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3 votes

A Weekend in San Francisco for First-Time Explorers

created by cristina on 2017-12-18

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 the 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 food in the city at Taqueria Cancun before exploring Mission Dolores. Take some time to walk around the Mission and explore the shops, particularly 826 Valencia. Meander over to neighboring Hayes Valley and have dinner at the excellent Suppenkuche followed by a fancy cocktail at Absinthe. If you're still up to it, 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's 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 accommodations options listed toward the end - however, for more options to suit every budget, please check outo our accommodations chapter.
  • 1
    Golden Gate Park

    15 votes

    Park / Zoo

    Cultural and Sports Center in beautiful gardens. There's no sign anywhere prohibiting to step on t...

  • 2
    San Francisco Ferry Building

    8 votes


    Embarcadero Landmark. The Ferry Building was built from 1896 until 1903. Before the construction o...

  • 3
    Vaillancourt Fountain

    1 votes


    A boxy, geometric, concrete . . .fountain?. Perhaps the most well-known sculpture of Quebecois art...

  • 4
    Transamerica Pyramid

    12 votes


    The San Francisco skyline's most recognizable landmark. The tallest building in San Francisco is a...

  • 5
    City Lights Bookstore

    8 votes


    Co-founded by Beat poet Lawrence Ferlenghetti, City Lights was one of the centers of the Beat com...

  • 6
    Coit Tower

    29 votes


    A tower with wall paintings honoring brave fire fighters. Coit Tower is located 137m above sea lev...

  • 7
    North Beach

    16 votes


    A lively neighbourhood with many Italian restaurants, cafes and shops.

  • 8
    Castro Street

    5 votes


    America's first and best known gay neighbourhood is concentrated around the street it is named af...

  • 9

    4 votes

    Museum / Gallery

    Hands-on museum that appeals to kids and adults alike. Housed within the lovely Palace of Fine Art...

  • 10
    Palace Of Fine Arts

    4 votes


    Inspired by the Romans and the Greeks, Bernard Maybeck built one of the most romantic spots in Sa...

  • 11
    Taqueria Cancún

    1 votes


    Perhaps the best burrito in San Francisco. Looking for good, hole-in-the-wall Mexican food? You'l...

  • 12
    Mission San Francisco de Asís

    8 votes


    The oldest intact building in San Francisco. Also known as Misión San Francisco de Asís, Mission D...

  • 13
    826 Valencia Pirate Supply Store

    1 votes


    Dave Eggers' West Coast tutoring center / pirate store. Award-winning author Dave Eggers' 826 Vale...

  • 14
    Elbo Room

    1 votes


    Hipster haunt in the Mission. This hipster dive has a little something for everyone - dark, cozy c...

  • 15

    11 votes


    Germany in the heart of San Francisco's Hayes Valley. Suppenküche offers German food and beer from...

  • 16
    Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

    2 votes


    An elegant throwback to another, more romantic era. You might want to clean up a little before hea...

  • 17
    Chateau Tivoli Bed & Breakfast

    6 votes


    Antiques and sky beds in a former private residence. A beautifully restored 19th century Victorian...

  • 18
    Golden Gate Hotel

    8 votes


    Just 5 minutes' walk from Union Square and the Theatre District, the Golden Gate Hotel is pet-fri...

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  • will not e there till May
    a couple of years ago report abuse



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