Our top attractions, highlights and insider tips
40 rolling hills nestle around San Francisco, one of the most iconic cities on the West Coast of the USA. Sweeping city views come naturally to this city, but so too does its bohemian character: colourful Victorian houses, a historic Chinatown, and world-class eateries continue to make San Francisco an ever-evolving metropolis. Don’t let stories of recent gentrification spoil the vibe—the city has retained its flair.
Golden Gate Bridge
This 4,200-feet long icon has a unique colour: international orange. Named to fit the milieu it inhabits, this shade of red continues to define one of the USA’s most recognisable landmarks, a bridge that has stood the test of time since 1937. A walk, car-ride, or bike-ride across the Golden Gate Bridge is unmissable for anyone looking to experience a real San Franciscan landmark.
Fisherman’s Wharf has defined—and continues to define—San Francisco’s simmering harbour since its organic inception in the 19th century. A walk to Pier 39 means strolling past street performers and tons of shops restaurants—not to mention the Aquarium of the Bay—while a jaunt down Pier 43 cedes to the famous Ferry Arch. Seafood is king here, so make sure to indulge in some of the neighbourhood’s delicious mussels.
Clint Eastwood’s famous getaway in Escape from Alcatraz popularised one of the most notorious prisons of all time, and a visit here is bound to be by turns haunting yet satisfying. Decommissioned as a prison in 1972, this infamous prison is now 15 minutes away from Pier 33 in Fisherman’s Wharf, and perfect for a day trip.
What makes San Francisco’s Chinatown stand out? Besides being one of the oldest and largest in North America, it’s also the largest Chinese enclave outside of Asia. The first Chinese immigrants that arrived here also created some of the most famous Chinese American dishes—Chop Suey and Dim Sum—that, 150 years later, continue to be made to perfection.
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