San Francisco is truly one of the most unique cities in the world. With its eclectic architecture, steep hills, spectacular views, incredible restaurants, the list goes on. It’s absolutely one of my top five favorite cities in the US. San Francisco is truly an awe-inspiring city. Here’s a guide to help make the most of your time in SF.
Things to Do:
A peaceful and gorgeous beach with stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Also, a great place for sunset.
Interesting observatory deck inside a historic monument with 360 degree views of SF and murals of what the city was like in the old days. Entry: $10 per person.
Known to be one of the highest points in San Francisco, Twin Peaks has a stunning panoramic view of the entire city. Located a little ways from the main sights, this viewpoint is also highly underrated but totally worth the trek.
Conservatory of Flowers
A beautiful Victorian-era greenhouse with tons of plants and flowers. A relaxing place to visit in the city and it’s so picturesque.
One of the first gay neighborhoods the US, The Castro is home to some of the best restaurants and bars in the city. I also stumbled upon Clarion Allen, an alley decked out in interesting street art and murals. I highly recommend spending time in this area to get a feel of how the locals live.
The laid back vibes here gave me a chance to slow down from the sightseeing and take it all in. I sat on the lawn along with hundreds of other people just relaxing and enjoying the day. The park is also home to one of the most beautiful views of the city. Perfect photo-op.
Alcatraz Cruises Boat Tour Tickets
to tour the infamous Alcatraz Prison sell out quickly. Keep in mind that tickets should be purchased at least a month in advance. A good alternative is to purchase Alcatraz Cruise tickets, a boat tour that circles around the prison and the Golden Gate bridge.
A must visit but beware as you walk up to the top for the view, the hills are STEEP! But totally worth the short urban hike. Be sure to pay attention to the blue house on the left as you walk down, it’s super picturesque!
As a huge fan of the show Full House growing up, this sight was a must see for me! This famous row of houses sits on the edge of Alamo Square Park, another park with great city views and it even makes for a great picnic-worthy spot if you’re trying to stay on a budget!
For one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
While I’m not much of a shopper, I did stop in at the Neiman Marcus in Union Square to catch a glimpse of it’s gorgeous interior in their lobby with its Tiffany stained glass dome ceiling.
A bit touristy but still fun to walk around, check out the boats and grab an ice cream cone. There’s also an In N Out here.
Where to Eat and Drink:
One of the best brunch spots on the city. We loved the French Toast and Coastal Benedict!
This popular bakery is known to have lines wrapped around the block. The croque monsieur, warm bread pudding and grilled cheese are incredibly delicious picks.
La Cuisine Cafe
A European style cafe with Murano glass chandeliers from Italy. Gorgeous!
Chai Bar by David Rio
A cute cafe with an excellent selection of chais.
Precita Park Cafe
Adorable cafe next to Dolores Park with a retro vibe and a nice view of the Mission High School tower from the window.
Sextant Coffee Roasters
Loved the exposed brick, wide open space of this roastery, great coffee too.
An intimate little coffee shop with sustainably sourced, expertly roasted specialty coffee. .
Where to Stay:
San Francisco Proper
There is no better place to stay than the San Francisco Proper. Not only is it the most chic and stylish hotel with its unique high design, the staff is incredibly friendly and helpful. The best service I’ve experienced at a hotel in a very long time. They made us feel right at home. It is also home to one of the most beautiful rooftops in the city, Charmaines. The property also offers an excellent restaurant on site, Villon by by Michelin starred Executive Chef Jason Fox.
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All opinions are my own.