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5 things to do in San Francisco

san fran

San Francisco is one of California’s most visited cities – and for good reason. It’s famous for it’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and hilly landscape.

Pick up a hire car from San Francisco Airport and explore this amazing city by visiting these five attractions.

Cable cars

When you’re tired of walking up those hills, you can always turn to a cable car for an enjoyable rest. These are a National Historic Landmark, which treats you to amazing views of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island and Fisherman’s Wharf, to name a few attractions. Jump off at Mason and Washington Streets to pay a visit to the Cable Car Museum, where you’ll discover the history and the fascinating workings of the cable car.

Visit Alcatraz

Although once the site of Western United States’ first lighthouse, Alcatraz Island became home to a federal prison from 1934 up until the early sixties. Through a tour of the prison you’ll learn about the fascinating history of famous prisoners who were confined here, life in these cells and also the many attempts at escape. If you want a real spine-tingling experience then opt for the night tour.

Golden Gate Bridge

It was once called “the bridge that couldn’t be built” but after finally opening in 1937 after four years of delays, the struggle against elements such as strong winds and tides finally paid off. Today the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the seven wonders of the industrial world and tourists travel from all over the world to photograph it. After seeing it from a distrance, it’s also worth walking or cycling across the 1.7mile long bridge.

Telegraph Hill stairs

Stairs aren’t for everyone, but if there’s a set of stairs you must experience it’s the 400 stairs on iconic Telegraph Hill. You’ll see beautiful gardens and coloured Victorian-era cottages along the way. The good news is if you struggle going up, then consider heading in the other direction to make the experience more enjoyable. While you’re walking, keep an eye and ear out for Telegraph Hill’s famous wild parrots.

Lands End

Tucked away in the northwest corner of the city at the entrance of San Francisco Bay are many stunning views, which many travellers often don’t even know exist. Walk the Coastal Trail and Lands End and you’ll pass views of shipwrecks, hillsides of wildflowers and even the ruins of Sutro baths. This rugged stretch of coast also features Cypress forest, surrounded by plunging cliffs. It’s the perfect setting if you want to get away from the crowds while still admire the gorgeous city.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Brianna Piazza is an Australian television reporter and part-time travel blogger. Originally from Melbourne, she's currently living in Cairns where she works for WIN News and spends her weekends exploring the outdoors Far North Queensland.

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