Thanks to Singapore’s location, and super efficient airport, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to overseas travel and holidays. While jetting off to anywhere in Southeast Asia and Europe is a relatively painless experience the USA has always been a little bit difficult. After a 24-hour flight (including a two to four hour stopover) you’re basically jetlagged at the start of your holiday. Fortunately, United Airlines are now offering direct daily flights to San Francisco, cutting your trip down to 15 hours. Here are a few other reasons to pencil in San Fran as your next vacation destination.
1. Golden Gate Bridge
It’s an iconic symbol for a reason. Probably because it’s one of the most photographed bridges in the world. For this reason a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge is on everyone’s bucket list. Stretching 2.7km and just over 227 metres high it crosses the channel between the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean. Ride a bike or walk and enjoy unbeaten views of the city for free.
No matter what meal you’re after you’ll find something delicious in San Fran. If you need a good breakfast head to Mama’s and pick from omelettes, pancakes, eggs benedict and French toast. Then prepare to walk it off. If you want more choice head to the Ferry Building Marketplace and check out the produce from more than 75 regional farmers. If you’re after Mexican visit the Mission District where vendors compete for the title of best burrito. This is really just a taste of what’s on offer though.
So, you can visit this former prison during the day but Alcatraz Island is probably best seen at night. Luckily a night tour runs on “The Rock” that Al Capone once called home. If you’re lucky the Bay will complete the experience with an eerie fog. Further add to the mood with an audio tour narrated by former inmates and guards describing conditions and attempted escapes.
4. Trolley cars
A historical experience on wheels. There are 17 trolley cars servicing San Francisco, running on three different lines and costing just $2 a ride. Considering the steep hills in the city the cars are much easier than walking. Painted the same colours they were back in the ‘20s and ‘30s you can enjoy a bit of history in the restored cars as you get from one side of town to the next.
5. The Exploratorium
This is a good one if you’re travelling with the family. The Exploratorium is a science museum spanning the length of three football fields. This means you’re probably going to need a day to see everything. The hands on exhibits feature a crawl through maze (that’s also pitch black), a diorama of San Francisco city made from toothpicks and a marble maze you build yourself. Actually even if you don’t have kids, head there on a Thursday night for the adults only session.
6. Direct flight
Getting to the US from Singapore isn’t an easy trip. It takes about 20 hours or more, including stopovers in Hong Kong or Japan. By the time you arrive you’re pretty much ready to sleep. Who wants to begin a holiday like that? United Airlines recently opened a direct route to San Francisco, shaving four hours off the trip. Leaving daily the flights give passengers more choice when it comes to scheduling their holiday. You can get there in one go without the hassle of transits. You can also enjoy unlimited wifi for US$16.99. Most importantly San Fran is the perfect starting point for your American holiday.
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