San Francisco will always have a special place in my heart. It’s a city I visited frequently as a youngin’, a city that I had the chance to live in, and one that I lust over now. I’m saying it now, this SF post is going to have to turn into a series because I can’t possibly share all of my favorite spots in just one.
Whether you are taking a day trip or are planning a huge West Coast vacation, sometimes you only have one day in a particular spot, and while San Francisco is only seven miles across, there is so much to see in such a small place that it can be overwhelming to decide where to go or what to do.
Well, look no further.
I’ve rounded up some suggestions on how to spend a day in the City by the Bay!
Iconic Places to See
There are too many wonderful spots to see in such a tiny city, but I’ll list out my top spots as a visitor and a resident.
For anyone that grew up loving Full House, you have to see two things: The Painted Ladies from the picnic scene in the opening credits, and the actual Tanner house. They are not on the same street, but they are relatively close to each other.
- Golden Gate Bridge from Crissy Field
- Twin Peaks. You can’t beat the view
- Golden Gate Park and Conservatory of Flowers
- Bay Bridge lights
- Ocean Beach or Baker Beach (epic GG Bridge views, too)
Things to Eat
OK, there is no shortage of good restaurants to eat at in the city. You pretty much want to pick a neighborhood and go from there. Some of my favorites are:
- Delarosa in the Marina
- Waterbar on Embarcadero ($1 oysters daily)
- Hog & Rocks in the Mission
- The Dorian in the Marina
- Local Edition in Financial for cocktails
- Wayfare Tavern in Financial (tell me you’ve heard about the Fried Chicken)
- Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in North Beach
- The Riddler in Nob Hill
- Belga in Cow Hollow
Need coffee? Who doesn’t? Visit Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters and take a selfie in front of the pineapple wall. It’s tiny but there is a ledge to sit on inside and a couple of bistro tables outside.
One of my all-time favorite places in the city is the Cliff House. With the impeccable views and a feeling of old Hollywood glamour, I either order a gin and tonic or a dirty martini. They offer brunch service, but a dinner and cocktails at sunset is equally as charming. Last time I went with Ruthie and Melinda and we ordered the chowder and Fruitti di Mare pasta. Yum yum!
More Things to do
- Go to Fishermans Wharf and get crab at Alioto’s.
- SF MOMA is Downtown and you can skip over to Yerba Buena Gardens while you’re there.
- Chinatown and a walk down Grant Avenue is a must!
- Hike the Batteries to Bluffs trail at the Presidio. You’ll literally be on a cliff and have the most amazing ocean views.
- Ferry Building Farmers’ Market
If you are feeling extra touristy, take a Big Bus tour. I take them whenever I travel and it’s an awesome way to see everything and learn a little history, too.
Leave your tips for a day in SF in the comments!