what to do when you visit San Francisco

Victorian houses in San Francisco (c) 2019 by David Ourisman, all rights reserved

One of my clients will be visiting San Francisco, so she asked for ideas on what to do on her free days. I wrote an email with links, and I'm repurposing that content here for my readers on Travel Horizons.

Alcatraz Island is a really worthwhile visit. You must get tickets in advance; spots on the ferry out to the island always sell out. The cell house audio tour is the highlight of your visit. You put on headphones and listen to a very well done, pre-recorded tour through the old federal prison.

San Francisco City Guides offers dozens of complimentary walking tours of the city. The program is sponsored by the San Francisco Public Library, and your hotel tax helps support this program. You will learn a lot about the history of the city — the Gold Rush, fires, and earthquakes — and get to know the neighborhood of your choice. See their entire set of offerings here, but I especially recommend the tour called Omni Hotel Walk. Happening on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m., it's marketed especially to Omni guests (but open to everyone), so you'll tend to be in a much smaller group.

SFMOMA, otherwise known as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, this very fine and newly expanded contemporary art museum is located right next to the St. Regis San Francisco.

de Young Museum, another very fine museum located in Golden Gate Park, has a diverse set of permanent exhibits encompassing art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas ... and usually a special exhibition as well. General Admission tickets also get you into the Legion of Honor museum the same day.

Golden Gate Park is the green heart of the Sunset neighborhood. Stretching out to the Pacific Coast, enjoy a stroll through Golden Gate Park after your visit to the de Young. The park offers a number of other attractions including the Golden Gate Park Aquarium, the Japanese Tea Garden, and the California Academy of Sciences. Or just bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the sun — or fog....

copyright (c) 2019 by Ourisman Travel LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso® Member. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

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