San Francisco is a great place to visit and you will never be left short of things to do. Just like NYC, it is a very expensive city, especially for anybody who perhaps doesn’t earn their living in the city. Nonetheless, it is a city that shouldn’t be missed if you are planning on visiting California. Known for its smog, fresh fish and formerly inhabited prison island, Alcatraz, San Francisco delivers an eclectic mix to keep even the most polarized of travelling groups entertained.
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Where to Go
San Francisco has a number of standout landmarks but the city in itself is equally impressive. The Chinatown area of the city is in fact the largest Chinatown outside of Asia and its history is deeply rooted in the development of the city of San Francisco. The Sing Chong building is definitely worth a visit, and was one of the first buildings to be rebuilt after the devastating 1906 earthquake. There are a number of buildings decorated lavishly in oriental themes, such as the Bank of America, but it wouldn’t be a trip to China Town without stuffing your face with traditional Chinese and Asian cuisine—dumpling soup is a must try.
You can travel by tram to most metropolitan parts of the city and this will give your legs a breather as some of the hills are incredibly steep. The fisherman’s wharf is a great place to sample some delightful fresh seafood, and there are a number of tourist shops dotted around the vicinity.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is the second largest modern art museum in the USA, and houses artwork from famous creators such as Marcel Duchamp. If you manage to time your visit between the hours of 6-845 pm on a Thursday you will benefit from a discount entrance fee.
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the world’s most impressive bridge structures and its total length is about 1.7 miles. It was created as a way to ease the burden of transporting goods from the ferries and to help instigate a growth in population which would be in line with the national average. Before its eventual construction, the proposal was met by a significant amount of opposition and for a range of ulterior motives. The creation of the bridge was no doubt instrumental in the blossoming of the city and influential in terms of its infrastructure.
No visit to San Francisco would be complete without a trip to Alcatraz. To get to the island you will have to board a boat, but the sea-sickness will be worth it. You get the opportunity to walk around the prison whilst listening to an audio narration containing the echoes of old prison guards and prisoners. You will also learn a number of interesting facts about the myths, escape attempts, and general history of this maximum security prison. Famous prisoners include Al Capone and Robert Stroud, the latter was called the birdman as he would take care of canaries in his solitary confinement cell.
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