Must-see attractions in San Francisco

  • An aerial view of Golden Gate Park from the Pacific Ocean. Golden Gate Park is the third most visited city park in the US.

    Golden Gate Park

    San Francisco

    When Frederick Law Olmsted, architect of New York's Central Park, gazed in 1865 upon the plot of land San Francisco Mayor Frank McCoppin wanted to turn…

  • APRIL 24, 2018: Victorian-style homes in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco.

    Haight Street

    The Haight & Hayes Valley

    Was it the fall of 1966 or the winter of ’67? As the Haight saying goes, if you can remember the Summer of Love, you probably weren’t here. The fog was…

  • SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA. 15th August, 2017: historic san francisco chinatown neighborhood

    Chinatown Alleyways

    North Beach & Chinatown

    If you look close today at the clinker-brick buildings lining these narrow backstreets, past the temple balconies jutting out over bakeries, acupuncture…

  • SAN FRANCISCO - SEPT 2, 2017: The Beat Generation lives on at City Lights bookstore in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco.

    City Lights Books

    North Beach & Chinatown

    No one could have predicted the cultural force City Lights would become when it first opened in 1953. Sure, it had a proletarian ethos suggested by its…

  • Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill Boulevard, San Francisco, USA

    Coit Tower

    North Beach & Chinatown

    If you want to really see San Francisco, head to Coit Tower, a 1933 art deco beaut designed by Arthur Brown, Jr. and Henry Howard that sits high up on…

  • Golden Gate Bridge at the golden hour from Baker Beach.

    Golden Gate Bridge

    The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

    Few cities boast a structure so iconic as the Golden Gate Bridge, commemorated in everything from films like The Maltese Falcon to not one but two emojis…

  • Dolores Park - San Francisco, California

    Dolores Park

    The Mission, Dogpatch & Potrero Hill

    Welcome to San Francisco's sunny side, the land of street ball and Mayan-pyramid playgrounds, semiprofessional tanning and taco picnics. Although the…

  • Clarion Alley lined with murals.

    Clarion Alley

    The Mission, Dogpatch & Potrero Hill

    The Mission District has a long history of street art and muralismo – an oft-political school of public art prevalent throughout South and Central America…

  • 826 Valencia

    The Mission, Dogpatch & Potrero Hill

    Avast, ye scurvy scallywags! If ye be shipwrecked without yer eye patch or McSweeney's literary anthology, lay down ye doubloons and claim yer booty at…

  • Waverly Place

    North Beach & Chinatown

    Grant Ave is Chinatown's economic heart, but its soul is Waverly Place, lined with flag-festooned, colorful temple balconies and family-run businesses…

  • Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, USA.


    The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

    Alcatraz: for over 150 years, the name has given the innocent chills and the guilty cold sweats. Over the decades, it’s been a military prison, a…

  • Exploratorium

    The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

    Is there a science to skateboarding? Do toilets really flush counterclockwise in Australia? At San Francisco's hands-on science museum, you'll find out…

  • Balmy Alley

    The Mission, Dogpatch & Potrero Hill

    Since at least the 1980s, if you stroll through San Francisco's Mission District you've likely noticed the neighborhood's profusion of colorful murals and…

  • San Francisco, USA - Jun 24, 2015: Iconic Grace Cathedral stands on top of Nob Hill on a beautiful sunny, blue sky day; Shutterstock ID 1201473919; your: Meghan O'Dea; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: POI

    Grace Cathedral

    San Francisco

    Is there any church that better embodies San Francisco's resilience, inclusivity and activist streak? The Nob Hill gem has been rebuilt three times since…

  • The new De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.

    de Young Museum

    San Francisco

    Follow sculptor Andy Goldsworthy's artificial fault line in the sidewalk into Herzog & de Meuron's sleek, copper-clad building that's slowly oxidizing…

  • SAN FRANCISCO, USA - OCT 5, 2015: Tyrannosaur Rex skeleton in  California Academy of Sciences, a natural history museum in San Francisco, California. It was established in 1853

    California Academy of Sciences

    San Francisco

    This classic research institute and museum has been teaching San Franciscans about natural history since 1853. Right in the middle of Golden Gate Park,…

  • San Francisco: Chinatown, Grant Avenue  (Photo by Culture Club/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

    Chinese Historical Society of America

    North Beach & Chinatown

    Picture what it was like to be Chinese in America during the gold rush, transcontinental railroad construction, and Beat heyday in this 1932 landmark,…

  • The well-known Pier 39 in San Francisco with sea lions. Animals are heated on wooden platforms

    Sea Lions at Pier 39

    The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

    Sea lions took over San Francisco’s most coveted waterfront real estate in 1989 and have been making a public display of themselves ever since. Some…

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    Women's Building

    The Mission, Dogpatch & Potrero Hill

    A renowned and beloved Mission landmark since 1979, the nation's first women-owned-and-operated community center is festooned with one of the neighborhood…

  • Haight Street Art Center

    The Haight & Hayes Valley

    Jeremy Fish's bronze bunny-skull sculpture hints at the weird wonders inside this nonprofit dedicated to works on paper and San Francisco's signature art…

  • Catharine Clark Gallery

    The Mission, Dogpatch & Potrero Hill

    Art revolutions are instigated at Catharine Clark, a showcase for such gorgeous provocations as Masami Teraoka's paintings of superheroine geishas and…

  • California Street Cable Car

    Cable Car Museum

    San Francisco

    That clamor you hear riding cable cars is the sound of San Francisco's peak technology at work. Gears click and wire-hemp ropes whir as these vintage…

  • Cycle race at Musee Mecanique, housing collections of mechanically operated musical instruments and antique arcade machines.

    Musée Mécanique

    The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

    A flashback to penny arcades, the Musée Mécanique houses a mind-blowing collection of vintage mechanical amusements. Sinister, freckle-faced Laughing Sal…

  • Lombard Financial Center Mosaics

    San Francisco

    A couple years ago, blighted trees in front of this bank were cut down and a treasure hidden for almost half a century was revealed: mosaics by California…

  • Rainbow Honor Walk

    San Francisco

    You're always in excellent company in the Castro, where sidewalk plaques honor LGBT+ heroes. The walk runs along Market St from Noe St to Casto St and…

  • Alamo Square Park

    The Haight & Hayes Valley

    Hippie communes and Victorian bordellos, jazz greats and opera stars, earthquakes and Church of Satan services: these genteel 'Painted Lady' Victorian…

  • Diego Rivera Gallery

    San Francisco

    Diego Rivera's 1931 The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City is a trompe l'oeil fresco within a fresco, showing the artist himself pausing to…

  • Bernal Heights Park

    The Mission, Dogpatch & Potrero Hill

    The breezy, grassland slopes of 475ft Bernal Hill are decidedly non-touristy, and hiking them on a clear day offers 360-degree city views, along with rare…

  • Family Affair

    The Haight & Hayes Valley

    Can you see sound? The answer is always yes at this music-inspired art gallery, named for the anthem by SF soul supergroup Sly and the Family Stone…

  • San Francisco Zoo

    San Francisco

    Crafty kids find ways to persuade parents to brave traffic and chilly fog to reach SF Zoo – but everyone ends up enjoying the well-kept habitats,…

  • Statue of the Thinker installed at the front of the courtyard at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco

    Legion of Honor

    San Francisco

    The Legion of Honor, or more formally known as the “California Palace of the Legion of Honor”, is a part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. It is…

  • Mission Dolores

    The Mission, Dogpatch & Potrero Hill

    The city's oldest building and its namesake, whitewashed adobe Misión San Francisco de Asís was founded in 1776 and rebuilt from 1782. Today the modest…

  • Stairs to tennis courts and basketball court in Sterling Park.

    George Sterling Park

    San Francisco

    'Homeward into the sunset/Still unwearied we go/Till the northern hills are misty/With the amber of afterglow.' Poet George Sterling's poem 'City by the…

  • Lombard Street in San Francisco; Shutterstock ID 80832514; Your name (First / Last): Clifton Wilkinson; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Mobile App images

    Lombard Street

    San Francisco

    You’ve seen the eight switchbacks of Lombard St's 900 block in a thousand photographs. The tourist board has dubbed it ‘the world’s crookedest street,’…

  • Chain, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, America

    Fort Point

    The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

    This triple-decker, brick-walled US military fortress was completed in 1861, with 126 cannons, to protect the bay against certain invasion during the…

  • Tien Hou (Tin How) Temple in Chinatown atop 125 Waverly Place.

    Tin How Temple

    North Beach & Chinatown

    There was no place to go but up in Chinatown in the 19th century, when laws restricted where Chinese San Franciscans could live and work. Atop barber…

  • Crissy Field in San Francisco

    Crissy Field

    The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

    War is for the birds at Crissy Field, a military airstrip turned waterfront nature preserve with knockout Golden Gate views. Where military aircraft once…

  • Anglim Gilbert Gallery

    The Mission, Dogpatch & Potrero Hill

    The Bay Area hits the big time here, with gallery director Ed Gilbert continuing Anglim's 30-year legacy of launching art movements, from Beat assemblage…

  • Casemore Kirkeby

    The Mission, Dogpatch & Potrero Hill

    Ever since gold-rush miners captured their newfound wealth with ferrotype portraits, San Francisco has staked claims to artistic fame with photography –…

  • Creativity Explored

    The Mission, Dogpatch & Potrero Hill

    Brave new worlds are captured in celebrated artworks destined for museum retrospectives, international shows and even Marc Jacobs handbags and CB2…

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