Bike the Golden Gate
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most classic icons of San Francisco. While most visitors choose to explore the bridge by taking a quick drive across, the rushed experience not only provides for a disappointing view, but it also costs $5 in tolls. Rather than exploring via car, hop on a bike and ride across the bridge. While riding, you are closer to the edge and can thus get a better view of downtown San Francisco. You also can experience the bridge in its entirety while the wind sweeps through your hair and the bridge's gentle sway rocks under you.
If you need to rent a bike for the journey, consider Avenue Cyclery in the Fisherman's Wharf or Blazing Saddles on Hyde Street. Both have affordable rates and are reasonably close to the bridge.
The Golden Gate Bridge
End of Highway 101 and Highway 1
San Francisco, CA 94121
756 Stanyan St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
2715 Hyde St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
Take a Trip to Alcatraz
Alcatraz has become a major tourist attraction ever since the island prison was closed down. The audio tour of the prison is fascinating, but beyond the penitentiary, the island itself is full of natural beauty. There are a number of beautiful plants and animals living on Alcatraz that can be accessed with only a quick hike around the perimeter. Plus, the area provides an excellent view of the Golden Gate Bridge and downtown San Francisco. Only one company provides access to the island and tickets sell out fast, so try to book your trip online before your vacation starts.
Alcatraz Ticket Sales
Pier 33, Hornblower Alcatraz Landing
San Francisco, CA 94111
Enjoy the View at Coit Tower
For a great 360-degree view of Fisherman's Wharf, downtown and Little Italy, visit Coit Tower, built upon Telegraph Hill. Telegraph Hill itself has a fantastic view, but once you ride the elevator to the top of the tower, the view is simply breathtaking. While waiting to board the elevators, don't miss out on viewing the fantastic murals in the building.
After enjoying the scenery, get some exercise by walking down the 800 stairs that take you down the hill. Enjoy beautiful flowers, more great scenery and keep an eye out for the wild parrots that call Telegraph Hill home.
1 Telegraph Hill Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94133