Golden Gate Marathon & Half Marathon
San Francisco, California USA
February 8, 2014

San Francisco Attractions

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of San Francisco's most memorable icons. This bright red bridge connects San Francisco with nearby Marin County. Completed in 1937, the bridge is a tribute to human ingenuity and invention. Visitors may take a quick tour the bridge in their own vehicle, but walking or riding a bike on the bridge gives visitors a better understanding of the bridge's features. Walkers and cyclists can stop along the bridge to observe the nearby city. The Golden Gate Bridge makes a great centerpiece for any budding photographer's picture.

The Exploratorium is full of giant adventures in science and education for all ages. Displays are not tucked behind glass or out of reach; guests are encouraged to jump right in and interact directly with over 400 exhibits. Many of the museum's exhibits highlight the human body's functions, including how the brain perceives the world around it. Other subjects covered include weather, astronomy, electricity and motion. In the museum's astronomy section, visitors may build their own solar system and investigate fallen space objects. The rotating exhibits of the Exploratorium give visitors plenty to see on each trip.

San Francisco's Aquarium of the Bay offers close encounters with colorful marine life. Much of the aquarium is devoted to shark education and exhibits. The aquarium's 50 sharks represent multiple species, including leopard sharks, spiny dogfish, angel sharks and smooth-hounds. In the Touch the Bay exhibit, visitors may observe and feel a variety of marine life, including skates, sea cucumbers and sea stars. The Under the Bay exhibit gives guests a closer look at the San Francisco Bay with a recreation of the actual bay. This exhibit is the largest in the entire aquarium and includes a network of tunnels for excellent underwater views. The Under the Bay exhibit houses over 20,000 animals from local waters.

Alcatraz Island is a popular draw for visitors who enjoy learning more about San Francisco's history. The island originally served as a military fortress to protect the coast. In 1934, the federal government transformed the fortress into a prison. Believed to be inescapable, the jail served the country for 30 years until high costs and growing discomfort from local citizens forced the jail's closure. Today, under the care of the National Park Service, much of the island's natural wildlife and native plants have begun to return. Visitors can take a tour of the remaining buildings to learn more about the jail's history from former inmates and guards.

The M. H. de Young Memorial Museum holds a staggering number of art pieces from the United States and other regions. The impressive American selection contains over 1,000 paintings and hundreds of sculptures. Some of the American art dates as far back as the 1600s. In addition to the American art, the museum also contains selections from around the world, including a stunning collection of textiles and costumes. Popular displays in this museum also feature fashion from the early 1900s, including works by Coco Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent.