Travel Guide // What to Do in San Fran

DSC00797{ Mt. Tamalpais aka Mt. Tam, San Francisco }

I am very passionate about traveling and I have been fortunate enough to have traveled and lived in various countries around the world. I am so grateful for all of my incredible experiences because each journey has truly shaped who I am today. There is this one country though that I feel like I haven’t really explored… and that is the USofA.

I can actually count on one hand how many states I have been to thus far. This year, I made it a New Years resolution to explore at least two states that I have never been to. Most recently, I crossed one off my list…CALIFORNIA! And HOLY WOW, what an amazing trip. The idea of traveling to the West Coast was so exciting and invigorating that I could.not.wait. to do e.v.e.r.y.t.h.in.g. in San Fran.

I thankfully had a whole document of “what to do in San Fran” written out before the trip (disclosure: I love lists & over planning) and I was determined to see as much as possible in one weekend. With the help from amazing friends and gracious hosts, I felt as though I had seen the entire city in just a few days. I absolutely loved SF and I cannot wait to go back (wine country, I am looking at you)! I thought it would be fun to share my favorite places in the city in case you ever find yourself traveling to the land of San Fran.

+ Night tour Alcatraz Island // The audio tour is very well done and Alcatraz is super spooky at night. I highly recommend visiting the Island, I learned a tremendous amount in just a few hours. Tip:  buy tickets at least one month in advance, they sell out really quickly.

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+ Mt Tamalpais, East Peak // If you have a car at your disposal, driving to the peaks to hike the trails of SF is definitely a must. I went to East Peak, a quick car ride across the Golden Gate Bridge. There are hundreds of hiking trails to choose from & the best view of the city we found is from Mt. Tamalpais. Tip: If you decide to go hiking, definitely bring a turkey sandwich with you.
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 + Ghiradelli Square // The sweetest part of the square is the Ghirardelli chocolate shop where you can really stay for hours on end. It is chocolate land and you have so many choices; you can get a bag of chocolates, hot chocolate, big chocolates, small chocolates and they give out free mini bites of chocolate too.
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+ Fisherman’s Wharf // This is a touristy attraction with tons of seafood, restaurants, games & museums. It’s located right next to Pier 39 which is a really fun area that has street performers, a carousel, a sea lions watching deck, more restaurants and bars. It’s essentially a mini Disney Land on the water.
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+ Ferry Building // I could walk around the Ferry Building all day & night. There is all sorts of fresh produce surrounding the main part of the building & the market is filled with tons of meats and seafood. You can also buy $1 oysters and shuck them right there!
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 + Mrs. Doubtfire’s House // Growing up and having watched Mrs. Doubtfire over and over again, I thought it was a cool experience to go see the actual house from the movie. There was a small memorial for Robin Williams where people wrote their thoughts and prayers on little rocks and pavement leading up to the front of the house.
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+ Painted Ladies // Full House, anyone? The painted ladies is your “typical” San Fran strip of colorful houses, famously known for being on “Full House.” There is a park right across the street where you can take pictures to admire the beauty and color of the homes as well as the back drop of the city. 
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+ Lands End // A really beautiful park where you can see a terrific view of the Golden Gate Bridge. I recommend going when it’s clear out because when it’s foggy (like the day we went) it’s really difficult to a get a good view of the bridge from here. The hike up the hill is really nice but definitely bring sneakers. 
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+ Lombard Street/Crooked Street // The steep hills of the city really took me by surprise, especially walking up Lombard Street. I had never experienced anything like these hills in a city before. Crooked Street is a really windy, narrow, steep, downhill street on Lombard with beautiful homes surrounding it. A very unique experience for sure.
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+ El Camino Del Mar // This strip of breathtaking homes is a great walk if you enjoy architecture. I highly recommend walking on El Camino Del Mar right after going to Land’s End and soaking in the Mediterranean feel of the homes located right on the water.
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+ Embarcaderos/ Walking along the Pier // If you walk along Embarcadero you are walking along the main strip of piers. There is a nice view of the water and a great site of the Bay Bridge. You really get a sense of the outdoorsiness of the city and along the way there is some really cool street art. 
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Hayes Valley // This was a really cute area near Mission/Market street with lots of restaurants, coffee shops and home good stores. There is a lot of food in Hayes Valley, especially delicious Mexican food. 
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Golden Gate Bridge // Last but not least… this amazing site. I must admit, I did not actually get to bike across the bridge (there’s always a next time) but I did drive on the bridge and it was really breathtaking. I was also able to see different views of the bridge from all sorts of locations (Land’s End, Mt. Tamp) and it was absolutely gorgeous.
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All in all,  I hope this trip inspires you to take a weekend to explore an entire new city. I am sure there is a lot more I still need to see and would love any recommendations or suggestions for San Fran trip #2!

11 thoughts on “Travel Guide // What to Do in San Fran

  1. Hi Nat! I just love your article..I am about to fly to San Fran, and by reading through your experience I feel like I know exactly what to do there! Perfect timing then! And congrats on your decision to get this blog started..I really love it!!

  2. Awesome write-up, I’m looking forward to using your recommendations when Tom and I go over Memorial day wknd!! :) Hope all is well and love your blog!

    1. Thanks, Kristina! Let me know where you end up going in San Fran, would love any additional recommendations :)! Have an amazing trip!

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