Upcoming Trip: San Francisco

19 Apr

I’m heading to San Francisco next week for the first time, if you can believe it! Super excited for it, not only to check out the new Terminal 5 at SF airport but to check out what often rivals NYC! Sadly, I am going for work and only have one day to myself but I’ve done some research and pulled together some of the “must see” staples for a first time visitor. Let me know if I’ve missed any!

Trolley Ride- Getty Images

Trolley Ride- Getty Images

First Time Visit to San Francisco

When to Go:  San Francisco generally has mild weather throughout the year but it does have a marine climate, which means chillier and damp. If you’re looking for beach weather, look elsewhere. You will get warm weather during the spring and summer but it can get pretty darn cold at times!


Where to Stay: Ideally you want to stay in the Union Square area where there are tons of shops, restaurants, etc. Fisherman’s Wharf is also great, especially for families looking to do tourist activities.


Some Union Square Hotel Options:


Golden Gate Bridge- Getty Images

Golden Gate Bridge- Getty Images

Must-Do Activities:

  • Golden Gate Bridge: No visit to San Francisco is complete without seeing this iconic bridge. If your schedule allows, take a walk, or bike ride, across and soak in the beautiful views of the Bay and city. Bring along a picnic and hang out in Golden Gate Park after.
  • Cable Car Hopping: The must-use method of transportation in San Francisco are the cable cars; duh!
  • Nob Hill:  This part of town has awesome views of the city but it’s a steep ways up. Take the Powell-Hyde cable car up to the top and grab a drink as you take in the views of the Bay. After completing your first Powell-Hyde cable car ride, it’s apparently a San Francisco tradition to celebrate with an Irish coffee at the Buena Vista Café, located at 2675 Hyde St.
  • Alcatraz Island: What was once home to some of America’s most dangerous offenders has now become part of the National Park Service and a fixture on all visitors’ itineraries. Cut out the middleman and book a day or night tour directly with Alcatraz Cruises; tickets start at $26
  • Shopping: Union Square, where you will likely be staying, is great for shopping but if you are looking to branch out, check out the vintage and trendy shops near Haight Street and Valencia street in the Mission and Hayes Street in Hayes Valley. If you’re looking for typical souvenirs, try Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf.
  • Eat: San Francisco is one of the country’s food capitals, famous for its seafood. There are tons of great restaurants offering Dim Sum in Chinatown. Other great, trendy restaurants all over Union Square as well (see below for some of the city’s popular choices).


Liberty Hill

Liberty Hill- Getty Images

Popular Restaurants:


Some Helpful Planning Links:


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