A Family Travel Guide to San Francisco
San Francisco is a fantastic city for family holidays, and if you visit the city during your time in California there are a number of things that you may want to see and do. Here are a few of the best to keep the whole family entertained in San Francisco
Cross the Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate is one of the most recognisable pieces of architecture in the world, and you will instantly recognise it from the numerous films that it has featured in over the years, as well as countless postcards. It is the symbol of San Francisco and one of the things that you should definitely take the time to visit while you are in the city.
You will almost certainly see it from afar because it is hard to miss, but for the best experience go right up to the bridge and walk along some of it. Even better, hire a car and drive across it for the full experience.
Alcatraz Island, also known as The Rock, used to be home to one of the most famous prisons in the world until it closed in 1963. Although visible from the shore, you should definitely try to catch a boat across to the island for a tour of the prison as it is something that children and adults of all ages will enjoy.
When you look around the cells where prisoners were kept, all maintained in the same condition as when the prison was in use, it is not hard to imagine what life must have been like for the inmates. However, don’t forget that there is more to Alcatraz than the prison. It is also a stunning natural habitat for sea birds and wildlife, making it a very beautiful area to explore for a few hours.
Look Around Chinatown
Although most cities have a Chinatown, the one in San Francisco is rather special. Not only is it the largest Chinatown in the whole of the United States, but it is also home to the largest community of Chinese people outside of Asia.
Dating back to 1848, it is packed full of history and intrigue. Walk around and pop into the interesting shops selling all manner of exotic artefacts, enjoy a meal, admire the brightly-coloured buildings and streets complete with temples and dragons, and immerse yourself in the experience. You could easily spend a whole morning or afternoon looking around, so make sure you visit when you are in San Francisco.
Enjoy San Francisco and the Surrounding Area
There are enough attractions in San Francisco to keep the whole family busy for a long time. However, if you find that you have had your fill of the city and you would like to see some more of the area, why not rent a car and go for a drive down the stunning Pacific coast? Car rental companies like Alamo will be able to provide you with a car for as long as you want it, and then you can head down the coast to Santa Barbara, Los Angeles or wherever you want to go.
Amy is a freelance travel writer, she visited San Francisco in 2011.