Travelling to San Francisco is one of the best things to do when summer vacation comes around. This is a great time to explore the world around you and learn more about what San Francisco has to offer. If you are interested in traveling to California, this list recommends ten of the best hot-spots to experience.
Japanese Tea Garden
One of the best hot-spots is the Tea Garden which is busy due to the features it offers to the public from the exotic buildings, waterfalls, and sculptures. The garden is also known for its natural, peaceful and fantastical qualities with a three acre span of trees. This hot-spot is the Tea House, which serves hot tea and an array of snack treats from nut tarts to fortune cookies. The tea and snacks are mediocre, but the experience is worth it. Also, if you want to go somewhere else near the Japanese Tea Garden there are two museums nearby: the de Young Art Museum and the California Academy of Science.
de Young Museum
This museum is another one of the best hot-spots and it is one of the public arts institutions in the city of San Francisco, which is also one of the largest art museums in the United States. The museum has provided San Francisco with a landmark art museum to house and showcase the American art from the 17th to the 20th centuries, textile arts, and art from Africa, Oceania and the Americas.
California Academy of Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences is a research institute in San Francisco that is among one of the largest museums that houses over 46 million specimens. The academy offers four exhibits: the aquarium, planetarium, rain-forest, and the Natural History Museum. Each exhibit houses biologically diverse animals from butterflies to coral reefs and shrimp. Not only does this museum hot-spot show us the ecosystems of each exhibit, it also shows the important roles they portray by participating in conserving species and trying to influence the public to sustain the environment.
Museum of Ice Cream
The Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC) has two locations one in San Francisco and the other in New York City. The MOIC has fan favorite rooms like Marye’s Diner, which is consistent of a 70’s classic, Dream, which has an open canvas for the public to express their dreams, and the Rainbow Room, which pays tribute to gay pride. It also has the largest sprinkle pool anywhere. The museum also has 10 exhibition spaces and a cafe that offers signature flavored ice-cream and specialty-made milkshakes as well as coffee and tea. The cafe also makes homemade waffle-cones.
San Francisco Chinatown is the oldest and largest Chinatown in North America and it is the best hot-spot in the San Francisco area. This tourist attraction covers 24 city blocks and it is one of the most popular attractions in San Francisco. An interesting fact about Chinatown is that people visit Chinatown more than the Golden Gate Bridge. People explore Chinatown differently: some prefer to stick to Grant Avenue, the picturesque tourist street, and others prefer to wander around the interesting side-streets and alleys. The Dragon Gate is the most photographed and it is the official entrance to Chinatown on Bush Street where Grant Avenue takes tourists into the heart of the town. The tourist hot-spot is also known for its shops, markets, and restaurants that litter the 24 city blocks.
Salesforce Park is the only hot-spot, besides the California Academy of Sciences, that has a garden on the roof of the SalesForce Transit Center. Salesforce Park is a public park that has a curved walking trail lined with benches surrounded by grassy lawns, dancing fountains, a children’s play-area, and an amphitheater for staging free events from arts and crafts to Zumba. This park is 70 feet above the Grand Hall and runs the entire length of the Transit Center’s nearly four-block stretch. The park is home to 600 trees and 16,000 plants arranged in 13 different botanical feature areas around the park. Salesforce Park is the newest public park in the San Francisco area and there is no other park like it anywhere.
Westfield San Francisco Centre
The Westfield San Francisco Centre is one of the best hot-spots for upscale shopping options like Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Steve Madden, Tiffany, Kate Spade New York, J. Crew, and Burberry. The mall also offers restaurant options that are not offered anywhere else but in the big cities like Bake Cheese Tart, Beard Papa’s, Haagen Daz, and Ghiradelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop.
The Fisherman’s Wharf is the historical district of San Francisco and is home to Pier 39, the Ghiradelli Square, Anchorage Square, the National Maritime Museum, and Alcatraz. The wharf has more family-friendly related activities than any other part of San Francisco like watching sea-lions at Pier 39 or visiting the Aquarium of the Bay. It also has a variety of shops and restaurants like the Lefty’s the Left Handed Store and Boudin Sourdough Bakery & Cafe.
Alcatraz is located within the Fisherman’s Wharf. Alcatraz Island was once one of the most feared prisons in the United States. Now, it is one of the most popular attractions in the San Francisco area. One of the reasons to visit Alcatraz is the historical lessons it offers. The prison was also dubbed “The Rock” due to its location on a rocky island in the middle of San Francisco. Its location was also not a coincidence. It prevented convicts from escaping, although it did not stop them from trying.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
The Boardwalk in Santa Cruz is an admission-free amusement park that offers a variety of games and rides on a mile-long stretch of sandy beach. The amusement park features more than 40 rides and attractions which includes two National Historic Landmarks at the park: the Giant Dipper made in 1924 and the Looff Carousel, which was made in 1911. The Boardwalk activities also includes roller-coaster rides, gentle kiddie rides, indoor arcades, swimming, and surfing on the waves.
If you are interested in spending summer vacation in California, explore the best hot-spots in the San Francisco area and enjoy!
My name is Kaitlin Felder. I graduated from Missouri Southern State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional/Technical Writing in May 2019.