The things to do in San Francisco, this historic city situated on more than 50 hills are exciting and enjoyable if you visit the place and not rely on what is read in the papers or seen on TV. San Francisco is a multiracial city in northern California, elegant with breathtaking beach views and gorgeous landscapes that leaves any tourist spellbound.
The Golden Gate Bridge welcomes tourists with a remarkable warmth that is felt once you enter the city. A ride through this one-mile-wide suspension bridge elicits pure delight as it is famous for being the most photographed bridge in history and an excellent souvenir for any tourist who visits the city of San Francisco.
Set on a hilly topography, the city has lounged on bays and thriving industrial revolution to deepen the city’s economic growth and drive tourism to it. Home to several tech companies and historic landmarks, the town has beckoned tourists with vacation expectations surpassing each visit.
Tour the city on a historical ride with the famous Cable Cars of San Francisco, the only national monument which moves. To help make your visit to the city worthwhile, this article has itemized all the fantastic things to do in San Francisco.
Unique Things to do in San Francisco for adults
San Francisco is a global city that has embraced a dynamic stance since time immemorial. Adorned with landmarks that pay tribute to the historical perspective of the city, the place has offered tourists a money-worth for their trip.
Here are tips on things to do in San Francisco for adults
1. Explore the formidable fortress of Alcatraz Island
A unique history is worthy of the experience, and Alcatraz Island holds the key to an account hinged on such a path. Located on a small Island about 1.5 miles offshore, this former lighthouse that brought strayed ships and distressed sea dwellers to safety was converted into a military prison in the 1870s.
This fortress held some famous prisoners such as Al Capone, Robert Stroud, nicknamed the “Birdman of Alcatraz,” and several others. From the chilly-spine tales of convicts to the walk down the cell blocks that housed the occupants of this fortified facility, tourists are invited on a cruise of tucked-away escape attempts and prison riots.
Tourists can access the Island through the aid of a ferry from Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing. In addition, a self-guided audio cell house paints a vivid picture of the events in this building which housed the early 20th century’s famous criminals.
Come prepared as you will stare into cell blocks that hold memories that will make you hold your breath! Do you love an intriguing adventure? Then you must visit Alcatraz Island, one of the most exciting things to do on a trip to San Francisco.
2. Binge on the eye-worthy craft of Chinatown
A visit to Chinatown invites a splurge of color and Chinese crafts. As one of the oldest China-towns in the U.S, the place is a hub of activities that allude to the cultural inclinations of the Chinese. Tour the buildings, shops, and restaurants on display. Explore the mouth-watering cuisines at Hunan Home’s Restaurant or the Good Monk Kok Bakery for a freshly baked loaf.
The Dragon Gate at the corner of Bush Street heralds the visit of tourists with vibrant colors and a dreamy taste of Chinese decors. Situated just in the middle of Grant Avenue in San Francisco, this place is not just famous for being the oldest Chinatown in North America but also the largest of the four prominent Chinese enclaves in San Francisco.
This place has nurtured the culture of Chinese immigrants in the United States and has enabled several businesses to thrive within the scope of Chinese cultural heritage. Visit the Chinatown of San Francisco and dine the chopstick way by nibbling on delicious pasta with lobsters or prawns. It is a treat you cannot afford to miss once in the city.
It should be one of the best things to do on your bucket list, especially if you crave some homemade Chinese recipes.
3. Sip on a cocktail of freshly brewed coffee at the Buena Vista
This place lives up to its name, ‘good view,’ the Spanish translation for the word ‘Buena vista.’ This café gives the most spectacular view of the Fisherman’s Wharf, a bay that exposes a stretch of sprawling water which hugs the shores at intervals before retreating in beautiful waves.
This iconic café is notable for bringing Irish Coffee to the United States. Although the place was a favorite spot for local fishermen who worked around the San Francisco Bay for many years, the café has been graced by different folks, most of whose dreams have been fanned by the embers of coastwise trade.
Visit Buena Vista and enjoy some well-brewed Irish coffee, a recipe made with the most decadent flavors served in age-long fashioned glasses. You can also grab a bite if you need to eat something, especially the meals served with fresh crabs.
Enjoy the landscape and explore the seaside fishing activities, a predominant activity around the harbor in the bay. Nothing beats the view of a landscape gorgeously adorned by waves and shorelines, and it is always a spectacle of natural delight.
Unique Things to do in San Francisco with kids
4. Navigate the breathtaking landscape of Golden Gate Park
Taking the kids on vacation is more enjoyable when you know where to indulge their curiosity. Golden Gate Park has the features for all the fun you want with the kids. Welcome to a park where the luxury of nature abounds in wildlife and plant species.
Take the kids on an adventure that enriches them educationally and creatively. Inspires their literary appreciation of birds, animals, fine arts, and much more. The park is home to San Francisco’s prominent institutions, such as the Young Fine Arts Museum, Academy of Sciences, and the Conservatory of Flowers, displayed in the Victorian era style.
This large expanse of architectural creativity spanning over 1,000 acres is remarkable as it supports over 2,000 animal and plant species of diverse flora and fauna of distinct ecosystems. Get snacks from vendors who whip up delicious treats around the park and settle down to delicious meals after a park tour at the park Chalet and Beach Chalet.
5. Enjoy a picnic at Mission Dolores Park
What could have been more fun than an outdoor picnic with the family? Enjoy a bonding time with the precious little ones on freshly mowed green lawns, vibrant with a hue that compliments the environment’s vegetation.
One of San Francisco’s famous parks, Mission Dolores Park, is a testament to serenity with a brilliant arcade of tall palm trees that provides landscape aesthetics and natural shade from the sun. In addition, there is a playground for the kids to explore their childish tendencies while the adults enjoy the performance by tightrope walkers or hula-hoopers.
The park is the best ideal summer vacation spot for the family in San Francisco with its ample green space, which makes picnics and family gathering a fun time.
6. Be inspired by the creativity of a genius at the Walt Disney Family Museum
Would it not be lovely to give the kids a taste of the inspiration behind their famous animation characters? It is one of the best things to do for any child, and trust me, and they will be happy you gave them a chance to relive their fantasies.
The Walt Disney Family Museum is full of exhibitions and artifacts which display the works of the famous Walt Disney. The 40,000sq ft structure utilizes technologies to deliver a grand interactive studio tour. From his early drawings to several animation displays; the gallery is a spectacle of fun for any child.
Located in the Presidio of San Francisco, the Walt Disney Family Museum is a legacy that has captured the creative finesse of one man who, against all odds, changed the course of animation movies with a brushstroke of determination and an unwavering pursuit of success.
Unique Things to do in San Francisco during the day
7. Immerse in the exquisite view of the Painted Ladies
Against the backdrop of a beautiful skyline lies the most beautiful sight you can behold. Vibrant pastel-colored homes welcome you with a choreographed order of architectural construction that is the same in beauty and elegance.
These Victorian-styled homes, which are also known as postcard rows, are indeed beautiful as the most iconic row, which features the houses of 710-720 Steiner Street at the corner of Hayes Street, is the most photographed and has appeared in over 70 movies, TV shows, and ads.
Do not knock-on doors for some camera moments as the building have actual occupants, locals who live in these fantastic houses. However, from a distance, you can still capture these ladies painted in vivid colors and enjoy a view of the freshly mowed lawns, balconies, and porches that accentuate the buildings.
Do you want a vibrant souvenir from your trip to San Francisco? Then capture these painted ladies and frame a moment that would always remind you of this fantastic neighborhood on Alamo square in San Francisco.
8. Ride the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge
Would you want to miss a glimpse of the world’s most photographed bridges? I doubt you would like that. Nevertheless, a trip across the Golden Gate bridge is one of the best things to do when you visit the city of San Francisco.
This 746-tall orange tower heralds the visit of tourists with signature art decorations and orange color stylings, a beacon of the city’s architectural taste. A ride across the bridge gives a dreamy view of the sprawling water on one side and a gorgeous hilly landscape on the other. The view provides breathtaking picture frame-worthy, and you should take one home as you visit.
When to visit San Francisco
The best time to visit San Francisco is from September to November because this period gives tourists more opportunities to explore the city’s beauty. In addition, the city is a favorite destination spot for many people across the globe, thus the surge in tourism activities.
Although the best time to visit San Francisco is during Fall, the city is still a beauty to behold in the Summer because of its warm-Summer Mediterranean characteristic, which ushers in moist air and cool winters.