Guide to San Francisco

Once travel is safe for all again, San Francisco is known for many things. The Golden Gate Bridge is the first universally recognizable visual of the city, but this high-tech, art, and cultural center situated on the Pacific coastline close to the world technology hub of Silicon Valley and the famous vineyard region of Napa Valley has so much more unique attractions to offer.

Apply for visa esta approval process ahead of planning the perfect San Fran itinerary. ESTA is the online process for visitors to the US from Visa Waiver countries. In addition to the small fee, you will have to answer an extensive set of questions, and then wait approximately three days for the administration to determine whether you are eligible to come to the US. Once you obtain your ESTA approval, you have a two-year window to go and visit the country.

Best time to visit numerous San Francisco attractions Is in the summer and fall months. From May to October, there is little to no rain, and the best temperatures are in September and October. Going in fall has an additional bonus of avoiding large crowds that swarm the city in summer months.

Unique attractions 

San Francisco cable cars run in a big part of the city and do not miss a ride on a historic ride. 

Alcatraz is an infamous prison, where the likes of Al Capone meet their life sentences. A rugged island stands out of the ocean as a warning to the criminals. Explore famous villains and illustrious history of Alcatraz with the guided island tour.

Twin Peaks are incredible grass-covered viewpoints rising 281 meters above the city. You can see most of the town, including the Golden Gate Bridge and downtowns skyline.

Chinatown has one of the largest Asian communities in the US, and it is one of the most visited neighborhoods. San Francisco has a large LGBTQ community, and if you are interested in gay and lesbian culture, you can visit The Castro neighborhood.

ghiradelli square san francisco

Fisherman’s Wharf is a waterfront part of the city and a tourist center. It is home to the Pier 39, Madame Tussauds museum and the Aquarium of the Bay.

Golden Gate Park is a large green area, one of the largest urban parks in the US and the home of picturesque Japanese Garden.

Golden Gate Bridge is an impressive suspension bridge constructed in the 30s has daily traffic around 110,000 cars. Its 2.7 km long and stands 227 meters above the ocean. It is a unique attraction, and a tourist visit to San Francisco without a picture with the bridge would be uncomplete. You can take great shots from Crissy Field Marsh and Beach or Baker Beach.

Restaurants with a view of Golden Gate Bridge 

There are plenty of bars and restaurants with the view of the famous bridge.  Historic Pier 39 alone has many dining places like Fog Harbor Fish House with a large selection of seafood that is 100% sustainable according to the owners.

Hog Island Oyster Co in Embarcadero neighborhood is a must-visit restaurant for oyster lovers. High-end Michelin rated restaurant Murray Circle offers exceptional cuisine from locally sourced ingredients and stunning view on the Golden Gate Bridge and the town.

Do you need a car in San Francisco? 

If you want to explore San Francisco, there is an excellent public transportation network that includes Cable cars, BART trains and Streetcars. Most areas are easily accessible with public transport, and there is always an option for Uber or Taxi service. But since the area around San Francisco has plenty of other attractions like Redwood Forrest, luscious wine valleys or tech center in Silicon Valley, you should probably consider going with or renting a car.

Best playgrounds in San Francisco 

San Francisco is extremely kid friendly with more than 100 great playground options. Koret Children’s Playground in the large Golden Gate Park is the nation’s first public playground. A massive place with areas for smaller and bigger children. A most popular part of Koret is cement slides. You will need a cardboard box for a faster slide.

slides at children's playground

Lafayette Park is another popular recreational area in the city, and it also has a fantastic playground. The large playing area is completely fenced, and it includes amenities for children of all ages.

Other notable playgrounds include West Sunset Playground in the Sunset District, Julius Kahn Playground, and Helen Diller Playground in Mission Doloires Park.

If you already answered all of the esta questions for your visiting permit, decide o how many days you want to spend in beautiful San Francisco. After the approval, you will be granted up to 90 days visit to the United States of America. Make sure you apply on time before you consider buying airline tickets.

Bottom line

This city has plenty of unique features and attractions to keep you occupied for days. The town has excellent free attractions, vibrant nightlife, and it is fantastic for visiting with the whole family. One thing is sure, you will not miss incredible photo opportunities.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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