When you are planning a trip to San Francisco, you will undoubtedly have your itinerary filled with landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf. These places are practically institutions in the San Francisco tourism scene, and no trip to the city would be complete without a short stop at both.
However, visiting a city is about more than just ticking a list of landmarks off one by one. In order to really understand the people and the culture, you need to try new things. Here are 8 great things to do while in San Francisco.
1. Embrace Hippie Culture: Haight Ashbury was the home of the hippie revolution roughly 40 years ago, and most tourists pass through the area while sightseeing. Rather than snapping a few pictures and leaving, stay for a while and join in with one of the regular drum circles, Tai Chi classes or even nighttime outdoor poetry readings.
2. Cheer on the Local Teams: San Francisco has several professional athletic teams, and locals are serious fans. If you can score tickets, watch the 49ers play football or the Giants play baseball. Even if you can’t watch a game in person, head to a local bar or restaurant to cheer with local residents.
3. Participate in One of the Many Cultural Events: Nearly every week there is some kind of parade, festival or neighborhood celebration going on, and joining in can be a great way to get a feel for the local culture. Some of the best annual events in San Francisco include the Cherry Blossom Festival, the SF Blues Festival, the Tree Lighting Ceremony at Ghirardelli Square and the Columbus Day Parade.
4. Try Dim Sum in Chinatown: San Francisco is home to one of the largest Chinatowns in the world, which makes it an excellent place to fill up on traditional cuisine. You won’t want to miss dim sum, which is typically served until lunchtime each day. Look for places like Y Ben House and Dol Ho, both of which serve up affordable dishes and are primarily frequented by local Chinese residents.
5. Hitch a Ride on the World-Famous Cable Cars: Many travelers in San Francisco make sure to take pictures of the cable cars as they are whizzing by, but it makes sense to actually hop onboard and use them as public transport during your stay. The best journey is between Market Street and Fisherman’s Wharf.
6. Try a Locally Brewed Beer: San Francisco residents love their microbrewed beers, and there are a number of great places around the city that brew beer in small batches and serve them up along with tasty food. Park Chalet is one such place, and it also boasts beautiful views over Golden Gate Park.
7. Tour the Presidio: Although most people have never heard of the Presidio, it is actually one of the best historical and recreational destinations in San Francisco. Plan to spend at least a few hours touring the 800 buildings in the park, visiting museums and admiring the amazing architecture onsite.
8. Walk Across the Golden Gate Bridge: This bridge may be the most iconic span in the world, but few tourists ever do more than take pictures of it. If you feel up to the challenge, you can try walking across the entire bridge, which does have a pedestrian walkway. Keep in mind that the Golden Gate Bridge takes at least 30 minutes to walk across, and it may take longer if you stop a few times to take in the view.
Each of these great activities is an exciting way to get a real feel for the culture and life in San Francisco.
Biography – this piece was written by Ross who writes at Netflights.com who sell flight offers to San Francisco.