Chapman Freeborn blog

6 things not to miss in San Francisco

San Francisco in northern California is one of the most popular cities to visit in the United States, and with good reason. There is a multitude of things to see and do, with a variety of unique neighbourhoods and an idyllic position surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. Expect plenty of fun, gorgeous views and to fall in love with San Francisco during your visit!

1. Visit Alcatraz Island


Located just over a mile offshore of San Francisco is world renowned island of Alcatraz. Alcatraz Island was developed as an offshore high-security prison that existed from 1934 to 1963. The prison was once home to some of America’s most notorious and dangerous criminals and today is a museum that provides a fascinating insight into prison life.

The island is also home to the first lighthouse on the west coast of America and was also the site of an American Indian protest movement that changed the history of the country forever.

2. Admire the Golden Gate Bridge

Goldengate Bridge

No visit to San Francisco would be complete without seeing the stunning Golden Gate Bridge – an icon of the city. This suspension bridge spans the Golden Gate strait and opened in 1937 after four years of construction. There are vista points at both sides of the bridge and first thing in the morning or sunset are the best times to photograph it in all its glory.

3. Head to Union Square

Union Square lies at the heart of the city and is something of a retail and cultural hub. It is home to the largest collection of luxury shopping in the city and also has a number of hotels, art galleries and theatres. It’s the perfect base to stay in and check out all that San Francisco has to offer.

4. Explore Chinatown


Did you know that San Francisco is home to the biggest Chinatown outside of Asia? It also happens to be the oldest Chinatown in the United States and is a must-see on a visit to the city. The Chinese architecture here is striking and intricate and there are some fantastic markets, shops and restaurants to wander around and explore.

5. Mission Street Art

Mission Street and the surrounding area is where you’ll find some truly wonderful street art. This area is covered with colourful, vibrant tapestries and street art that tells part of the story of the city. Near Balmy Alley you’ll find Latino influences in the art, and in Osage Alley there are bright, bold paint splashes that covers two streets.

6. Visit Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman's wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf was once the area where generations of fishermen sold their catches to the public. Today it has been transformed into a fantastic hub for shopping, eating, drinking and relaxing.

If you’re lucky you may even spot some sea lions in this area – they like to sunbathe on the floating piers!

Let Chapman Freeborn handle your private jet charter requirements for your trip to San Francisco. San Francisco International Airport is located just 12 miles from the city. Half Moon Bay Airport and Oakland International Airport are both located just over 20 miles away too, making it extremely well-connected.