San Francisco is one of the most visited cities around, and it helps to know a few tricks when navigating the major sights.
The Golden Gate Bridge is the most photographed bridge in the world. Visiting the bridge itself generally involves joining crowds. It’s better to get a great photo from Fort Mason or Crissy Field. If you still want to walk across the bridge, keep in mind it’s nearly two miles long. Locals always call it the GGB, and its color is not red, it’s international orange.
Visiting Alcatraz usually requires reservations months in advance, especially in the summer. You’ll get great views of it from along the north side of the Embarcadero or any hilltop.
San Francisco beaches are not for sunbathing, and swimming is strictly for those with wetsuits. The Cliff House at Ocean Beach provides great views of the Pacific, and you’ll be nice and warm inside.
Napa and other wine country towns are about a two-hour drive away. Be sure to hire a driver or join a private bus charter. Keep in mind most wineries close by 5pm.
Lake Tahoe is gorgeous summer or winter. It’s about a four-hour drive away, but traffic can turn that into eight. Winter travel can require chains or four-wheel drive.