Discovering Northern CaliforniaLocated in the rolling hills of northern California on the San Francisco bay is the historical city of San Francisco. The city was founded by Spanish explorers in 1776 and later grew in population to nearly 25,000 residents during the California gold rush of the late 1840’s. San Francisco was hit hard by the earthquake and fire of 1906, destroying 2/3’s metropolitan area. The city rebuilt itself to being the fourth largest city in California and is now one of the top destinations for tourists in the US and the world. San Francisco is known for the famous Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street (the crookedist street in the world), Victorian architecture, and Cable cars, Alcatraz Island, Chinatown and the Silicon Valley along with Sports teams, beaches and a wonderful array of seafood options.
Things to do
Golden Gate Bridge
One the most well known landmarks in California and the United States is the Golden Gate Bridge. This bridge was constructed over a five year period and was completed in 1937. The striking Red colored suspension bridge provides Stunning views of the entire San Francisco Bay area. You and your family can enjoy the afternoon walking or biking across the 1.7 mile bridge. (goldengatebridge.org, 415-455-2000)
The first United States fort and lighthouse; Alcatraz was built on “the rock” in the San Francisco Bay. The name is derived from the Spanish name for the Brown Pelican’s seen in the San Francisco area. Alcatraz was used as a military prison most famously as a federal prison from 1934 to 1963. Alcatraz is now a National Historic Landmark. Tours are available 7 days a week and guests are asked to book tickets in advance. (alcatrazcruises.com)
Chinatown located in San Francisco is the oldest established “Chinatown” in North America. This Chinatown reveals San Francisco’s rich history with Chinese immigration in the United States. With hundreds of store and restaurants, your family can enjoy the day touring the streets of Chinatown. For more information about Chinatown visit. (sanfranciscochinatown.com)
If you are looking for an adventurous hike or drive with spectacular views, then visiting the Twin Peaks in San Francisco is for you! This scenic hike, walk or drive is perfect for seeing the beautiful sunrises or sunsets in Northern California. Located on the two tallest points of San Francisco, this is the best view of the city.
Places to Eat
Mama’s on Washington Square
Open for more than 50 years, Mama’s on Washington Square is the perfect place to start your day with a great breakfast or lunch. Everything Mama’s offers is fresh and made to order with their unique recipes. Some of the plates they are known for are omelet’s, homemade jam, bread and pastries. (1701 Stockton St, 415-362-6421)
Norman’s Ice Cream & Freezes
Are you in the mood for some homemade deliciousness? Norman’s Ice Ceram & Freezes is the perfect place to stop by for award winning ice cream, hot fudge sundaes, smoothies and Halo-Halo. Located in the historical Fisherman’s Wharf district, this is the ideal place to satisfy your sweet tooth. (2801 Leavenworth St, 415-346-3046)
Pacific Catch Fresh Fish Grill
San Francisco is known for their fresh fish from the Pacific and Bay areas. Pacific Catch Fresh Fish Grill opened in 2003, and is the best place in San Francisco for an unique fish dining experience. They also serve Hawaiian and Mexican dishes, and they have a full Sushi Bar. So come in for an exclusive night with exotic fresh fish. (pacificcatch.com, 415-504-6905)