San Fransisco is full of all sorts of wondrous things to do and see. There are beaches to bathe on, bridges to view and a whole host of cultural hotspots to visit. You can take a ferry ride to Sausalito, see the city from a cable car or try the local cuisine at Fisherman’s Wharf, all while hopefully wearing a flower in your hair as Scott McKenzie once sagely advised.  A holiday to San Francisco is one to remember.

Visit Alcatraz

An ominous looking island sitting off the city’s coastline and often referred to as the Rock, Alcatraz is one of the most famous prisons in the world. This is despite the fact that it hasn’t been a prison for almost 40 years. Still, the legend lives on and its potted history going from military base to federal prison still keeps thousands of visitors enthralled each year.

Explore Chinatown

San Fransisco is home to a lot of things, people, houses, even some furniture and also  has the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. It’s a great place to sample a touch of Chinese culture, pick up some souvenirs or learn a bit more about the culture from the local museums. It’s also quite cheap.  A handy tip is to try to get away from the main street for a bit and explore some of the non-tourist areas.

Take a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge

There are few more iconic sites than that of the Golden Gate Bridge stretching 1.7 miles across Golden Gate (which is the name of the opening in the San Franciscan Bay which leads to the Pacific Ocean) and hosting about 41 million vehicles each year.  It took 38 painters to paint the orange vermillion construction which took around four years to build. Those building the structure expected more than 30 people to die during its construction, however the innovative use of a net suspended below its floor saved the lives of at least 19 men, who are often referred to as being members of the “halfway to hell club”.

Relax in the Japanese Tea Garden

The oldest public Japanese garden in the United States, the Japanese Tea Garden allows visitors to unwind and enjoy the tranquil surroundings of a typical Japanese style garden. You can visit the tea garden every Wednesday for their tea-related ceremony, although it is by appointment only. Open since 1894, the garden is one the San Fransisco’s most popular attractions.

Buy a book in City Lights

The independent book store located near the famous North Beach, City Lights bookshop and its publishing wing has played a seminal role in the development of American literature. The store is synonymous with the Beat movement of the 1950s and has published work by the likes of Gregory Corso, Robert Duncan and, perhaps most famously of all, Allen Ginsberg whose 1956 publication Howl and Other Poems was subject to an infamous obscenity trial and brought the publisher to national attention. City Lights Books was made an offical historic landmark in 2001 by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the first time such an honour had been granted to a business rather than a building.

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