Things to consider doing in San FranciscoCreated by:
The island itself has remained more or less the same since the Park Service first opened it to visitors in 1973, but the tours of the world-famous prison have been getting better and better over the years. In the past, you could go only with a guide; now, well-produced audio tours, featuring the voices of real inmates and guards, let you explore at your own pace. Prefer the human touch?Take the eerie nighttime tour, which includes a narrated circuit around the island.
for over 150 years, the name has given the innocent chills and the guilty cold sweats. Over the decades, it’s been the nation’s first military prison, a forbidding maximum-security penitentiary and disputed territory between Native American activists and the FBI.
- Golden Gate Bridge
The 1937 bridge induces a thrilling case of Vertigo . Fog aficionados prefer the north-end lookout at Marin’s Vista Point , to watch gusts billow through bridge cables. To see both sides of the Golden Gate debate, hike or bike the 1.7-mile span. Pedestrians and cyclists can cross the bridge on sidewalks. For drivers, bridge tolls are billed electronically to your vehicle's license plate.
- Sunset Bay Cruise
With live commentary by the captain and cool background music, this cruise is a wonderful way to explore San Francisco Bay at twilight during late March through early November. As the sun begins to set over the Marin Headlands, you'll cruise past Alcatraz, Angel Island and the shorelines of Tiburon, Belvedere and Sausalito. Watch the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean as you sail west toward the Golden Gate Bridge. On your way back to Fisherman's Wharf you'll see many more famous sights, including the Presidio, the Marina District and Fort Mason. During your sunset or twilight cruise, head to the light appetizer buffet.
- Fisherman's Wharf
Before the Golden Gate Bridge was built, Hyde Street Pier was the main ferry pier connecting San Francisco with Marin County. Nowadays, it is part of the San Francisco Maritime Historical Park. The pier is home to several historical vessels. This is one of those must do things in San Francisco. A bit touristy but kind of cool because you can see Alcatraz, the seals and some great restaurants along the area.
- Golden Gate Park
You will find a windmill near the park's northwestern edge, at a stone's throw of the Pacific Ocean. The function of this mill was to pump groundwater for park irrigation, which was deemed a lot better than purchasing water from the local water company. Keep in mind that water is a scarce commodity in this town. The Dutch Mill pumped 30,000 gallons per hour. What seemed a good plan then later had a negative effect on the park's reputation, because modern parks use recycled water instead of relying upon the city's ground water supply.