Top 10 Free Things to do in San Francisco

Extras — By on April 19, 2012 at 11:09 am

By Connie K. Ho
Special to Lost Girls 

Startup culture. Harvey Milk. These are just a few things that come to mind when you talk about iconic things from San Francisco. San Francisco is a bustling city that has much to offer visitors. Check out a few of the fun, free things that are available.

Cross the Golden Gate Bridge on foot

Rain or shine, the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the must see sights of San Francisco. The bridge is 1.7 miles long, giving you a view of the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Make sure to wear layered clothing and comfortable shoes.


Walk through Castro Street

The country’s first and largest gay neighborhood, Castro Street has a number of events and activities that celebrate the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community. It has a fun and lively atmosphere that is emboldened by the history of the LGBT movement. Notable attractions in Castro include the Castro Theatre, a movie palace built in the 1920.

Amble by Fisherman’s Wharf

With an eclectic mix of shops and sights, Fisherman’s Wharf is the epitome of San Francisco life. Sample a cup of clam chowder, visit the penny arcade, or watch the seals sunbathe on the docks. On a side note, watch out for the “bushman,” a mainstay at the wharf who dresses in a green costume, resembles

a shrub, and likes to scare people as they walk past.

Go window shopping in Union Square

Castro Street San Francisco

For those who love window shopping, there’s a dozen of places to visit in San Francisco’s Union Square. Things to check out include the Macy’s flagship store and a heart-shaped sculpture. Also, a few movies have been filmed at this location, including Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo and the opening scene of The Birds.

Find architectural gems in Haight Ashbury

Haight Ashbury will have you buzzing with peace and love. The borough is the heart of bohemian culture with local shops as well as independent bars and restaurants. Be sure to visit the Red Victorian Hotel, a living peace museum and bed-n-breakfast, as well as a slew of restored Victorian houses.

Visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

If you find yourself in San Francisco on the first Tuesday of the month, make your way to the Museum of Modern Art. The museum has a wide range of art from respected as well as up and coming artists. The 27,000 pieces of artwork, photographs, and design projects will open your eyes to new styles and ideas.

Stop by the Oakland Museum of California

Like SFMOMA, the Oakland Museum of California has its share of free visit days. Check out the archives for free the first Sunday of every month. The collection of art, history, and natural science work to tell the stories of California and you’re guaranteed to leave the place learning something new.

Check out Lombard Street

San Francisco is known for its windy streets and Lombard Street is no exception. Sitting atop a hill, Lombard Street is a crooked street that snakes between two rows of homes. Feel free to take a walk down the street to see it for yourself.

Sate your sweet tooth at Ghirardelli Square

Located close to Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square is the center of the famous Ghirardelli Chocolate. A whiff of chocolate will pique your interest. It is also listed on the national register of historic place.

Take a hike to Telegraph Hill

Save the best for last with a trek up the steep stairs adjacent to Telegraph Hill. The walk gives you a picturesque view of the San Francisco Bay and waterfront. Prepare for a workout; the stairs reportedly have 385 to 392 steps each.


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