Traveling is one of the best experiences anyone can have. Getting to see a new part of the world, or revisiting your favorite city can definitely be memorable. Some getaways though may not be weeklong vacations, and you may only have a couple days to explore. One of my favorite cities is San Francisco, and though I was able to explore the city quite a bit, it can definitely be hard to visit all of a place when you have just less than 48 hours there. Here’s where to check out when you’re spending just a weekend in San Francisco!
One of the most scenic parts of San Francisco has to be Pier 39. Yes, it’s a total tourist attraction when it comes to the “must see” things to do when visiting SF. But, it’s a part of the city’s charm. There is so much to see on Pier 39 with incredible views, shopping, places to eat near the water, and of course – the sea lions. From Pier 39, you can see the Golden Gate bridge, Alcatraz and the Bay Bridge – all 3 of which make up some of San Francisco’s popular attractions. Going to Pier 39 even if it’s just for a little bit is a must see, grab some ice cream or lunch, and listen to all the sea lions as they chill on the docks.
Quite possibly the coolest area of San Francisco is Haight-Ashbury. Walking around this neighborhood truly makes you feel like you went back in time and ended up in the 1960’s. There’s no doubt why Haight-Ashbury is so hip and loved by many. This area has a relaxed, and vintage vibe, with a ton of bars, thrift stores, boutiques, restaurants and more. Here, you can get a glimpse into the music scene of the 60’s-70’s, check out some cool bars, and find retro clothing you won’t find anywhere else. One of my favorite spots in Haight-Ashbury is Zam Zam, a super small bar with just a few spots for seating. Inside the bar, it’s dim, has great music playing, and brings you back a few decades with the vintage register (they only accept cash). This bar along with others is a must see if you’re a fan of all the music and style that made up the 60’s. When visiting Haight-Ashbury, you must also check out the Grateful Dead house and Jimi Hendrix house – after all, the Dead and Hendrix are legendary, so it would only make sense to see these houses during your visit to San Francisco.
If there’s one other area besides Haight-Ashbury that you should go to when visiting San Francisco, with little time, it’s the Mission District. Filled with art, Latin culture, incredible food, music, nightlife and overall upbeat and groovy ambiance – the Mission District tops the charts for where you spend a good amount of time when visiting San Francisco. Whether you’re heading for dinner, and looking to watch the sunset, going out with your friends, listening to live music, or grabbing brunch on a rooftop restaurant, you will not be disappointed with what the Mission District has to offer. You will find the best Latin food in San Fran right in the heart of the Mission District, as well as be totally immersed in what makes San Francisco so unique, and worth traveling to.
You may have heard of San Francisco’s popular street, Fillmore. If you’re looking to do some shopping during your trip, Fillmore Street is for you. It is full of shops that may not be where you live, so this could be a good time to check out stores you’d usually look online for. But, it also has a good amount of local restaurants, and California gems such as The Grove. You can eat food on Fillmore street that you won’t have anywhere else. This is yet another part of San Francisco that makes it so eclectic, with its wide range of different cuisines for all meals of the day.
Is there a better way to explore the city than a cable car? Probably not, no one wants to be stuck in San Fran traffic. Riding a cable car can be an amazing way to see a lot of San Francisco’s downtown area, and also make it up those massive hills without walking. On a cable car, you can snap pictures of the city, make a stop and explore Chinatown, and ride through the streets while sight seeing. You can hop on and off cable cars, and eventually make your way back to your starting point after getting a good look of the city. This is another part of what makes San Francisco so special, and gives us an opportunity to explore in a different way.
‘Full House’ House
I mean, whether or not you were really a fan of Full House, the house that makes that show so special is located in San Francisco and that’s pretty cool. If you’re looking to check out the ‘Full House’ house, and want to snap a picture of this famous landmark, you should know that it’s best to drive since it’s located on a side street and isn’t directly in a tourist area (just a normal neighborhood with other houses). But, it is totally worth seeing if you have the time to do so or are a big fan!
The Painted Ladies
You’re looking for an Instagram worthy photo in San Francisco? The Painted Ladies is where you should go. These picturesque Victorian homes speak for themselves, so there’s no doubt why they have been considered photo-worthy and a tourist attraction forever. You can sit on the top of a hill in Alamo Square and watch the sunset, while snapping some pictures of the Painted Ladies, and soaking up San Francisco’s beauty.
Yerba Buena Gardens
One of my favorite spots in San Francisco is Yerba Buena Gardens. There is so much to see, and lots of space to relax in one of the public parks. Grab lunch from a restaurant nearby, or a from a California chain, Lemonade that is perfect for a hot summer day (they have delicious food and so many types of yummy, and pretty lemonade) or Mendocino Farms for salads. Listen to some music, eat some food, and relax in the California sun.
One of the most places I’ve ever been is Marin Headlands. From here, you can see the Golden Gate bridge, the ocean, and basically what makes up San Francisco. It’s one of the most scenic spots ever for capturing photos of the Golden Gate, and seeing it in real life. You can get to Marin Headlands by driving and taking the 101. Here, you will be able to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, while checking out the famous bridge.
The Golden Gate Bridge
If you love to bike ride, riding on the Golden Gate can be an experience like no other. If you just want to experience the bridge in real life, take a ride on the bridge just because – and maybe, listen to the Full House theme song to really feel like you’re in San Francisco.