The picturesque and culturally progressive Northern California city of San Francisco has long been a coveted destination for world travelers. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure, the frontier of contemporary food and fashion trends or some of the United State’s most interesting historical sites, the San Francisco tourist attractions are endless. Between its rolling hills that tend to get quite steep in areas, its famous beaches, bridges and ethnic neighborhoods, this great city is the perfect day trip from the quiet town of Half Moon Bay, which is just a quick drive from the big city.
17 of the Most Visited San Francisco Tourist Attractions
- San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf – Admittedly one of the most touristy neighborhoods in the whole city, it is still worth a visit. A walk on the waterfront or a basket of fish and chips are definitely in order when visiting this old Port City.
- The Golden Gate Bridge – One of the world’s most famous landmarks, this big red suspension bridge is one of the best walks or bike rides in town. Rent some wheels, take a drive, or make the trek across this famous channel and get a closer look at Marin County.
- Alcatraz Island – Once home to some of the country’s most famous and heinous convicts, this ferry ride and tour are nothing short of amazing. If you’re a swimmer, be sure to look out for the annual races to Alcatraz.
- Golden Gate Park – Home to all kinds of San Francisco tourist attractions, the Park is one of the best places to explore. With gardens, grazing buffalo, and the famous DeYoung Museum of Fine Arts, don’t miss the chance to spend a day here.
- San Francisco Cable Cars – These famous cable cars used to be the city’s only mode of public transportation, and were crucial to shuttling residents and visitors alike up and down the city’s big hills. Now used mostly for sightseeing, they have not lost their wonder.
- Blue Bottle Coffee – This world famous coffee roastery has shops all over the city, including Mint Plaza and the Ferry Building. If you want to experience the freshest coffee of your life, get Blue Bottle!
- China Town – Unlike China towns in other cities, San Francisco’s is still very much authentic, promising busy narrow streets and delicious food.
- The Presidio – This historical base has one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge in the city and is great for a walk!
- Tartine Bread – If you want a taste of the best San Francisco sourdough, Tartine is definitely the spot for you.
- AT&T Park – Part of the long lost tradition of classic inner city ballparks and the home of the San Francisco Giants, it’s well worth going to a baseball game if it’s the season.
- Twin Peaks: San Francisco – For a panoramic view of San Francisco head up to city’s own mountaintop for a walk or ride.
- The Ferry Building – Wrapping the list up with yet another tourist attractions, the Ferry Building is home not only to the terminal where you can catch a ride to the East Bay or Sausalito, it’s also a great place to grab a bite to eat if you are exploring downtown.
- Japanese Tea Garden: San Francisco – Located inside of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA, you will find the oldest public Japanese garden in the country. This is the perfect event if you’re already in the area and looking for fun things to do in San Francisco this weekend or even things to do in San Francisco today!
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not: San Francisco – This is one of the best things to do in San Francisco with kids. A visit to Ripley’s Believe It or Not will be fun for the whole family!
- Crissy Field: San Francisco – This former U.S. Army airfield now welcomes guests from all over as it is a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. If you’re looking for some great free things to do in San Francisco, this is perfect for you!
- San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park – This park includes a fleet of historic vessels including the Balclutha. Located right near Fisherman’s Wharf, this is the perfect stop while you’re in the area.
- Yerba Buena Gardens San Francisco – Enjoy a full two blocks of public park access located in downtown San Francisco at Yerba Buena Gardens. This park is open most hours of the day and is the perfect place to have a pinic or relax during your San Francisco adventures.
San Francisco is an easy trip from Half Moon Bay, where you’ll enjoy the perfect contrast to city life, a coastal Northern California town where the surf is big, and the town small. Be sure to plan for a trip up the coast to check out these things to do near San Francisco while visiting Half Moon Bay. If you’re considering planning a trip to the area soon, check out things to do in Half Moon Bay, CA, and make sure to request our free Half Moon Bay Vacation Guide. We look forward to booking your stay.