The city of San Francisco has a long and storied past. As the History Channel noted, it was founded as a Spanish mission, which was then controlled by Mexico. In 1846, the town became part of the U.S. And with the discovery of gold in the hills, San Francisco was soon the place to be. Surviving earthquakes and fires, the city grew to become the home of countercultures and civil rights movements. Today, San Francisco and the surrounding valley is the technology capital of the world. If you haven't yet visited The City by the Bay, now's the time to grab some tickets to San Francisco.
1. The Golden Gate Bridge
If there's any sight that's instantly recognizable as classic San Francisco, it's the Golden Gate Bridge. At nearly 80 years old, the bridge is one of the most iconic works of engineering in the country. Besides taking a trip over the bridge, check out the bridge plaza where you can snap a photo and upload it to Instagram for the world to see. Don't forget to use #FareBuzz! Besides the great view, the visitor's center has its own cafe, and there are a few more vista points along the nearby hiking trails.
2. Cable Cars
Riding a colorful cable car as it ascends a steep hill is another experience you can only have in San Francisco. With the original system dating back to the late 19th century, the city's refurbished cable cars are members of a rare breed. Other cable car systems in the U.S. disappeared with the advent of automobiles. This unique mode of transportation is just one way that San Francisco stands out from other cities in the country.
3. Alcatraz Island
Home to one of the formerly most notorious prisons on the planet, Alcatraz is another place that's unlike any other in the world. Now a national park, the island has a history that rivals that of the city. Founded as a military fort in 1850, the island served as a defense point through the Civil War and into the 20th century. Then, from 1934 to 1963, the island was home to perhaps the most famous U.S. penitentiary. Now, visitors can explore the dungeons and hidden passages that were made famous by films such as "Escape from Alcatraz" and "The Rock."
4. Fisherman's Wharf
Opened in 1946, the wharf was built on rubble from the great earthquake of 1909. It has served the city as a fishing port and contains six of the 49 sites along the famous 49-Mile Scenic Drive. When visiting, you should check out Pier 39, home to the Aquarium of the Bay. Afterwards, enjoy some fresh-caught seafood at one of the many local restaurants.
Many cities across the U.S. have vibrant Chinese communities, but none are equal to the one located in San Francisco. In fact, it's the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. The area has been home to Asian immigrants for as long as the city has been a part of the U.S. In addition to the amazing dim sum restaurants, Chinatown has beautiful buildings such as the Bank of Canton and the Sing Chong Building. You'll feel like you stepped into a whole new world.
San Francisco might home to modern technology companies like Tesla and Google today, but it's rich history and culture are what makes it such an amazing place to visit. Grab some cheap tickets to San Francisco today and start planning your trip through some of America's most interesting locations.