A few months ago, I found out my cousin, Isabelle got a job offer out in San Francisco! How exciting! I couldn’t wait to go visit her and I immediately starting a list of what I wanted to check out. Here are a few ideas for what you should do when you visit San Francisco:
1. See the Painted Ladies
So…“Painted Ladies” is actually a term in American architecture used for Victorian and Edwardian houses painted in three or more colors that embellish or enhance their architectural details. Meaning “Painted Ladies” can be found in cities all over America. However, one of the best known groups of Painted Ladies is the row of houses located at 710-720 Steiner Street, right across from Alamo Square Park. I bet many of you probably recognize them from the opening credits of the tv show Full House!
2. Visit Haight & Ashbury
Haight-Ashbury is a district of SF, named for the intersection of the two streets. The neighborhood is known for its role as a center of the 1960’s hippie movement. Today, there are lots of shops and restaurants to check out!
3. Walk down Lombard Street
This street is famous for being a steep, one-block section with eight hairpin turns. There’s usually a very long line of people waiting to drive down it and they can only go 5 mph down the zig-zag street, so the whole process takes forever.
Instead, start at the top of the section between Hyde and Leavenworth, and walk down the steep hill! You’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful plants and Victorian houses at your own pace…with a whole lot less stress.
4. See the Ruins of the Sutro Baths
The Sutro Baths were a large, privately owned public saltwater swimming pool complex built in 1896. The complex closed and burned down in the summer of 1966, but the ruins are still there today for you to check out. There are a few trails that take you around to different view points along the cliff…one of which also gives you a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge!
5. Visit the de Young Museum
The de Young Museum is a fine arts museum located in Golden Gate Park. It 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.
If you visit on the first Tuesday of the month you get free admission!
6. Ride on a Cable Car
The SF Cable Car System is actually the world’s last manually operated cable car system. Of the 23 lines established between 1873 and 1890, only three remain: two routes from downtown and one route along California Street. Check out the rider’s guide for more detailed information on how to ride the cable cars.
One of the routes takes you right down to the waterfront! And while you’re there…
7. Say Hello to the Sea Lions at Pier 39
Pier 39 is a popular tourist attraction because is home to a huge number of sea lions! It’s located at the edge of the Fishermen’s Wharf district. Now there is also a Sea Lion Center down at the Pier, where you can learn more about the sea lions.
8. Walk, Bike or Drive Across the Golden Gate Bridge
Whichever you decide to do will provide you with fantastic views along one of the most photographed bridges in the world. Click here for more information on walking or biking across the bridge.
Have you been to San Francisco? Comment below with any tips for future travelers!