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15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in San Francisco

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

San Francisco, one of the most colorful and entertaining cities, is very rich in terms of places to visit. Travel aside, this city has a slightly different feel than the rest of California! Many companies such as Airbnb, Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Whatsapp are here. We think you understand what we mean. It's like a part of the city is going to the office with a morning coffee in one of the skyscrapers. Here we will suggest a series for you to understand and have fun: Silicon Valley.

We just said it's a little different from the rest of California. But that doesn't mean it's not a tourist destination! We have prepared places to visit in San Francisco for you. Good reading!

1. Golden Gate Bridge

You may have seen San Francisco's iconic golden gate bridge in most movies. Probably the most photographed bridge in the world.

The Art-Deco style bridge, which started in 1933 under the direction of Engineer Joseph Baerman Strauss and lasted 4 years, was the "longest suspension bridge in the world" until 1964. Unfortunately, 11 workers lost their lives during the construction phase.

You can see the Golden Gate from many different points of the city. The most popular spots to photograph are Baker Beach, Marshall's Beach, and Fort Point National Historic Site.

golden gate bridge san francisco photo
Golden Gate Bridge

2. Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island is the most famous prison in the world. It worked as a prison for nearly thirty, closed in 1960, and reopened as a tourist attraction in 1973. Al Capone and Birdman, some of America's best-known criminals, were prisoners here.

You can take a ferry to the island and tour the site while listening to an extraordinary audio recording that offers a glimpse into life in prison. The narration is by Alcatraz's former prisoners and guards.

An interesting fact; During its 30-year existence, a total of 1576 prisoners were taken to the prison.

alcatraz island san francisco
Alcatraz Island

3. Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco is the last surviving structure from the 1915 Panama Pacific exposition. It has the architectural style of ancient Rome with elements of ancient Greek architecture. With the calm water and the magnificent view of the green, you can find great spots to take pictures.

The Palace of Fine Arts is surrounded by a small lake on one side and a beautiful park on the other. This building looks great both day and evening, many people come here to take great photos and amazing videos.

palace of fine arts san francisco
Palace of Fine Arts

4. California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences is as versatile a museum as it is an architectural marvel. The roof is of sustainable design with solar panels to generate electricity and the earth acts as natural insulation. The walls are largely made of glass, providing natural light.

This incredible structure; features a natural history museum, planetarium, aquarium, rainforest, and more! Steinhart Aquarium contains approximately 38,000 specimens and a 25-foot-deep coral reef. The Osher Rainforest has four floors and is home to animals and amphibians in a fantastical setting.

California Academy of Sciences san francisco
California Academy of Sciences

5. Golden Gate Park

California's Central Park would undoubtedly be Golden Gate Park. Golden Gate Park has more than 13 million visitors a year. The park has a lot to offer; Trails, picturesque picnic areas, playgrounds, sports fields, gardens, museums, and more. The park also includes the Conservatory of Flowers, the oldest existing public conservatory in the Western Hemisphere. There are about 2,000 plant species in the conservatory.

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6. Cable Cars

One of the most iconic structures of San Franciso is the cable car system. You may have seen this tram in a TV show, movie, postcard! You can use this mode of transportation to fully experience the charm of San Francisco. But don't think of it as a vehicle where you can reach every point because it has only 3 lines.

The San Francisco cable car system is the last of its kind in the United States, awarded the title of National Historic Landmark in 1964.

More than nine million visitors ride the cable car each year, so you have to wait for the ride, but it's worth the wait if you opt for the long queues.

Cable Cars san francisco
Cable Cars

7. The Exploratorium

A learning laboratory, this museum features 600 hands-on exhibits covering a wide range of topics. The museum has six main galleries, each with different interactive offerings. The Exploratorium looks like it's designed for kids, but travelers say it's a great attraction for everyone.

8. The Walt Disney Family Museum

Representative of the iconic creator Walt Disney. The museum's galleries begin with Walt Disney's childhood and showcase his life throughout the building of Disneyland, highlighting his legacy and various achievements along the way. Rotating exhibits expand the museum's space and offer a closer look at the artist. Highly recommend visiting if you are a Walt Disney fan.

9. Ocean Beach

Of course, San Francisco's beauty is not limited to human-made things. Ocean Beach is a great place for experienced surfers. But swimming is not encouraged here due to strong currents, travelers can just light a bonfire and hang out.

Average temperatures on the beach are usually around 50 degrees. Also, the Ocean beach sand is soft and beautiful, but we do not recommend swimming or surfing unless you have experience.