San Francisco Bay Area – Ten Must See Attractions

The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most traveled to destinations on the west coast of the United States. It is home to many historical landmarks, fine restaurants, tourist attractions, and resort hotels. There are so many attractions in the area that few travelers will ever run out of things to do, regardless of how long their stay is. There is a reason that millions of people visit SF Bay Area year after year, and it truly must be something to see since so many of them come back to visit again.

Here is a look at ten must-see attractions in the San Francisco Bay Area:

Alcatraz

#1 San Francisco Bay Area Must See Attraction

San Francisco Bay Area Attraction - Alcatraz
San Francisco Bay Area Attraction - Alcatraz, Photo: Sharons_Web, Flickr

Touring the most infamous prison in the history of the United States is a great way for anyone, but especially a history buff, to be entertained and learn something at the very same time. Visiting this prison on an island also allows the traveler to enjoy a boat ride into San Francisco Bay itself.

Golden Gate Bridge

#2 San Francisco Bay Area Must See Attraction

San Francisco Bay Area Attraction - Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco Bay Area Attraction - Golden Gate Bridge, Photo: David Watson, Flickr

The iconic landmark of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge is a definite must-see for anyone, especially first time visitors to the Bay Area. The best way to enjoy the bridge is to park at one of the parking areas located on either side of the structure and then walk across the bridge. This also allows for the visitor to see the bridge as up close and personal as is possible.

Fisherman’s Wharf

#3 San Francisco Bay Area Must See Attraction

San Francisco Bay Area Attraction - Fisherman's Wharf
San Francisco Bay Area Attraction - Fisherman's Wharf, Photo: Thomas Hawk, Flickr

Easily the most popular tourist attraction in all of San Francisco, Fisherman’s Wharf covers the northern waterfront area of the city. It is home to Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Wax Museum at Fisherman’s Wharf, Forbes Island, the Cannery Shopping Center, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, and much much more.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area & Point Reyes National Seashore

#4 San Francisco Bay Area Must See Attraction

San Francisco Bay Area Attraction - Point Reyes National Seashore
San Francisco Bay Area Attraction - Point Reyes National Seashore, Photo: Ric e Ette, Flickr

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is one of the most visited areas under the control of the United States National Park Service. As one of the largest urban parks in the entire world, it offers something for everyone and provides enough space for everyone to enjoy themselves. The Point Reyes National Seashore is a great place for hikers and whale watchers to spend their day, as well as anyone else who would like to just explore the shoreline.

San Francisco Cable Cars

#5 San Francisco Bay Area Must See Attraction

San Francisco Bay Area Attraction - Cable Cars
San Francisco Bay Area Attraction - Cable Cars, Photo: 4PIZON, Flickr

A once in a lifetime experience awaits visitors to San Francisco when they hop aboard one of the vintage San Francisco cable cars. These cars are both a historic part of the city as well as the last permanently operated manually controlled cable car system in the world. No visit to the Bay Area is complete without a ride aboard one of San Francisco’s cable cars.

Professional Sports

#6 San Francisco Bay Area Must See Attraction

San Francisco Bay Area Attractions - 49ers Stadium
San Francisco Bay Area Attractions - 49ers Stadium, Photo: Latino Heeeeeat!, Flickr

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to a great professional sports watching opportunity. There are pro football teams (San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders), pro baseball teams (San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s), a pro basketball team (Golden State Warriors), and many minor league and semi-professional sports organizations as well.

Oakland Zoo

#7 San Francisco Bay Area Must See Attraction

San Francisco Bay Area Attractions - Oakland Zoo
San Francisco Bay Area Attractions - Oakland Zoo, Photo: Brave Heart, Flickr

One of the nicer urban zoos on the west coast, the Oakland Zoo is home to many different animals all housed in their natural habitat. There is also a nice little amusement park nearby that caters to children of all ages.

Chinatown

#8 San Francisco Bay Area Must See Attraction

San Francisco Bay Area Attraction - Chinatown
San Francisco Bay Area Attraction - Chinatown, Photo: Thomas Hawk, Flickr

The largest of all of the Chinatowns in North America, San Francisco’s Chinatown is home to more than 100,000 people and one of the more popular places in the city for people to visit. The area features many parks, restaurants, and shopping areas. Experience why more people visit San Francisco’s Chinatown than visit the world famous Golden Gate Bridge every year.

USS Potomac

#9 San Francisco Bay Area Must See Attraction

San Francisco Bay Area Attraction - USS Potomac
San Francisco Bay Area Attraction - USS Potomac, Photo: Chris J. Wood, Wikipedia

A rare opportunity to view and experience a piece of true history awaits the lucky visitor to the USS Potomac which is now a National Historic Landmark and anchored in San Francisco Bay at Oakland’s waterfront. The USS Potomac was the presidential yacht for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is one of only three remaining presidential yachts in existence and is not only available for tours but also takes occasional water bound trips into the bay itself.

Coyote Point Park And Museum

#10 San Francisco Bay Area Must See Attraction

San Francisco Bay Area Attraction - Coyote Point Park and Museum
San Francisco Bay Area Attraction - Coyote Point Park and Museum, Photo: Kglavin, Wikipedia

Located near San Mateo, Coyote Point Park contains great recreational opportunities for anyone interested in hiking, biking, or picnicking. The park is also home to the Coyote Point Museum for Environmental Education as well as the Coyote Point Marina. The museum details the local history of the area and also houses many actual animals native to California in displays that recreate their natural habitat.

The San Francisco Bay Area does indeed have something for everyone who would ever visit the area. It doesn’t matter if a traveler is interested in art galleries and museums, pro sporting events, water recreational opportunities, or more urban attractions and the possibility of shopping, the San Francisco Bay Area has something to satisfy every taste. From its historical significance to its modern day amenities, a visit to the Bay Area is a sure way to experience many things that one could not experience anywhere else. Very few people could visit the Bay Area and leave disappointed. It definitely deserves its ranking as one of the most popular destinations on the west coast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.