San Francisco Tourism
Looking for more things to do while your partner is Drupaling?
Alcatraz Island Tours
Alcatraz and history go hand in hand. Once home to some of America's most notorious criminals, the federal penitentiary that operated here from 1934 to 1963 brought a dark mystique to the Rock. The presence of infamous inmates like Al "Scarface" Capone, and the "Birdman" Robert Stroud helped to establish the island's notoriety. To this day, Alcatraz is best known as one of the world's most legendary prisons. Many people, though, are unaware of the wealth of other stories to be learned on the island. Alcatraz is now home to rare flowers and plants, marine wildlife, and thousands of roosting and nesting sea birds. Civil War-era buildings dotting the island give insight into the 19th century when the island served as both a harbor defense fort and a military prison. You can also see visible reminders of the American Indian Occupation that started in 1969 after the prison closed, highlighting an important milestone in the American Indian rights movement.
From amazing views and a sea of sea lions to chowder bread bowls and California wines, your visit to San Francisco starts at PIER 39. Kick off your visit by exploring two levels of dining, entertainment, shopping and attractions, all surrounded by unbeatable views of the city and the bay. Take it from the world famous sea lions: a visit to San Francisco starts at The PIER.
San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf
San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf is a world famous tourist attraction and a thriving and vibrant local neighborhood and commercial area. Home to world-class dining, shopping, hotels and endless entertainment opportunities, the Wharf is truly the place to start your San Francisco experience.
Golden Gate Bridge
Visiting the world famous Golden Gate Bridge is a unique experience for everyone. Whether you hike, walk, bike, shop, take a personally guided tour, grab a photo of you high atop the Bridge with green screen photography, or just sit back and take it all in, there is something for everyone.
Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park, located in San Francisco, California, is a large urban park consisting of 1,017 acres of public grounds. Configured as a rectangle, it is similar in shape but 20% larger than Central Park in New York. It is over three miles long east to west, and about half a mile north to south. With 13 million visitors annually, Golden Gate is the third most visited city park in the United States.
California Academy of Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences is a world-class scientific and cultural institution based in San Francisco. The Academy recently opened a new facility in Golden Gate Park, a 400,000 square foot structure that houses an aquarium, a planetarium a natural history museum and a 4-story rainforest all under one roof. The new facility is also home to the Academy's staff of world-class scientists, an education department that provides a wide range of student and teacher services, and an extensive science library with over 26 million specimens and artifacts.
The Ferry Building
The Ferry Building Marketplace is a people's marketplace serving residents and travelers alike. Located within the historic Ferry Building at the foot of Market Street, shops large and small celebrate food in all its forms, offering everything from artisan cheeses to the freshest of local fish. Restaurants and cafés serve cuisine representing the quality and cultural diversity of San Francisco's best chefs.
Coit Tower, a slender white concrete column rising from the top of Telegraph Hill, has been an emblem of San Francisco's skyline since its completion in 1933, a welcoming beacon to visitors and residents alike. Its observation deck, reached by elevator (tickets can be purchased in the gift shop), provides 360-degree views of the city and bay, including the Golden Gate and Bay bridges.
This one-block plaza and surrounding area is one of the largest collections of department stores, upscale boutiques, gift shops, art galleries, and beauty salons in the United States, making Union Square a major tourist destination, a vital, cosmopolitan gathering place in downtown San Francisco, and one of the world's premier shopping districts. Grand hotels and small inns, as well as repertory, off-Broadway, and single-act theaters also contribute to the area's dynamic, 24-hour character.
For 218 years, the Presidio served as an army post for three nations. World and local events, from military campaigns to World Fairs and earthquakes, left their mark. Come enjoy the history and the natural beauty of the Presidio. Explore centuries of architecture. Reflect in a national cemetery. Walk along an historic airfield, through forests or to beaches, and admire spectacular vistas.
Often billed as the "crookedest street," San Francisco's Lombard Street is, in fact, neither the crookedest nor the steepest street in the city, let alone the world. Oddly, that fact doesn't deter the hordes of tourists who come every year to see this famous street, built with eight switchbacks on a 40-degree slope. The main attraction of Lombard Street is watching people drive down the crooked, one-block section, or driving down it yourself. On a busy day, a seemingly-endless stream of automobiles and scooters buzz down, their passengers squealing in mock fear at every turn. If you're on foot, you can walk down (or up) the sidewalks and watch the show.
Ghirardelli Square, considered the first successful adaptive re-use project in the country, was originally a chocolate factory established by Domenico “Domingo” Ghirardelli. The chocolate manufacturing operation was sold and transferred to San Leandro in the 1960s. Unique shops and restaurants were created within the old factory combining the latest in retailing and fine cuisine with the flavor of old San Francisco. The restoration project officially opened on November 29, 1964. Today, Ghirardelli Square delights visitors with its lively retail mix, while maintaining Ghirardelli’s tradition as a trendsetter for the rest of the world.
The Cannery at Del Monte Square
THE CANNERY at Del Monte Square is one of San Francisco's most treasured places. Located at the foot of Columbus Street overlooking San Francisco Bay, and originally built in 1907, THE CANNERY was once the largest peach cannery in the world. Today THE CANNERY at Del Monte Square is a vibrant waterfront marketplace featuring one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants, offices, live entertainment, and a world-class jazz club..
San Francisco Cable Cars
Inside the historic Cable Car Barn & Powerhouse,visitors can view the actual cable winding machinery from an elevated gallery, as well as the path of the cable entering the building and leaving underneath the street in the sheave room viewing area. Also on display are various mechanical devices, such as grips, track, trucks, cable and brake mechanisms with corresponding explanations. Historic background information gives the visitor a peek at the cable cars' glorious past. Included in these displays are three antique cable cars: a Sutter street dummy and trailer, and the first cable car (1873). Also on display is a photo narration of the reconstruction effort 1982-1984.
The reality of Chinatown is that there are two Chinatowns: One belongs to the locals, the other charms the tourists. They overlap and dance with each other, drawing more visitors annually than the Golden Gate Bridge. Why the popularity? Because visitors expect something they won't find anywhere else. They expect to be stunned and enchanted and stuffed with great food. And they will. You don't need an itinerary to tackle Chinatown. Wandering aimlessly, weaving between locals and ducking into shops is enough of a plan. Main Street for tourists is Grant Avenue, which is more about cheap and kitschy plastic Buddhas than the long heritage of Chinatown. It should definitely be seen, but moving on to the next block can be more rewarding.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Founded in 1935, SFMOMA was the first museum on the West Coast devoted to modern and contemporary art. From the outset, the museum has championed the most innovative and challenging art of its time, and we continue to exhibit and collect work by both modern masters and younger, less-established artists.
Located just a short walk from downtown San Francisco, our landmark building features a soaring atrium topped by our signature turret and oculus skylight. The MuseumStore offers the West Coast's finest selection of modern and contemporary art books, as well as exceptional design objects, furniture, jewelry, and children's products. Meanwhile, our cafe serves gourmet fare in a light-filled space with indoor and outdoor seating.
The Metreon is a shopping center located in downtown San Francisco at the corner of 4th Street and Mission Street. It is a four-story 350,000 square foot (33,000 m²) building built over the corner of the underground Moscone Center convention center.
Amusing America is the story of participatory commercial amusements in American cities - San Francisco in particular - and how they changed American life. This free attraction at Fisherman’s Wharf invites residents and visitors to take a roller coaster ride into history. From the Gilded Age of the 1800’s and ’90s to World War II new entertainment like world’s fairs, amusement parks, Ferris wheels, dance pavilions, arcades and swimming baths changed the way Americans lived. The Musee Mechanique is one of the world’s largest privately owned collections of mechanically operated musical instruments and antique arcade machines, featuring everything from turn of the century hand-cranked music boxes to modern video arcade games.
The Cliff House + Bath Houses
The world-famous Cliff House is part of the Sutro Historic Landscape District and is also the crown jewel of the largest urban national park in the United States. Whether you are in the mood for a casual fun afternoon, an elegant evening out, or a play day with the family, there is always something to enjoy at the Cliff House. Explore the famous Sutro Bath ruins or visit historic Sutro Heights Park where Adolph Sutro once lived. Be sure to stop in at the Camera Obscura where ancient technology gives you a close-up view of Seal Rocks. Then dine in one of our restaurants or stop in to enjoy appetizers and drinks in the Zinc Bar or Sutro’s Bar & Lounge. Visit our gift shop where historic memorabilia, unusual gifts, and travel books abound.
The Painted Ladies
One of the best-known groups of "Painted Ladies" is the row of Victorian houses at 710–720 Steiner Street, across from Alamo Squarepark, in San Francisco. It is sometimes known as "Postcard Row." The houses were built between 1892 and 1896 by developer Matthew Kavanaugh, who lived next door in the 1892 mansion at 722 Steiner Street. This block appears very frequently in media and mass-market photographs of the city and its tourist attractions and have appeared in an estimated 70 movies, TV programs, and ads, including in the opening credits of the television seriesFull House.
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, comprised of the de Young in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, is the largest public arts institution in San Francisco. The de Young showcases American art from the 17th through the 21st centuries, international contemporary art, textiles and costumes, and art from the Americas, the Pacific, and Africa. A collection of 4,000 years of ancient and European art is displayed at the Legion of Honor in a neoclassical style building overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.