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The famous island of Alcatraz only housed inmates for 29 years, but its legacy lives on in infamy as is consequently one of San Francisco's most popular tourist attractions. History's most notorious criminals such as Al Capone and Robert Stroud have graced its mysterious walls and the island also holds evidence of the Civil War and American Indian Rights Movement. You may be surprised to know that the island is also home to rare plant species, thousands of birds and marine wildlife. Make sure you book a boat tour early because it is known to sell out!
San Francisco, also known as the 'City by the Bay', is known for Fisherman's Wharf which is packed with beautiful sights and things to do. If you're a morning person; head to Fish Alley where the seafood is transported directly from the fishing boats to the vendors at the crack of dawn. Also, make sure to catch a glimpse of the sea lions at Pier 39 and visit the Aquatic Park and Maritime Museum. The wharf gives you spectacular views of Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Ride a Cable Car
first cable car went down Clay Street August 2, 1873 at 5 am and for
$6, you can still ride one of San Francisco's symbolic vehicles today.
It's hard to pass up the opportunity to take a ride on a moving piece of
history. If you are interested in learning more about these unique
automobiles, stop by the Cable Car Museum on Mason Street.
a 40 degree slope with 8 switch backs, Lombard Street is famous for its
extreme crookedness. Watching the buzz of cars and bikes drive up and
down this crazy pass is a favorite for those visiting the area. Get a
front row seat yourself and take a walk on the twists and turns.
Because of the characteristic sloped roads in San Francisco, get the most out of the charming city by hopping on a bus tour.
Open air double decker busses are available which will take you through
Lombard Street, Chinatown, Union Square, City Hall and other must-see
The holiday season is a great excuse to satisfy your sweet tooth and head to Ghirardelli Square located right off the pier in San Fran. Ghirardelli is famous for its signature chocolate treats and wine. Grab a cup of hot chocolate to warm up and look out for the talented street performers close by.
by Molly Nelson, Contributing Author