 

Alcatraz Island

In ancient years, it used to be an infamous prison. Now, it is an amazing residential area. As a most dignified place in San Francisco. Alcatraz once held prisoners such as AI ‘Scarface’ Capone, George ‘Machine Gun’ Kelly, and Robert ‘Birdman’ Stroud from 1934 to 1963. Tourists will be provided with an audio guide during visiting. This audio included trial recording of prisoners. 

Alcatraz Island is also the place built up the first lighthouse on the west coast of the United States and the first US military fortress. During the trip around Alcatraz Island, you can see San Francisco and The Golden Gate Bridge in the eastern bay, green Marin Country in the north and nearby Angel Island. 

Besides, Alcatraz has become an important place for seabirds to rest. During the seabird breeding season, about one-third of the island will be blocked and no tour is allowed. You may find the cormorants, puffins, snowy herons, black-crowned night heron, and California gulls (which especially like to lay eggs on the middle of pavement) when you are searching the deserted building, overgrown garden of the island. 

Fisherman’s Wharf

When you walk around northern San Francisco and find a big crab billboard, that means you arrived at Fisherman’s Wharf. San Francisco Dungeon and Mechanical Museum (Musée Mécanique) are also located around the Fisherman’s Wharf.

It starts from Ghirardelli Square to Pier 35. If you are an ‘early bird’, you can see fishermen unloading their boats at Pier 47 (called Fish Alley). Or you can wake up late and taste the fresh fishing result: fresh crabs are soaked in melted butter and served with fresh sour bread on the roadside. The best time to taste seafood is between November and June. At this time, tourists can also enjoy the high standard Dungeness Crab. 

Strolling through pier 39, you will find more seafood restaurants, shops, street performers and another landmark — a large group of roaring sea lions. San Francisco Dungeon and Mechanical Museum (Musée Mécanique) are also located around the Fisherman’s Wharf. If you have some question about sea lions, the professional manager of Pier 39 San Francisco Bay Aquarium will like to answer all your questions from 11AM – 4PM.

Twin Peaks

Walking from the CBD of San Francisco, along Market Street to the southwest district, you can see the two hills facing north and south. They are called Twin Peaks. The South Peak high 281 meters, which are the second-highest point in San Francisco while the North Peak high 275 meters. Not only can you have an experiment to look over the whole city view. The westside will give a view of Pacific Ocean while the east side includes the view of Oakland, Mount Diablo (Mount Devil) and the White Clock Tower (Campanile Tower) at Berkeley University. Mount Tamalpais in Marin County and five bridges linking cities around the Bay show on the north side. 

Golden Gate Park

In the largest city park of San Francisco, Golden Gate Park includes the garden, open spaces around by wood, and calm lakes. It is a traditional urban oasis in this busy international city. On the east side of the park, you can rent the bikes along Stanyan and Haight street and cycle around the attraction in the park. 

The cultural centre is located on the northeast corner which is surrounded by the central square. Fountain and shell-shaped stage are located in this square. The De Young Museum is located on the north side of the square, which displays first-class classic works of art from all over the world. It is free to enter the eye-catching asymmetrical tower. You can take the elevator to the top of the tower overlooking the park, city, bay and Pacific Ocean.  

California Academy of Sciences which is directly opposite the museum. Astronomical branch, aquarium, four-story tropical rainforest area, and natural history with a wavy movable roof museum has been equipped. Cherry tree flowers and azaleas will open in spring in the Japanese Tea Garden. Much colorful graffiti on the glass shows on a huge glasshouse in the Conservatory of Flowers. When you are strolling around the north-west end of the park you may watch the American bison. 

Now, how are you going to book flights from Hong Kong to San Francisco? You can book tickets on this website. Cathay Pacific’s mission is to make the most out of your trip, and this applies to San Francisco too. Book tickets now on http://www.cathaypacific.com.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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