My mom and I are planning a one-day visit to San Francisco. Do you have any advice for the best things to see and best places to eat? Thanks!
Dear Speedy Traveler,
I am so pumped that you asked me! This is a very intriguing question. What do I consider the best? How can I help you get the full SF experience in just one day?
The Best of San Francisco
Okay so, here is a list my favorite things to do in San Francisco (in order of awesomeness). Some of my suggestions are obligatory tourist destinations, but I also included things the locals do. I want you to get a good snapshot of the city. BTW, you can’t do all these things in one day, so I’ve suggested a couple one-day excursions below.
(1) Drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. If you don’t have a car, then walk or rent a bike.
(2) Sutro Baths.
(3) Fisherman’s Wharf.
(5) Alamo Square Park.
(6) Coit Tower.
(7) Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building. (Saturday only)
These adventures are designed so you can walk from one site to another, because driving in SF sucks! Unfortunately, driving across the Golden Gate Bridge was not included in either of these groups. It’s not really close to anything. So if you want to do that, you’ll have to find a way to squeeze it in. Also, if you want to visit ChinaTown, you have to figure that out yourself.
(1) Fisherman’s Wharf + Coit Tower + Farmer’s Market
If you choose this adventure, you should start your day at the Farmer’s Market because it’s less crowded in the morning. You should plan to stay all morning and eat lunch there at the market. Then walk to Coit Tower, climb to the top and ooh and ahh at the view. If you would like to visit Lombard Street, do it after Coit Tower. Then proceed to Fisherman’s Wharf. You’re gonna want to spend several hours at Fisherman’s Wharf because there’s a lot to see! I recommend that you go shopping at Pier 39, eat dinner at Neptune’s Palace, then meander down to Hyde St. Pier. Finish your day at Ghirardelli Square with an ice cream sundae or an irish coffee at Buena Vista Cafe.
(2) Sutro Baths + Haight Ashbury + Alamo Square Park
Adventure 2 is also a lot of fun! Start your day at Sutro Baths. There is a hiking trail that winds around and gives you great views of the Golden Gate Bridge. It will probably take you 2 hours to fully enjoy Sutro Baths. And I want you to eat lunch at the Cliff House, with its spectacular ocean views. Then proceed to Golden Gate Park. There is a ton of stuff to do here, but it all costs money. FYI. Spend as much time as you like, then proceed to Haight-Ashbury. This is such a vibrant neighborhood. It’s best to just wander down the street and window shop and gawk at the
hippies colorful people. Haight-Ashbury has several great restaurants, but I recommend Escape from New York Pizza, or Ploy II. End your day watching the sunset at Alamo Square Park.
So there you go, Speedy Traveler. I hope this helps. San Francisco is an amazing place; you’re gonna love it!! I found a great article in Time Magazine that I think you should read: http://www.time.com/travel/cityguide/184523000.html. Let me know if you have any questions.