San Francisco is a city brimming with art, culture, and spectacular scenery. To get the most out of your San Francisco cruise, you will no doubt want to explore this vibrant city. Save precious time and make your stop in San Francisco meaningful by visiting these top-rated sights and attractions:
Once upon a time it was the first lighthouse to be lighted on the West Coast, and later, it was a fortress, but Alcatraz is best known for having been a federal penitentiary. Some of the most notorious criminals of the twentieth century were held there between 1934 and 1963. On an excursion to Alcatraz, you can take a self-guided audio tour of the jail and see where the prisoners once lived.
Golden Gate Bridge
The iconic Golden Gate Bridge is one sight you cannot miss on your San Francisco cruise. Completed in 1937, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time, connecting the city to Marin County. The sidewalks are open to pedestrians, allowing them to walk its 1.7 mile length for views of the bay and the city.
Golden Gate Park
Covering more than 1,000 acres, Golden Gate Park is one of the largest urban parks in the world. This San Francisco point of interest is ideal for outdoorsy, active people. It boasts miles of paths to explore and ample space to relax with a picnic or practice sports. It is also home to museums, botanical gardens, the Japanese Tea Garden, an aquarium and lots more.
Pier 39 may be the best destination to pack in as many San Francisco sightseeing activities into the day as possible. A 45-acre entertainment complex built on two levels, this is a great point of interest for everything from feasting on cioppino and fine Californian wines to gazing out over the bay. You can listen to live music acts, go shopping, and even watching the famous sea lions at the end of the wharf — and all only a stone's throw from your Princess ship's pier.
If you want to see more of the city at your own pace, the Hop On Hop Off Bus is a great way to do so. It stops at 20 of San Francisco's top sightseeing destinations, so visitors can choose whether to get off and explore, or stay on and continue with the narrated tour. The itinerary includes Washington Square, a historic park; North Beach, the city's own Little Italy; Union Square, a hub of art and culture; and Golden Gate Park.
If you choose to venture beyond the city limits, consider visiting Sausalito. Located across the Golden Gate Bridge, it's a scenic little town to stroll around, with numerous excellent restaurants and a whole host of arts and crafts stores, boutiques, and art galleries to visit.
Whether your cruise is from Los Angeles on the way to Alaska or on a Panama Canal cruise, take full advantage of your chance to do some San Francisco sightseeing.