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San Francisco: top ten list of places to visit in the U.S.
CCNPIC www.ccnpic.com  By Evelina

San Francisco is the place that situated with the Pacific Coast to the left and the San Francisco Bay to the east, this well-known city is treasured for its rolling hills and welcoming nature. The Golden Gate Bridge is a highlighted landmark, as well as Market Street, a downtown hotspot featuring the famous trolley cars and street vendors. San Francisco has hilly streets provide some gorgeous glimpses of the sparkling bay and its famous bridges.

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ID:001-4196 The Golden Gate Bridge  Picture Sources:ccnpic.com

 

San Francisco vacation should rank pretty high on everyone's top ten list of places to visit in the U.S.. Sure, on the surface San Francisco has all the cliché tourist icons: the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Chinatown, to name but a few. But keep in mind that San Francisco itself is fairly small geographically -- covering roughly 50 square miles, so it is one of the best cities in the world to enjoy on foot. Chances are, just outside your San Francisco hotel, you will find yourself at or near at least a handful of major San Francisco activities or attractions.

 

San Francisco is less a single city than it is an amalgamation of many neighborhoods. The major neighborhoods where you can find plenty of unique San Francisco activities include: North Beach, Castro, Mission, the Haight, Hayes Valley, Bernal Heights, Noe Valley, and South of Market. Not all of the neighborhoods are tourist destinations, but all of them contain good shopping and cute little bistros and cafes.

 

The treats of San Francisco are not just for locals. The basic pleasures of life here - wonderful food, sparkling nightlife and those glorious views - are there for everyone. Watch the white fog fill the Golden Gate as the sunset lights up the windows across the bay, and prepare to leave your heart.

 

There's plenty of delightful San Francisco restaurants and lots of shopping geared toward tourists. Of course, no San Francisco trip would be complete without a visit to Fisherman’s Wharf, where you can get the famous Dungeness crab or stay at gorgeous San Francisco hotel. You can eat crab all year round in San Francisco, but they’re best when they're in season, which runs from September/October to about April.

 

The Pier area (Pier 40 and further south at the Ferry Building) is where the ferries arrive from around the rest of the Bay Area. The mile between the Ferry Building and Pier 39 is an uncluttered waterfront view of underneath the Bay Bridge and the East Bay. Pier 39 itself is a popular landmark, as it has been transformed into a two-story outdoor shopping area, complete with sporting goods stores, a magic shop, and a number of San Francisco restaurants, and eateries.

 

Details top fifteen San Francisco Attractions

Golden Gate Bridge
If you travel to San Francisco, then the Golden Gate Bridge is a must see. More than 10 million people visit the breathtaking Golden Gate Bridge each year. Acclaimed as one of the world's most beautiful bridges, there are many different elements to the Golden Gate which make it unique. With its tremendous towers, sweeping cables and great span, the Bridge is a sensory beauty featuring color, sound, light, and San Francisco's top attraction. You can walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, bike, or drive -- it's up to you. Skateboards, rollerblades, and roller skates are not permitted in bridge sidewalks.

 

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art opened in 1935. It is home to works by Ansel Adams, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Paul Klee, and more. The museum, already an elaborate space, will be adding a 14,400-square-foot Rooftop Garden early 2009.

 

Golden Gate Park
At 1,013 acres, Golden Gate Park is San Francisco's largest park and it's bigger than New York's Central Park. There are so many things to do and see in Golden Gate Park, you could spend weeks trying to experience it all. The park is home to more than 1 million trees, a lily pond, several fly casting pools, and nine lakes. The Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Garden is located here as well as the Conservatory of Flowers and the 9-hole Golden Gate Park Golf Course (415-751-8989). The par 27 course is 1,357 yards long and it is considered one of the best golf courses in a beautiful urban setting.

 

Cable Cars
San Francisco is one of few places in the world where people travel from one place to another on a national historic landmark. Refurbished and equipped with new tracks, cables, turntables and cable propulsion machinery from 1982 to 1984, they operate much as they did on August 2, 1873 when the first car went into service. Today's fleet totals 38. Take a ride on a cable car and visit the Cable Car Museum are the best way to understand the worldwide popularity of this San Francisco attraction.

 

Union Square Shopping
San Francisco's upscale shopping mecca. Surrounding Union Square are the finest hotels, restaurants and stores. Gucci, Louis Vitton, Coach, Cartier, Disney Store, Macy's, Neiman Marcus and much more. Shop till you drop or until your wallet is empty. Artisans usually ply their ware in the square on weekends.

 

San Francisco Chinatown
Visit the largest Chinese community outside of China itself -- although some argue that New York's Chinatown is the largest. The part of San Francisco Chinatown that travelers find interesting is along Stockton and Grant between Bush and Columbus. Step into a world of herb shops, hanging roast ducks, and incense-laden Taoist temples. San Francisco's Chinatown is filled with historic sites and buildings and monuments as well as delightful Chinese restaurants, souvenir shops, herbal medicine shops, and interesting little San Francisco hotels. Chinatown is a must see when you travel to San Francisco.

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ID:001-4194 San Francisco Chinatown  Picture Sources:ccnpic.com

 

Grace Cathedral and Labyrinth
This is the place to experience aristocratic San Francisco at its best. At the top of Nob Hill, the majestic Brace Cathedral has heavenly stained glass windows, magnificent architecture facing onto the park, and a pretty amazing labyrinth for people to walk through.

 

Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz Island is one of San Francisco's most popular attractions. You will thoroughly enjoy touring the island and walking through the cell block where Al Capone, the Birdman of Alcatraz Island, and many others were once held. The infamous prison is located on Alcatraz Island - just a 10-minute ferry ride from San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.


Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39
Fisherman’s Wharf is filled with some of the top San Francisco activities and attractions. In addition to excellent a long coastal row of seafood restaurants, street vendors, and souvenir stores is combined with a major fishing pier. San Francisco cafes, and bars the Wharf is also a haven for street performers, and it's filled with cable cars, souvenir shops and some of the coolest, most unique museums you'll ever see. Also, the sea lions at Pier 39 alone are worth the trip. At no cost at all you could watch hundreds of them laze about on the docks barking and preening as tourists stand nearby, taking photos and just enjoying the scene.

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ID:001-4193 Fisherman's Wharf  Picture Sources:ccnpic.com

It doesn't matter if some people consider Fisherman's Wharf a tourist trap, it's still a great place to visit during your San Francisco vacation to enjoy excellent seafood restaurants with stunning Bay views, more than 110 stores, festivals, and lots of live entertainment. Major highlights include: Aquarium of the Bay, sea lions, Turbo Ride, City Kayak, the San Francisco Carousel, and Bay cruise adventures by the Blue & Gold Fleet.

 

The Wharf is such a relaxing place to stroll around, eat, and take in the sights and it is also an excellent base considering the close proximity to the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the Ferry Building, North Beach, the Cannery and more! 

 

Coit Tower
If you want to get a good workout and enjoy excellent views of San Francisco, then Coit Tower is a must. You can walk up Telegraph Hill in North Beach to Coit Tower, then take the elevator up to the observation deck to enjoy the views. But before you huff onto the elevator, check out the 19 Depression-era murals in the lobby. It's free to explore the lobby and vista points, but it costs $3.75 to ride the elevator up to the observation deck -- which sits at around 210 feet high.

 

North Beach
Located between two of San Francisco's busiest areas -- Fisherman's Wharf and Chinatown, is North Beach -- San Francisco's Little Italy.


Cable Car Museum
The cable car museum is home to a collection of historic cable cars, mechanical displays, and images dedicated to the preservation of cable car history. There is also a nifty little gift shop onsite. Open from 9 am to 5 pm, the Cable Car Museum is located in the Washington-Mason powerhouse and carbarn on Nob Hill.

 

SBC Park (SF Giants)
SBC Park, with its breathtaking views and classic design, received rave reviews throughout the country as one of the smash hits of 2000. The first privately financed ballpark in Major League Baseball since Dodger Stadium (1962), the Giants' new home features an inspiring nine-foot statue of America's greatest living ballplayer, Willie Mays; home runs that splash into McCovey Cove, an 80-foot Coca-Cola bottle with playground slides and miniature SBC Park behind left field that has become a magnet for kids of all of ages; and mass public transit that rivals any sports complex in the world.

 

Paramount's Great America
Great America is Northern California's largest family attraction and is located about 45 minutes south of San Francisco in the city of Santa Clara. It is located on Great America Parkway between highways 101 and 237. This park is similar to the Six Flags model; some serious, heart-pounding thrill rides along with some kiddy rides mixed in with a cast of cartoon characters.

 

Gary Danko
This upscale Modern and Classic cuisine restaurant is a must during your visit to San Francisco -- if you can get in. The waits for a table are long on any given night of the week, but well worth the wait. Gary Danko has been at the top of the San Francisco dining scene for seven years and for six years in a row it has received a Five Star rating from Mobil Travel Guide. The restaurant has a tasting menu and a regular menu as well as a wine list that reads like a novel. Gary Danko's wine cellar contains more than 1,200 selections from 15 countries and "vintages spanning three centuries."


Travel Warning: Carry-on Baggage Restrictions
Restrictions on airline carry-on baggage are in place throughout the US. (CCNPIC Evelina)

(Article Resource: www.ccnpic.com)
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