San Francisco is considered one of the greatest cities in the world for many reasons such as its five-star dining, a renowned theater scene, and gay and lesbian culture. However, take a short trip beyond the fifty-square-mile city and you'll find many gems in the surrounding Bay Area. There is so much more to explore, including Silicon Valley’s innovations, Marin’s Headlands, the Napa Valley’s vineyards and Berkeley’s free spirit. One you get to its you'll wonder where to start!
Here are a few options to get you started;
Take a drive to the Golden Gate Bridge
Not only is it one of the city's most enjoyable things to do, but it's also one of the most-photographed sights in the world. The iconic, photogenic bridge is synonymous with the city it's in. You can look at the Golden Gate Bridge from all over town. Some stalk it like a paparazzi trailing a film star, trying to photograph it from all angles. Others drive across, bike over it or just take a walk on it - the best way to get a real feel for its size, especially when you see how small those big ships look when you're right above them at mid-span. Tip: You will need a car hire for this one!
Enjoy a world class meal
San Francisco enjoys a reputation as one of America's greatest cities for fine dining, boasting a dozen Michelin star-rated restaurants within its city limits in 2011. San Francisco chefs draw on a tradition of innovation and emphasis on fresh, local cuisine and their proximity to some of the country's most bountiful agricultural areas gives them plenty to work with.
Just 8 short blocks long and scarcely 3 blocks wide, San Francisco's Chinatown is one of the largest outside China. The style is what early 20th Century Western architects thought Chinese buildings should look like - and much is created just for the tourist.
Tip: This iconic area can be fun, but it takes a little work to get off the well-beaten tourist track. Please be aware that it's often very crowded, forcing visitors to shuffle down the street shoulder-to-shoulder.
Take a drive to Golden Gate Park
Three miles long by a half mile wide and larger than New York City's Central Park, Golden Gate Park is the city's largest outdoor spot. If you go, you can see Dutch windmills, a buffalo herd, remote-controlled boats, museums and gardens - and plenty of places to play or have a picnic.
Yes there is a great deal to see and do in San Francisco. Most of which a rental car will be essential. A weeks pre-paid car hire will work out a lot more cost effective that public transport as well as having the added luxury of being the master of your own time table.
Car hire is available in San Francisco from popular places like Union Square and O'Farrell Street as well as from San Francisco International Airport.