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A Weekend in San Francisco

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Besides international travelers, many people in the Western U.S. like to make a long weekend trip to San Francisco. We have had a timeshare there for over thirty years, and never "traded" the time because we love to visit San Francisco! The seven nights are usually taken in two trips per year. In those thirty years, we have gone from taking our young family to the various attractions, to checking out the scene as retirees, and finally planning to take our grandson to the City in the future. Each of the three days will focus on a different geographic area of San Francisco. Enjoy...and come back often!

Good for
  • Like a Local

18 Places

1 City Tip

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Map

18 Places

Day 1

Waterfront Restaurant and Cafe

Restaurants

Fisherman's Wharf

Neighbourhoods, Piers & Boardwalks

Pier 39

Piers & Boardwalks

Market Street Railway

Tramways

The Embarcadero

Neighbourhoods, Piers & Boardwalks, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Historic Walking Areas

Day 2

Chinatown

Neighbourhoods

Little Italy

Neighbourhoods

Coit Tower

Architectural Buildings, Monuments & Statues, Observation Decks & Towers, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Nob Hill

Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks

North Beach

Neighbourhoods

Lombard Street

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Day 3

California Academy of Sciences

Science Museums

Golden Gate Park

Parks

Golden Gate Bridge

Bridges

Presidio of San Francisco

Historic Sites, Military Bases & Facilities, National Parks, Parks

de Young Museum

Speciality Museums

Cliff House

Historic Sites

Union Square

Shopping Malls

bsimosd's City Tips

  • Although the City is relatively small geographically, because of the hills, you need to buy a 1, 3, or 7 day visitor passport at either the airport or any Walgren's. This allows you access to the buses, trams, street cars and - most importantly - the cable cars. Without the pass, each trip on a cable car will cost you $6! There is always something going on in the City on weekends, plus the regular attractions. You can Google beforehand websites which list activities for your dates, as well as for the standing attractions in town. The dining scene is outstanding, and you can save money by having lunch rather than dinner at those establishments which provide lunch as well. We love the views, especially from the lofty hotels on Nob Hill, the Ferry Landing, Fisherman's Wharf, a Bay cruise, or from Treasure Island.
    Day 1
  • Save
    Waterfront Restaurant and Cafe
    Restaurants (American, Seafood, Soups)
    See more photos
    bsimosd Says:

    This restaurant is recommended because of the view. During the day, you can see the Bay Bridge, Treasure Island, and the East Bay. For a real experience, eat at night and see the light show on the Bay Bridge...it is really neat, and the skyline lit up is also a treat.

    Good for
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Lunch time is cheaper
    From the community
    Ranked #332 of 4,220 restaurants in San Francisco
    • Good food, beautiful view and location especially at night 17/10/2017
    • Tourist trap 16/10/2017
    • Waterfront Restaurant and Cafe
    Address:
    Pier 7, at Broadway & the Embarcadero
    San Francisco, CA 94111
    Phone:
    +1 415-391-2696
    Price range:
    US$ 0 - US$ 80
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    11:30 - 22:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Fisherman's Wharf
    Neighbourhoods, Piers & Boardwalks
    See more photos
    bsimosd Says:

    This is Tourist Haven but, hey, you're on a vacation! Enjoy the chaos and kitschy souvenir shops. You get here by either taking a cable car (very hard to do unless you go out early), and you return via an old trolley along the Embarcadero. Walk over to Pier 39 and enjoy the stunning views from the end of the pier, to include the Golden Gate Bridge. Be sure to have seafood either at the wharf or on the pier. We like a meal at the Franciscan on the wharf...again because of the views.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Family
    Tips
    • Go early to get on either the cable car or trolley.
    From the community
    Ranked #35 of 558 things to do in San Francisco
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Touristy but fun for a day 22/10/2017
    • Avoid 21/10/2017
    • Fisherman's Wharf
    Address:
    Jefferson Street
    Between Hyde and Powell Streets
    San Francisco, CA 94133
    Phone:
    +1 415-673-3530
    Other:
  • Save
    Pier 39
    Piers & Boardwalks
    See more photos
    bsimosd Says:

    This has a variety of shops and restaurants, plus the view. Sometimes the seals are "inport" adjacent to the pier, and they are very entertaining.

    Good for
    • Family
    From the community
    Ranked #23 of 558 things to do in San Francisco
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great place to eat and buy some souvenirs 22/10/2017
    • The sea lions were awesome 21/10/2017
    • Pier 39
    Address:
    Beach Street & The Embarcadero
    Parking area
    San Francisco, CA 94133
    Phone:
    +1 415-705-5500
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 21:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Market Street Railway
    Tramways
    See more photos
    bsimosd Says:

    These are great old trolleys from all over the world, and a nice easy way to see Market Street and The Embarcadero enroute to or from Fisherman's Wharf. It's a real step back in time, and fun. It also stops at the Ferry Building, if you have time to visit there.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Family
    Tips
    • Ride this early in the day to avoid crowds.
    From the community
    Ranked #51 of 558 things to do in San Francisco
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Transportation to Fisherman's Wharf 18/10/2017
    • Great way to get from the Piers downtown 16/10/2017
    • Market Street Railway
    Phone:
    +1 415-956-0472
  • Save
    The Embarcadero
    Neighbourhoods, Piers & Boardwalks, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Historic Walking Areas
    See more photos
    bsimosd Says:

    This is a very scenic drive along the bay, with a number of interesting points of interest along the way. You should walk this, since it is level!

    Good for
    • Senior
    From the community
    Ranked #53 of 558 things to do in San Francisco
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Exciting thoroughfare 19/10/2017
    • What's the draw here? 17/10/2017
    • The Embarcadero
    Address:
    Embarcadero Blvd
    San Francisco, CA 94111
    Other:
  • Day 2
  • Save
    Chinatown
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    bsimosd Says:

    You have to experience Chinatown, even though it caters to tourists just like Fisherman's Wharf. We always stop at Far East Café for lunch and request an enclosed booth...a very private way to dine and unique! This is one of the places where there may be special activities on the weekends.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    From the community
    Ranked #58 of 558 things to do in San Francisco
    • A taste of the orient 21/10/2017
    • It was ok 21/10/2017
    • Chinatown
    Address:
    Grant Avenue
    San Francisco, CA 94108
    Phone:
    +1 888-212-3203
  • Save
    Little Italy
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    bsimosd Says:

    Little Italy isn't real big, but it's nice to wander among the restaurants, Washington Park, and shops. It's kind of enroute to Coit Tower, and also close to Nob Hill. If you get hungry, the Stinking Rose serves nice Italian food. If you want to see a really offbeat musical, Beach Blanket Babylon is nearby in Club Fugazzi.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • History Buff
    From the community
    Ranked #73 of 558 things to do in San Francisco
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Step back onto the streets of old Italy 14/09/2017
    • Neat 27/08/2017
    • Little Italy
  • Save
    Coit Tower
    Architectural Buildings, Monuments & Statues, Observation Decks & Towers, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    bsimosd Says:

    You can either take the bus here, or hike up the hill, for some magnificent views of the San Francisco Bay. This is an old WPA project, with some magnificent tile murals throughout. You have to pay (and wait) to go up in the tower, with the downstairs (free) actually pretty interesting by itself.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    From the community
    Ranked #34 of 558 things to do in San Francisco
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Historic Tower with magnificent 360* views 21/10/2017
    • Just Take the Bus! 21/10/2017
    • Coit Tower
    Address:
    1 Telegraph Hill Blvd
    San Francisco, CA 94133-3106
    Phone:
    +1 415-488-7772
    Price range:
    US$ 8 - US$ 8
  • Save
    Nob Hill
    Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    bsimosd Says:

    Nob Hill is another historical location, where the Big Four millionaires used to have their mansions before the Earthquake and Fire in 1906. This is a good walking trip to see the hotels that have replaced the mansions, and the Pacific Union Club which is the only remaining mansion standing. Grace Cathedral is also a venerable building located here. Go to the top of either the Fairmount or Mark Hopkins hotels to see some different and fabulous views of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge. If you've had difficulty catching a cable car, hop on the California Street Cable car, which is a very short route between the Embarcadero and Van Ness, but rarely crowded.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    From the community
    Ranked #90 of 558 things to do in San Francisco
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • The older area of SF 11/10/2017
    • Master piece of an architecture 23/09/2017
    • Nob Hill
  • Save
    North Beach
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    bsimosd Says:

    This is next to Little Italy, and an interesting neighborhood to walk through while enroute to Coit Tower or Nob Hill or even Chinatown. There are lots of clubs and bars for an entertaining night scene.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    From the community
    Ranked #93 of 558 things to do in San Francisco
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Historic and enjoyable neighborhood 18/10/2017
    • Anniversary visit 22/09/2017
    • North Beach
    Address:
    Broadway at Columbus Avenue
    San Francisco, CA 94111
    Phone:
    +1 415-678-5327
    Other:
  • Save
    Lombard Street
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    bsimosd Says:

    This is an interesting street, which kind of epitomizes coping with the steep hills of San Francisco. The views are great, and zig-zagging down this street with homes on either side is impressive. The best way to get here is from the cable car to Fisherman's Wharf (be sure to take the one that goes to the Buena Vista Bar). Buses may also travel fairly close...this is a real hike otherwise.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    From the community
    Ranked #21 of 558 things to do in San Francisco
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Unmissable and fun. 21/10/2017
    • Great when driving trough 21/10/2017
    • Lombard Street
    Phone:
    +1 415-391-2000
    Other:
  • Day 3
  • Save
    California Academy of Sciences
    Science Museums
    See more photos
    bsimosd Says:

    This museum is most interesting if you like Natural History. If you are in the City on a Thursday night, you can enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum which includes wine and appetizers. Although the price as I recall was relatively high, it was a once-in-a-lifetime tour...awesome! The grass roof is also interesting on the museum.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    From the community
    Ranked #14 of 558 things to do in San Francisco
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Crowded but fun 22/10/2017
    • Earthquakes, aquarium, planetarium and more! 21/10/2017
    • California Academy of Sciences
    Address:
    55 Music Concourse Dr
    Golden Gate Park
    San Francisco, CA 94118
    Phone:
    +1 415-379-8000
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 - 17:00
    Mon - Sat
    09:30 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Golden Gate Park
    Parks
    See more photos
    bsimosd Says:

    This is the focus for your tour on Day 3, with all other items listed in this neighborhood. There are lots of trails, and an electric boat ride on Stowe Lake is kind of a kick.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 558 things to do in San Francisco
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Serene, large and full of activities 21/10/2017
    • The Lungs 20/10/2017
    • Golden Gate Park
    Address:
    501 Stanyan St
    San Francisco, CA 94117-1898
    Phone:
    (415) 831-2700
    Other:
  • Save
    Golden Gate Bridge
    Bridges
    See more photos
    bsimosd Says:

    Although the Golden Gate Bridge itself is a bit far from the park, you can reach there relatively easily by public transportation from this area.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 558 things to do in San Francisco
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Icon 22/10/2017
    • It is a must-do when in San Francisco. 22/10/2017
    • Golden Gate Bridge
    Address:
    Lincoln Boulevard, near Doyle Drive and Fort Point
    San Francisco, CA 94129
    Phone:
    +1 415-921-5858
    Other:
  • Save
    Presidio of San Francisco
    Historic Sites, Military Bases & Facilities, National Parks, Parks
    See more photos
    bsimosd Says:

    This former military base is still reinventing itself. It enjoys an excellent location with views to the Golden Gate Bridge, and has many old building converted to shops and commercial uses. This is an area where there are often special events taking place on the weekend. You need to take a bus to get her...it's a pretty far walk.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    From the community
    Ranked #27 of 558 things to do in San Francisco
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful views 19/10/2017
    • Go! 18/10/2017
    • Presidio of San Francisco
    Phone:
    +1 415-561-5300
  • Save
    de Young Museum
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    bsimosd Says:

    This museum usually features world-class art works on tour, and is worth the visit if you like art primarily. Check in your local guide to see what is featured before you visit. This museum is within walking distance of the Japanesel Gardens (interesting) and the Natural History Museum.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    From the community
    Ranked #30 of 558 things to do in San Francisco
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Interestinf visit 20/10/2017
    • Well Done Exhibits in a Beautiful Building! 12/10/2017
    • de Young Museum
    Address:
    50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr
    Golden Gate Park
    San Francisco, CA 94118-4502
    Phone:
    +1 415-750-3600
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    09:30 - 17:15
  • Save
    Cliff House
    Historic Sites
    See more photos
    bsimosd Says:

    We take the tram and then a bus and then walk a ways to visit the iconic Clliff House Restaurant, at the west (ocean) end of Golden Gate Park. It is worth the effort to visit this restaurant for lunch. We splurge and eat at the fine dining restaurant, with a view over the Pacific and the seals basking on the rocks offshore. This is really special.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    From the community
    Ranked #70 of 558 things to do in San Francisco
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Amazing Walk 21/10/2017
    • Good View, Food not So 15/10/2017
    • Cliff House
    Address:
    1090 Point Lobos Ave
    San Francisco, CA 94121-1496
    Phone:
    +1 415-386-3330
  • Save
    Union Square
    Shopping Malls
    See more photos
    bsimosd Says:

    This is probably the starting point for all tours of The City. On almost every weekend there is artwork on display and for sale in the Square, and it is surrounded by hotels and retailers. The cable car to Fisherman's Wharf passes by on adjacent Powell Street. Most buses and trolleys also depart from this general area. And, of course, there are a multitude of nice restaurants in the immediate area...from upscale burgers to Mexican food at Sotano's on Powell Street to Roxanne's comfort food also on Powell to a memorable special dinner at Fleur de Lys.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    From the community
    Ranked #61 of 558 things to do in San Francisco
    • Great place to explore 18/10/2017
    • Shoppers heaven 16/10/2017
    • Union Square
    Phone:
    +1 415-391-2000
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:00 - 00:00
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