Despite all its misfortunes, San Francisco still has its charm. Music and cultural festivals are back, and new parks, restaurants and art exhibits are springing up. The city has been featured by national publications as a top destination for travelers. So what exactly sets it apart? Breathtaking views, culinary institutions and thrilling experiences, there’s plenty to do. If you are planning to visit, here are 10 experiences that will make your trip worthwhile.
It is the new destination of the city. This 14-acre park sits atop a road tunnel, with historic brick buildings on one side, the Golden Gate Bridge on the other, and the downtown skyline on a third. Visitors can explore a multi-faceted green space that is larger than Dolores Park, draped over a craft cliff that descends to meet an educational complex for young people.
La Cocina Municipal Market
La Cocina’s ambitious 7,000 square foot food hall in the Tenderloin can be overwhelming when deciding what to eat. Everything sounds so good. The project is a first for the nonprofit San Francisco Incubator Program, which has started many local food businesses by mostly low-income immigrant women.
The city is home to renowned museums, such as SFMOMA, de Young and the Legion of Honor. The newest iteration is the San Francisco Institute of Contemporary Art, a non-collection museum that will exhibit new local and international artists. The ICA has been named in The New York Times as a “new approach” to contemporary art. ICA SF opens in October 2022.
Golden Gate Park is a serene oasis, filled with museums, lakes, bison, a Ferris wheel, and more than a thousand acres of meadows, redwood groves, and manicured gardens – all 20% larger than Central Park in New York. Stop to soak up the beauty of the Japanese Tea Garden, Flower Conservatory, Botanical Garden and more in the expansive grounds.
The bridge is San Francisco’s greatest icon. The monument’s international orange towers and cables have captivated people since it opened in 1937. It is said to be the most photographed bridge in the world, with nearly 10 million people visiting it each year. For decades, it has also been the scene of powerful protests and daredevil stunts.
The famous prison on Alcatraz Island is a world-class national park. Its storied past — marked by attempted prison escapes where people braved freezing waters to swim to freedom and a Native American occupation of the island — has captivated audiences for decades.
Off Land. Barely Strictly Bluegrass. Stern Grove Festival. The in-person music events in the city are world famous and attract huge performers and crowds, making for loud and lively entertainment. Outside Lands’ 2022 lineup, featuring stars like SZA, Green Day, Post Malone and more, is sure to draw crowds to Golden Gate Park in August.
It is known as the most winding road in the world. The S-shaped route was created to help cars navigate the steep grade. Today it is one of the busiest streets in the city. Its upside-down arrangement draws crowds of visitors and adorns postcards and Christmas decorations.
The popular destination attracts almost 12 million people every year. Some may dismiss it as a tourist trap, but it undeniably offers great views of the water, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz.
The rock maze and lookout point offer stunning views of the Golden Gate shoreline. There are many hiking trails as well as the ruins of the Sutro Baths.