Cable Car Rides
The cable car itself is intrinsically from San Francisco because it was invented by a man from San Francisco for the people of San Francisco, to help them get up steep hills that the city is built on. Cable cars are a great way of exploring the city with a breathtaking view of it at the same time. For over 30 years from its inception and operation in 1873 to 1093, it rapidly changed the transit scene for the people at the time. In fact, the change was so phenomenal that these cable cars that were used as a public transport system soon became recognized as a historical monument. Two of the most scenic routes among these cable car rides are the Powell-Mason and Powell-Hyde routes. Cable cars can also connect you to the major tourist attractions in the city like the Ferry Building, Lombard Street, Nob Hill, Ghirardelli Square and Fisherman’s Wharf. It can be a bit expensive, but you can make it affordable by buying a pass.
Golden Gate Park
Home to museums, gardens and a fantastic visually appealing green space, Golden Gate Park is often unofficially considered the “lungs” of the city. Back in 1871, this place was nothing more than an area of dead arid sand. Upon development over the years, cycling paths and walking trails were added, with the city bursting with over 5000 different types of plants and a couple of dozen trees, a buffalo paddock, bridle paths and several lakes. The main attractions in the Golden Gate Park include the Japanese Tea Garden, the California Academy of Sciences Museum, the Steinhart Aquarium, the de Young Museum and the San Francisco Botanical Garden. If you get lost just look at the metal signs to tell you where to go.
There are several Chinatowns in other cities as well, but the one in San Francisco is on a whole other level. It is believed to be the oldest Chinatown in North America and is also the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. Chinatown was almost completely wiped out by the 1906 earthquake, but it was later rebuilt completely in Chinese style, making it look even more beautiful than before the disaster happened. Today, Chinatown is one of the most visited sites in San Francisco with exquisite temples and shrines, theatres, stores, small businesses, workshops, souvenir and antique shops, traditional pharmacies with Eastern medicinal practices and teahouses. The main streets recommended for tourists in Chinatown are the Grant Avenue, Bush Street and Chinatown Gateway.
Legion of Honor
The most exquisite museum in San Francisco built inside an impressive Neoclassical Beaux-Arts building, the California Palace of the Legion of Honor was a gift to the city by philanthropist, socialite and patron of the arts Alma de Bretteville Spreckels. The museum stands as a replica of the Palais de la Légion d’Honneur, a famous museum in Paris, France.