San Francisco, California Top 10 Attractions

San Francisco is not only one of the most popular travel destinations along the east coast; it is one of the most visited in the country. With its temperature weather, beautiful sites, and the option to visit beaches, museums, or natural beauty, it is no wonder people from all over the world visit this vibrant city every year. The multi-cultural destination has attractions everyone has heard of, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as lesser-known ones, such as various parks. To make sure you see all the important places, keep this list of top San Francisco attractions in mind.

Golden Gate Bridge
Photo Courtesy: Flick/Leigh Ann

1: Golden Gate Bridge

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Address: Lincoln Boulevard, near Doyle Drive and Fort Point, San Francisco, CA 94129

The Golden Gate Bridge is probably the best known San Francisco attraction and it is more than just a gorgeous place to take a photo. The bridge has over 10 million visitors annually and connects San Francisco with the northern counties of California. Some of the bridge's towers extend 746 feet tall. You can choose to simply drive your car across the bridge, walk across it, or even go on a guided tour. When visiting, be sure to head to the Bridge Pavilion for historical information and souvenirs as well as the chance to view the original "test tower." There is also a Bridge Cafe so you can get a quick bite to eat during your visit.

Fisherman's Wharf

2: Fisherman's Wharf

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Address: Jefferson Street, Between Hyde and Powell Streets, San Francisco, CA 94133

Fisherman's Wharf is one of the sites in San Francisco with a great deal of history and culture. It began as Meigg's Wharf, which was city's principal port of entry, where food as well as immigrants arrived. Today, this is the best area in the city to get fresh seafood, whether you want to prepare it yourself or eat at a restaurant. You can walk among the historic piers, talk to local fisherman, or even take a cruise that shows you the waterfront. There are also numerous city tours that leave from the wharf, making it easy to fit into your trip.

Alcatraz Island
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/everywherephoto

3: Alcatraz Island

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Address: Bay Street and Embarcadero, Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing, San Francisco, CA 94133
Website: www.nps.gov

Alcatraz Island may be well-known for the Alcatraz prison, but it offers more than that. It was also the location of the very first US built fort and lighthouse along the West Coast and where Indians from All Tribes occupied for 18 months to save their tribes. Visitors can see these historic sites, go on a tour of the prison, or simply enjoy the park itself, which is filled with bird colonies, tide pools, and gardens. Keep in mind that if you want to visit the island grounds and prison, you will need to make a reservation.

Ride a Cable Car
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Bruce Tuten

4: Ride a Cable Car

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Address: Powell-Hyde Cable Car, San Francisco, CA 94109

The cable cars of San Francisco may not be a specific location, but they certainly an iconic part of the city. You can ride along one of three lines, the California Line, the Powell-Mason Line, and the Powell-Hyde Line and this is actually a great way to get around the city and travel between attractions. Most visitors ride the cable cars as a unique experience as San Francisco is one of the few cities in the country to have this form of public transportation. You can also head to the Cable Car Museum, which is within a quick walk of any of the three lines.

Golden Gate Park

5: Golden Gate Park

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Address: 501 Stanyan St, San Francisco, CA 94117

The 13 million annual visitors to Golden Gate Park agree that it is one of the top San Francisco attractions. The park covers 1,017 acres with picnic groves, monuments, trails, lakes, playgrounds, and gardens. There are also occasional events at the park, so check its calendar before planning your visit. You can even take a segway tour of the park or visit one of the many attractions within the park: De Young Museum, Golden Gate Park Aquarium, Japanese Tea Garden, Strawberry Hill, and more.

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