During a recent trip to San Francisco, I spent the afternoon walking around the city to tick off the must see sights – Alcatraz, Lombard Street, China Town and a cable car ride. San Francisco is quite a good city to walk around, albeit a little steep in places! The starting point for my afternoon out was the Grand Hyatt – suitably placed next to Union Square and the turning point for the Power/Hyde cable car route.
If you don’t want to queue up at the turn-around point at the corner of Powell and Market then walk up Powell to one of the other stops. Not only do you avoid the queue, but you also get to stand on the side ramp for the trip up the hill!
Juping off at Hyde and Lombard St, you get to walk down the very steep and winding Lombard St (Not the steepest in San Francisco – try out Filbert Street!). Once you make your way past the crowd of tourists, head down Leavenworth St to the waterfront and follow it around to Fisherman’s Wharf. Of all the places to see in San Francisco, this has to be the worst – over commercialised, full of tourist shops selling absolute crap. Quickly skip past and head the Pier 33 – boarding point for the Alcatraz tour. WARNING : you need to book ahead to guarantee a place on one of the tours as they sell out fast! You can book online at Alcatraz Cruises.
Once on the Island, head straight up to the Cellhouse for the audio tour. The audio tour uses the voices of both guards and inmates to give you an immersive insight into life on the rock. That’s all I’m going to say about Alcatraz – you’ve got to go and experience it for yourself!
Once back from the island, head back into town. You can stop off at Coit Tower for some amazing views of San Francisco or, if you don’t fancy the walk up, head towards china town. If you’re hungry from the walking, try Sam’s Pizza and Burgers for some quality fast food (618 Broadway).
The final stretch takes you back down through China Town. Take in the sights, sounds and smells (some good, some very bad) and even buy some fortune cookies from the self titled “Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory”.
Once you’ve finished with China Town, head to a bar as your legs will probably be killing you by now!