No matter how many times I’ve been to San Francisco, I will never truly discover all that San Francisco has to offer. From the vast diversity of people to the different areas of San Francisco, you will never run out of things to do in San Francisco. However, here are some key places to start planning your trip to San Francisco:
The Golden Gate Bridge
Of course you came to San Francisco to see the iconic Golden Gate Bridge! You can see the bridge from many different angles and take countless pictures. The Golden Gate Bridge requires a toll to cross but how would you even take a picture on the bridge? Visit some popular hot spots to take a picture with it from afar. Some places you can visit are Battery Godfrey and Battery Spencer. Wherever you go, you can see the great Golden Gate Bridge from a distance in San Francisco.
Another great place to view the Golden Gate Bridge from a distance is at Land’s End. There are also some easy hiking trails if you are into that. The infamous Labyrinth is also located here. How did these rocks get here? Who put this together? Nobody really knows, but please do not vandalize this so other people can enjoy it also. The Labyrinth is a nice addition to this place so feel free to Instagram the shit out of it, I don’t blame you.
Next to Land’s End lies Sutro Baths, which used to be indoor salt water swimming pools until it got burnt down. Now, you can climb and explore the area and marvel in the history of what it used to be.
Also, there is a little tunnel you can take to look at the waves crash against the rocks. There is a metal chain there to stop people from climbing down, so if you fall that’s on you. I took a quick picture inside the tunnel, not sure if I caught an orb or not but it messed up my camera afterward for a long time as it keeps turning on and off and draining my energy.
Mosaic Steps on 16th Avenue
Hidden away in a neighborhood lies beautiful mosaic art on steps where you can climb up and look down at the city below.
Stow Lake: Huntington Falls
Was brought here by a local to see the falls and walk around the park. This is a great place to relax or take a nice jog around. My friend likes to explore so he was climbing to the highest point he can go.
A very popular park to just hang out and have a picnic with friends. At Dolores Park, you can do a lot of people watching, relaxing, and admiring the San Francisco skyline from the top. There are all sorts of people that gather here. If you come at the right time, you can catch the truffle man (behind us) and the coconut rum guy (sells fresh coconut filled with rum).
Palace of Fine Arts
A beautiful, popular place to take elegant pictures such as engagement or wedding photos but also a popular place for tourists to visit. The Palace of Fine Arts is free to walk around and admire the architecture.
Lombard Street attracts tourists due to it being one of the most crookedest streets in America. Since it is a public street, many tours and visitors like to experience a drive down this windy, iconic street. Be mindful that there is high traffic surrounding the area and would be best to park nearby and view the street on foot.
“Whatever happened to predictability.
The milkman, the paperboy, evening tv?
How did I get to living here?
Somebody tell me please!”
If you grew up watching Full House, these lyrics should sound familiar. It is also the television show that made the Painted Ladies famous by a cameo in the opening sequence. If not, you could still adore the look of Victorian homes.
San Francisco is FULL of places to view the city, Twin Peaks is one of the most popular places to visit. Whether you are watching the sunrise or the sunset, make sure to grab a blanket, camera and a loved one to admire all the beauty San Francisco has to offer.
If you’re looking for a place to Instagram, Lover’s Lane is your place!
Explore Union Square
Looking for a place to shop? Head over to Union Square! It’s infamous for their department stores and tall stores. You know the red heart that everybody takes a picture of when they’re in San Francisco and caption it “I left my heart in San Francisco”? Yeah, it can be found here. So head over to Union Square where you can take your basic photos.
Academy of Sciences
Science museum! A very cool science museum with many interesting exhibits such as an observatory (stars exhibit), an aquarium, and a rain forest area. Not only do you view animals but also have the ability to pet some pretty cool animals and interact with butterflies!
Stroll along the shoreline of The Embarcadero and take in scenes of both the city and the waterfront. There are many attractions to see and do.
Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the busiest tourist areas of San Francisco and a must visit. It is filled with shops and restaurants where you can get fresh seafood casually or a table dining experience.
There are food stalls lined up down an alley with delicious clam chowder and various seafood items. Here, you can also find lobster rolls, crab cakes, calamari, oysters, and fried seafood such as shrimp.
Come here for fresh clam chowder and seafood if you haven’t done so already. This is always a must since San Francisco is known for their delicious clam chowder!
While you’re at Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39, you can buy tickets to take a ferry and visit Alcatraz. Although I personally have no toured Alcatraz yet, it is something on the top of my list. The history of this infamous high-level federal prison that holds all of the most dangerous criminals, such as Al Capone, is so interesting and to be able to walk through the prison in real life could be very exciting and fun. It has also been said that there are ghosts that haunt the island, so maybe it’s worth taking the night tour just to add a little bit more fun to your visit.
Calling all foodies! The Ferry Building was once a historic building but now has transformed into a food hall. Whether you want coffee, ice cream, or dinner, you will be able to find what you want at the Ferry Building.
Just steps away from the Ferry Building in the Embarcadero is an outdoor public art sculpture. A quick place to take a picture with your loved one or by yourself if you’re #foreveralone.
Ashbury Heights (Haight-Ashbury)
If you’re looking for character, you’ll find it here in Ashbury Heights where the hippies are plentiful. There is no doubt that once you come to Ashbury Heights, you will be exposed to all sorts of smell. Surrounding Ashbury Heights are Victorian homes where you can see a bit of history of San Francisco. Visit Ashbury Heights if you want to check out the local dive bars, smoke shops, record shops, vintage stores, and restaurants. There are plenty of things to see and do at Ashbury Heights.
Haggle your way through Chinatown
In every major city lies a Chinatown, so the atmosphere and character of the area should be no surprise to anyone. Besides finding items at bargain prices, my fondest memory of the San Francisco’s Chinatown is the delicious dim sum. You can choose from a restaurant-style dim sum or a quick take out… the best spots are the hidden ones. Aside from Chinese food, you can also buy your souvenirs or other knick-knacks here. Take your time to explore the area and soak in all of the culture Chinatown has to offer.
Now sightseeing is done, are you hungry and looking for food? Check out my post about where you should eat in San Francisco!