TORONTO— Talk about perfect timing: the San Francisco Travel Association (SFTA) team hosted an exclusive travel trade event to spread the word about upcoming events, updates and new experiences in the Bay Area last week, as the Toronto Blue Jays hosted the San Francisco Giants for three games at Rogers Centre.
SFTA team members – including EVP & Chief Tourism Officer Hubertus Funke, and Director for Global Tourism Development Daniel Schwartz – noted that many San Francisco and area attractions are commemorating significant anniversaries this year, making it an ideal time for travellers to discover this perennial top pick.
One of the best-known SF attractions, Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, officially closed 60 years ago. These days of course Alcatraz Island is open to the public and tours here are extremely popular.
Meanwhile July 13 marks the 125th anniversary of the Ferry Building, the ‘gateway to San Francisco,’ a legendary landmark located on the waterfront Embarcadero. And this August, the city’s cable car system will turn 150 years old, a milestone that will be celebrated with rides on historic cars and other commemorative events.
For clients looking for new attractions, there’s the 15-storey tall SkyStar Wheel in Golden Gate Park. The observation wheel has 36 enclosed gondolas offering views spanning the city, with sights including the Pacific Ocean, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and downtown San Fran.
Also, the Presidio Tunnel Tops are now open, built atop the Presidio Parkway tunnels. This free attraction connects the historic centre of the Presidio to the park’s Crissy Field waterfront.
Dining in the City by the Bay is on another level now as restaurants have been allowed to make creative new outdoor parklets. They’ve become a permanent fixture in some neighbourhoods due to their popularity.
With so many other things to do, some visitors may not think of museums when they think of San Francisco, however the city’s museums rank among its top attractions, with focuses such as history, art, science and pop culture. The Cartoon Art Museum has comic strips, comic books, anime, political cartoons, graphic novels and underground comix, plus animation workshops. For kids of all ages, there’s the Walt Disney Family Museum, housed in a historic building in the Presidio. It has interactive galleries, state-of-the-art exhibits with early drawings, screenings, cartoons, movies and a model of Disneyland. Other great options include SFMOMA, Contemporary Jewish Museum, Asian Art Museum, California Academy of Sciences, Museum of the African Diaspora and many more.
Pride month may have just come and gone, but San Francisco is a destination ripe with LGBTQ culture, community and history all year-round. Local LGBTQ culture can be experienced in places like Glide Memorial Church, AIDS Memorial Grove, Rainbow Honor Walk and The Women’s Building. As the city notes, Pride is more than a parade, it’s a state of mind, and something that can be found in neighbourhoods and communities throughout the city.
With mild weather all year long, Canadians can choose to visit San Francisco any time – just bring layers. Clients won’t regret getting to know this unique and interesting city that stands as one of the best in the U.S. To learn more, visit SFtravel.com.