9. Celebrate Chinese New Year in Chinatown
Notable as the oldest Chinatown on the North American continent, San Francisco’s Chinatown is a must-visit attraction and one of the city’s most iconic and vibrant neighbourhoods. If you’re in town around Chinese New Year, make sure to take in the Chinese New Year Festival and Parade, undoubtedly one of the world’s biggest and best celebrations of the season.
10. Get some beach time in
Though the Pacific waters that surround the city and bay area are generally a bit too cold for swimming, there’s still more than enough reason to make it a mission to get to one of San Francisco’s best beaches.
For epic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands, head to Baker Beach (below); for a family-friendly excursion, China Beach is a great option; and for a somewhat more secluded beach experience, try Lands End, which provides dramatic scenery and ideal Instagram opportunities.
11. Get inspired at Grace Cathedral
Whether you’re religious or not, you won’t regret visiting the awe-inspiring Grace Cathedral (below) situated in the city’s Nob Hill district.
Famed for its magnificent mosaics and stained glass windows, the cathedral also contains a well-known labyrinth that was based on the famous French medieval labyrinth at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres.
Taking some time to visit the cathedral and slowly tracing the labyrinth with your steps provides a soul-enriching meditative practice that can help encourage calmness and foster a genuine sense of wellbeing.
12. Visit the San Francisco City Hall
City Hall (below) is an imposing structure that may not make most tourists’ San Fran bucket list. That being said, however, there is certainly sufficient reasons to warrant a visit to this remarkable piece of architecture.
Some of the things within the San Francisco City Hall that are bound to impress include the basement art gallery, a glorious marble staircase and an array of beautiful sculptures and statues. You can even enjoy free walking tours of what’s often referred to as San Francisco’s most beautiful building.
13. Marvel at the city views
A city that’s perched atop such hilly terrain will definitely boast some viewpoints that furnish travellers with incredible panoramic views of the city skyline and the famous bay that surrounds it. The top spots to take in a gorgeous San Fran view would include Twin Peaks, Bernal Heights Alamo Square and Coit Tower (below).
– TEXT BY SAUL LIPCHIK
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This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.