San Francisco a destination like nowhere else in America.
San Francisco is one of America’s great walking cities and with a good pair of shoes backed up by a Muni ticket – a ‘passport’ giving unlimited use of the buses, trains and streetcars – you can see almost everything in the city without the need of a car or taxi. You’ll see sights such as the Golden Gate Bridge, arguably San Francisco’s most famous landmark, its 1-mile span crossing the divide between the bay and the Pacific Ocean; swanky Nob Hill, dating back to the times of the Gold Rush; the Cannery, Ghirardelli Square and Pier 39 at lively Fisherman’s Wharf’; Union Square, with its myriad fashionable shops and fascinating turnaround point for the cable cars; Mission Dolores, the oldest building in San Francisco; and the imposing Alcatraz, known as ‘The Rock’ and a ferry trip to which will soon reveal why nobody ever escaped from this former high-security prison.
Less than an hour’s drive from San Francisco is the giant redwood forest of Muir Woods, presenting some of the oldest and tallest trees in the country. Just beyond lies Stinson Beach, unspoilt and uncrowded and a great spot for a picnic or a dip into the sea. When crossing Golden Gate Bridge, whether by car, bike or foot, the first town you come to is charming Sausalito, also accessible by ferry from Fisherman’s Wharf. Despite its proximity to San Francisco, you will discover a completely different way of life here, the laid-back feel clearly the draw for when so many artists and writers made their homes here in the 1960’s.
If you feel like a break from walking but don’t fancy conventional transport, a great way to get around some of the key attractions in San Francisco is by Segway. You can glide through beautiful Golden Gate Park, visit the piers of Fisherman’s Wharf and enjoy spectacular views of Alcatraz and Golden Gate Bridge or, for the more experienced Segway rider, navigate the twists and turns of Lombard Street, the world’s ‘crookedest’ street. Definitely not to be attempted on a Segway is the North Beach Pub Tour, a walking tour of some of San Francisco’s best pubs and bars, and learn of their history over an Anchor Steam ale.