One of the first things I had to do when I started working in the travel industry was to learn my airport codes. You know, those three-letter IATA identifiers, LHR for London Heathrow, SFO for San Francisco – you get the idea. There are some really cool codes like HIP which belongs to Headingly Airport in Australia and BOO for Norway’s Bodo Airport – luckily I only needed to learn the mains codes because there’s hundreds of them ranging from Aberdeen to Zurich.
San Francisco packs a huge amount of sights into a small, compact area. The city is only seven miles by seven miles but that’s not to say it’s an easy walk because it’s built on a staggering 43 hills. And stagger you will after hiking some of those steps and steep inclines! I’ve visited the city three times in the last few years, twice in sparkling sunshine in January and February and again last month, at the start of our road trip, when the city was fabulously foggy. It was fascinating to see the city take on a misty persona.
There are certain things every visitor to the city should see and do; get up close to The Golden Gate Bridge, check out the best views, take a boat across the bay to visit ‘The Rock’ home of Alcatraz. You’ll want to trundle up the city’s hills on an iconic cable car for both the experience and the views. And that’s just for starters. There are also some fun and unusual activities if you’re looking for something a little off-beat. Here are my tips on what to see and do in San Francisco, the ‘City by the Bay’ for the first time visitor.
Spiking the San Francisco skyline and perched on top of Telegraph Hill is an odd-looking concrete tower. The Coit Tower. Shaped like the nozzle of a fire hose, the column stands at 210 ft and can be seen from many parts of the city. Head up to the top of the tower in its Art Deco elevator and you’ll get to take in the 360 degree views. Famous San Francisco landmarks like Alcatraz, Lombard Street and the Golden Gate Bridge can be spotted from its windows. On the ground floor are a series of colourful 1930s murals depicting detailed aspects of San Francisco working life at the time. (more…)
Think San Francisco and you’ll picture the city’s most famous landmark The Golden Gate Bridge. ‘The bridge that couldn’t be built’ stretches majestically across the Strait of The Golden Gate which links San Francisco Bay with Marin County. So what’s the best way to see the Golden Gate Bridge? Why not try biking it…