Liberal and fun-loving San Fran likes to live on the edge – literally. This is the edge of America, where pioneers and railroad tycoons and gold prospectors flocked some centuries ago. You'll still find door-slapping saloons and mining towns all around the Bay Area, even if today's action has switched to beatnik beer holes in boho Mission and the salt-scented fish shacks of the wharfs. Legendary sights await, too. From the Golden Gate to the haunting prison rooms of Alcatraz, you won't have a moment to spare. And there's even more good news: Cheap flights to San Francisco from Australia are available without stopovers, taking just over 13 hours on airlines like Qantas and United.
Swirled in ocean mists, the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most enduring and soul-stirring monuments of California.
You can now visit one of America's most infamous prisons. Hop the cells and see the watchtowers as you cruise across to Alcatraz Island.
Chow down on salty crab meat and West Coast chowder in the seafood and entertainment mecca that is Fisherman's Wharf.