Go San Francisco – Big Bus & Museums
San Francisco is one of my favourite destinations for a short getaway. For a girls’ trip into the city with my friend B, I booked us a night’s stay at Park Central San Francisco. Armed with Go San Francisco cards thanks to San Francisco Travel, we were off on our two days of sightseeing.
We activated our Go cards at Union Square’s iconic plaza, the easiest stop to find the Big Bus Hop On Hop Off double deckers. On a beautiful March day, enjoying the California sunshine, we spent the morning riding on the top open-roof deck of the bus, listening to the narrative stories of San Francisco sights. We passed the Tenderloin district, Civic Centre, Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood iconic for its Summer of Love, and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. Warning: When it’s foggy and you feel the breeze pick up, you may want to go down to the lower deck. Otherwise, freeze like we did when the wind kept attacking us as we drove across the bridge that day!
Armed with passes (thanks to San Francisco Travel!) for the Walt Disney Family Museum (these are not included in the Go cards), we got off at the Palace of Arts stop and walked 15 minutes to the museum located in the Presidio, a national park formerly a military base. Along the way, you can enjoy the grounds of the LucasFilm’s Letterman Digital & New Media Arts production offices. We found the Yoda Fountain and the fangirl in me screamed for joy!
The Walt Disney Family Museum is a must for those who love Disney and the history of Walt Disney. His personal life, struggles, and achievements are on display here for the world to find out what the magic was behind the man who gave us the Magic Kingdom. His winning Oscars are on display, acknowledging his masterpieces. His sketches and visions of Disneyland and Walt Disney World are shown. Walt Disney was a passionate man who spent his whole life devoted to his art of animation. I highly recommend this museum to those who love art, animation, history, and Walt Disney himself. A bonus is a view from the museum of the Golden Gate Bridge.
On day 2 of our Go adventures, we took the Big Bus again, but this time stopping at the Asian Art Museum. It houses one of the largest Asian art collections in the world and has over 18,000 works of art and artefacts from all over Asia. On our visit, a special Tomb Treasures exhibit was on display, featuring newly discovered and well-preserved art and artefacts from the Han Dynasty in China. We saw 2000-year-old jade jewellery and tools, a jade coffin and a body suit sewn with gold thread, used for traditional royalty burial fit for a king or queen’s death. If you’re in San Francisco from now until May 28, 2017, check out this amazing historical display.
To finish off our 2 days of San Francisco sightseeing, we finished with a stop at Pier 39 and took in the sights of two fun museums – Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and Madame Tussauds San Francisco. Both are family fun museums that may not always be on your top 10 things to do in San Francisco, however with the Go pass, it includes these admissions so why not?
Ripley’s features odd and interesting artifacts, wax statues, and weird facts you normally wouldn’t learn about. It doesn’t take long to walk through the whole museum, but it sure was fun to see the strange displays of shrunken heads, Egyptian mummified foot, and a wax statue about the Chinese man who had a candle built into his head!
Madame Tussauds is always a favourite of mine – where else can you see Beyonce, Tupac, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Obama, Adele, and Steph Curry all in the same room? Oh and I got to meet Mark Zuckerberg!
What fun ways to see San Francisco – tourist or not, these museums are a fun to take the family, spend it on a date in the city, or just get lost and explore at your own leisure. After over 12 visits to San Francisco, I can still count on this city to provide me with new and exciting things to do and see. For more information on San Francisco attractions and things to do in the city, go to www.sftravel.com.