San Francisco was exactly how I imagined it from the pictures I saw or maybe from what I remembered from watching too much of Full House. It actually didn’t disappoint.
Top things to do in San Francisco:
When you only have one day to explore a city you should focus on a few things and don’t put too much into the day trip, as you don’t want to be running. I’m sharing what we did to explore San Francisco in a day and hopefully you get some ideas. We tried to cover all major attractions of San Francisco and put together this little City Guide.
1. Golden Gate Bridge
You won’t get around it when visiting San Francisco and you shouldn’t. For me it is the first thing I have in mind when thinking of San Francisco and it’s great to see the Golden Gate Bridge in real life. Driving or walking over it is impressive, with breathtaking views overlooking the city. Most of the time the bridge is covered in clouds, or fog if you want to, but it makes the scenery even more stunning.
2. Cable Cars
At Powell and Market Street is a cable car turnaround where we hopped on. There’s a line waiting, as everyone wants to try it. If you want to skip the line, then walk up Powell Street in the direction of Union Square and just jump on a few stops further. The tickets are around 7$ each and you can buy them in the cable car. You can go through to Fisherman’s Wharf with the option to get off at the intersection of Hyde and Lombard Street.
If you’re up for shopping then Powell Street and Union Square are a good location to do so and you can just stroll through the shopping mile before hopping on the cable car.
3. Lombard Street
Famous for the windy stretch of the street, with eight hairpin turns, it is fun to drive or walk through it. But it is a massive attraction and lots of cars and tourists will be around. However it also offers great views over San Francisco with it’s steep streets and on Alcatraz.
4. Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf
Pier 39 is quite touristy but I liked it. There are lots of shops, restaurants, the Aquarium and as it’s located right at the bay you can often spot sea lions in the waters. If you like fresh sea food then it’s the perfect place for you. While strolling through the area you will see many street performers, who’ll entertain you.
5. Eat at In’N’Out Burger
If you haven’t had the chance to eat at famous In’N’Out Burger, then go and do it. Order the cheese fries or even the Animal Style fries and a milkshake and you’ll be in heaven. Or at least I was. Don’t worry if you can’t find cheesy fries on the menu, as they only have the basic stuff on it. Just go ahead and order what you like. That’s the coolest thing about it. Are you on a diet or just want to cut short on carbs? Order your burger protein style and they will get rid of the bread and wrap your burger in lettuce. There are many hacks for the In’N’Out Burger menu.
Unfortunately we didn’t had the chance to go on a tour at Alcatraz, but I’m sure it’s amazing and really interesting. If you have time or wanted to go there for ages, then maybe skip one of the things above and check out Alcatraz island instead. Also it might be a good idea to by the tickets upfront as lots of tours sell out really fast.
7. Golden Gate Park
You can drive through bits of the Golden Gate Park with the car and get a feeling of how green it is. A million trees and with the Conservatory of Flowers, an old Victorian Greenhouse. For me this isn’t a must do, but if you have spare time you could consider coming here. And did you know it is even bigger than the New York Central Park? If you have any more time at your San Francisco day trip, you could also go and visit Chinatown. However we didn’t manage to squeeze that in. I hope you like our San Francisco travel guide and please let me know any placed to visit that I didn’t put in here.