The icon of the Bay Area, seeing the Golden Gate Bridge is at the top of every traveller’s ‘to-do’ list in San Francisco. Connecting the San Francisco Bay and Marin County, this bridge has been declared one of the modern wonders of the world. At the time of its opening in 1937, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, but it’s still one of the most famous. For all those who are Alcatraz-bound, you’ll find one of the best views of the Golden Gate from the island. Make sure you take a selfie stick with you to capture as much as you can of this incredible vista.
Eat crab and clam chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf
Every trip to Alcatraz starts right here. Fisherman’s Wharf is the home of San Francisco’s fishing fleet, which over the years has helped it grow into the fun-filled commercial district it is today. But before you jump on-board of one of its many Alcatraz-bound ferries, take some time to soak up some of its awesome sights. As well as being the home to the Martime Museum and the Aquarium of the Bay, Fisherman’s Wharf is also an awesome place to eat. Grab a crab roll or try some crab chowder at one of the many street vendors at Pier 39. Our pick for the best bites? Head straight for the Pier’s famous Crab House.
See sea lions at Pier 39
While Fisherman’s Wharf has been an icon for decades, the late 80s brought a new reason to get down to the docks; the hordes of sea lions that now call the wharf home. Shortly after the Loma Prieta earthquake hit San Francisco in October 1989, these cute creatures started migrating en masse to the Bay area. After much research and debate, the experts from the Marine Mammal Centre recommended that the sea lions stay in their new home. Now boasting numbers of over 1700, come say hi to the some of the friendliest locals on the wharf. We recommend going to see the sea lions between 11am-4pm daily, when Naturalists from the Aquarium of the Bay are around to answer some of your questions.
Wander around the Golden Gate Park
On the Presido-side of the Golden Gate Bridge, walk a little inland to discover the Golden Gate Park. With over 1000 acres of parkland, gardens and museums, this park is home to some of the city’s most renowned cultural institutions. Spend some time wandering around the Botanic Gardens and the Japanese Tea Garden, before soaking up some art history and culture at the de Young Museum. Even if museums and attractions aren’t your thing, this massive park is an awesome place to come with friends with a picnic basket and some beers.
Learn about American history at Alcatraz East Crime Museum (Pigeon Forge)
If you’re going to visit Alcatraz Island, you probably already know to head straight for the Alcatraz East Crime Museum. Hands-down one of the best things to do in Alcatraz, this interactive museum gives an insight to what it was like living and working at Alcatraz Prison. With amazing displays on the day-to-day life of the prison, inside you’ll find the stories of some of its most notorious inmates and their crimes, as well as an overview of crime in the US. Housed in a building based off the design of the original Alcatraz and Tennessee Prisons, it’s easy to spend hours learning about all the gruesome and fascinating crimes committed here.
Things to do in Alcatraz
San Francisco is the place to chow down on a mission burrito. While you can pick one up on almost many corner of the city, head straight to Taqueria La Cumbra, the place who started this whole craze. Much bigger than regular burritos, these bad boys are stuffed with rice, beans, meat, salsa and guacamole.
Best eaten at Taqueria La Cumbre, 515 Valencia St, CA 94110
Anchor Steam Beer
Beer lovers, get psyched: Anchor Steam Beer is a US staple and just so happens to call San Francisco home. As the first and oldest brewery in the US, Anchor Brewing Company has remained true to their heritage, continuing to make their famous malt beer in traditional copper machinery. These beers are best downed on-site at their historic brewery.
Best eaten at Anchor Brewing Company, 1705 Mariposa St, CA 94107
Bob’s Donuts have been serving up some of the best doughnuts in the city for over 50 years, and if you decide to swing by, we suggest going straight for the apple fritter. Filled with apples and covered in glaze, this stuffed doughnut will leave you drooling. The best part? Bob’s is open 24/7.
Best eaten at
Bob's Donut & Pastry Shop, 1621 Polk St, CA 94109
Blum's Coffee Crunch Cake
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you won’t want to miss out on Yasukochi’s Sweet Stop coffee crunch cake. This light, fluffy coffee-flavoured sponge cake is covered in whipped cream frosting and crunchy, coffee-flavoured candy. But if you want a slice, get to their Japantown store early, as this baby tends to sell out before lunch time.
Best eaten at Yasukochi's Sweet Stop, 1790 Sutter St, CA 94115
You’re about to discover one of San Fran’s best-kept secrets: Zanze’s cheesecakes. Currently run by son of a baker, these family recipes have been perfected over two generations. Made with no flour, no butter and no crust, these cheesecakes are light, fluffy and delicately sweet, with a fresh lemon aftertaste. Zanze’s doesn’t accept credit cards, so bring cash.
Best eaten at Zanze's, 2405 Ocean Ave, CA 94132
Food in Alcatraz
From one of the most-famous cheesecakes in the world to the US’s original beer, there are so many incredible tastes and drops to discover in San Francisco. Here are our picks for places to eat and drink following a hard day at Alcatraz prison.