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How to Spend Three Days in San Francisco

As a first time tourist in San Francisco, it’s natural to find yourself racing around and barely getting anything in. San Francisco’s attractions are spread out and aren’t always convenient to reach — there’s a lot of travel time involved and that eats up a lot of your vacation time. It’s difficult to see all of San Francisco’s highlights with only a limited time because there is just so much to do and see. However, if you have at least three days we have listed steps that will help you get the most out of your vacation in one of the most eclectic cities in the United States.

1. Consider what attracted you most to the city

San Francisco is a magical place. The place is so diverese — it’s home to liberals, hippies, hipsters, techies, immigrants, yuppies, one of the oldest gay scenes in the States, that big red bridge, Alcatraz, delicious Chinese food, seafood, and, delicious food. Take time to see the paces you are most interested in. Consider the time of the year too. September and October are generally the warmer months in the city, while January and February can be quite rainy.

2. Be realistic with your objectives

Again, it’s difficult to see all of San Francisco’s highlights with only a limited time. It is best to do advance research on the city and upcoming events beforehand.  In particular, research the area where you’ll be staying especially if you are booking a hotel online. 

3. Plan ahead of time

A great, concise itinerary will save you a lot of time. Book tickets ahead of time and look through maps and directions before going out of your hotel.

4. Walk the Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate bridge is one of the most famous and beautiful bridges in the world because of its spectacular location, graceful lines, and artsy details. It is highly recommended that you take some time to  walk across the bridge, visit the visitor’s center to be briefed on the history of the park, or just stare at it from every angle.

5. Visit the Alcatraz

There’s no charge to visit the island, but you’ll have to pay for the boat there. Boof a ticket ahead of time especially if you’re visiting during the summer, as it gets very full!

6. Got to the top of Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks is a must-see stop on your tour of San Francisco. This set of high peaks offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of the beautiful city and the bay, and ocean beyond. The  view from the top is a site you will never forget! Drive yourself or take a cab to reach Twin Peaks.

7. Walk around Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf is San Francisco’s most popular destination. It offers a long coastal row of seafood restaurants, clam chowder stands, and souvenir stores is combined with a major fishing pier. Experience an exclusive gastronomic adventure by having some Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Bread Bowl. The wharf can be reached by cable car from Union Square.

8. Ride the cable cars

Either pay cash on board or, if there are others in your group, let them buy tickets while you wait in line. The cable cars are  an excellent way to tour the city and experience various neighborhoods in San Francisco. Catch the cable cars from Market Street.

9. Go on a Harbor Tour

Take an afternoon cruise of the bay to see the city from the water. It is cheaper to take the public ferries (for only $6.25) for a harbor tour. See price list here.

10. Have a foodie adventure at the ferry building

This place is a foodie dream! There are a lot of food stands to try out during the weekdays and on the weekends, there is a big farmers market. There are food vendors selling specialty food items as well as butchers, cheesemongers, wine bars, and more.

11. Visit museums

The city has a number of museums. Here is a list of museums you might want to drop by. The Beat Museum Cable Car Museum Exploratorium De Young Art Museum