San Francisco City Tour

Visit San Francisco: Fisherman’s Wharf

Occupying the top of the itinerary for every visit San Francisco tour, its history, development and culture are deeply ingrained in the piers of Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s all about the water. There it is today, founded in 1891 and waiting for those who visit San Francisco to take full advantage of the heritage architecture, museums, restaurants, markets and seafood that have become the stars of this lively setting. One of the few visitors’ destinations that has grown up more naturally than most, the Wharf’s original authenticity speaks volumes about its genuine reality.

Look there on the corner, beyond the sign, to its left and you’ll see a handsome example of Art Deco architecture. The sign itself is famous the world over and, called the “Crab Wheel,” it’s the spot photographed the most by tours in San Francisco.

San Francisco City Tour

San Francisco City Tour – The Palace

A San Francisco city tour would not be complete without visiting the Palace of Fine Arts. Of course, there’s no royalty in residence. However, the architecture is fit for a monarchy, with a style that borrows freely from Bernini’s (1598-1680) neoclassical Saint Peter’s Square.

The Palace is introduced with a lagoon, fountains, swans and a processional colonnade, in a generous welcome to visitors. The rotunda was inspired by a Piranesi engraving that featured a Roman ruin reflected in a pool. According to Bernard Maybeck, the architect who designed it in 1915, this ruin existed not for its own sake but to show “the mortality of grandeur and the vanity of human wishes.”

This fascinating work of art, in its own right, was designed for an exhibit at thePanama Pacific Exposition,held in 1915, to celebrate the restoration of the city after the devastating 1906 earthquake and the opening of the Panama Canal.

San Francisco City Tour

Alcatraz San Francisco tour lands tourist in prison!

Taking the Alcatraz San Francisco tour won’t really land you in prison. You will, however, enter the mammoth building through its “impressive gate system.” The feeling of confinement is almost overwhelming. “Escape from Alcatraz” was said to be impossible. Even so, its history is rife with fabulous escape attempts by daring prisoners. Average success was something like 0 for 14 attempts. Numbers 4-14 had to have been a little slow in the brains department. It’s role as a prison began somewhere in the 1850’s, as a military prison. Stands to reason that as a military installation it must have been designed as a secure building.

It actually began as a military fortress, protecting the Bay to the tune of 100 cannon bristling on sea sides. Can you remember San Francisco ever being threatened by a 19th century invasion from the sea?

San Francisco City Tour Wine Country Tour

Tour de Forest

I’m closing my eyes, as our guide talks and picturing Muir Woods as they might have looked, smelled and sounded thousands of years ago.

Brighter or darker? Darker, I think. They would have been more dense. A “something-saurus” trumpets her presence, perhaps calling her babies and shaking the ground as she hunts for them.

Breath-stopping odors! Eeue! Disgusting! (Nothing like today with the clean, delicious scent of green and sequoia wafting around.)

And the humidity back then was dreadful. 24 hour-a-day sauna! No wonder nostrils were so big around here. You would have needed a nose-full to get oxygen where it could have done any good. Oh, large lungs in large bodies. I get it. They needed to be large to survive the climate.

San Francisco City Tour

San Francisco City Tours

What should I see and do when I visit San Francisco?

San Francisco is both old and new, a blend of classic architecture and fresh energy, situated on a Pacific peninsula and filled with wonders to delight travelers of all sorts. The ‘City by the Bay’ is compact, yet contains many distinctive and vibrant areas within its central core. A San Francisco city tour will help orient you as well as show you a taste of many different districts. You’ll have a full day of sights and activities included, yet you’ll go away feeling ready to continue your explorations as to experience San Francisco is to want to experience it deeper.

San Francisco City Tour

San Francisco City Sightseeing: Top Ten Sites in the City by the Bay

Where are the best places to visit in San Francisco? The options are virtually limitless: there is plenty of city sightseeing in San Francisco, but many options for day trips as well. This guide will help you decide where to find the best sightseeing in San Francisco.

1. The Embarcadero: On this scenic walk along the water, you’ll find the San Francisco Ferry Building. There are a couple San Francisco day trips you can take from here. One great San Francisco getaway is Sausalito, which boasts beautiful walks along the water and great restaurants. You can also check out the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, which is filled with all kinds of organic goodies.

2. Twin Peaks: Eureka Peak and Noe Peak, otherwise known as the Twin Peaks, offer one of the best views of San Francisco. It’s not only a great place to take pictures, but also to enjoy some tranquility away from the city center.