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San Francisco Vacation Ideas

Posted on | January 5, 2012 | Comments Off on San Francisco Vacation Ideas

Visitors seeking San Francisco vacation ideas will have plenty of options to choose from when researching things to do. Located in northern California, this city by the bay is home to famous landmarks like Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. Cultural centers are concentrated in Chinatown, the Mission District and Haight-Ashbury. Fisherman’s Wharf offers up the freshest seafood around and is home to many attractions including Ghirardelli Square and Pier 39.

San Francisco officially the City and County of San Francisco is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of San Jose and Oakland.  Today, San Francisco is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, ranking 33rd out of the 100 most visited cities worldwide, and is renowned for its chilly summer fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, and its famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, and Chinatown.

The Golden Gate Bridge separates the bay from the Pacific Ocean and connects the city with Marin County.

The span is 1.7 miles long and visitors are welcome to drive, bike or walk across the span. Cyclists and pedestrians may cross during daylight hours only. The southeast side is where tourists will find the Roundhouse with its collection of souvenirs and historical information, Trails through the gardens offer different bay and bridge views.

Alcatraz Island is accessible by ferry and was home to a military installation and later on, a famous federal penitentiary. The prison was in operation for nearly three decades and housed a long list of notorious characters including Al Capone.

Visitors can choose to take a guided tour or explore various areas and buildings at their own pace.

The most popular attraction in the waterfront area is Fisherman’s Wharf, home of the fishing fleet and known for its fresh Dungeness Crab catch and sourdough bread. Restaurants, shops, the Aquarium of the Bay and other family entertainment opportunities can be found at Pier 39. This is a popular destination for families on vacation. The Wharf hosts an annual fireworks display on Independence Day and is a great place to see air shows during Fleet Week.

Ghirardelli Square marks the original site of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company which has since been sold and moved. The property was slated for demolition to make way for an apartment building in 1962. Instead, the historic buildings were converted into a retail and restaurant complex. A portion of the square is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Chinatown represents the oldest community of its kind in the country. The Dragon Gate is located on the corner of Grant Avenue and Bush Street. Beyond the gate visitors are surrounded by restaurants, herbal shops and temples. The area has many parks and squares and dragon parades are common occurrences.

San Francisco vacation ideas are numerous and diverse. National and international flights arrive and depart daily from the airport and there are plenty of lodging options to suit any budget. From a romantic getaway for two to a fun family adventure, there is something to please everyone.