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All you need to Know about San Francisco

San Francisco Guide

San Francisco Guide

San Francisco is, in a word, fabulous. From the old Victorian houses to the gleam of the Golden Gate Bridge, you’ll find something new and wonderful at every stop. Here are twenty things that you simply can’t miss.

  1. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge. You have several options for your experience of San Francisco’s most famous landmark. You can drive across in a car, take a tour bus, walk (if you’re up for it!), or bike across the bridge. Some of the tour buses offer free bike rentals just for this purpose.Big Bus Tour San Francisco (10)
  2. Visit the Wharf. There’s a lot to see here! You can wander and watch the seals, or find the piano steps, or tour a museum. Good museums in the area are Madamme Tussaud’s Wax Museum (for the cultured), San Francisco Dungeon (for the history buff), or Ripley’s Believe It or Not (for the fun-lover).Piano Steps
  3. Explore the Murals in Clarion Alley for an intoxicating dose of psychedelic color and punk culture. Hundreds of artists have put thousands of hours into this massive street art project! When you’re done enjoying the walls, try a burrito in the Missions.Clarion Alley Missions San Francisco (22)
  4. Explore Sausalito across the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s the perfect place to see the San Francisco skyline, especially when the buildings glitter with light on a moonless night.                                                                                                     
  5. Feast in the Ferry Building while waiting for your ride to Sausalito. There are so many delicious places to try! While at it, try the Ferry Building Food Tour by Edible Excursions. ( Read here OSKN2849
  6. Food Tours in San Francisco are something you can’t miss! Did you know that you could eat in a new restaurant every day and not repeat one for three years? Try the best of the best on a food tour to Little Italy, Edible Excursion’s Japan Town tour, and Edible Excursion’s Ferry Building Food Tour. This is a great way to learn about the neighborhoods in a different way.Local Taste of the City Tours
  7. Visit the Science Museums. San Francisco has many science museums. My favorite was the Exploratorium, which has a ton of interesting interactive displays.Exploratorium San Francisco
  8. Learn About Animals in California when you visit the California Science Academy and Monterrey Aquarium. It’s incredible to see all the sea life up close at the aquarium, and the lifelike terrain exhibits at California Science Academy are pretty darn awesome.
  9. Get a Fortune Cookie in China Town and explore one of the city’s most historic neighborhoods. You may forget that you’re in the Western hemisphere.
  10. Shop Haight-Ashbury for a taste of the rebel life. With its odd mesh of stiff Victorian infrastructure and casual hippie vibe, this place is definitely unique!
  11. Splurge at House of Prime Rib if you want to treat yourself to a tasty treat. I absolutely loved it!
  12. Cruise the Bay to get an overview of the city from the water. There are many companies that offer cruise tours, but I recommend using a CityPass. It’s so cool to see everything from a distance and cruise right under the Golden Gate Bridge!
  13. Tour on a Big Bus for an awesome trip around the whole city. Informative tours about the city are delivered by hilarious live guides. As far as bus tours go, this is the best!
  14. Go Hiking in the Presidio or Muir Woods. Even the most adamant city folks need some time away from the hustle and bustle now and then. And who knew such beautiful nature can be found co close to the asphalt and concrete of San Francisco? I couldn’t believe how gigantic the trees are!
  15. Visit Monterrey and Big Sur to get a look at the skilled surfers who take on insane waves. Maybe you’ll even want to try a surf lesson on at of the smaller breaks!
  16. Fall in Love with Yosemite and the glorious natural world you’ll find there. Imagine sitting on a ledge over green, pine-covered hills, watching a rainbow form over the reflection of the mountains in a glacial lake. Ahhh. You’ve found your happy place.                                  Yosemite
  17. Ride a Cable Car to experience the steep hills of San Francisco’s terrain. Exactly whose idea was it to build a city on these slopes?CityPass
  18. Ride the F Street Cars for a fun way to get around. Pick your favorite car color: red, blue, yellow or green? You can try them all!
  19. Cross the Bay Bridge at Night to get to Treasure Island and see the lighted city across the Bay. Breathtaking.
  20. Try Ghiradelli Hot Chocolate. I’m not sure if I was just freezing, or if this is the most freaking amazing hot chocolate in the world! In either case, it was delicious. It is Ghiradelli, after all.

How to Get Around San Francisco:

  1. Get a Clipper Card to make travel cheaper. It gives you a discount on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).
  2. Muni Passes are also very inexpensive. For $15 per day or $30 for a week, you can use any of the city buses to get around.
  3. CityPASS practically gives you money! Well, not really, but it saves you so much on museum admission and bus fare that you feel like you’re traveling for free. A CityPass is good for seven days of transportation and four free museum tickets.
  4. Big Bus Tours are great for people who won’t be in San Francisco for too long. It takes you all over the city and gives you an overview, to boot.
  5. Bikes are pretty standard in San Francisco. There are tons of places you can rent a bicycle.
  6. Cars, of course, are another option for transportation. Most tourists don’t choose to rent a car because of the parking costs and general lack of parking.

Facts about San Francisco

  1. It is cold! The breezes from the bay make the city colder than other surrounding areas. I loved the weather, though. Mostly, it is sunny with a little breeze.
  2. It is expensive. Taxes are high. California is one of the most expensive states to live in, and even recently overtook New York for cost of living.
  3. San Franciscans take pride in their good food and cocktail scene.
  4. There are murals and street art everywhere! I love it.
  5. It’s easy to get around on foot. I spent a whole day walking around Fisherman’s Wharf, the Aquatic Park, China Town, and North Beach. Gotta work off all that good food, you know? I loved being able to walk everywhere. Even though the hills gave me a leg workout, the street art kept me motivated.
  6. You can see the bridge countless times and still be amazed by it: sunrise, sunset, from behind, from the front, from below—it’s so iconic and so stunning.
  7. You will fall in love with San Francisco. Period.

78 thoughts on “All you need to Know about San Francisco

  1. San Franciso is definitely my next stop! It’s such a beautiful place, I like how you narrated the whole trip, it felt like I was there with you It is expensive, but San Francisco is worth every dime.

  2. I visited San Francisco a while back and saw the golden gate bridge. I wish I had time to bike across it.

  3. The murals would be something I want to see. City Pass is a great idea anywhere they are offered which is almost everywhere. Great article I hope to visit one day.

  4. I passed through there many years ago but didn’t get to really visit.
    I would love to visit and stay a bit sometime.
    These places seems interesting.

    And yes, it’s definitely cold! 🙂

  5. I have never been to San Francisco but have always wanted to go there. This is a very well put together tourist guide for the beautiful city.

  6. There’s just so much to do in San Francisco! I never would’ve thought of that much activities. I will definitely enjoy the museums and the food tours. Yosemite is a must!

  7. San Francisco is a nice play to stay with. It is not hard to commute, especially if you are a tourist and foods are available anywhere.

  8. I would love to ride on one of those ferries in San Francisco, I hear so many good things about it and I am so excited to see SF.

  9. SF is really a nice place. If you haven’t seen it, please work out to see it! You will regret if you will not go to SF.

  10. I love this post. San Fancisco is one of my favorite places that I have been. I absolutely love that city! I would live there if I could.

  11. San Francisco is an awesome city! There are so many exciting places to visit and of course, places to eat! I would love to visit again sometime. Thanks for sharing your pictures. I enjoyed reminiscing about the first time I visited the city!

  12. I hope I can go to San Francisco sometime. That’s one of the places I have always wanted to go to. I love all your photos too. They’re all very beautiful! The bridge is one of the things I really want to see.

  13. Love, love, love San Francisco, we visit a couple times a year. So glad I found this post, I’ve discovered a couple of things I need to cross off!

  14. San Francisco is a very nice place. There are many great finds, restaurants and sweet people that you can meet at SF.

  15. I have been to San Francisco few years back & the memories are still strong in my heart that I would go for another visit anytime. These tips are going to be so helpful & I would love to explore those Murals so much for sure.

  16. San Francisco is one of my favorite destinations. There is so much to do and I remember when we visited, walking EVERYWHERE. I remember wearing a pedometer and one day walking 27,000 steps. Your pictures are amazing and I can’t wait to go back, you gave me some additional ideas for my next visit!

  17. Before I explore the city, I would love to visit Yosemite National Park first. I have read about how beautiful it is, I have seen awesome pictures of it too, but I would love to experience being there myself!

  18. Woah! Looks like San Francisco would be on our top list, we should visit there soon. My family and I really loves to travel in different places, And Since we Haven’t visited San Francisco it would probably our next stop.

  19. San Francisco is a really nice place. I love the foods that we ate there, the people are also amazing.

  20. We went about 10 years ago and absolutely loved it. I would love to go back and spend about a week exploring.

  21. I haven’t been to San Francisco in years. My husband used to go a few times a year, but he typically went for work and didn’t get to do all the cool things you mentioned. We need to plan a trip there!

  22. It has been ages since I last visited San Francisco, so I am certainly long overdue. I love the fresh air and open minded people of Northern California!

  23. Great guide. I used to live in San Francisco as did my grandparents when I was growing up there. You really hit the hot spots.

  24. Wow, SF is such a great city! I would like to go there someday, I hope I can save money for this trip.

  25. My niece moved two weeks ago and I’m so excited to visit her in San Francisco! There’s so much fun to be had. My kids are most excited about seeing the Full/Fuller House though. Ha!

  26. My niece moved there two weeks ago, and I’m so excited to visit! It’s been too long since I’ve been. My kids are most excited about seeing the Full/Fuller House. Ha!

  27. San Francisco is such a lovely place to visit! I love that they offer tourists a lot of tours so you can fully enjoy what they have to offer. I’d love to come visit some day and make my daughter experience the beauty of San Francisco through these lovely tours!

  28. San Francisco is on my travel bucket list. I hope that I can visit to SF next year with my family.

  29. We went to San Francisco 3 years ago and I got to run the SF Marathon. Running across the bridge was super cool! And we did a bunch of things from your list while we were there too!

  30. It’s always great to see a place through the eyes of someone. Since I don’t see myself going there in this lifetime, at least I got to see it through your post.

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