Below is U.S. Rent A Car’s top 7 things to do in San Francisco. Please feel free to comment on them or add suggestions.
1. Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed during the year 1937, and has become an internationally recognised symbol of San Francisco and California. As the only road to exit San Francisco to the north, the bridge is part of both U.S. Route 101 and California Route 1. The median markers between the lanes are moved to conform to traffic patterns. On weekday mornings, traffic flows mostly southbound into the city, so four of the six lanes run southbound. Conversely, on weekday afternoons, four lanes run northbound. The speed limit on the Golden Gate Bridge was reduced from 55 mph (89 km/h) to 45 mph (72 km/h) on 1 October 1996
2. Fisherman’s Wharf covers about half a dozen blocks along the waterfront, constitute much of the stereotypical San Francisco image and together are perhaps the most popular things to do in San Francisco. Street performers entertain and souvenir shops and restaurants tempt spending. These places are popular and many people feel they haven’t visited San Francisco unless they’ve seen them, but keep in mind that this tourist haven bears little resemblance to the rest of the City of San Francisco.
3. Alcatraz is an island located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) offshore from San Francisco, California. Often referred to as The Rock, the small island early-on served as a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, and a Federal Bureau of Prisons federal prison until 1963. Later, in 1972, Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received landmarking designations in 1976 and 1986.
Today, the island is a historic site operated by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is open to tours. Visitors can reach the island by ferry ride from Pier 33, near Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. In 2008 the nation’s first hybrid propulsion ferry started serving the island.
Some visitors to the island claim to have heard men screaming, whistling, orbs, and doors clanging in the prison.As is likely with many prisons, deaths occurred in Alcatraz, and some believe that those who died in the prison haunt the island. Many guards and police officers reported to have seen or heard ghostly apparitions while guarding the building. There is also a report of banjo music in the shower. Witnesses say this could be tied to the famous Gangster Al Capone.
4. San Francisco’s Cable Car System is the world’s last permanently operational manually-operated cable car system, and is an icon of San Francisco, California. The cable car system forms part of the intermodal urban transport network operated by the San Francisco Municipal Railway, or Muni as it is better known. Cable cars operate on two routes from downtown near Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf, and a third route along California Street. While the cable cars are used to a certain extent by commuters, their small service area and premium fares for single rides make them more of a tourist attraction. They are among the most significant tourist sites in the city, along with Alcatraz Island and Fisherman’s Wharf.
5. Union Square is a 2.6 acres (11,000 m2) plaza bordered by Geary, Powell, Post and Stockton Street in San Francisco, California. It also refers to the central shopping, hotel, and theater district that surrounds the plaza for several blocks. The name “Union Square” stems from the fact that the area was once used for rallies and support for the Union Army during the Civil War. Today, this one-block plaza and nearby area is one of the largest collections of department stores, upscale boutiques, tourist trinket shops, art galleries, and salons in the Western United States, which continue to make Union Square a major tourist draw, a vital, cosmopolitan place in downtown San Francisco, and one of the world’s premier shopping districts. Grand hotels and small inns, as well as repertory, off-Broadway, and single-act theaters also contribute to the area’s dynamic, 24-hour character.
6. Coit Tower offers panoramic bay and city views from the top of Telegraph Hill and a bit of 1930s San Francisco captured in its murals.
7. China Town has one of the largest Chinatowns in North America. It was formed in the 1850s and served as a gateway for incoming immigrants who arrived during the California gold rush and construction of the transcontinental railroads. Chinatown was later reconceptualized as a tourist attraction in the 1910s. Once a community of predominantly Taishanese Chinese-speaking inhabitants, San Francisco’s Chinatown remains one of the most important Chinese centers in the United States.