Whether it’s your first time visiting San Francisco, or your 100th time, there’s so much to see and do that you will be busy every minute of the day and night.
If you’re bringing children with you, you will want to take them to Yerba Buena Gardens. This is a brisk walk from Union Square and the Moscone Convention Center. There is a lovely park with a large playground and an ice skating rink. A bowling alley is thrown in for good luck. Best of all, there is a museum for kids. Called Zeum, it’s a delightful place for the whole family to enjoy. There is a merry-go-round and family restaurants, with free concerts and performances for kids. The Children’s Garden is next to the playground. Local papers have information on times of performances.
You won’t want to miss the Golden Gate Park, under that miraculous bridge. The park has acres and acres of land right up to the Pacific Ocean. There are many attractions such as museums and magnificent flower gardens. Seniors can sit down and enjoy the views of the bridge and the botanical gardens, while the children play in the Koret Children’s Quarter with its merry-go-round and playground. The whole family can enjoy a picnic on the grounds. Don’t forget to explore the nearby Academy of Sciences. Allow enough time to do it justice. For more information on daily events, give them a call.
Children of all ages, and that includes adults, will love the San Francisco Zoo. With more than 250 species of animals, including snow leopards, Sumatran tigers and grizzly bears, the spectacular exhibit here is the Gorilla Preserve. This habitat is home to the Primate Discovery Center with ten species of rare monkeys. There is also a petting zoo which delights children and toddlers. You will be given information here to take home which makes a wonderful souvenir.
Not to be missed is the Exploratorium, next to the Palace of Fine Arts. The Exploratorium reveals mysteries of science and art as well as human perception. The exhibits cover everything from weather to electricity and life in the sea. There is a shadow room, a distortion room and a tactile dome, all favorites of children as well as adults. Try to time your visit here for the afternoon, which is less crowded with visiting school classrooms.
The Discovery Museum, just over the bridge, has exciting exhibits that you can not only touch but play with. For example, children can play in the water that moves freely through a mock streambed. They can paint in a real art studio and climb into a real fishing boat and have a look around.
You’re bound to be hungry after walking all morning in the museums and parks. Not to worry – San Francisco is the land of great food. For example,
Boulettes Larder in the Ferry Building has food stands and shops offering newly baked breads, creamy cheese as well as a restaurant so popular you will need a reservation for lunch and even breakfast. For breakfast, try the special coffee and beignets dipped in sugar and spice. Then lunch can be the spectacular fresh king salmon prepared with cream and served with English green peas. The dessert treat here is the luscious lemon meringue pie.
While you’re in the Farmers Market notice the high quality of the produce every Saturday morning. For more information, call the market at 415 591 0950.
Vegetarians will appreciate Greens, a gathering spots for almost 50 years. It focuses on seasonal fruits and vegetables so tasty you won’t even notice there is no meat on the menu.
For lively night-time activities, take in North Beach. This is the Little Italy of San Francisco with its cabarets, jazz clubs and galleries. Bakeries and delicatessens offer Italian delicacies such as cappuccino and espresso, gelato and mouth-watering menus in the family restaurants. There is music and dancing in the streets all night long.
Of course you will want to see Fisherman’s Wharf, the most visited area of San Francisco. There are street performers to entertain the whole family. You can have fresh seafood. Stroll through unique, colorful shops. Watch loaf after loaf of sourdough French bread being baked during the Boudin Museum and Bakery Tour.
Of course, at the wharf there are fishermen going on their daily journeys to the sea, unloading their catch which is fish at its freshest. Sea lions hang out here too, and you can enjoy their antics and visit the aquarium right next door.
You might also like to visit Alcatraz, a former Federal prison which once housed some of the most notorious criminals in history. A national park today, you can reach it by a short boat ride. For more information, call 415 981 645.
Union Square is perhaps the heart of San Francisco and known for its over-the-top shopping. The Square pays tribute to the city’s fascinating history and captures the flavor and beauty of San Francisco. Besides the shops, there are light sculptures, a café, four grand plazas with the park’s signature palm trees, and alfresco entertainment nightly.
All this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exciting, entertaining things to do and see in San Francisco. Maybe you won’t catch Tony Bennett singing his ode to this city, but you will see everything else. Lucky you!
Click here for more about: San Francisco Tourist Information 2013
AUTHOR: Hotel Managers Group – Leading Hospitality Management Companies in California