There’s no shortage of things to do in San Francisco. From world-renowned sites like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island to lesser-known gems, there’s something for everyone in The City by the Bay.
If you’re looking for inspiration on what to see during your visit, check out our list of 10 must-see sites in San Francisco. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.
1. The Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco’s most iconic landmark is, without a doubt, the Golden Gate Bridge. This engineering marvel is an impressive sight to behold, spanning nearly two miles across the Golden Gate Strait.
Whether you’re looking to snap a few photos or take a leisurely stroll across the bridge, there’s no shortage of things to do at the Golden Gate Bridge. Be sure to add this must-see site to your list.
Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most popular sites to see in San Francisco. The bridge spans the Golden Gate strait, connecting the city of San Francisco to Marin County.
The Golden Gate Bridge was built in 1933 and was the longest suspension bridge in the world. The bridge is made of steel and is 1.7 miles long. The Golden Gate Bridge has been featured in many movies and TV shows, making it one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.
If you’re visiting San Francisco, take a walk or drive across the Golden Gate Bridge for some stunning views.
2. Alcatraz Island
No visit to San Francisco would be complete without a trip to Alcatraz Island. This former prison island is now a popular tourist destination, offering stunning views of The City as well as a glimpse into its history.
There are several ways to explore Alcatraz Island. We recommend taking a guided tour of the prison, which is included in the price of your ferry ticket. You can also visit the island’s lighthouse, gardens, and museum.
Alcatraz Island is one of the most popular tourist sites in San Francisco, and for good reason. The island has a long and rich history, dating back to the early days of California’s colonization by the Spanish.
Alcatraz was first used as a military fortification and later became a prison, housing some of America’s most notorious criminals.
Today, the island is a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public for tours.
Visiting Alcatraz is an unforgettable experience. The island offers stunning views of San Francisco and the Bay Area, as well as a fascinating look into its past.
Tours of the island are led by knowledgeable guides who share stories and insights about Alcatraz’s history.
Visitors can also explore the island on their own, and there are plenty of opportunities to take photos and enjoy the scenery.
Alcatraz Island is worth a trip if you’re interested in history or just looking for a unique place to visit.
3. Fisherman’s Wharf
Fisherman’s Wharf is one of San Francisco’s most popular tourist destinations. This historic neighborhood is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions, making it the perfect place to spend a day exploring.
Some of the must-see sites at Fisherman’s Wharf include Pier 39 (where you can see sea lions!), Ghirardelli Square (home to delicious chocolate!), and the Ferry Building (a beautiful historic building).
Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square are two of San Francisco’s most popular tourist destinations. Situated near each other in the city’s northwest corner, they offer various activities and sites to see.
Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the oldest neighborhoods in San Francisco, dating back to the 18th century. It was originally a hub for the city’s fishing industry, and many buildings reflect that history. Today, it is home to many seafood restaurants, as well as attractions like Pier 39 (where you can find sea lions lounging on the docks) and the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum.
4. The Ferry Building
Speaking of the Ferry Building, this is one site that you don’t want to miss. The Ferry Building is a beautiful Beaux-Arts-style building that was built in 1898.
Today, the Ferry Building is home to a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as the San Francisco Ferry Terminal. If you’re looking for a place to grab a bite or do some shopping, the Ferry Building is the place to go.
5. Ghirardelli Square
Ghirardelli Square is another must-see site in San Francisco. This historic square is home to a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory.
Ghirardelli Square is the perfect place to go for a sweet treat. Be sure to try one of the iconic chocolate squares.
Ghirardelli Square is a historic square in San Francisco, California. The square is named after Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, founded in 1852.
The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company was one of the first companies to produce chocolate in the United States. The company’s founder, Domenico Ghirardelli, was an Italian immigrant who came to San Francisco during the California Gold Rush.
Ghirardelli Square became a popular tourist destination in the 1960s and 1970s. Today, it is home to a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory.
6. Union Square
Union Square is one of San Francisco’s most popular shopping districts. This pedestrian-friendly area is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and hotels.
If you’re looking for someplace to do some shopping, Union Square is the place to be. You’ll find everything from high-end stores to budget-friendly options.
Situated in the heart of downtown San Francisco, Union Square is one of the city’s most vibrant and popular neighborhoods. The area is home to a diverse mix of shops, restaurants, hotels, and theaters, as well as a vibrant nightlife scene. Visitors to Union Square will find plenty of things to see and do, including some of the city’s most iconic sites and attractions.
One of the most popular sites in Union Square is the historic Powell Street Cable Car Turnaround. The Powell Street Cable Car line is one of San Francisco’s most beloved landmarks, and the turnaround at Union Square is the terminus for the line. Visitors can watch the cable cars come and go and even ride on one of the iconic vehicles.
Nearby, on Market Street, is the Ferry Building Marketplace. The Ferry Building is one of San Francisco’s most recognizable landmarks, and the marketplace inside is a foodie paradise. Visitors will find a wide assortment of fresh food and drink options, as well as a variety of artisanal goods.
Just a few blocks from Union Square is Chinatown, one of San Francisco’s most popular tourist destinations. Chinatown is home to a large Chinese community, and visitors can explore the neighborhood’s shops, restaurants, and temples. Chinatown is also a great place to find bargain shopping and souvenirs.
San Francisco’s Union Square is a must-visit for any visitor to the city. With its central location, an abundance of things to see and do, and wealth of history, Union Square is the perfect place to start exploring all San Francisco offers.
7. Lombard Street
Lombard Street is one of San Francisco’s most iconic streets. This winding street is known for its hairpin turns, making it a popular spot for tourists to visit.
If you’re interested in seeing Lombard Street, we recommend taking a cable car or walking down the street. Either way, you will get some great views of The City.
8. Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks is one of San Francisco’s most popular sites. This scenic spot offers stunning views of The City and is the perfect place to watch the sunrise or sunset.
There are two ways to get to Twin Peaks: by car or by foot.
9. The Presidio
The Presidio is a must-see site for history buffs. This former military base is now a national park, and it’s home to various historic sites and buildings.
There are several ways to explore the Presidio. We recommend taking a guided tour, which will take you to some of the most popular sites on the property. You can also explore the park on your own or by bike.
No visit to San Francisco would be complete without a stop in Chinatown. This vibrant neighborhood is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions.
Some of the must-see sites in Chinatown include Grant Avenue (the main street), Portsmouth Square (a historical park), and the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory (where you can see how these iconic cookies are made!).
Whether you’re looking to explore the history, try new food, or do some shopping, San Francisco has something for everyone. These are just a few sites you won’t want to miss on your next visit to The City.
Chinatown in San Francisco is one of North America’s oldest and largest Chinatowns. It is also one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the city, drawing visitors from all over the world.
The area was first settled by Chinese immigrants in the late 1840s when it was still part of Mexico. At that time, there were already a few hundred Chinese living in California, mostly in San Francisco. By 1852, there were more than 3,000 Chinese residents in San Francisco, and Chinatown began to form a distinct community.
Today, Chinatown covers about two square miles and is home to more than 150,000 people of Chinese descent.
Thoughts and Conclusion
San Francisco is a city with something for everyone. From historic sites to scenic views, there’s something to see and do around every corner.
Be sure to add these must-see sites to your list when you’re planning your next trip.