San Francisco is one of the most iconic cities in the world – the cable cars, the hills, the Golden Gate Bridge – it doesn’t disappoint. And it has so much more to offer. The food is amazing, nightlife is great, views are spectacular and the people are super cool.
What To Do
- The Golden Gate Bridge – if you have a car definitely drive over the bridge and stop each end for the view
- Pier 39 – yes its touristy, but its fun to do and the sea lions are great
- The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market – lots and lots of amazing places to eat and food and drink to buy
- Alcatraz – The tour of the prison is well worth it (including the ferry over to the island) – make sure you book in advance though as it is very popular
- Have a night out in the Mission District – there are loads of great bars and restaurants
- Drive Lombard Street (the windy road)
- Take a Cable Car
Where To Stay
San Francisco hotels are some of the most expensive in the world, so it can be challenging to find a decent place to stay (even the budget motels are usually over $120 a night). However you can find some good options – I loved the Metro Hotel in the Mission District – we paid $100 a night for a room and it was great, friendly staff, awesome location and nice rooms. Alternatively, you can stay outside of the city. We spent a night at Smiley’s Schooner Saloon in Bolinas, which is definitely one of the most memorable hotels I have stayed in. Smiley’s is a Western style bar, with rooms out the back. It has live music most nights, so probably not the place to stay if you want a quiet night. But if you are looking for a local American experience, then it’s definitely worth a visit. San Francisco is a scenic 45 minute drive south (via the Golden Gate Bridge).
Food And Drink
It’s easy to find great food all over San Francisco. I definitely recommend the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market – it has loads of amazing food vendors, cafes and restaurants, and it’s a pretty nice location to have a bite to eat. Some of my favourite restaurants are in the Mission District – Bar Tartine has a some really tasty dishes, including the amazing smoked potato’s – which have to be one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. And Wise Sons Deli does delicious sandwiches and Bagels and really good breakfasts including a yummy market scramble.
San Francisco has great public transport, so it’s easy get around, which means you can do the main tourists sites in a day if you’re pushed for time. But it’s such a cool city, you could easily spend days hanging out in the cafes, eating great food and wandering the hilly streets.