Things to do in San Francisco
Home to some of America’s most iconic scenery, San Francisco is internationally renowned as a vibrant yet laid back hotspot and must-do on the itinerary for those visiting California. Located in the north of the state, on the edge of a peninsula overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the city is known for its incredible sea views and relaxed atmosphere. Combining stunning walks and a cosmopolitan centre, visitors can expect to enjoy a unique combination of culture, cuisine and coastline.
Hike to the Golden Gate Bridge
Declared as one of the ‘Wonders of the Modern World’, the Golden Gate Bridge is a 1.7 mile structure and one of America’s most recognisable vistas. Take a relaxing stroll across the bridge to take in sights of both the sea and Marin headlands, or cycle through toll-free. The best photographic spots for the bridge include Fort Point National Historic Site, Baker Beach and the Battery East Vista.
For walking adventures outside of the city, head to Del Valle Regional Park (around 1.5 hours from the city centre) for stunning hiking, swimming, and camping. Whether it’s a picnic under the stars, or boating across the serene Del Valle lake, this is a place to experience true natural beauty.
No visit to San Francisco is complete without a trip to this notorious former prison. Alcatraz’s stories have survived the ages, with the notorious prison closing in the 1960s, so take a ferry over to this mysterious island and experience ‘The Rock’ first hand. National Park Service Rangers take guests through the ‘200 Years of Alcatraz History’ from famous inmates and escape attempts, to the restored Victoria Gardens.
For another cultural fix, head to the Bankhead Theater, which offers a range of 40 performances throughout the year. From authentic western swing classic rock to opera to acrobatics, this is guaranteed to offer a mesmerising evening.
Enjoy seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf
San Francisco restaurants are one of the most appealing elements of the city so try out Fisherman’s Wharf, a beautiful bay area in north San Francisco, which offers a vibrant and buzzy atmosphere for food and drinks. The famous crab and clam chowder can be tasted at a variety of nautical inspired spots including Scoma’s Restaurant, Capurro’s, and Blue Mermaid.
For fresh Californian produce, head to one of San Francisco’s farmers markets north of the city such as the one found at the Ferry Building Marketplace, offering both farm products and artisan goods.
Shopping at San Francisco Premium Outlets
As well as exploring the city centre, another of the best things to do in San Francisco is shop at San Francisco Premium Outlets®, the top designer outlet destination located 40 miles from the downtown area. Here you can get that all important holiday shopping done, with more than 180 designer outlet stores, including Burberry, kate spade new york, Prada, Gucci, Versace, Coach, and Longchamp, offering incredible savings of up to 65% off every day. Shop designer without the designer price tag on your favourite brands including Armani Exchange, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Jimmy Choo and Gucci. After picking up your gifts, extend your family visit by visiting the kid’s play area for little ones, or head to one of the excellent culinary options including Johnny Rockets and Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen.
You can reach San Francisco Premium Outlets® easily by car (with plenty of parking), and there is also a daily shuttle service offered from downtown.
Take a wine tour at Livermore Valley
Near to San Francisco Premium Outlets® and just 35 miles east of the city is Livermore Valley’s wine region, home to over 50 wineries, and amazing restaurants. Hop on the Livermore Wine Trolley for a Livermore winery tour, which offers an all-inclusive wine-tasting tour to various wineries throughout the year in the area. The tour visits three wineries with tastings, offers a delicious made-to-order lunch, as well as guidance about the region. Guests will also receive coupons to visit local Livermoore Valley restaurants in addition to the trip.