ROL Cruise recommends...
1. Catch the ferry to Alcatraz Island
First a pelican nesting ground, then a nineteenth century military fortress, Alcatraz Island is best known for being a maximum-security prison during the years 1934 -1963. Catch the ferry to the Island to step inside eerie cells that were once occupied by notorious American criminals such as Al 'Scarface' Capone, Julius Rosenberg and Ethel Rosenberg. Night tours are available – if you’re brave enough!
2. Look up Lombard Street
Adorned with flowers and pretty Victorian houses, Lombard Street is San Francisco’s famous crooked road. Take one of the city’s cable cars to the top and walk down the road’s winding stairway, capturing stunning photos of the view up the hill as you go. Keep a look out for number 900, which was used for filming the exterior scenes of Scottie's apartment in the 1958 Alfred Hitchcock thriller Vertigo.
3. Cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge
The electric orange Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most beautiful and photographed bridges in the world. Rent a bike to cycle across this engineering marvel or walk it if you fancy a slower pace (the walk takes approximately 45-60 minutes). Featuring pretty windmills, a Japanese Tea Garden, Stow Lake and inhabited by wild bison, The Golden Gate Park is also worth exploring.
4. Explore the neighbourhoods
San Francisco has a diverse range of neighbourhoods worth exploring, each packed with their own style of restaurants and markets. Head to the largest Chinatown outside of Asia to sample new ingredients you’ve never come across before, or spend an afternoon exploring Haight-Ashbury – think colourful houses, funky cafés and shops filled with sixties throwbacks.
5. See the sea lions
Visit San Francisco’s Pier 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf to see the famous sea lions that camp out there. Endearingly called the Pier’s ‘Sea Lebrities’, the 900 or so pinnipeds lie on the wooden docks that were originally intended for docking boats. While you’re exploring this waterfront area, you can also enjoy entertainment from the various street performers and visit the Aquarium of the Bay. Need a bite to eat? Grab some chowder in a sourdough bowl from one the area’s many eateries.