WhereTraveler San Francisco
Attractions & Sights
AQUARIUM OF THE BAY Visit San Francisco’s only waterfront aquarium to get up close and personal with the bay’s amazing marine life. Walk through tunnels of water filled with 20,000 aquatic animals. Pier 39, 415.623.5300. www. aquariumofthebay.org
Lillie Hitchcock Coit bequeathed funds for the “beautification of the city.” Her heirs used the money to build Coit Tower. 1 Telegraph Hill Blvd., 415.249.0995. www. sfrecpark.org/destination/ telegraph- hill- pioneer- park/ coit-tower
CONSERVATORY OF FLOWERS
This botanical wonderland in Golden Gate Park is the oldest wood and glass conservatory in North America. The inside houses nearly 2,000 plant species. 100 John F. Kennedy Drive, 415.831.2090. www. conservatoryofflowers.org
This waterfront recreation area is a favorite among active locals and visitors. See views of the Golden Gate Bridge, find picnic tables and more. Located in the Presidio, along Mason Street. Warming Hut: 415.561.3040. www.parksconservancy.org/ parks/crissy-field
FISHERMAN’S WHARF You’ll find crab stands along the sidewalks, seafood restaurants and shops in the historic heart of the city’s fishing industry. Pier 43, 415.673.3530. www. visitfishermanswharf.com
This nonprofit sits on the site of the former embarkation point for soldiers going to war in the Pacific. Now the 13- acre campus is home to theaters, galleries and museums.
2 Marina Blvd., 415.345.7500. www.fortmason.org
GHIRARDELLI SQUARE The former chocolate factory site is home to boutiques, restaurants and the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop. 900 North Point St., 415.775.5500. www.ghirardellisq.com
GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE One of the most iconic landmarks in the world, the Golden Gate Bridge defines the city. A stroll down the east side offers views of the city and the bay. Lincoln Blvd. and Armistead Road in the Presidio. Welcome Center: 415.426.5220. www. goldengatebridge.org
GOLDEN GATE PARK
This park is home to the de Young Museum, California Academy of Sciences and the Conservatory of Flowers, with soccer fields, a golf course, tennis courts and more. Pick up a park map at McLaren Lodge, 501 Stanyan St., 415.831.2700. www.goldengatepark.com
A famous San Francisco landmark, this cathedral, inspired by the architecture of Paris’ Notre Dame, serves as a diverse gathering place for worship, celebration and conversation. 1100 California St., 415.749.6300. www.gracecathedral.org
IMMIGRANT POINT Dedicated to all those who came to San Francisco in search of a better life, Immigrant Point is located in the Presidio and offers stunning vistas. Washington Blvd., near the Rob Hill Campground. 415.561.4323. www. presidio.gov/places/ immigrant- point- overlook
Hike through pines and eucalyptus trees in the Presidio to Inspiration Point, which offers views of Angel Island and Alcatraz on a clear day.
On Arguello Blvd., just north of the Presidio Cafe. www. presidio.gov/places/ inspiration- point- overlook
JAPANESE TEA GARDEN Take a slow stroll among bonsai trees and koi fish in the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States. The garden boasts monuments, bridges, native Japanese plants, ponds and a teahouse. 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive. www. japanese teagardensf.com
Known for its shipwrecks and landslides, this is San Francisco’s wildest and rockiest coast. The crown jewel is the scenic Coastal Trail, with views of the Pacific coast and Golden Gate Bridge. Visitor Center: 680 Point Lobos Ave., 415.426.5240. www.parksconservancy.org/ visit/park- sites/ lands- end. html
This famous San Francisco landmark has eight hairpin switchbacks on a downward pitch making it the so- called “crookedest street in the world.” Lombard and Hyde streets.
This small pedestrian lane is a hidden garden. It begins with a fairy-tale wooden trellis, continues with a cobbled lane lined with cottages and trees and ends with stairs leading to Taylor Street and bay views. Between Taylor and Jones streets, parallel to Union St.
MADAME TUSSAUDS SAN FRANCISCO
This famous chain of wax museums is filled with celebrities. You can now get up close and personal with the figures—no more ropes—and snap a pic with your favorite celebrity.
145 Jefferson St. www. madame tussauds.com/sanfrancisco
This is a 74- acre expanse of grass between Fort Mason and the Presidio. It is home to the famous Wave Organ and close
to the Palace of Fine Arts and the Exploratorium.
Marina Blvd., 415.831.2700. www. sfrecpark.org/reservable facility/ marina- green
MISSION DOLORES Completed in 1791, Mission Dolores is the oldest intact building in San Francisco and was the city’s first church. 3321 16th St., 415.621.8203. www. missiondolores.org
The Stadium features a ninefoot tall statue of America’s greatest living ballplayer, Willie Mays, an 80-foot Coca- Cola bottle with playground slides and diverse dining options. 24 Willie Mays Plaza, 415.972.2000. www. mlb.com/giants/ ballpark
This row of seven pastel Victorian homes (made famous by the opening credits of “Full House”) lines the eastern side of Alamo Square park and is often called Postcard Row. 710-720 Steiner Street.
PALACE OF FINE ARTS This domed rotunda is all that remains from the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition. Today this is a popular spot to stroll, take photos or attend events at the theater. 3301 Lyon St., 415.563.6504. www. palaceoffinearts.org
This family-friendly shopping, dining and entertainment destination near Fisherman’s Wharf features more than 50 shops and 14 restaurants with beautiful bay views, including Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and city skyline. Beach Street and the Embarcadero, 415.981.7437. www. pier39.com
Eucalyptus groves, freshwater creeks, sand dunes and coastal prairie cover the Presidio, a modern- day national park. Accessed via Washington Blvd., 15th Ave., 25th Ave., Arguello Blvd., Presidio Ave. and Chestnut St. Visitor center at 210 Lincoln Blvd., 415.561.4323. www.presidio.gov
RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! MUSEUM
This museum houses more than 400 mind-boggling and bizarre exhibits. Interactive displays appeal to people of all ages.
175 Jefferson St., 415.202.9850. www. ripleysf.com
SAN FRANCISCO BOTANICAL GARDEN
This internationally recognized urban oasis includes 55 acres of gardens displaying almost 9,000 different kinds of plants, plus a library, bookstore, family activities and guided walks. 1119 9th Ave., 415.661.1316. www. sfbotanicalgarden.org
THE SAN FRANCISCO ZOO A vast array of wildlife awaits at this facility near the far edge of Ocean Beach. The attractions include a children’s petting zoo and a lemur forest. Sloat Blvd. at Great Highway, 415.753.7080. www. sfzoo.org
Many critics claimed that an obelisk- shaped skyscraper didn’t belong in San Francisco. The iconic pyramid is now a source of great city pride. 600 Montgomery St., 415.829.5423. www.thepyramidcenter.com
THE WOMEN’S BUILDING MURAL
This spectacular mural is a collaboration between seven women artists. Its themes include the healing power of women’s wisdom and the contributions of women.
3543 18th St., 415.431.1180. www.womensbuilding.org
YERBA BUENA GARDENS The Yerba Buena Gardens offer nine different types of gardens, a center for the arts, a carousel, an MLK memorial, an iceskating rink and bowling center, plus child care facilities. 750 Howard St., 415.820.3550. www.yerbabuenagardens.com
Bay Area Attractions
This small island just off the Tiburon Peninsula offers hiking
and biking trails, campsites, picnic facilities and spectacular views of the city. Purchase tickets from Blue and Gold Fleet or the Tiburon Ferry, 415.435.3972. www. angelisland.org
BAY AREA DISCOVERY MUSEUM This interactive learning center lets children play outdoors, design and create hi-tech projects and build oversized structures. 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito, 415.339.3900. www. bayareadiscoverymuseum.org
JACK LONDON SQUARE Famed American author Jack London spent much of his boyhood on Oakland’s waterfront, now Jack London Square. Today, the district is home to dining, shopping and entertainment options. Water St. and Broadway, Oakland, 510.645.9292. www. jack londonsquare.com
MOUNT TAMALPAIS STATE PARK
Marin County’s highest mountain (rising 2,500 feet at its peak) is ideal for hiking, cycling and horseback riding and offers breathtaking views. Panoramic Highway, 415.388.2070. www. parks.ca.gov/?page_ id= 471
MUIR WOODS NATIONAL MONUMENT This famous grove of virgin redwoods is full of 400- 800year- old trees that grow over 250 feet high, plus a plethora of other wildlife. Parking and shuttle reservations required. 1 Muir Woods Road, Mill Valley, 415.561.2850. Parking/ Shuttle Reservations: 800.410.2419. www.nps.gov/muwo
The Oakland Zoo is home to more than 750 native and exotic animals and is recognized for their outstanding animal care, and their LEED- certified veterinary hospital. 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland, 510.632.9525. www.oaklandzoo.org
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BOTANICAL GARDEN
The 34- acre botanical garden at UC Berkeley exhibits over 10,000 types of plants. It features nine regions of plantings from Italy to South Africa, and California native plants.
200 Centennial Drive, Berkeley, 510.643.2755. botanical garden. berkeley.edu
WINCHESTER MYSTERY HOUSE
The Winchester Rif le heiress spent 38 years directing construction of her 160-room home, full of stairs that lead to the ceiling, decor done in multiples of 13 and doors that open to nowhere. 525 S. Winchester Blvd., San Jose, 408.247.2000. www. winchestermysteryhouse.com
Dedicated to the poetry and social movement that made San Francisco part of literary history, this museum showcases artifacts from Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and others. 540 Broadway, 800.537.6822. Front Desk: 415.399.9626. www. kerouac.com
CABLE CAR MUSEUM Located in the historic Washington-Mason cable car depot and powerhouse, this museum houses a collection of historic cable cars, photographs and mechanical displays.
1201 Mason St., 415.474.1887. www.cablecarmuseum.org
The academy is an international center for scientific education and research and the only museum in the world to house an aquarium, planetarium and natural history museum under one ( living) roof. 55 Music Concourse Drive, 415.379.8000. www.calacademy.org
CHILDREN’S CREATIVITY MUSEUM This hands- on, multimedia arts and technology experience for kids promotes 21st century skills. 221 4th St., 415.820.3320. www.creativity.org
This educational center offers an array of interactive scientific exhibits and hands- on displays that stimulate the senses and mind. Pier 15, 415.528.4444. www.exploratorium.edu
GLBT HISTORY MUSEUM Celebrating the San Francisco gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community through dynamic exhibitions and programming, this museum is the only one of its kind in the U. S. and the second in the world. 4127 18th St., 415.621.1107. www.glbthistory.org
Come see one of the world’s largest privately- owned collections of coin- operated mechanical music boxes and antique arcade games in working condition. Free admission daily.
Pier 45 at Taylor St. on Fisherman’s Wharf, 415.346.2000. www. museemecaniquesf.com
SAN FRANCISCO RAILWAY MUSEUM
This museum near the Ferry Building celebrates the history of San Francisco rail transit with historic artifacts, displays, archival photography and more. 77 Steuart St., 415.974.1948. www. streetcar.org/museum
WALT DISNEY FAMILY MUSEUM
This museum tells the story of the man behind the Disney magic. The tale of Walt Disney comes to life in galleries with voice clips, home videos and family photographs.
104 Montgomery St. in the Presidio, 415.345.6800. www.waltdisney.org
BATTER’S BOX SF
This 2,000- square-foot facility in the Presidio packs softball and baseball batting cages, all equipped with HD simulation pitching machines.
933 Mason St., 707.412.8228. www.battersboxsf.com
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
The Bay Area’s professional basketball team (and winners of six championship titles, most recently in 2018) has finally moved to their new home at the Chase Center in San Francisco’s Mission Bay. Chase Center, 1 Warriors Way. For tickets: 888.479.4667. www. nba.com/ warriors