Are you planning a trip to San Francisco, then this free self guided walking tour full day is for you ! If you are coming from the Silicon Valley, then you can reach San Francisco through the Caltrain San Francisco Station (you will be in the south east part of San Francisco). By the way, there is a grocery Safeway shop if you need something to buy before starting to discover the beauty of San Francisco. Two blocks from the station (on the right, between 3rd street and King Street) there is the AT&T Park Baseball Stadium for Giants team (which is the San Francisco Team). I have been there once for Giants game and the location of the AT&T Park is unique and really beautiful. It is basically on the Pier 42 (Giants Promenade), you will have the feeling of watching a baseball game on a giant boat :). It is really worth watching one game there (make sure to know the baseball rules before going there ;) )
To go to “the real” San Francisco (what we usually see in movies) from the Caltrain station, you can follow 4th Street and heading northwest (I think you can also take the bus). After around 15 minutes walking, you will start to notice the beauty of San Francisco, first interesting point you will see, will be the Moscone Center. This is the place where Google IO Developer conference and Apple World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) are held every year, (this place will be familar to you if you are used to follow those conferences on the internet). I was very lucky to be at the Google IO 2009 and which was really cool.
Then on the right of the Moscone Center there is Yerba Buena Garden Park, it is basically a big green open area between all these skyscrapers. It is really nice and you can take some nice pictures over there. I remember I visited this park when they celebrated the theatre day there and they invited the actress Natalie Daradich from the famous Wicked Broadway show and she performed the song Popular (that was awesome).
Now, take again the 4th Street and heading northwest for couple minutes to reach the end of this avenue. once you arrive there (it is when you see the Big Apple Store sign) then you can say to yourself welcome to the shopping places of san Francisco, you will find Westfield San Francisco shopping Center (One of the biggest shopping center in San Francisco), Nike, Levis, Macy’s, Bloomingdale, H&M and even a Ferreari Shop. (Well ! that explains why the street where you are now is called Market Street ;) )
Let’s assume that you are not there for shopping (which is usually not the case) and you would like to continue your tour in San Francisco. Then continue north (the direction where there is Apple Store on your left, Ferrari shop will be on your right), after two blocks you will reach Union Square Park, a nice open space in the middle of the city. The Union Square park is one of the most famous place in San Francisco, and actually many great hotels are there (Hilton 2 blocks away, Mariott 1 block away ).
After a rest and photo session in Union Square Park, now it is the time to go to ChinaTown, take your map an look for the intersection betwen Grant Avenue and Bush Street (2 blocks from the Union Square park), You will see there a Chinese entrance gate. This is where ChinaTown is located. You will find there chinese style building, restaurent and mini shops. While walking in ChinaTown, you will probably see the Cable Car also. It is good to try it out and feel the real San Francisco experience ;). One you have finished with Chinatown, you can head to the Bay Bridge that links San Francisco city to Oakland city and get some nice pictures. look for the intersection Embarcadero street and Market street (it is around 8 blocks from China town to the right), there you will find Justin Herman Plaza, Harry Bridges plaza and Ferry Plaza. Walking there is nice, you wil have a good view over the bay bridge. At the Ferry Plaza, there is a local market, you can also take a ferry to go somewhere else (Angel Island for instance). After a quick photos break. get yourself ready to go to the Pier 41, last stop before lunch ;). Follow The Embarcadero avenue (heading north) for about 20 minutes until you reach Pier 41 (when walking you will have the Pacific on your right and palms and skyscrapers on you left, you will also see some beautiful Tulip flowers at the end). The Pier 41 is a very nice place with stylish wood design. It has many restaurants, I recommend to have your launch there. You can also get the famous ferry trip to Alcatraz Island (one of the most visited place in San Francisco). Now that you get your energy back, just continue your path to reach the Fishermann’s Wharf, another nice place in San Francisco, you have souvenir shops all the way. It is always fun to walk there.
If you are tired you can take the bus to go to the famous Golden Gate Bridge, but it you still have energy for walking then you can reach Exploratorium, the Museum of science, art and human perception (in Lyon Street) a very nice place where you can take many beautiful pictures there, (I have visited this place the last day after 6 months in the Silicon Valley, I was lucky that I didn’t miss it) to reach this place you will need to follow the coast (Marina Boulevard) until you reach Lyon Street/Baker Street, you cannot miss the Exploratium building (unique spherical shape), walking in the Marina Boulevard is also nice, you will have a view over the Golden Gate on your right and San Francisco house style design on your left, you will like it ;). Once you are in front of the Exploratium. you would feel like you are in Rome, Greece or Carthage (Tunisia), you will need about 40 minutes to reach this place from the Fishermann’s Wharf.
After a photos session break (Save some battery and space in your camera for the last and most visited place in San Francisco), last stop will be the Golden Gate Bridge, we will reach the Golden Gate directly from the Beach. Since Golden Gate is now in front of you you can just go there by yourself without my direction. Usually it is always foggy in the top around the Golden Gate, if you are lucky you can have a full view of this fabulous bridge without fog. I guess now you are pretty tired and you may consider taking a bus to get back to the City. Other options would be to go from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Golden Gate Bridge with the Bus and then you go from the Golden Gate to the Exploratium walking.
Enjoy your free self guided walking tours in the great San Francisco !!!!
San Francisco California HD Photos – Wallpapers