SAN FRANCISCO - The Reds are on the West Coast for Games 1 and 2 of the NLDS, and if you're headed out west to root them on, you might want some other things to do to make the most of the trip.
Here are 9 must do things while you're in San Francisco, other than see the Reds beat the Giants of course:
1. Alcatraz – The most famous prison in the world is accessible by way of a San Francisco Bay Cruise. You can tour the island on the boat from the outside, but tours of the actual jail are not to be missed. You can even combine it with a tour of Angel Island, one of the last undeveloped islands in the area, with a national park to explore on it. Get all the details on the cruises (which do sell out fast) at http://www.alcatrazcruises.com/index.aspx
2. Redwood Forest – The tallest and most beautiful trees in the world are a must see when you're in the Bay Area. The park is just a short drive from downtown San Francisco over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, and the state park that contains the redwoods has an endless amount of trails to explore. Take a few hours to relax, walk through and enjoy. More details on the redwoods at http://www.nps.gov/redw/index.htm .
3. Fisherman's Wharf – A food lover's haven, some of the best seafood in the world can be found fresh off the boat here. And when your stomach is satisfied, there's plenty of nightlife for all interests, including live music, comedy clubs, theater, dancing and more. And don't forget the famous sea lions, which inhabit Pier 39 of the Wharf, in the flesh. Find out all the activities you could ask for at the Wharf by visiting http://www.fishermanswharf.org/visit.aspx?q=10024&c=1 .
4. Cable Cars – It's a gimmicky thing with modern transportation as advanced as it is, but there isn't much of a cooler view than riding a 50-year-old cable car up a steep hill in San Francisco, then looking back down at the bay and the spot below from which you just came. These age-old cars can take you to and from interesting landmarks too, like the Fisherman's Wharf. Get info on their routes at http://www.sfcablecar.com/
5. Ghiradelli Chocolate Factory – The most succulent chocolate in the world, made right on rolling hills of San Francisco. Be sure to stop by the factory just west of Fisherman's Wharf to see how the chocolate gets that delectable flavor, and sample a few Ghiradelli favorites yourself. More info at http://www.ghirardelli.com/locations-events/ghirardelli-locations/northpoint-original-san-francisco-ca
6. Union Square – If you're in the mood for shopping, Union Square is the place to do it. With hundreds of shops, a short trip on the cable car will plop you right in the thick of it, and even if you're not willing to shell out any cash for one of the thousands of items you'll come across, Union Square and Union Square Park is still a great place to just walk around and enjoy the hustle and bustle. Or people watch. Get info on all that Union Square has to offer at http://www.unionsquareshop.com/
7. Chinatown – San Francisco's Chinatown is one of the most famous Chinatowns in the U.S. It holds plenty of history dating back to when Asian immigrants first stopped on the West Coast in San Fran. Not to mention there's plenty of delicious and authentic Chinese food and shopping to choose from. You can book a tour or just take a leisurely stroll through Asian-American history. Get details on Chinatown at http://www.sanfranciscochinatown.com/ .
8. Exploratorium – In a museum mood? This one will keep the kids busy. This bay-side museum of modern science and art is one of the best in the country. Plus, the museum is getting ready to move to a new location, so you'll want to stop in to find out what made it so famous in the first place. The view of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge from this place is unmatched. Get ticket and exhibit info at http://www.exploratorium.edu/ .
9. Explore the City – Three places that you should just go and see in the city are Golden Gate Park, Sausalito and Lombard Street. Lombard Street may not sound familiar, but you'll recognize the 8 hairpin turns on a 40 degree slope as soon as you get there. Whether you drive, bike or walk, you won't forget it. Here's its location on a map: https://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF-8&q=lombard+street&fb=1&gl=us&hq=lombard+street&cid=0,0,5053073233845585555&ei=MjpuUKimJvLU0gGcm4HQCw&ved=0CMwBEPwSMAk . Golden Gate Park, the city's largest park, is a gorgeously landscaped stretch of that offers more to do that you might think, with lakes for boating, a Japanese tea garden, bocce ball courts and more, all complete with a gorgeous view of the ocean. Golden Gate Park info can be found at http://www.golden-gate-park.com/ . Finally, Sausalito is the other side of the Bay from San Fran, which requires you to travel across the Golden Gate Bridge to get to, but once you reach it's unique location and set up, and look back at where you've been, you'll find the best view of the city and the other fun side of the Bay area. Sausalito info can
be found at http://www.sausalito.org/ .
And in case this list just made up your mind to head out west, tickets for Games 1 and 2 at AT&T Park are still available on Stubhub at http://www.stubhub.com/search/doSearch?searchStr=san+francisco+giants&pageNumber=1&resultsPerPage=50&searchMode=event&start=0&rows=50&geo_exp=1
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