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.

3. Chinatown: Often touted as the biggest Chinatown outside of Asia, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported out of the country when you cross under the Dragon Gate on Grant Avenue at Bush Street. Enjoy some tasty Chinese food, or simply walk around, soaking up the energy of this unique area.

4. Union Square: If you love shopping, you’ll love Union Square. Here you’ll find it all, from Hermes to H&M and everything in between. It is also home to San Francisco’s theatre district, where discounted tickets can be purchased at TIX Bay Area on the day of the performance.

5. Lombard Street: In a city known for its hills, twists and turns, Lombard Street stands out as the hilliest and twistiest of them all. Be sure to take a drive down this famously steep street. Or better yet, hire someone else to drive you!

6. Haight-Ashbury: No area in the city better captures San Francisco’s hippie spirit than Haight-Ashbury. Lined with funky cafes and eclectic vintage shops, The Haight is an integral part of San Francisco culture.

7. Fisherman’s Wharf: One of San Francisco’s top tourist spots and the place to get a great bowl of clam chowder, Fisherman’s Wharf at Pier 39 is not to be missed. Don’t forget to check out the oft-overlooked Musée Mécanique, a unique museum that allows you to play over 300 vintage arcade games, ranging from music boxes to interactive dioramas.

8. Golden Gate Park: Just because San Francisco is a major metropolis doesn’t mean there isn’t nature to be enjoyed there. The 1,000+ acre Golden Gate Park is an oasis for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. You can take a quiet walk through the Japanese Tea Garden, or stop off at the fabulous de Young Museum. The weekends are a great time for a bike ride through the park, too: a portion of the road going through the park is closed off to motorists on weekends and holidays.

9. North Beach: Literature lovers rejoice at City Lights Bookstore, renowned for first stocking Allen Ginsberg’s controversial publication, Howl and Other Poems. This famous center of Beat culture warmly welcomes you to sit down and read awhile. When you’re finished here, grab a bite to eat at one of North Beach’s excellent Italian restaurants. omHomeLitera

10. Golden Gate Bridge: What trip to San Francisco would be complete without snapping a photo in front of the Golden Gate Bridge? The Bridge Pavilion is a little out of the way, so the best way to see it (and all of the other spots on this list!) is to take a San Francisco city tour, like this one. Not only will you be comfortably shuttled around this wonderful city, but also you’ll learn even more about San Francisco’s vibrant culture.

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