A Weekend in San Francisco for First-Time Explorers
Day One: Start by meandering around Golden Gate Park and get your photo op with the city's iconic bridge. From there, take public transportation to the Ferry Building to grab lunch/snacks - Il Cane Rosso, Slanted Door, Blue Bottle Coffee, and Miette are all fantastic options. Check out the Vaillancourt Fountain and the Transamerica Pyramid as you walk through the charming neighborhoods of Chinatown and Nob Hill on your way to Coit Tower. From here, walk a few blocks over to North Beach for dinner - the neighborhood is famous for its Italian food, particularly cioppino, a seafood stew that originates in the area. If you've still got energy, head to the Castro and dance the night away in one of their many famous gay bars.
Day Two: Start at the Exploratorium and the Palace of Fine Arts. From here, head to the Mission and have the best Mexican in the city at Taqueria Cancun before exploring Mission Dolores. Take some time to walk around the Mission exploring the shops, particularly 826 Valencia. Meander over to neighboring Hayes Valley and have dinner at the excellent Suppenkuche before a fancy cocktail at Absinthe. If you still have the energy, head back to the Mission and do some bar-hopping, starting at Elbo Room.
You'll notice that several notable tourist attractions are not included. Fisherman's Wharf is an absolute tourist trap, but if you must go, there is a bus that goes straight from Coit Tower to the wharf. Similarly, Union Square is nothing particularly notable, but it's easy to get to from the Ferry Building.There are a few accommodation options listed toward the end - however, for more options to suit every budget, please check tripwolf's accommodation chapter.