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Top 10 sights for your San Francisco summer vacation

San Francisco is known for its amazing cuisine and multiple cultural influences, but the real San Francisco treat is the wonderful sightseeing you can do in the city. If you’re heading toward the Bay Area this summer and looking for things to do then you’ll want to be sure to add these top 10 sights and attractions to your San Francisco travel plans!

1. Golden Gate Bridge – It’s impossible to come to San Francisco and miss this impressive icon! You can walk, bike, or drive across the 1937 bridge as well as take an informational boat tour and go under the bridge. Snap a photo of the bridge from a variety of spots like Crissy Field, Baker Beach, Marshall Beach, Alcatraz Island, or at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

2. Fisherman’s Wharf – Another area that’s synonymous with San Francisco is Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39. Take in the views of Alcatraz Island, the snoozing sea lions, and the surrounding bay as well as enjoy premier shopping, dining, and lively entertainment.

Alcatraz Island

3. Alcatraz Island – A popular way to spend a morning or afternoon is taking the boat ride out to the famous Alcatraz Island prison! The prison closed in 1963 but had housed many infamous gangsters of the 1920s and ‘30s and you can hear about their stories on the tour. Due to its popularity, it’s highly recommended you buy your tickets in advance, especially in the summer. 

4. Chinatown – You can’t miss a walk through the oldest Chinatown in the United States! Whether you come to eat, shop, or just take in the culture of this historic neighborhood, it’s a must-see in San Francisco! Did you know the first Chinese immigrants arrived in San Francisco in 1848?

5. Mission Dolores – Take a lovely 20-minute walk from the inn to the Mission Dolores to see the old Mission, founded in 1776. Officially known as The Misión San Francisco de Asís (St. Francis of Assisi), the common name for it was Mission Dolores because of the nearby creek, Arroya de los Dolores (Creek of Sorrows). The suggested donation is only $7 per adult or $5 for seniors.

Lombard Street in San Francisco

6. Lombard Street – Though it’s not officially the crookedest street in San Francisco, it’s still pretty crooked with its tight switchbacks between Jones St. and Hyde St. It’s a cool sight to see in the city and you can either walk on the stairs on either side of the street or drive down it – though please note it is a one-way and you’ll need to turn east off of Van Ness.

7. de Young Museum – The de Young Museum is a must-see no matter what time of year you’re visiting, but with the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, it’s the perfect time to visit the exhibits. See The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll, Stuart Davis: In Full Swing, Beyond the Surface, and Revelations: Art from the African American South at the museum.

Ice cream sundae

8. Ghirardelli Square – Cool off with a sweet treat with a sampling of chocolate or with a chocolatey ice cream sundae at Ghirardelli Square! You could also savor a glass of wine at the Bluxome St. Winery before perusing the boutique shops at the square.

9. Cable Car Museum – You can’t spend a day in San Francisco without seeing our classic cable cars easily climb our hills. If you want to learn more about the cars, which have been in operation since 1873, be sure to stop at the Cable Car Barn and Museum!

Twin Peaks in San Francisco

10. Twin Peaks – Finally, if you’re lucky to get a gorgeous sunny day in the Bay Area, you have to rush over to Twin Peaks for amazing and clear views of the city. We’re pretty impressed with the 360 degree view from our rooftop deck at the inn but know it’s not quite the same as the panorama at the top of Twin Peaks Boulevard.

Now that you know what San Francisco attractions you’re seeing this summer it’s time to find the room you’ll be checking into at Inn San Francisco!

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