Exploring San Francisco on Foot
There are over 340 miles of shoreline trail for visitors to San Francisco Bay to explore, and the eclectic delights of the city proper are best discovered on foot. On any visit to the city, take some time out from riding the trams, lace up your sturdiest flats, and give your calf muscles a workout in this hilly seaside haven.
This lively shopping and entertainment district makes for an attention-snagging day out, while being very effective at tiring any hyperactive kids you may have in tow. Skip out a tune on the symphonic stairs, shop ‘til you drop at the many quirky stores that jostle along the seafront or get lost in Magowan’s Mirror Maze. Make time for a visit to the famous colony of sea lions that bask unashamedly on the Pier’s floating wooden rafts, and munch on saltwater taffy as you explore. Then, learn more about sealife at the San Francisco Aquarium of the Bay. This conservation-conscious complex is home to over 20,000 marine animals, from pulsing jellyfish to sevengill sharks, and the ideal activity to round out a day by the sea.
Golden Gate Bridge
Arching like a crimson dragon between San Francisco and Marin, the 1.7 mile length of the Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic conquest for any walker. While most visitors tend to just stroll out to one pillar and back, it’s worth attempting the 3.5 mile return journey to the other side for the sense of accomplishment alone. Even if the weather is fine at the outset, it may be a blustery hike on this famously foggy stretch, so be sure to bring waterproofs and warm layers, and pack a picnic to enjoy at the halfway point. Don’t forget to bring a camera to snap a selfie and capture the view from the most beautiful bridge in the world.
You won’t want to miss a visit to the largest Chinatown outside of Asia, so enter through the famous green dragon gate and be prepared for a day of sensation. Spanning a huge area, it’s a challenging walk with constant distractions, from kite shops and tea houses to a giant fortune cookie factory. Make sure to stop for some dim sum, pick up some quirky trinkets and stay until it gets dark to see the 1920s streetlights glow and tiny red lanterns light up like fireflies as the sun sets.