But, as I plan for future travel adventures, I look to my past travels to find inspiration and my first travel post takes me to San Francisco, a vibrant and colourful city that invites familiarity and culture to awaken all your senses!
1. Alcatraz "The Rock"
I've done this tour twice now because it's so fascinating! Buy tickets in advance so you make don't miss out because if tickets sell out for the day, there won't be any more. Your ticket includes a ride on the Alcatraz cruise ferry boat that takes you across to Alcatraz Island to visit the former maximum security prison, housing some of the most famous criminals in US history, most notoriously, Al Capone. It was also where the movie, "The Rock", starring Sean Connery, Nicholas Cage and Ed Harris was filmed.
Downtown San Francisco is all about Pier 39 and you can't NOT visit Pier 39 when in San Francisco. Many water based attractions and adventures are based at The PIER and there are so many restaurants and boutique shops in the area making it a great day to explore and enjoy San Francisco culinary favourites such as the clam chowder bread bowls, and fresh seafood.
Chinatown is always a favourite to visit in any big city as San Francisco has one of the largest Chinatown populations in North America. With over 10,000 inhabitants, the area is bustling with shops, businesses and lots of fantastic Chinese restaurants to choose from!
Drive down the "Crookedest Street in the World! Lombard Street is a steep one-block street with eight sharp turns in The Presidio area of the city. It is a famous tourist attraction, receiving over two million visitors each year who want to experience the unique street.
The iconic Golden Gate Bridge is one of San Francisco's most famous attractions and is visible from so many areas of the city.
Another iconic San Francisco favourite! The cable car transit system has been running in the city since 1873 and are now considered a National Landmark.
Just heading slightly north of San Francisco is the Muir Woods National Monument. The California Redwood trees are a breathtaking sight to behold. The trees are anywhere between 400 - 800 years old and up to 250 feet in height.
You can't visit San Francisco and not head to Napa County to do a winery tour! More than 400 wineries producing some of the best and most well known wines come from the Napa County region. Experience wine tours paired with culinary tastings, or make it a whole weekend experience staying at any of their boutique hotels or bed and breakfasts in the area.
As a big Apple girl, it was a neat experience to drive through Silicon Valley and visit the Apple Headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop!
Head south of San Francisco for some of the most beautiful coastlines in the area to Monterey, Pebble Beach and Carmel-by-the-Sea. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a fun adventure for marine life and education for the kids.
Hike up the Twin Peaks hills to get the best views of the city, located in the geographic centre of the city.
There really is so much to see and do in San Francisco so I definitely recommend it as a destination to visit! Let me know how I can help plan the perfect itinerary for your travels in the area. You won't be able to do it all, but it will definitely be a great start to experience such a great city!