Home to the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and the San Francisco Conference Center, South San Francisco is generally viewed as a mere stopover point. But, with affordable South San Francisco flights, several budget-friendly hotels, and surprisingly noteworthy attractions, South San Francisco is now a tourist destination all its own. Here are the three best things to do in South San Francisco, no matter how long you plan to stay there.
San Bruno Mountain State Park and Sign
Image via Flickr by Tim Adams
Sign Hill is visible before you even land at San Francisco International Airport. From the air, you'll see huge letters along a mountainside welcoming you to "South San Francisco The Industrial City". Made in the 1920s, the sign recognizes South San Francisco's contributions to World Wars I and II. Along with 30 acres of open space and 2 miles of hiking trails, the concrete letters on Sign Hill are completely accessible to the public. Sign Hill also features an electric Christmas tree that is lit from Thanksgiving to after New Year's Eve.
Just across from Sign Hill, active travelers will find San Bruno Mountain State Park. Photography enthusiasts will find stunning views of San Francisco and the Central Bay Area, while avid hikers are sure to enjoy the challenging slopes that climb 1,314 feet to the summit.
Looking for easy access to these natural attractions? Consider staying at the Embassy Suites San Francisco Airport.
Golden Gate National Cemetery
Image via Flickr by wetribe
This U.S. Army cemetary, built in the 1930's, is strictly used for military veterans. Well-known naval officer Adm. Chester W. Nimitz is laid to rest here, along with a number of distinguished veterans from the Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, and Vietnam. Dedicated to the sacrifice of military heroes, visiting the Golden Gate National Cemetary is an overwhelming and emotional experience.
Book a room at the comfortable Best Western Plus Grosvenor Airport Hotel, one of the closest hotels to this historic site.
History and Art Walking Tours
Image via Flickr by Marlon E
Perhaps one of the best ways to explore South San Francisco's culture is to take a walking tour of historic sites. South San Francisco has 50 designated historic buildings throughout the community, each marked with a plaque describing its significance. Sites include historic homes with authentic Queen Anne architecture and the 1918 Bank of South San Francisco.
If you decide to tour the area's culture, be sure to make room for the Orange Memorial Park Sculpture Garden on your itinerary. Winner of the California Parks and Recreation Society's Award of Excellence, this creative space includes some of the area's best public sculptures. Along a winding walking path, you'll find a pair of "Puzzle People", a metal Yin and Yang, a mother and child sculpture called "Safehaven", and a child-size statue of a boy and his dog. This centrally located park is found near many South San Francisco hotels.
No matter what your travel plans in San Francisco, don't discount the attractions in South San Francisco. Please share your South San Francisco travel tips in the comments section below.
Author Bio:A former journalist, Tammy Banfield is a freelance travel writer who loves scouring the web for the best travel experiences. Tammy has written about more than 2,000 hotels, throughout Canada and the United States, for sites like Hipmunk.