San Francisco Car Rental
Behold the beautiful, golden city of San Francisco.
Your first priority should be the Golden Gate Bridge (left), it doesn't matter how you visit, but make sure you do. You can walk, cycle or drive across, sail or paddle under it or perhaps take a hillside rest, basking in its red glory. Walking across is free and there are also some telescopes for an up close view.
Make your way to Fisherman's Wharf (a famous tourist trap) where you can put down a bowl of steaming clam chowder (apparently this is a very important thing to do). And since you're already there, visit the Sea Lions at Pier 39, they're everywhere! The Wharf is also the ferry departure dock for river cruises and the Alcatraz boats.
Next up is the infamous Alcatraz Prison, the old jail site for the worst type of felons, alternatively called ‘The Rock'. This prison incarcerated gangsters like (‘Scarface') Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly and was quoted as being inescapable. That is, until someone escaped…
Official FOIA FBI Synopsis of file:
On the morning of June 12, 1962, guards at Alcatraz Prison discovered dummy faces in the bunks of Frank Lee Morris, John William Anglin, and Clarence Anglin. The three prisoners had escaped using a makeshift raft fashioned from rubber raincoats. Although an exhaustive investigation was conducted by the FBI, no evidence was located that they ever reached the shore and they are presumed dead.
You can do the tour which lets you wander the halls and decks of Alcatraz (right), and towards the end of the tour they lock you in a cell as if you were a real prisoner. You'll need to book this in advance, obviously because everyone else wants to see it just as much as you do, and the tour fee is included in your admission price.
At your own pace
For less criminal tourist activity, take a stroll past the San Francisco Painted Ladies (below), six Victorian houses lined up on a quaint suburban street, with a to die for cityscape view in the background. Look familiar? Yep, these houses were featured in the credits of the ‘Full House' sitcom back in the day, with those Olsen twins.
And if you're still journeying, hop on one of San Fran's old trams. It can take you to any one of San Francisco's smaller districts, like the gay and lesbian friendly Castro district (well, it is San Fran, home of the largest gay population in the world). Check out the family friendly Sunset neighborhood, Russian Hill for charm, Marina for something a bit more swish and upscale, but Pacific Heights for the exclusivity. Above all, don't miss exotic China Town and ‘Dragon's Gate'.
While you're in the suburbs, check out the most winding street in the USA. Lombard Street on Russian Hill travels downhill, though mostly just sideways. Look at the picture (left) and you'll see what I mean. You might as well try it, just for kicks.
Finally, make your way up to Twin Peaks, the best 360 degree view of San Francisco. Here you can figure out what's where, and how all the districts and sights fit into the cityscape. Twin Peak's elevation stands at 922 feet is mostly known for its viewpoint, but also holds the city's water supply.
To get around properly amongst all San Fran's sites, you're going to need a better way to get around than those old trams. Here we have the best prices for a rental car in San Francisco, listing only the best suppliers and the best prices all in one place.
By Leah Bradicich
Have a look at our car rental San Francisco deals