My San Fran fav’s are below. Most of them are typical tourist spots but I promise you, they are worth seeing. San Fran is very fast paced and a lot of these you can do within a day or two. We stayed two full days and actually had time to go back to the hotel to take a nap before dinner on our last day there. See below for my travel tips and must-see’s!
Alcatraz (approx time needed: 3 hrs)
We did this immediately when we got to the city. We had gotten there later than expected and only had a few hours before we had to meet our friends for dinner. We did our own walking tour (non-audio) and really enjoyed it. We went at our own pace and between the signs displayed around and Wikipedia we got the gist of the history. It’s very interesting and the views alone are worth going for. The island is very much inhabited with the most gorgeous flowers. The full SF city-scape is also visible from here. A great picture spot for sure. If you go allow enough time when you buy your advance tickets to be there about 45 mins early to board the ferry.
Union Square (approx time needed: varied)
A shoppers paradise! In one square block you can visit Dior, Cartier and Goyard. We ended up at Macy’s because Andrew didn’t pack enough boxers. After 20 minutes of going through each floor we realized there are separate Macy’s buildings for men and women and we were in the women’s. I also made a quick stop at the three floor Gucci to pick up the famous double g belt I’ve been dying to buy forever.
The order we did things for our only full day:
Golden Gate Bridge (approx time needed: 1 hr or less)
It wasn’t our original intention to stop and see the Golden Gate but we had to drive across it to get to Muir Woods. We were making good time so we followed the highway signs to stop at the alcove and take a few pics.
Rodeo Beach (approx time needed: 1 hr or less)
Our friends that live in SF told us about this beach. It’s a few minutes away from the Golden Gate. If you put Rodeo Beach in your gps, it will guide you right to it. It’s a locals place that’s very relaxing. The sand has a cool texture and the views all around are so pretty. We sat in the sand and hung out to relax for a few minutes.
Muir Woods (approx time needed: 3 hrs)
Muir Woods is a state park worth going to. The trees are different than what I’m used to seeing in NJ. The park also has a lot of history to it. We opted for the longest hiking trail. We walked at a moderate pace taking in the scenery. Even if you choose not to do a hiking trail, it’s worth it to go and see the trees in the main area before it leads off to the trails. If you are hiking or even visiting- def wear sneakers. It’s an uneven dirt trail in the woods, so closed shoes are a must. Its $10 to enter too. Everyone that I’ve talked to who visited this area and decided to skip the redwood trees regretted it, so stop if you can even if it’s for a few minutes.
Fisherman’s Wharf (approx time needed: 2 hrs or less)
This reminded me of the Wildwood boardwalk – if you’re familiar you know exactly what I’m talking about lol the seafood is so good though! Our Lyft driver was a local so she dropped us off right in front of the grab and go places. It’s just four or five seafood counters under awnings lined up in a row- all selling seafood. Me and Andrew LOVE seafood. We ended up getting shrimp, crab soup and a crab sandwich so good!
Ghirardelli Square (approx time needed: 1 hr)
I’m a chocolate lover- this was my pick! It was quite a walk but we walked it from Fisherman’s Wharf. The square is really lively and a cool place to just hang. I got some candy from the store. We wanted ice cream but the line to get in was around the block so we skipped. It looked amazing though and for people to wait in a line that long- it must’ve been good.
The Stinking Rose- we went here on our last night. Everything had garlic on it I was literally in heaven. We reeked of garlic the next day though. I recommend the seafood tray- so fresh and good.
Cafe Zoetrappe- right across from The Stinking Rose. It’s owned by the Coppola family. We went here with friends our first night in town. The building is angled on a corner and pretty cool. Food wasn’t bad either!
If you have any SF travel tips, add them in the comments below. Thanks!