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Planning Your Vacation to San Francisco
Top 7 must-see places in San Francisco
1. Golden Gate BridgeWithout a shadow of doubt, the Golden Gate Bridge should be number 1 on your list of places to visit in San Francisco - it’s iconic! You can walk or bike across the 1.5 mile bridge and enjoy sweeping panoramic views of the Pacific, Marin Headlands and San Francisco Bay.
2. Fisherman’s WharfFisherman's Wharf was once home to a fleet of more than 400 fishing boats, but today, it’s a tourist hotspot known for its wealth of attractions, shopping, restaurants and bakeries!
3. Alcatraz IslandThe tiny, 22-acre island used to be the location for a federal prison due to it being surrounded by perilous currents, extreme tides, and hypothermic water temperatures, so escape from this prison seemed impossible. Take a ferry to the island and explore the abandoned prison by day or night and hear all about the 23 prisoners that tried to break out!
4. ChinatownSan Francisco’s Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia, as well as the oldest in North America, making it a worthwhile visit while you’re staying in this buzzing city.
5. Twin PeaksThese two hills rise almost 1000 feet above the city and sit just about in its geographical center. From the viewing area next to the parking lot at the top, you can see many of San Francisco's landmarks: the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, Transamerica Building, downtown skyscrapers and Market Street.
6. Muir WoodsSee the iconic coastal redwood trees, just a few miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. As the planet's tallest living things, they're without a doubt a must-see!
7. Union Square Union Square is the United States' third largest shopping area. It became San Francisco's shopping epicenter in the early 1900s and today, upscale stores and hotels surround it.
What to pack for San Francisco
- A sweater - San Francisco is located on a bay, meaning the area tends to experience cooler temperatures and wind year round so be sure to bring a sweater or two! A lightweight waterproof jacket is also a good idea as showers can be a bit unpredictable sometimes!
Comfortable walking shoes - most of the top attractions in San Fran involve a fair bit of walking so definitely bring some shoes you feel comfortable in. This is especially important if you plan on doing any hiking or cycling around the city.
A small backpack - you’ll want a small, lightweight bag to carry your belongings around during the day. A backpack is ideal as it’s comfortable to carry and hands-free!
Refillable water bottle - it’s a good idea to stay hydrated whilst you’re doing all your fun activities. Having a refillable water bottle with you at all times will save you money and the environment!
Plug adapter - if you’re coming from outside the US then remember a couple of electrical plug adapters, so you can charge all your devices!
Sunglasses - although temperatures tend to be a little cooler, that doesn’t mean the sun never comes out! Depending on the time of year, you’ll probably experience some sunny days in San Fran so be sure to pack your sunnies!