Charismatic and progressive, San Francisco is a compact city of hills surrounded on three sides by water. Feel the cool, salty air crossing the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County or nosh on a burrito in the Mission. Experience the city''s unique mix of big-city buzz and laid-back joie de vivre. Browse second-hand shops along Haight Street. Recite poetry in a North Beach coffeehouse. Walk along the beach, skate through Golden Gate Park, stroll down Lombard Street, ride the cable cars, tour a Victorian mansion or explore Alcatraz Island. Discover Fisherman''s Wharf, Chinatown and Nob Hill - just as you''ve seen them on the silver screen.
San Francisco Adventure
The iconic Golden Gate Bridge offers spectacular views of the Bay and the city. The vast Golden Gate Park, an oasis of trees, flowers, lakes and trails, is home to the De Young Museum, showcasing a stunning collection of Pacific Islander art. Take the Powell-Hyde cable car to Nob Hill for a breathtaking view of the bay. A ferry to Alcatraz Island combines the experience of solitary confinement with spectacular city views. Stroll along Pier 39 and enjoy a seafood lunch, or grab a table and just people-watch at a sidewalk café on Columbus Avenue.
Nightlife & Party with Locals
Sip a colourful martini while swinging to a jazz trio in North Beach, or catch a blues band at a Mission District club. The venues clustered around Union Square and the Civic Center showcase the city''s theatre, opera and symphony. San Francisco bars provide their own entertainment. Hide away in a cave on Grant Avenue, sample fine wines on Columbus Avenue or nurse a cold beer over a televised game on Powell Street. The streets that lie between Geary Boulevard and Nob Hill shelter dozens of bars, from trendy to eclectic.
Gourmet Cuisine & Dining Out
San Francisco is famous for its seafood - freshly steamed crabs at Fisherman''s Wharf. But that''s only a fraction of its culinary delights. You can find everything from Parisian bistros and Basque cafés in the narrow alleys around Union Square to Mexican bakeries on 24th Street. The most popular places have a noisy, relaxed and communal feel. A thriving Latino community creates spicy salsas, grilled meats and fresh tortillas. The city''s large Asian population means you can enjoy Chinese or Japanese one day and Thai, Korean or Vietnamese the next. Nearby, the world-renowned Napa Valley wine region north east of the city is truly a Mecca for food and wine lovers.
World Class Golf Courses
San Francisco has a few beautiful golf courses. One of the most lavish is the Presidio Golf Course. It is located just minutes from downtown San Francisco, this 18-hole course plays 6,500 yards of challenging golf winding through beautiful Eucalyptus and Monterey Pine trees in the city''s trademark hills. There are also two decent municipal courses in town. The 9-hole Golden Gate Park Course. All holes are par 3, and this course is appropriate for all levels. The course is a little weathered in spots, but it''s casual, fun, and inexpensive. It''s open daily from sunrise to sundown. The 18-hole Lincoln Park Golf Course is San Francisco''s prettiest municipal course, with terrific views and fairways lined with Monterey cypress and pine trees. The 5,181-yard layout plays to par 68, and the 17th hole has a glistening ocean view. This is the oldest course in the city and one of the oldest in the West.
With its towers, sweeping cables, and majestic span across the mouth of San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge is certainly one of the world''s most beautiful bridges. When it was built in the mid-1930s, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. The Golden Gate remains one of San Francisco''s most iconic landmarks, stretching almost 2 miles to Marin County and soaring 4,200 feet above the bay. Most people only see it through a car window, but take extra time and have a lot of fun by crossing it using your own people-power instead.
The kids will enjoy a totally unique perspective of San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay when you walk or bike across this national treasure. Not only is it thrilling to see the surging ocean currents at the mouth of the bay, it''s also spectacular to gaze at the handsome Marin Headlands to the north, the San Francisco skyline to the south, and sailboats, ferries, and freighters (and a surprising number of daring kite-boarders) zooming across the bay.
Part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Alcatraz Island is one of San Francisco''s (and California''s) most famous landmarks. Rich in history, Alcatraz is home to the famous prison that once housed the likes of Al Capone and George ''Machine Gun'' Kelly. Alcatraz also features a lighthouse and a historic U.S. military fort, plus one of the best views in the Bay Area - if it''s not foggy. Catch a ride on Alcatraz Cruises and learn all about the Rock''s famous residents. You''ll also find rotating exhibits, including information on historic events such as the American Indian occupation of Alcatraz in the 1970s, fascinating military history, and stories about the island''s challenging living conditions. Audio tours are excellent. Escape to Alcatraz Island, the kids will love it!