Cruises along the Pacific coast of America are popular with wine lovers, beach goers and anyone who likes to soak up the sun. Some itineraries continue north to Alaska, whilst other may include a stop in Baja California or even further south. But when your ship arrives in the popular city of San Francisco, what can you look forward to?
Our ‘3 Free Things To Do’ series aims to give you some great options if you don’t like the look of the shore excursions available or simply want to save some cash to spend in other ports. These activities are also great if you only have a couple of hours to fill. With San Fran being such a big city, there’s plenty to choose from.
Can you really visit this famous part of America without experiencing the iconic Golden Gate Bridge? The sprawling red structure is instantly recognisable and has graced the silver screen (and smaller screen) numerous times. Sure, you could hire a bus or join a coach excursion across, but it’s more fun and exciting to venture across on two feet. If you don’t feel like walking the entire 1.7 miles from one side to the other, why not get to the half-way point, snap some memorable shots and then walk back?
Whilst you’re in this part of the city, it’s also free to discover the Golden Gate Park. The Central-Park-shaped green space is home to a Shakespeare Garden, a Japanese Garden and plenty of romantic lakeside spots. Plus, in the summer, there are often free open-air theatre and music performances to enjoy.
A Myriad Of Museums
San Francisco plays host to some fantastic museums, most notably the Exploratorium, where every member of the family can have fun with the interactive exhibits. However, there are also some great free alternatives that will help you learn about the history and culture of this wonderful city. The place to start, in this respect, is the Randall Museum, situated in Corona Heights Park. There are exhibits detailing many aspects of life in San Francisco, including a look at creatures of the ocean and California native basketry.
If you’re more into art, head to 49 Geary where you’ll find four floors of free art to peruse. Other amazing free options include the Cable Car Museum, which displays antique cars and looks at the engineering behind the best way of getting around the hills of San Francisco, and Musée Mécanique where you can use any spare change you have to play vintage arcade games.
Soak Up The Atmos-Pier
One of the best parts of town to walk around is Pier 39, a lively harbourside spot to grab some food or just people watch. There are shops, restaurants, bars, street performers – all of which can be enjoyed for free – but the main attractions are definitely the sea lions. These loveable creatures have been coming here to sunbathe between January and July since 1990 and, despite the racket they make, always have a crowd of adoring fans.
If you did want to go all out and spend some money whilst you’re here, you could navigate your way through the Mirror Maze, take a stroll around the aquarium or feast on some delicious clam chowder.
If you would like to plan a cruise along the west coast of America, including a stop in San Francisco, our team can talk you through the itineraries available. Call us today or click here to submit your request through the website.