This was the site where the first lighthouse of the Pacific Coast was built, but was later turned into a federal prison for notorious convicts such as Al Capone. Now, the infamous island is part of the Bay Area’s 80,000-acre Golden Gate National Recreation Area and listed as one of the top attractions in San Francisco. Audio tours are available within the cell house where visitors get a glimpse of the living conditions of the prisoners, including the main prison block with its steel bars, claustrophobic cells and mess hall. And since it is offshore, it will be ideal to reserve your Alcatraz Cruises tickets beforehand to avoid disappointments.
If you only have time to visit one destination in San Francisco, this is it. PIER 39 is situated in the Fisherman’s Wharf and parking is readily available at the entrance plaza. Whether you are visiting with family, looking for a fun yet romantic date setting or simply on a getaway with your friends, the possibilities are endless at this beloved destination. We highly recommend you visit the boisterous sea lions who have been camping out on PIER 39’s K-Dock since 1990. The Presidio, formerly a military post, is a national park site and recreational paradise, ideal for those who might like a peaceful environment to walk in. The air is scented with eucalyptus and the trails are usually fairly unoccupied, as if you were farther from the city center than you really are.
Golden Gate Bridge:
The world-renowned Golden Gate Bridge comes in an International Orange hue and is deemed one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Once called the “bridge that couldn’t be built’’, it has since become the prime landmark of San Francisco after its opening in 1937 after a four-year struggle against treacherous weather conditions. The bright colour was chosen as it provided visibility in the fog for passing ships and fit in naturally to the entire natural setting. You may have seen it in recent films such as Ant-Man, Big Hero 6, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Monsters vs. Aliens – giving it the nickname Cinematic San Francisco, a close second to Los Angeles.
The Cable Car Museum:
Established in 1974, the museum is operated by a nonprofit educational facility. Located in the historic Washington-Mason powerhouse and car barn on Nob Hill, the museum deck overlooks the huge engines and winding wheels that pull the cables for San Francisco’s famous trams. It also features three antique cable cars from the 1870s, nostalgic images, mechanical displays and gift shop for memorabilia. Of course, you have to hop onto the world’s last permanent manually operated cable car, in the U.S. sense of a tramway where cars are pulled along cables embedded in the street. Unsurprisingly, the city’s right-out-of- the-Smithsonian cable cars were named a national historic landmark in 1964.