Travel guide to San Francisco
San Francisco is renowned for its foggy bay and hilly terrain, there is nothing more rewarding than watching the fog clear, the sun sparkling on the bay and the blue sky contrasting with that golden bridge – each hill reveals a different view of San Fran that you will love.
Top five things to do in San Francisco
This famous prison can be seen from Fisherman’s Wharf but it really deserves a closer look. No longer a prison it is now a National Park where rangers will take you on an entertaining tour of the rock and prison with details of its former lodgers. You can easily spend a day here roaming the gardens and grounds and really get your money worth. So popular it has been known for tickets to be sold out a day or so before, so book ahead on the website.
Golden Gate Bridge
The gateway to San Francisco, sometimes shrouded in fog, it is an iconic landmark of San Francisco’s skyline. The best way to experience the bridge is to bike it. Rent a bike at Fisherman’s Wharf, you cycle a mile from there to the bridge then its two miles across. If that’s all too much for you, take the ferry back to the wharf from the other side.
Golden Gate Park
Being the largest urban National Park in the world and boasting some of the best views of the infamous bridge, you really cannot miss this out on a trip to San Francisco. There are meadows, lakes and forests to be explored and activities like archery and golf, not to mention renting rollerblades for a speed experience. Head for the west side if you are into water sports or, just sit back and watch the fearless surfers tackling the rough waves off Ocean Beach.
With great views of the bridge and Alcatraz, endless choices of restaurants and shopping spots, tours and some sea lions thrown in, Fisherman’s Wharf is definitely worth a look. Tourists do outnumber the residents here but if you are after pure tourist entertainment it’s not to be missed, and neither is the clam chowder.
Nob Hill and Russian Hill
Streets just don’t get steeper than this; you’ll want to take it slow to check out the impressive mansions that have top views looking over the rest of San Francisco. Here you will find Grace Cathedral which is a replica of Paris’ Notre Dame, only a bit smaller. Carry on to Russian Hill where San Francisco’s old money has a great view of the bay, also home to Lombard Street, the infamous crooked street down an exceptionally steep hill.
Where to stay in San Francisco
If your budget can stretch to it the city's premier hotels are generally all in the downtown area including Nob Hill, Union Square, and the Financial District/Embarcadero. If staying mainly through the weekend you might get a discount at some of the business hotels, so it’s worth a look. If things are a little tighter then there are motels a plenty along the main corridors in and out of town, and good bed and breakfasts to be found in many of the outer neighbourhoods.
Where to eat and drink in San Francisco
The variety of cuisines in San Francisco is unbelievable with something for every taste. It goes without saying if you are looking for dim sum the place to be is Chinatown. In North Beach you will find your share of Italian joints, and head to Fisherman’s Wharf for the best clam chowder you’ve ever tasted. Head to Ghirardelli Square in Fisherman’s Wharf, an old chocolate factory renovated into shops and restaurants with some of the city’s better dining and views to die for. If you are looking to burn the midnight oil head to Castro Street, the gay centre of San Francisco, with plenty of bars, dance clubs and restaurants to choose from.
How to get around San Francisco
The city centre is compact, so walking is a great way to get around and ensures you can stop wherever you want but this is not a flat city so you may need a helping hand up the hills. At some point you should take the tram, it’s a tourist attraction within itself and a great way to explore the city.
The best time to visit San Francisco
This city is really an all-year-round traveller’s paradise with something going on any time of the year. The weather can be a bit of a mixed bag with fog a common feature on the bay. Popular months to visit are late spring and early autumn, with November and December being particularly busy months with all the festivities.
Multicultural San Francisco
Variety is the spice of life in San Francisco, with its many diverse neighbourhoods, multicultural cuisine and a wealth of museums, galleries and major tourist attractions, San Francisco has plenty to keep you entertained.By Yahoo! India Travel | Yahoo Lifestyle Entertainment – Mon 8 Oct, 2012 2:39 PM IST
Travel guide to San Francisco
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