San Francisco, CA

6 Reasons to Visit San Francisco At Least Once in Your Lifetime

Rob Adams
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San Francisco seems to be everybody's favorite city in the US! Why? Because it seems like it has it all! Great views, amazing food, and a fantastic bridge that steals your heart away. Sure, the cost of living is super high, and for most people, it would be hard to rent a place in San Francisco.

But nothing is stopping us from paying a visit to the city. Whether you want to stay in San Francisco for a few days, or even for a week or two, there are plenty of fun things you can do. Here's a list of six of them:

1. Golden Gate Bridge

First on the list is the Golden Gate Bridge, the world's most photographed bridge. Its iconic 746-foot-tall orange towers have stood sentinel over the San Francisco Bay since 1937 so there's a lot of history there, as you can tell. Whether it's sunny and you can fully admire the bridge or it's so foggy you can barely see it, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco never fails to impress.

2. Alcatraz Island

When visiting San Francisco, one of the things you should not miss is Alcatraz Island, a former maximum-security prison in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. Converted from a lighthouse station to a military prison in the 1870s, this formidable fortress was home to the early 20th century’s most notorious criminals.

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.

The whole trip lasts about three-hour and you should always carry a jacket with you to protect yourself from the heavy year-round fog. If you are in for a real adventure, go for the night tour.

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3. Golden Gate Park

Twenty percent larger than New York’s Central Park and just as iconic, Golden Gate Park is 1,000-plus acres of rolling hills, groves of trees, gardens, and hidden treasures. The park is home to some of San Francisco’s most beloved institutions—the Victorian-era glass-ensconced Conservatory of Flowers, the de Young Fine Arts Museum, and the Academy of Sciences, among them—as well as other attractions such as the bison paddock, Shakespeare’s Garden and the north and south windmills.

Keep in mind that on Sundays, the main drive is closed to cars, so bicyclists and rollerskaters take over the streets.

4. Ferry Building Marketplace

Do you fancy a nice farmer's market? Then you should really go check out the Ferry Building Marketplace which is the city's largest farmer's market, and also a permanent home for local artisan producers.

5. The Painted Ladies

Nobody leaves San Francisco without paying a visit to the colorful Victorian and Edwardian houses scattered around the city. The most famous ones can be found in NoPa, the Lower Haight, Haight-Ashbury, and Cole Valley neighborhoods.

But there’s one row, in particular, so iconic that it’s simply referred to as “the Painted Ladies”, or “Postcard Row”: the houses of 710-720 Steiner Street at the corner of Hayes Street. These houses have appeared in an estimated 70 movies, ads, and TV shows including. You can’t enter the Painted Ladies but you can get a great view and a photo of your own from the east-facing hillside of Alamo Square across the street.

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6. Dolores Park

Dolores Park is one of San Francisco’s favorite warm-weather destinations. Any weekend above 60 degrees and every green inch of the park is guaranteed to be packed with barbecues, tourists and locals lounging on inflatable couches, hula-hoopers, and tightrope walkers.

Have you ever been to San Francisco? If so, what is your favorite place?

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