48 Hours San Francisco Style…

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San Francisco is one of the most stunning and divine cities on the Western Coast of the United States. It is described as the leading financial and cultural center of Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. The city is merely 6 miles wide and thus, there is a lot that an adventurous (and energy-bearing) traveller can take in in a short time.

Aside from the many fantastic museum exhibits, here are 5 must-do activities in the Bay city: 1. Alcatraz Island & Fisherman's Wharf On Beach Street at Pier 33, you can take roughly a 2.5 hr island tour to Alcatraz Island. The $28 tour through Alcatraz Cruises includes an excellent audio walkthrough of the entire notorious prison which housed infamous inmates like Al "Scarface" Capone, and the "Birdman" Robert Stroud. The gift shop there is also filled with tons of great Alcatraz related souveneirs including  actual ex-prison gear and books about the it's 29 year lifespan.
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Aerial shot of Alcatraz Island, San Francisco.

After returning to the pier, one can browse the action at neighboring Pier 39. Pier 39 offers several waterfront attractions including dining, shopping, live entertainment and even sea lions!
Basking seals at Pier 39, San Francisco.

Basking seals at Pier 39, San Francisco.

2. Bike the Golden Gate bridge to Sausalito At 10am daily, take a beautiful 9-mile bike ride on the Bay Trail over the Golden Gate bridge to Sausalito with a return trip to San Francisco by ferry boat. Along the way, you'll see Fisherman's Wharf, Aquatic Park, Ghiradelli Square, Fort Mason, Alcatraz and the Palace of the Fine Arts. An experienced tour guide will share fun and interesting information about each of these sights. Check www.bikethegoldengate.com for more details. 3. Trinket Shopping in Chinatown & Japantown
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Vibrant Chinatown, San Francisco.

The bustling midday is the best time to visit Chinatown. You could say that Chinatown is a city within a city. It boasts a large, dense Asian population and is the second largest Chinese community in the US (after the one in New York.) What you will see is many colorful facades, streetlamps, temples, restaurants and hundreds of shops that look like huge "99-cent stores". The trinkets in these many stores are pretty cool finds.
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Cherry Blossoms in Japantown, San Francisco.

Unlike the feverish buzz of Chinatown, the Japantown is peaceful & rather tranquil. Japantown in San Francisco is the largest and oldest Japanese district in the United States. Its main street is Post Street and it covers 6 blocks. This area includes the Peace Plaza, the Peace Pagoda and The Japan Center - a building full of restaurants and Japanese shops. 4. Dine in Little Italy

Located not too far off from Chinatown, Little Italy is a charming district in San Francisco. The area is teeming with dozens of Italian restaurants, cafes and ice cream shops. The colorful buildings here are different from the rest of the city and in some cases are decorated with impressive paintings. Caffe DeLucchi is a fantastic spot to catch some delicious brunch.

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Caffe DeLucchi in Little Italy, San Francisco.

Also, nearby you will find Saints Peter and Paul church, largely known as the place where Marilyn Monroe wed baseballer Joe DiMaggio.

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Saints Peter and Paul church in the foreground. San Francisco.

5. Sightseeing from Telegraph Hill's Coit Tower The 210 ft tall Coit tower atop of Telegraph Hill is a monument dedicated to the San Francisco firemen built by a wealthy socialite who appreciated their brave services in the city. The tower's interior is decorated with large colorful murals. For $7, you can climb to the top of the Coit tower where there is an observation platform with spectacular 360° views over San Francisco!  
Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill at twilight, San Francisco. California, USA

Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill at twilight, San Francisco. California, USA

Of course there is tons more to experience in this diverse and scenic city... across a local cable car of course! It might very well be worth it to purchase a city pass to maximize your adventure. Enjoy!  
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