San Francisco is definitely a place where you can make incredible memories, and the opportunities to create them are numerous. Think about seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in person. It is nothing like the postcard versions, and riding a cable car is nothing like watching an old Rice-A-Roni commercial. If you are planning a trip to San Francisco, consider some of the activities and attractions that are our favorites.
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Riding San Francisco's cable cars is something everyone should experience at least once. After all, this is one of the rare places where you can ride an actual vintage cable car, not a replica, on real steel rails. The swaying of a moving cable car and the smell of the wooden brakes are unlike anything you will encounter on modern forms of public transportation. This is an activity that is certainly worth your time, even if it is a touristy one.
If you take the Hyde Street cable car, hop off near Lombard Street for another San Francisco treat. You will be near the top of what has been called the most crooked street in the world. This block of Lombard is super steep and has eight sharp turns. It also has magnificent views of the city and Bay Bridge. My husband and I especially love walking down the steps alongside the curvy street and checking out the impressive mansions with immaculate landscaping. It is considered one of the wealthiest areas in San Francisco.
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Because I love being near water, Pier 39 is a favorite of mine. I’m not much into shopping, though there are many stores for those who are. Instead, I go for the views of the bay, the boats, and the sea lions. You can see Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island, and more from the pier. The variety of boats at Pier 39 Marina is amazing. When it comes down to it though, the sea lions are the best part. There is nothing like seeing hundreds of the amazing creatures basking in the sun on floating docks. It's unforgettable.
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It may seem contradictory for me to say that Ghirardelli Square is another favorite place since I previously said I don’t like shopping, but I do make exceptions. This exception has to do with memories. When I was young, my father took me to the Original Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop. I loved it, and that memory has stayed with me ever since. Plus, I do like to shop at Lola Toy Shop for my kids and Yap for my dog. My husband and I enjoy the Pub at Ghirardelli Square, too.
Where to Stay
We like to stay in the Fisherman’s Wharf area, and there are San Francisco hotels aplenty there. We usually stay at either Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf or Radisson Hotel Fisherman's Wharf depending on which hotel has better rates when we go. They each have clean and comfortable rooms, impressive amenities, and a great location.