This is the place where I will give more information about the places I mention.
The local newspaper published a really great “guidebook” to the different neighborhoods within San Francisco. I will occasionally mention these hoods, so you can check out this link if you’re curious.
1. Coit Tower. Free.
This site gives you directions on how to get there and a map. You can also find out hours, and cost to climb the actual tower (I didn’t climb). And (little known fact!) there are parrots that live at the top of the hill. No one really knows why.
2. Duboce Park. Free.
Duboce Park is a small urban park located between the Duboce Triangle and Lower Haight neighborhoods. The park is less than one block wide from north to south, and two blocks wide from west to east. Its western boundary is Scott Street and its eastern boundary is Steiner Street.
3. Alamo Square Park. Free.
The park includes a playground and a tennis court, and is frequented by neighbors, tourists, and dog owners. On a clear day, the Transamerica Pyramid building and the tops of the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge can be seen from the park’s center. San Francisco’s City Hall can be seen directly down Fulton Street.
4. Macy’s at Union Square. Free.
5. The Metreon. The price of a movie (close to $100 these days, right?)
6. Fisherman’s Wharf. Shopping and eating seafood along the bay. Free to look. Dining ranges from cheap to super fancy. Shopping is…well, not free.
One of the busiest and well known tourist attractions in North America, it is best known for being the location of Pier 39, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, the Cannery Shopping Center, Ghirardelli Square, a Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum, the Musée Mécanique, the Wax Museum at Fisherman’s Wharf, Forbes Island and restaurants and stands that serve fresh seafood, most notably Dungeness crab and clam chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl. Some of the restaurants, like Pompei’s Grotto and Alioto’s #8, go back for three generations of the same family ownership. Nearby Pier 45 has a chapel in memory of the “Lost Fishermen” of San Francisco and Northern California.
7. Alcatraz. $26 per person. Includes round-trip ferry.
Often referred to as The Rock, the small island early-on served as a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, and a Federal Bureau of Prisons federal prison until 1963. Later, in 1972, Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received landmarking designations in 1976 and 1986.
Today, the island is a historic site operated by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is open to tours. Visitors can reach the island by ferry ride from Pier 33, near Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. In 2008 the nation’s first hybrid propulsion ferry started serving the island. Alcatraz has been featured in many movies, TV shows, cartoons, books, comics, and games.