We just got back from an amazing 3 day adventure in San Francisco. Whether you like the beach or the hills, shopping or hiking, museums or nightclubs, this vibrant city has it all. With so much to see and do, I’ve rounded up my recommendations for what are a must!
Ride a cable car
For a fun way to get around the city, hop on a cable car. There are three main lines that run through the city. The Powell-Mason line begins at the Powell/ Market turntable, and runs up and over Nob Hill and down to Bay Street at Fisherman’s Wharf. The Powell-Hyde line also begins at the Powell/Market turntable and runs over Nob and Russian hill before ending at Aquatic Park near Ghirardelli Square. The California Street line runs East-West from the Financial District, through Chinatown, over Nob Hill and stops at Van Ness Avenue.
A one-way fare costs $7. If you plan to take multiple rides, I highly suggest you purchase a one or three day Muni Visitor Pass.
Take in the view from the top of Coit Tower
Coit Tower is a 210ft slender white tower at the top of Telegraph Hill. The 360 degree view from the top is the best in the city. There is no longer access to the top via the stairs so you must pay for the elevator ride up. The cost is $9 for an adult.
Drive across the Golden Gate Bridge and take in the view from Battery Spencer
The Golden Gate bridge can be viewed from many different spots in the city, but in my opinion, the best viewpoint is from Battery Spencer, an old military protection point for the San Francisco harbor. Battery Spencer is located on the north side of the bridge in the town of Sausalito.
Drive down Lombard StreetThe one-block section of Lombard Street between Hyde Street and Leavenworth Street consists of 8 hairpin turns and is known as “the crookedest street in the world”. The best time to visit is in the morning to avoid a long line of cars.
Shop in the Haight-Ashbury districtThe Haight-Ashbury district, also known as “The Haight”, is known for being a center of the 1960’s hippie movement and the home to several bands including The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Big Brother and the Holding Company (Janis Joplin’s band).
The Haight has an abundance of vintage clothing boutiques, record shops, bookstores and eclectic restaurants.
Visit the sea lions at Pier 39Pier 39 is home to hundreds of boisterous sea lions. Shortly after the Loma Prieta earthquake hit San Francisco in October 1989, California sea lions began camping out on Pier 39’s K-Dock. After much debate and research, the experts from The Marine Mammal Center recommended that the sea lions stay in their newfound home. The playful sea lions provide hours of entertainment.
Go ice skating in Union SquareIce skating in Union Square has become a holiday tradition in San Francisco, and I can see why. Situated in the middle of Union Square and right next to the 80ft Christmas Tree, you are instantly transported to a winter wonderland. The outdoor rink is open November 7 – January 21, 2019, and a 90-minute skate session costs $18, including skate rental.
Visit the Painted Ladies
The “Painted Ladies” is a row of Victorian houses at 710–720 Steiner Street, across from Alamo Square Park. This picture perfect block has appeared in an estimated 70 movies and TV shows, including Full House.
San Francisco is a magical city and somewhere you must visit at least once. Let me know if you are planning a visit and I’d be happy to recommend places to stay and eat as well!