San Francisco Weekend Breaks

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Weekend Breaks to San Francisco

Planning a short break to San Francisco? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in San Francisco. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to San Francisco. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.

Golden Gate Bridge

linking San Francisco and Marin County, this bridge endures 100 000 cars per day. It is over a mile long and was built to withstand winds of more than 100 miles per hour by swinging nearly 27 feet in its center. To view the bridge, the easiest viewpoint is from the waterfront near Fisherman's Wharf. Walking across it and back will take about an hour, but bear in mind, the wind can be very cold.

Chinatown

to reach Chinatown, catch bus number 45 from Market and 3rd Sts. down. Enter from Dragon's Gate (the south enterance) into Grant Avenue which is the main tourist attraction. With dragon lampposts and up-turned roofs you can find shops selling everything from kites to cooking utensils. Pop in at The Fortune Cookie Factory or see the fine Cantonese wood carvings on Kong Chow Temple. You can catch the cable cars that run down two sides of Chinatown and just explore this fascinating area.

Fisherman's Wharf

noted for it's shops, restaurants and museums, you can spend many hours exploring this "neck of the woods". Museums of interest include The Museum of the City of San Francisco, the Treasure Island Museum and Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum. The Underwater World (Tel - 415/623-5300) is a massive aquarium holding 700 000 gallons of water. Visitors can take the tour through the 300 foot long transparent tunnel filled with sharks, rays and thousands of fish.

Alcatraz Island

Once a maximum security Federal Penitentiary, now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The ferry will take you to the island, landing at the only pier that serves the steep-sided island. Starting from the Visitors' Centre, you can view the cell blocks, the exercise yard as well as other parts of the island. Details for schedules for the ferry you can call the dock office at 415/705-1042.

Lombard Street

descending the east side of Russian Hill and originally too steep for cars to travel on, banked at a natural incline of 27 degrees. During the 1920s a section of it was revamped by adding 8 curves. Today it is known as "the crookedest street in the world". Cars can travel downhill at a speed of only 8km/h, while pedestrials use the steps. The beautifully manicured hedges and flowers make it a pleasant walk, while the view from the summit is spectacular.

Nob Hill

this is the highest summit of the city, rising 103 meters above the bay and from where you will find spectacular views of the city. It is noted as the most elite district in San Francisco. Just to the north is Russian Hill, originally a burial ground for Russian seal hunters, now another suburb for the upper crust. The Cable Car Museum is on your way from Nob Hill to Russian Hill and depicts the cable car's 121 year history. From the overlook you can see the cables that haul the cars up and down the city's hills.

Lafayette Park

one of the city's prettiest hilltop gardens, this park is a leafy green haven of pine and eucalyptus tress. Previously a used by squatters, there are still some houses standing dating back to 1936 that were originally built by squatters. From California Street, right into Octavia Street to reach the park.

Golden Gate Park

one of the world's largest urban parks, it houses 3 museums, a range of sports facilities, 1000 acres of plant life, open-air performances and even a heard of bison. You can hire bikes and skates from Park Cyclery on 1749 Waller Street, at Stanyan Street - Telephone 514/752 8383. From wooded areas and tiny gardens to Land's End, the wildest region with scenes of many shipwrecks this park is one of a kind.

California Academy of Sciences

Situated in Golden Gate Park, between the Aquarium and the Shakespeare Garden, it holds the the Morrison Planetarium, Steinhart Aquarium, a gem and mineral hall. You can experience the power and movement of great earth tremors, and has an African Hall with realistic models of animals from Africa's jungles.

Aqua Restaurant

Savor the sea one of San Francisco's top ten restaurants. For an excellent experience in seafood you will need to reserve ahead of time.

With a four star rating you can book on line at www.key2sanfrancisco.com/products/524.html

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