Ever since I've watched Full House, one of my favorite TV shoes, I’ve wanted to visit San Francisco. I had the opportunity to go this past January for the first time. My husband and I only had two days, but we were able to see a lot of places and really enjoyed this beautiful city. Here is what we did:
After breakfast at Mama's in Washington Square, we walked to Lombard Street. You can take either a regular bus or the famous cable car, but since we ate so much, we wanted to burn the calories lol. Talk about walking… your feet and legs are going to ache, the hills in SF are no joke! Wear extremely comfortable shoes!
Lombard Street is very cute. The view from the top is amazing, you can just about see the entire city. We went during the winter, so there were no trees or flowers around. The spring / summer time is probably a great time to visit.
Address: 1000-1099 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94133
Ghirardelli Square is just a few minutes away from Lombard Street located in the Fisherman's Wharf area, so you can walk. Ghirardelli is a famous chocolate brand that was established in San Francisco in 1852, and the old factory still stands today. Today, you can shop the bakery / store that has so many delicious treats, including its famous hot fudge sundae. The sundae we had was delicious, and gave us some energy for all the hills we walked lol. Some chocolate machines are still working, so you can see how the chocolate is made.
Address: 900 North Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Pier 39 & Fisherman's Wharf
Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the busiest areas in San Francisco. You'll find tons of gift shops and many sea food restaurants serving its famous clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls. There is an area with many sea lions playing around (so cute!). This is the ideal place to rest and see Alcatraz in the distance (without taking a boat there, which you can do).
Address: Beach St & The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94133
Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market
The farmers market has many organic and local products, as well as some nice restaurants. It's a long walk there from Fisherman’s Wharf, but you can take a bus, like we did. It's a great place to have lunch after a long walk in the city.
Address: One Ferry Building #50, San Francisco, CA 94111
We took a bus to Union Square, the financial and shopping center. We walked around and went into some stores and had a quick snack. It’s very easy to use public transportation around SF, I'll give more information later in this post.
Address: 333 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94108
To watch the sunset, we decided to go to the famous “Painted Ladies” (the houses from Full House), a row of Victorian and Edwardian houses built around 1849. It’s such a cute neighborhood and the perfect way to finish the day.
Address: Steiner St & Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Golden Gate Park
Of course we went to the most famous bridge in SF (probably most famous in the US!). We took a cab to Golden Gate Park from our hotel, but you also can ride a bike or take the bus. The park is beautiful and usually crowded.
You’ll be able to take really good pictures toward the middle of the park, close to the bridge. There is a little pier you can walk out to to take pictures.
You can also cross the bridge driving or riding a bike, which seems very nice, but we didn’t have time.
Lyon Street Steps
Such a cute neighborhood with a lot of beautiful steps and the classic heart monument in the middle.
Address: Lyon St. at Green St., Pacific Heights, San Francisco, CA
Palace of Fine Arts
One of my favorite spots. Located in the Marina District, the Palace of Fine Arts was constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition to exhibit works of art presented there and is the only structure that survived after the exposition. It was rebuilt in 1965 and the renovations finished around 2009.
You’ll see many people walking around taking pictures. It’s beauty is quite mesmerizing!
Address: 3301 Lyon St, San Francisco, CA 94123
Next stop was Mission Street, a very alternative area (like the Williamsburg of San Francisco) to eat at La Taqueria, one of the most famous Mexican restaurants. The food is good but be prepared to wait, the line is usually out the door, and you have to fight for a table.
*See my post about best places to eat in San Francisco for a review*
La Taqueria address: 2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Mission Dolores Park
What a great vibe. It’s a park with a beautiful view of all of SF, with lots of people picnicking, playing with their dogs, and listening to music.
We didn’t stay long because we had other places to visit, but next time, we’ll want to spend more time there.
Address: Dolores St & 19th St, San Francisco, CA 94114
The first LGBT community in the US, Castro District is full of history. The streets are full of colors and quirky / cool stores.
Address: 429 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114
Haight - Ashbury
Known as the origin of hippie counterculture, where the Summer of Love happened in 1967, there are many smoke shops and psychedelic shops. Its also possible to see Jimi Hendrix’s old house.
The neighborhood overall is very cute, with a ton of bars and restaurants around.
Jimi Hendrix's address: 1524A Haight St.
The best way to finish the day is watching a beautiful sunset from the top of the Twin Peaks, which are two hills considered to be the two highest spots in San Francisco. You’ll be able to see the entire city, including the Golden Gate and Bay Bridge. You likely have to take a car to get there from downtown.
Address: 501 Twin Peaks Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94114
DAY 3 (half day only)
We finally took the famous cable car to go back to Union Square and walk around a little more.
The ride was fun, especially when it was going downhill. The best part of the experience is hanging off of the sides...you definitely enjoy the ride more. The ticket costs $7 or you can also pay via the app, MuniMobile.
After that we had to get back to the hotel to get ready to head back to NY. It was a quick trip but we had so much fun. San Francisco is an amazing place, and I definitely plan on going back soon.
We stayed in a nice, conveniently located hotel: Stanford Court Hotel
App for buses and cable car: MuniMobile
I hope this post helps you plan your trip to San Francisco. If you’ve already been there, comment below what your favorite spot is or drop me a suggestion for next time I visit. Remember to follow me on Instagram @eat_travel_andlove to keep up with me in real time.