Walk Through Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park is one of San Francisco's most valued treasures. This massive park, located just to the west of the Haight Ashbury district is filled with gardens, playgrounds, forests and grassy meadows. Meander around the area and you'll see just how amazing it is as you perchance stumble upon a herd of buffalo, a Japanese tea garden or a tulip field surrounding a lovely windmill.
Before you leave, be sure to take a trip to the California Academy of Sciences in the park. This eco-friendly museum offers a four story rain forest, natural history exhibits, a planetarium and an aquarium. It is not to be missed.
California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California 94118
Alcatraz is a classic attraction for visitors to San Francisco, and with good reason. Not only does this prison island offer a fascinating history that can be relived through a vivid audio tour, but the island is full of natural beauty as well. Take some time to explore the grounds around the prison and enjoy the view of downtown San Francisco from a lonely prisoner's perspective--so close, but so distant.
Pier 33, Hornblower Alcatraz Landing
San Francisco, California 94111
Skate at Yerba Buena Gardens
The Yerba Buena Gardens are frequented more by locals than tourists and when you head down to go ice skating, no one will think twice about your place of origin. The indoor skating rink is open all year round, offering you a chance to get away from the blistering heat if you are visiting in the summer.
Yerba Buena Ice Skating and Bowling Center
750 Folsom St.
San Francisco, California 94107
Hike the Land's End Trail
Locals that know about the Land's End Trail tend to keep it a closely guarded secret to prevent overcrowding by eager tourists who are just looking for yet another view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Yes, the trail does offer an unbeatable view of the bridge, framed by rocky cliffs and wild cedars, but there is so much more here than a picturesque view.
To get the most from your trip here, take the steep stairs leading to the rocky beach and explore the tide pools filled with starfish, mussels and sea anemones. Head south down the beach and you'll run into a crumbled concrete structure--once a bathroom on the hills above--that has turned into a massive canvas for talented graffiti artists throughout the area.
Land's End Trail
East end of Point Lobos Ave.
San Francisco, California 94121
Bike the Bridge
Tourists everywhere flock to the Golden Gate Bridge only to drive across it, drive back and pay a toll to get back into the city. The whole experience often lasts under 20 minutes and the view is nothing special as you can hardly see above the orange railings. Instead of driving across the bridge, bike or walk it.
By taking the time to cross the bridge without a car, you will feel the gentle sway of the suspension bearings and the ripping wind fly through your hair. You will also get a chance to enjoy the spectacular views available through this one-of-a-kind vantage point.
The Golden Gate Bridge
End of Highway 101 and Highway 1 in San Francisco