Exploring San Fransisco
Wow! This city is just as great as you imagined! The houses, the hills, the steep streets, the cable cars, chinese town. Take a walk just strolling around the city and down to the seaside. Feel the city puls and enjoy!
What to do in San Fransisco if you are a first time visitor?
Going with the cable car is a must if you visit for the first time. It does not matter if this is a touristic thing. You are in San Fransisco and then you go by cable car!
The cable car starts where the streets Powell and Market cross and end by the ocean close to Fisherman´s Wharf.
The queu to get on the cable car at the starting point is always long. One reason is that it is an experience in itself to see the car being turned around. After having checked that up, a tip is to walk along the Powell street to the next stop. They always leave a few places on the cable carat the starting point in case there are people waiting on the second stop. This is since the locals are really using the cable cars for transportation. It is not only a tourist attraction.
Tickets are sold on the internet and you need to buy them in advance at www.sfmta.com.
Biking around the San Fransisco Bay is a really nice thing to do. It brings lovely views of San Fransisco from the bridge and you will see more of the bay area. It is really time well spent. For our 15 year old daughter this was the best thing we did on our round trip in California.
Read more about biking and where to rent bikes in San Fransisco here.
Starting by the waterfront in San Fransisco you head for the Golden Gate Bridge along the bike lane taking you all across the bridge and north to Sausalito.
After admiring the view of San Fransisco from the bridge you continue the 13 kilometers to the village Sausalito. There are some cafés and restaurants where you can have a coffee or lunch.
From Sausalito you either bike another 22 kilometers to Tiburon or you take the ferry back to San Fransisco. From Tiburon is also a ferry taking you back to San Fransisco, passinb by Alcatraz.
No matter if you end your bike trip in Sausalito or if you head on for Tiburon, a stop in the little village Mill Valley is nice. From there you can continue a few kilometers into Muir Woods and admire the really nice houses hidden among the trees. Lots of famous people live here like from IT-millionaires to actors.
Fisherman´s Wharf is the favorite spot for many. We found it a little bit too much but that depends on everyone´s taste. If you are a first time visitor you probably want to see it and you will probably pass by anyway so have a look. Maybe you like it a lot.
Fisherman´s Wharf is the flagship location of the famous Boudin Bakery cafe. Do stop by, admire the bread and buy some sour dough bred. They have lovely breads in the differnt star signs.
Visit the the charming Japanese garden and have a cup of tea and then stroll through the Botanical garden. You find both of them in Golden Gate Park. The Japanes Garden has free admission hours Monday, Wednesday and Friday before 10:00 in the morning. It opens at 9:00.
Walk from the city center through Chinese Town, climb up the stairs in the Coit Tower and admire the views of Bay Bridge
Walk upward the Lombard Street and head off to Alamo Square to see the Painted Ladies (houses).
Have a healthy vegetarian lunch at Green house restaurant by the waterfront.
We actually walked between all these spots in one day, but I have to admit I got really, really tired. This lovely city is so hilly... As for the kids, however, they loved walking around like this. I guess it was because there was so much to see along the way.
Spend the morning hiking in Muir Woods close to the Atlantic Ocean and admire the Redwood trees. The park can get busy during the day so try to visit either early or late. The park is open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. during the period of May-September.
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