San Francisco downtown walking tour

The Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco CaliforniaWe visited San Francisco a few times and we loved it every time. This time however it was in December and it was raining hard and the San Francisco Bay was covered in thick fog. We ended up mostly driving around but we were still able to walk around Fisherman Wharf area and enjoy the sites. San Francisco is spectacular despite the rain. Read on to find out the main tourist attractions in downtown San Francisco.

How to get to downtown San Francisco

I like to take the 101 freeway north and pretty much get off where it ends in downtown San Francisco, meaning at Market Street. Then I take Market to the right going towards the bay all the way to The Embarcadero and then take a left and drive all the way to Pier 39. From then on I just like to walk around.

Map of downtown San Francisco tourist attractions.

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San Francisco, California main tourist attractions

  • See more pictures from the San Francisco, California
  • Visit the Pier 39 area.
  • Walk through China Town and eat some traditional Chinese food…not the Panda Express kind.
  • Go over the bay on the Golden Gate bridge and stop at the Vista point immediately to the right of Golden Gate bridge. The views from here are amazing.

Visit the Pier 39 area.

Pier 39 is the hub of the tourist attractions in downtown San Francisco. Everybody goes here because it’s just cool to walk around and look at the many attractions there. There is the boats, the sea lions the great view of the Golden Gate bridge and the many restaurants. There is just a lot to see and do around Pier 39.

San Francisco, California – Girardelli chocoloate factory at Fisherman’s Wharf next to Pier 39.
San Francisco, California - Girardelli chocoloate factory at Fisherman's Wharf.
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Walk through Chinatown

It’s kind of hard to describe where Chinatown is in San Francisco but if you go on Bush street you will go right through it. It’s a large area and you can pretty much ask anyone for directions and you’ll be able to find it. We love to just walk around Chinatown and see how people go about their daily business, we like to look at all the Chinese signs and advertisements and most of all we like to eat traditional Chinese food. Traditional Chinese food is not Panda Express but it’s very different.

San Francisco, California – The entrance to the famous Chinatown in downtown San Francisco.
San Francisco, California - The entrance to the famous Chinatown in downtown San Francisco.
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Go over the Golden Gate bridge and admire the panorama

Unfortunately on this trip we caught a lot of rain and San Francisco was hidden under a dense fog and dark clouds. However, on most days you can get an amazing glimpse of the downtown San Francisco skyline. It’s breathtaking. We also like to walk on the Golden Gate bridge a little bit and admire this great technological achievement.

San Francisco, California – The Golden Gate bridge seen from the bay vista point on a rainy evening.
San Francisco, California - The Golden Gate bridge seen from the bay vista point on a rainy evening.
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Tourist Verdict

We love San Francisco! But who doesn’t? There is so much to see and do in San Francisco, that is very hard to describe everything. I have only scratched the surface of the many tourist attractions in downtown San Francisco. Have you visited this magnificent city? What do you think?

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