San Francisco is my favorite city in the US (I’m really sorry Philly, you came in 2nd), so I go just about every year.. I’ve been to the tourist hot spots, I’ve ventured off-the-beaten-path [See my old post on that here], and I’ve tried all the foods.
This year I brought my boyfriend who was a first-timer, and we only had 48 hours in the city. Too little time? Not with San Francisco, the 7-by-7 mile city. If you rent a car (which I suggest), you can really cover ground in the Bay area. A little bit of adventure, the must-see tourist things, and a delicious food + booze to top it off.
All of this, on a budget.
If you are headed to San Francisco in the near future, follow most of this itinerary and you will thank me.
— Get more info on restaurants + bars on this list from the source, linked respectively 🙂
- Start in Hayes Valley: Grab coffee at Blue Bottle on Fell Street. It’s great coffee served out of a garage. Walk around and explore Hayes Valley’s cuteness with an abundance of independently-owned shops and corner cafes.
- Take the walk a few blocks up the street to Alamo Square Park / Painted Ladies: The “Full House” houses if you will…
- Drive to the Mission neighborhood – Valencia street is cool, a hip + trendy area with plenty to see as you walk around.
- Walk the Clarion Art walk just off of Valencia Street in between 17th and 18th street.
- Grab a sandwich at Rhea’s (you won’t regret it), a 6-pack and head to Dolores Park for chill hangs and an incredible view of the city
- Drive out to Baker Beach to see a better (and less touristy) view of the Golden Gate Bridge
- Not far from Baker Beach are the Sutro Baths / Lands End. Go here and read the history behind these Sutro Baths.
- Drive back to the city, end the day with drinks/dinner in the quaint Nob Hill neighborhood
- Start your day at Mr Holmes Bakehouse and GET THE CRUFFIN. If you eat one thing in SF, this should be it.
- Lombard Street is a short drive away, and Fisherman’s Wharf is blocks from Lombard Street.
- Head to Chinatown for lunch and get dumplings to-go at Good Mong Kok Bakery for less than $5.
- See the famous pyramid Transamerica Pyramid building just around the corner from Chinatown.
- Head to Union Square – this is this public plaza of the city where there’s lots of shopping / dining / entertainment.
- Recharge in SoMa at SightGlass Coffee – a huge bi-level coffee shop made from an industrial warehouse.
- Head back to the Mission neighborhood and get cocktails at TrickDog – some of the best cocktails in the country live here.
- Eat Dinner at Mission Chinese – A delicious and unique take on Chinese food with healthy ingredients.