Iconic for Alcatraz, Golden Gate, it's street cars and much more San Francisco has been around much longer than many people realize. There is much for visitors to see, do and eat, especially on our San Francisco Excursions and San Francisco Cruise Shore Excursions!
Founded June 29, 1776, by colonists from Spain it was named for their beloved St. Francis. But, then the California Gold Rush of 1849 put the city on the map and the first pair of Levi denim jeans were made for the miners.
Over the years many changes would occur. An earthquake in 1906 leveled much of San Francisco and it had to be rebuilt. Then, over the years, massive immigration along with liberal attitudes led to the rise of the Hippie Movement. This city has produced such artists and bands as the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane, and many of the Eagles.
All these factors lead to an eclectic city known for everything from their famed ballet company, and their equally famous orchestra all the way to the street performers on the Port of San Francisco. A hilly city that boasts of a street trolley system and the famously steep zig zagging Lombard Street that is on an incredible 31.5 degree incline. The city receives approximately 13 million visitors each year including many beginning, ending or stopping over in the port.
Fisherman's Wharf and the waterfront area is one of the most popular sites to visit on San Francisco Shore Excursions. Started back in the late 1800's by immigrant Italian fishermen, not only is there freshly caught seafood available here but also an array of things to do and see. Ghirardelli Square (of the chocolate fame) is a collection of shops and restaurants. Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum is also located here along with the Fisherman's Wharf Wax Museum, San Francisco National Historic Park and the Hyde Street Pier. At Hyde Street Pier you will find a couple of decommissioned vessels as well as the famous Pier 39 sea lion colony. A trip to Fisherman's Wharf would not be complete without trying some of the local dungeness crab! Check out our San Francisco City Hop On Hop Off Bus Sightseeing Excursion and see the city sites you want.
Located 1.25 miles out in the bay lies Alcatraz Island with it's premier maximum security prison. From 1934 to 1963, it held some of America's most notorious criminals including Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly and the Birdman. As colorful as it's inmates were, so were the attempted escapes.
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area has excursion sites and attractions such as Ocean Beach, which runs along the Pacific Ocean shoreline and is heavily populated with serious surfers, and Baker Beach which is quieter and subdued and located in a cove west of the Golden Gate. Whales watching during the late fall and winter months is also popular just off the coastline.
Visitors often select San Francisco Excursions that help them to see exactly what they came to the city for, be it sightseeing, activities, the cuisine, or beach time. One of the not-to-miss sites is Chinatown known for the food as well as unusual shopping. Take in one of the many museums and art galleries such as the Asian Museum that has art pieces dating back to 221 B.C. Explore the amazing architecture of houses built on steep hills that are colorful and charming. Others might want to visit the parks for some quiet time. Sightseeing, shopping, dining, exploring...whatever you choose to do, it is all available so be ready for an adventure.
Fun Fact: The Chinese fortune cookie was invented in San Francisco.