According to Electronicsmatter, San Francisco is a city many of us have never been to, yet seem to know inside out: San Francisco. You’ll instantly recognize iconic locations such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Warf and Alcatraz Prison Island, as well as the signature cable cars. Of course we have television to thank for this: the movie Bullit with Steve McQueen and one of the best chase sequences in movie history, or the action movie The Rock with Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage in which Alcatraz is hijacked.
During a visit to San Francisco, those TV images become a bit more real. It’s like being the protagonist in an outdoor movie studio. If you want to experience a real Californian atmosphere with bits of the movie world in the background, rent a car in San Francisco and drive to Interstate 280. It’s an ideal route for a short one-hour road trip that takes you between San Francisco and San Jose nice cities and beautiful landscapes. But don’t let it all rush past you, also take the time for stopovers at a number of world-famous spots.
Destination: Golden Gate City
Steep hills, crisp summers and mysterious fog: San Francisco remains one of the most popular cities in the world. This fourth city in California is located on the west coast on the San Francisco Peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay. The city is built on 43 hills and with the variety of sights you will find here, you will discover something new every day. We’ve taken a closer look at some of the most loved attractions and we’re happy to share them with you:
Golden Gate Bridge
It was once called ‘the bridge that could never be built’, but it still looks beautiful: the Golden Gate Bridge. It is probably San Francisco’s most famous landmark and is one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World. After four years, the battle against relentless winds, fog, rocks and treacherous tides was finally won: in 1937 the suspension bridge was built. Now you can walk the 1.7 miles from San Francisco to Marin County on sidewalks. From Marin Country, take great photos of the bridge and city. If you drive over the bridge in your rental car, take the time to drive the 7 minutes to Golden Gate Park. This is one of the largest urban parks in the world where you can visit 2 major museums such as The Young Museum where you can admire American art. But the botanical gardens and the Conservatory of Flowers are also impressive,
Pier 39 & Fisherman’s Wharf
Pier 39 is the city’s most visited family attraction, and for good reason: it’s on San Francisco’s waterfront and offers unparalleled views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island and the world-famous skyline. The special thing about the pier are the many sea lions that can be seen in the harbor, but you will also see many tourist shops here. And while you have an extensive choice of restaurants, the Hard Rock Café remains a favourite. The children will enjoy themselves at the various fairground attractions. If you are looking for a cozy place with a relaxed atmosphere, this is the place to be. Moreover, the ferry to Alcatraz leaves not far from here.
You can easily reach Pier 39 by rental car and you can also park in the Pier 39 Garage. The pier is on the edge of the Fisherman’s Warf neighborhood. Next to Pier 39, you can pick up fresh produce at the Ferry Building market, watch colorful fishing boats in the harbor and enjoy seafood such as the Clam Chowder. Hyde Street Pier has a large collection of historic ships and the USS Pampanito, a submarine used during World War II, is also open to visitors. In the aquarium, you can walk through glass tunnels and admire sharks, rays and other marine life.
It was the Titanic of prisons, but without all the luxury. Instead of it having to be unsinkable, it was unthinkable that the serious criminals could escape from the prison island of Alcatraz. It is not known whether the three prisoners who did manage to survive the swim. You can now visit the island that served as a prison for criminals such as Al Capone and George ‘Machine Gun’ Kelly from 1934 to 1963. It is located almost 2 km from San Francisco and here you will get a tour of the cells to see where the inmates lived. A nice extra here is the interesting audio tour where both prisoners and guards give a glimpse into their life on the island.
You will notice: for an unforgettable road trip in America you do not have to cover long kilometers. Stay close to San Francisco and you’ll have a good time all day long.