If you’re undecided whether to visit San Francisco, you’re in the right place to learn a few more reasons why this is such a good idea. This charismatic city certainly doesn’t disappoint for world-famous landmarks, unique architecture and gorgeous stretches of sand.  A lot of culture and nature in one place. But as much as we can tell you all the reasons why you should visit, we think a picture tells a thousand words, as the saying goes.

Here are 5 beautiful pictures to inspire you to visit San Francisco:

Golden Gate Bridge

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Day Tour – Red Route, Stop: North Vista Point / Golden Gate Bridge

Did you know the striking colour of the Golden Gate Bridge wasn’t actually intended to be permanent? The steel arrived coated in the signature burnt orange primer to protect it from corrosion. The vivid colour was not only preferred as a design feature, but was visible in the San Francisco classic fog conditions while also complementing the natural landscape that surrounds it. Win, win and win. To appreciate the Golden Gate Bridge in all its glory, take a stroll (or Big Bus tour) across it and gaze out at the sparkling waters, impressive views and of course the bridge itself. Here’s a fun fact to keep in mind while you’re having your Golden Gate Bridge moment, the amount of cable used would circle the Equator three times over, and there’s enough concrete to build a bike lane from San Francisco to New York City.

Alcatraz Island

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Alcatraz Package

Also known as “The Rock”, Alcatraz Island is one of San Francisco’s most popular sights. While it’s famous for being America’s most secure federal prison, it has also been home to the West Coast’s very first lighthouse, served as a Civil War fortress, and lastly a military prison. That’s a lot of history on one small island, and plenty of reasons to visit. Some pretty notorious convicts were detained at Alcatraz, including Al Capone “Scarface”, George Celino Barnes “Machine Gun Kelly” and Robert Stroud the “Birdman of Alcatraz”. While 36 prisoners attempted escape, it is believed only one actually made it across. John Paul Scott greased himself with lard, squeezed through a window and swam to shore. But today, hundreds complete the 1.5 mile swim to the mainland for the ‘Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon’. Fancy a go? If not, catch a boat across and see it all for yourself.

Little Italy

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Day Tour – Red Route, Stop: Washington Square / North Beach

While in San Francisco, be sure to put some time aside to journey to ‘Little Italy’, also known as North Beach. While times are of course changing, the heritage and vibe of this district is still very much Italian. Think delis, Italian restaurants, and bakeries, filling the air with the aromas of the Mediterranean. After the Gold Rush, a steady stream of Italians arrived from Liguria, bringing with them the culture and cuisine of another land. And today, it’s become the culinary capital of San Francisco. So come hungry. Some famous literary names also settled in Little Italy in the 20th century, like Kerouac, Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti. So lots to learn and lots to eat. Yet another reason to visit the diverse city of San Francisco. 

Pier 39

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Day Tour – Red Route, Stop: Pier 39 Fisherman’s Wharf

Wandering why the sea lions chose to dock up at Pier 39? After the Loma Prieta earthquake hit San Francisco in 1989, these rather boisterous mammals began pitching up having been displaced elsewhere, much to the dismay of the marina tenants. After consulting with The Marine Mammal Center, an organization devoted to rescue and rehabilitation, it was decided that the sea lions get to keep their newfound lodgings, and it was the humans that had to make do elsewhere. From there, they thrived and rapidly grew in numbers. Today you can see them lazing about, playing, and barking. A truly up close and personal experience. And once you’ve selfied with the quirky characters, there’s plenty more to do at Pier 39. Hit the shops, ride the carousel then treat yourself to a steaming clam chowder – which brings us to our next reason why you should visit San Francisco… 

The Sourdough

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Feeling hungry? Sourdough in San Francisco goes way back to the time of the Gold Rush, when Basque migrants began making the bread using the natural yeasts and bacteria present in the air for fermentation. Today, it’s a culinary classic the city is known for. Bakers claim the key ingredient is the fog-cooled climate. So for a taste of San Francisco, head to one of the top bakeries to enjoy a slice of this city. There’s Tartine Bakery, whose head baker Chad Robertson is considered a master of this trade throughout the states, and Boudin Bakery, whose bread texture and flavour is like no other. And the loaves come in all forms and sizes, you’ll find crab shaped, lobsters, tortoises, and teddy bears to name a few.

Feeling ready to book your ticket yet? San Francisco has the perfect mix of top landmarks, historic attractions, beaches and California’s breath-taking coastline. Definitely one to tick off your travel bucket list. And the best bit is, if you hop on a Big Bus tour, we can take you to see all of these sights. You’ll have the flexibility to hop off and explore more, then when you’re ready, simply re-join the tour.