San Francisco has a little bit of everything. Whether you’re into history, art, or outdoors you can find it all. San Francisco is the perfect city to enjoy a few days, so if you’re planning a trip to this northern California city, here are some of the best things to see and do.
1. Presidio Park
A great way to start your trip is a stroll through Presidio Park. This former Army military post offers rare and endangered plants and different species of birds for the nature lovers, hiking trails for those like to get a little work out in. Also historic sites and even art.
“Wood Line” by artist Andy Goldsworthy a curvy line of branches in a eucalyptus grove is a must see.
Jackson St & Presidio Ave.
2. Mr. Holmes Bakehouse
If you’re ready to hit the ground running in the morning and don’t want to eat a full breakfast head over to this bakery for some of the best doughnuts and cruffins (croissant-muffins). And as a bonus take a picture in front of the “I got baked in San Francisco” neon sign.
1042 Larkin St.
3. Ride a cable car
I’ve found the best way to get around the city is public transportation. It’s very convenient and affordable. There is even a train that goes from the airport (SFO) straight into downtown San Fran. But riding down California street (one of the many steep streets in SF) on the “C” Cable Car is a must do!
4. Farmers Market at the Ferry Building
One of the top farmer’s markets in the country should be a stop on your list of things to see. Saturday’s 8am-2pm
One Ferry Building
5. The Color Factory
If you’re not into the traditional museums or looking for a fun museum then this is the place for you. From writing on the walls with a giant magic marker in the “green room” to jumping into a pit of plastic balls in the “yellow room”, these coloured themed rooms are sure to make you nostalgic for your childhood.
$35/ www.colorfactory.co / 575 Sutter St.
No trip to San Francisco is complete without taking a ferry over to the notorious federal penitentiary that housed the likes of Al Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly.
I highly recommend taking the first ferry of the day over to the Island. You’ll be able to explore the prison without throngs of tourists.
$38 /Pier 33/ www.alcatrazcruises.com
7. Walk down/up Lombard Street.
After your Alcatraz tour head over to the famous steep street with hairpin turns. Just a short walk up some very steep streets and you’re sure to see cars weaving their way down Lombard.
Leavenworth St & Lombard St.
8. Painted Ladies
Looking for a place to just have a picnic or just hang out why not head over to Alamo Square Park. Not only do you get a view of downtown skyline you also get to admire the famous Victorian and Edwardian houses built between 1892-1896. You may also recognize them from the opening credits of the show “Full House”.
No trip is complete without a little shopping. Yes, there are the upscale stores in Union Square but I suggest a stroll through China town starting at famous Dragon Gate on Stockton Street.
Clay St & Stockton St.
10. Point Bonita Lighthouse (Sausalito)
Wondered what was on the Northern side of the Golden Gate Bridge? A little town called Sausalito. You can ride a bike over from San Francisco or there is an express bus that leaves from downtown the 76x which I recommend. However, it only has service on Saturday and Sunday. This lighthouse built in 1855 is still very active and you can visit it. Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 12:30p.m-3:30p.m.
11. Battery Spencer /Golden Gate Bridge
Ahh, you thought I forgot about one of the most iconic landmarks in San Francisco. I haven’t forgotten and I’m going to break this down in two parts.
If you’re headed back from Point Bonita Lighthouse I recommend stopping at Battery Spencer. This is by far my favorite place to admire this architectural beauty. As a bonus, you will get great unobstructed views and photos.
12. Walk Across the Golden Gate Bridge
You could take the bus back into town but that’s boring so why not walk across the bridge. Just a short walk from Battery Spencer and you are right at the foot of the bridge.
13. See the Bison at Golden Gate Park
Yes, there are buffalo in San Francisco. Over 1000 acres this urban park has a Japanese Tea Garden, an Aquarium and Buffalo.
You can spend a whole day exploring the park but make sure you take time to check these animals out at the Bison Paddock.
43rd Ave & Fulton St
14. The Labyrinth at Lands End Lookout
What better way to end your trip than to be in a place of peace love and enlightenment?
A short hike down to literary the edge of the USA you will find artist Eduardo Aguilera’s labyrinth of stones that abide by the seven-circuit Chartres.
** I mentioned earlier that the best and affordable way to get around San Francisco is to take public transportation. I suggest getting the Muni Pass. This is San Francisco’s transit system. They also have an app you can download. You can get a three-day pass for $33.
Also, I want to point out this pass does not work on the train from the airport. You can purchase a BART card for $10 at the station.
Let us know what are some of your favorite things to do in San Francisco? Sound off below: