The best things to do in San Francisco

Explore Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park is a must-see destination for any first-time visitor to San Francisco. This massive urban park spans over 1,000 acres and features a wide variety of attractions, including gardens, lakes, museums, and cultural institutions. Some of the most popular attractions within Golden Gate Park include the Japanese Tea Garden, the de Young Museum, and the California Academy of Sciences.

Visit Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in San Francisco, and for good reason. This infamous island prison, which operated from 1934 to 1963, is now a National Historic Landmark and open for tours. Visitors can take a ferry to the island and take a guided tour to learn about the history of Alcatraz and the prisoners who were held there.

Ride the Cable Cars

Riding the cable cars is a must-do activity for any visitor to San Francisco. These historic streetcars have been in operation since 1873 and offer a unique and exciting way to see the city. There are three cable car lines in operation: the Powell-Hyde line, the Powell-Mason line, and the California Street line. Be prepared for long lines and crowded cars during peak tourist season.

Visit the Painted Ladies

The Painted Ladies is a row of colorful Victorian homes located on Steiner Street in the Alamo Square neighborhood. These homes, also known as “Postcard Row,” are some of the most photographed homes in the city and have been featured in many movies and TV shows, including Full House.

Take a Walk Across the Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in San Francisco, and taking a walk across it is a must-do activity. The bridge spans 1.7 miles across the Golden Gate strait and offers breathtaking views of the city and the bay. Visitors can walk or bike across the bridge, but be prepared for windy and foggy conditions.

Visit the Exploratorium

The Exploratorium is a science museum located on Pier 15 on the Embarcadero. This museum offers a wide variety of interactive exhibits and activities that are designed to educate and inspire visitors of all ages. The Exploratorium covers a wide range of scientific topics, including physics, biology, and astronomy.


Chinatown is one of the most vibrant and colorful neighborhoods in San Francisco. This historic neighborhood is home to the largest Chinese community in the Western Hemisphere, and is a great place to experience Chinese culture and cuisine. Visitors can explore the many shops, restaurants, and temples in the area, and also attend one of the many festivals and events that are held in Chinatown throughout the year.


Haight-Ashbury is a historic neighborhood that was at the center of the counterculture movement in the 1960s. This area is known for its bohemian vibe and is home to many vintage clothing and record stores, as well as a number of bars and restaurants. Visitors can also check out the Haight-Ashbury Street Fair, which is held on the second Sunday of June.

Visit the Ferry Building

The Ferry Building is a historic building located on the Embarcadero that was completed in 1898. This building was once the main transportation hub for ferries comingfrom the East Bay, but now it is home to a variety of gourmet food shops, restaurants, and farmers markets. The Ferry Building is a great place to shop for local produce, cheeses, and other specialty foods, and it also offers excellent views of the Bay Bridge and the Bay. Visitors can also take a ferry from the Ferry Building to other destinations in the Bay Area, including Sausalito and Tiburon.

Union Square

Union Square is a popular shopping, dining and entertainment destination in the heart of San Francisco. This is the city’s main shopping district and features a variety of high-end department stores, luxury brands, and independent boutiques. The square also features several art galleries and museums, and is also a popular spot for street performers and live music.

Treasure Island

Treasure Island is a man-made island located in the middle of San Francisco Bay. This island offers a unique perspective of the city, and visitors can take in the views of the Bay Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the city skyline. Treasure Island is also home to a flea market, which is held on the last weekend of the month, and a music festival that is held in October.

Take a Day Trip to Napa Valley

Napa Valley is one of the most famous wine regions in the world, and it is located just a short drive from San Francisco. Visitors can take a day trip to Napa Valley to tour the many wineries, taste wines, and enjoy the beautiful countryside. Some of the most popular wineries in Napa Valley include Robert Mondavi Winery, Domaine Chandon, and Castello di Amorosa.

Visit the California Palace of the Legion of Honor

The California Palace of the Legion of Honor is a museum located in Lincoln Park that features a wide variety of art and artifacts from around the world. This museum has an extensive collection of European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, as well as American and ancient art. The museum’s permanent collection includes works by many famous artists, such as Monet, Degas, and Rodin.

These are just some of the many things to do in San Francisco. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, art, or nature, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant and diverse city.