- Steven Erquiza
Places to Visit in Sf
Heyo! I'm back at it again… It has been a terrible time but be strong everybody. Sooner or later this whole disastrous event will be over. Have you heard of social distancing? Of course you have! But for me, I like to call it "Physical Distancing," do you know why? Because people can still socialize without the danger of being sick using social media or video conferencing apps. Like Facebook, Instagram, zoom, wire, Snapchat, google hangout, and many more. I'm pretty sure during those conversations this question came up "What places do you want to go to after the shelter in place is over?" Of course it has! We can't wait for this thing to be over! Well I certainly feel that way too, I think everybody does. Well you are in luck! Because I'm here to offer you some places you can visit in SF after the shelter in place is over. (if they ever open up again).
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is California's most famous landmark. It is the most photographed site in the city, with the orange structure backed by blue water, or in many cases, peaking through low lying clouds. At night, the flood-lit design is equally striking. Golden Gate Bridge opened on May 28th, 1937, the bridge took four years to build and in its completion, was the longest suspension bridge in the world, measuring approximately two miles in length. You can walk over the bridge which can be done between 5am and 6:30pm/9pm depending on the season. You can also ride on a bike or a car which is permitted access across the bridge 24-hours a day, but I advise you to wear warm clothes. If you plan on taking a picture of the bridge, there are several ideal vantage points. From the San Francisco side, Crissy Field, Fort Point, Baker Beach, Nob Hill. On the opposite side of the bridge, in Marin County, Golden Gate National Recreation Area is another good spot. Also, if you are planning on taking a tour of Alcatraz, there are entirely open views from the boat and island. Come prepared wearing extra layers; the Fog doesn’t mess around when it comes to the Golden Gate.
Fisherman's Wharf is one of San Francisco's most popular tourist areas. This old section, once the Little Italy of San Francisco, is known for its shops, restaurants, and beautiful setting along the waterfront. It's a fun place to walk around and get a taste for the city. From here, you can also take a sightseeing cruise for spectacular views of the city, or organize a fishing charter.
At Pier 39, located in this general area, is home to more than 130 stores and unique places to eat. You can check out the vocal and adorable sea lions, ride the merry-go-round, or shop for classic San Francisco gifts, candy, and fudge. When you've had enough harbor excitement, try the clam chowder in a bread bowl or a seafood dinner at one of the historical restaurants. Afterward, treat yourself to a decadent dessert at Ghirardelli Square, home of the famed chocolatier. These are other places you can visit in Fisherman's Wharf:
National Maritime Museum
Maritime State Historic Park
Coit Memorial Tower
St Peters and Paul
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
Ripley's Believe it or Not!
The historic and infamous Alcatraz penitentiary, located on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, is one of America's most infamous prisons. Converted from a lighthouse station to a military prison in the 1870s, and upgraded to a maximum-security prison in 1934. The rocky island of Alcatraz was once home to well-known criminals like Al Capone, George' Machine Gun' Kelly, Robert 'The Birdman' Stroud, and other convicts. They were considered violent, dangerous, or escape risks. It operated for almost thirty years, closing in 1963 and re-opening as a tourist attraction in 1973. In the course of its 30-year existence, the penitentiary received a total of 1,576 convicts. There were never more than 250 at any one time, even though there were 450 cells measuring about 10ft x 4ft. At times the number of guards and staff was greater than the number of convicts. Today you'll only make it to "The Rock" via ferry from Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing. Once there, the self-guided audio cell house tour narrated by former inmates and guards will fill you in on harrowing escape attempts, prison riots, and the 19-month long occupation of the site by Native Americans demanding reparation for broken treaties in 1969. To get a more creepy bang for your buck, try a night tour. Plan to spend about a three-hour round trip and bring a jacket to protect you from the heavy year-round fog and the agonized spirits of the island's former residents. Alcatraz regularly sells out, so booking in advance is strongly advised.
Alcatraz tickets include a round-trip ferry ride to Alcatraz Island, an award-winning cellhouse audio tour, optional daily programs, and exhibits. Alcatraz day tour ticket price:
Adult (18-61 years old) US$ 39.90
Junior (12-17 years old) US$ 39.90
Child (5-11 years old) US$ 24.40
Senior (62+ years old) US$ 37.65
Toddler (0-4 years old): Free
Alcatraz night tour ticket price:
Adult (18-61 years old) US$ 47.30
Junior (12-17 years old) US$ 46.25
Child (5-11 years old) US$ 28
Senior (62+ years old) US$ 44
Toddler (0-4 years old): Free
Angel Island Park State
Angel Island State Park is in the San Francisco Bay and provides a bunch of outdoor activities for anyone willing to trek across the water. The island, which is only accessible by ferry, has a fascinating and vital history, notably the time from 1910 to 1940. Before the government converted the island into a park, it served as a hunting ground, a cattle ranch, an immigration station, and even a missile base. Angel Island also offers trails to hike, with over 13 miles of foot trails and including a 6-mile loop that takes you to the top of Mt. Livermore. Which is the highest point of the island at 788 feet, and is the perfect stop to enjoy a picnic while looking at views of Alcatraz, the San Francisco skyline, and both the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge. But be sure to pack a windbreaker or a thick jacket. Angel Island is infamous for its steady, chilling winds. Take a guided tram or Segway tour to learn more about the island's history. Tickets for the time cost $15.50 for adults, $14 for seniors 65 and older, and $10 for children 12 and younger. They can be purchased on the Angel Island Company's website. The only way for travelers to access the island is via private boat or public ferry. Tickets for the public ferry can be purchased in advance from the Blue and Gold Fleet website. One-way tickets cost $9.75 for adults, $5.50 for children age 5 to 11, and for seniors age 65 and up.
Angel Island Company Website (Tours and Pricings): https://www.blueandgoldfleet.com/
Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park, home to gardens and museums, is a fabulous green space in the heart of San Francisco. If California had a Central Park equivalent, Golden Gate Park would undoubtedly be it. Twenty percent larger than New York's Central Park and just as iconic. Before its development in 1871, this was an area of arid dunes. Today, the park has walking trails and cycling paths, more than 5,000 different kinds of plants and other types of species of trees, several lakes, bridle paths, and a buffalo paddock. The main attractions are the de Young Museum, the California Academy of Sciences Museum with Steinhart Aquarium, the Japanese Tea Garden, and the San Francisco Botanical Garden. If you want a good hike, you will enjoy exploring Strawberry Hill. Kids will go crazy for the enchanting playground at Koret Children's Quarter and its century-old carousel. Bike rentals are available, and this can be an excellent way to explore the park, rather than trying to do everything on foot. Try an organized Segway Tour with a local guide and hit all the major highlights, but this will cost around $80. If you plan on just walking to explore the golden gate park, pick out the places you want to go because you can't explore every area in Golden Gate Park in one day. Some suggested making sure your journey ends right at the ocean, which borders the park on the west side.
Official Site: https://goldengatepark.com/
California Academy of Science
The California Academy of Sciences, in Golden Gate Park, is an architectural marvel as well as a multifaceted museum. This state-of-the-art "green" building, covered with native plants and even rolling hills to match the natural surroundings. The roof also has solar panels to generate electricity, and the soil acts as natural insulation. The walls are made mainly of glass, allowing for natural light. This is the perfect place to bring kids in San Francisco. The California Academy of Sciences offers plenty of things to see/do, including an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum, and even a rainforest. On top of all of the exhibits, each attraction features its own program of presentations and activities. Travelers suggest sticking around for the coral reef dive at the aquarium or venturing into the Shake House, the earthquake simulator found at the Kimball Natural History Museum. Admission may be pricey to some (adult tickets start at $39.95; entrance for children costs between $29.95 and $34.95, depending on age), but travelers say their experience was worth the cost. Visitors were impressed with not only the number of things to do but the quality, with those young and old. And a day is what you'll need to see everything, so make sure to pick and choose ahead of time if you're on a tight schedule.
Address: 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Official site: http://www.calacademy.org/
San Francisco is home to one of the oldest and largest enclaves of Chinese immigrants outside of Asia. San Francisco's Chinatown is a whole different realm. Almost completely destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, Chinatown was rebuilt entirely in the Chinese style and was soon even more gorgeous than before the disaster. Chinatown has become one of the major sites of San Francisco. Chinatown has become one of the major sites of San Francisco. Now with its temples, theaters, workshops, small businesses, stores, antique and souvenir shops, teahouses, and traditional pharmacies, Chinese New Year celebrations are often considered the best in North America. The main street in Chinatown for tourists is Grant Avenue, with the Chinatown Gateway at Grant Avenue and Bush Street. If you don't mind a little exercise, you can do your own walking tour beginning in Chinatown with the help of our San Francisco Walking Tour. Head through the ornate Dragon Gate (the only authentic Chinatown Gate in North America) and explore the colorful alleyways. Like the Ross Alley, which is home to the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory and Waverly Place, which has some beautiful buildings, including Tin How Taoist Temple. After, stop for food at one of the many fantastic restaurants and bakeries, like Hunan Home's Restaurant, Good Mong Kok Bakery, Z & Y Restaurant, and Golden Gate Bakery (famous for its egg tarts).
Walking Tour: https://www.planetware.com/california/san-francisco-walking-tour-top-sights-us-ca-128.htm
Legion of Honor
The museum was founded as "The California Palace of the Legion of Honor" by philanthropists Adolph and Alma Spreckels to commemorate through arts, Californian soldiers. They died in World War I and opened to the public in 1924. In 1972, the Legion of Honor joined the de Young Museum to form the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The Legion of Honor was the gift of the socialite, philanthropist, and patron of the art Alma de Bretteville Spreckels. Because of her love for all things Parisian, the museum was designed as a replica of the Palais de la Légion d'Honneur in Paris. The Legion of Honor is a museum of fine art and decorative arts in San Francisco, California; its vast collection includes pieces dating from 2000 BC to the 20th century. An impressive Neoclassical Beaux-Arts building in a fantastic setting, the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, is San Francisco's most exquisite museum. The museum is located in Lincoln Park, a wonderful place for a leisurely walk. Just outside the museum, visitors may follow the path along Lincoln Highway, which boasts spectacular ocean vistas and perfect outlooks onto the Golden Gate Bridge. Those seeking a more adventurous hike can head to the Land's End Trail. This winding cliffside trail in a wild, rugged terrain offers sweeping Pacific Ocean views and panoramas of the Golden Gate Bridge. Multilingual tours are available. Open Tuesday-Sunday 9:30am-5:15pm, Fridays (March-November) until 8:45pm, Closed most Mondays and holidays. General admission tickets start at $15 for adults, and discounts are available for seniors and students. Youth ages 17 and under are free. Free general admission on the first Tuesday of the month. Special exhibition tickets are available for an additional price. Prices, hours, and programs are subject to change. Please visit legionofhonor.org for a detailed listing of current and upcoming special exhibitions, events, and educational offerings.
Official site: https://legionofhonor.famsf.org