Ever since I could remember, I’ve have a dream of visiting San Francisco and it finally came true! I made it to the west coast [again], but this time entirely alone and to San Francisco!! It happened and boy were my expectations high[-er than they probably should have been]. I booked 4 nights, with only 3 full days to hit the ground running– and I sure as hell did just that!
Friday night was basically done, because let’s face it, I work full time and just sat traveling for 8+ hours. Once Saturday came, it was a different story! Below are all the sites I was able to soak in on my brief adventure and experience–
Just click on the name for the Google map point to show up!
1. Painted Ladies – located in Alamo Square a few blocks away from University of San Francisco. Lady Falcon Coffee Club: is a cute coffee van in the square offering refreshing coffee on the go. FYI– their Instagram says they are only open Friday – Sundays.
2. Golden Gate Bridge – I went to three different look out spots at different times during my stay. Locations with pictures achieved below–
3. Alcatraz – book tickets ahead here! This was a ticket I purchased months in advance, almost simultaneously with my flight. I took the most pictures while on this self paced tour, so here’s a short video of my tour–
4. Pier 39 – One of my favorite piers personally to spend some time at. Plenty of cute shops and snack worthy places. Plus it’s home of the Sea Lions! Make sure to stop here and enjoy some shopping and views from the pier!
5. Fisherman’s Wharf – If you like seafood, this is home. There is what seems to be a never ending list of options to indulge in. I personally can’t recommend anything, due to not eating seafood myself. Sorry! I will say though that even just walking around is an interesting site!
6. Ghirardelli Square – The story is that a man originally from Italy, eventually ended up in San Francisco thanks to a friend. Over time, Ghirardelli Square was born and you can now enjoy some shops and your pick of Ghirardelli’s famous chocolate.
Got extra time? The Buena Vista – Irish Coffee.
7. North Beach / Little Italy – Absolute go to for restaurants and cafes when in San Francisco! You will also find Washington Square here.
Places I personally had a chance to try —
Golden Boy Pizza (Make sure you take cash!)
The Italian Homemade Company – While their menu is pretty limited, and you basically only have the option to build a pasta dish, it’s surprisingly difficult to pick a plate!
Victoria Pastry – Even though I just had a plain cheesecake, it was easily ranked as one of the top five I’ve had in my life. An acquaintance I made while in San Francisco loved their Cannoli.
A brunch at Mama’s was highly suggested to me, but I unfortunately did not make it there. I would say though, that the name did come up more than once as a suggested stop. Also, they’re cash and debit only.
8. Chinatown – this is the biggest Chinatown outside of actual Asia! Best part is that it’s filled with a never ending list of restaurants to pick to crave any sort of Asian craving you never knew you even had. In addition to restaurants, there are stores on every street, all carrying a mix of items to browse through. Certainly worth a stroll at the very least, if not interested in indulging on the cuisine.
9. Mission District – My biggest regret is that I didn’t make it here myself. The one day I had planned to go, it wouldn’t stop raining and I just got to tired of dodging rain clouds to make it worth while. However, I will say I heard nothing but amazing things about this place. Apparently it’s the place to be in San Francisco.. Alright, that MIGHT be an over kill statement, but it just might be. I can’t confirm nor deny it myself.
This is what people told me were musts in Mission District:
- Best burritos
- Dolores – oldest building in San Francisco
- Balmy Alley – Original murals from the 1970s
- The murals of Clarion Alley: started during the 90s
- The Lilac Alley murals and the Maestra Peace Mural, painted on the Women’s Building in 1994
- Bonus murals to check out: The Mission Pool Mural and the Murals in the mini park on 24th & York
10. Lombard Street & Russian Hill – While this was certainly in the top 3 places I had always wanted to see in person when in San Francisco, I was honestly unimpressed with Lombard Street. Yes, it was a zig-zag street you see when looking up San Francisco on Google. My suggestion: start at the top, take the steps down, and then turn around and look up! I also loved the views in the middle of the streets, so don’t forget to look around. While you’re there… if you’re feeling up to it– stroll around Russian Hill. It is definitely not for the weak at heart. You will be going up and down some pretty steep hills, but you’ll be able to say, you walked Russian Hill!
Bonus places to check out :
· Sausalito Cute quaint town on the water
· Ferry Building Indoor market with shops and quick bites
· Castro District LGBTQ+ friendly, they have a rainbow cross walk
· 16 Avenue steps Mosaic steps – great IG spot, in a park
· Haight-Ashbury Hippie part of town
· View from Treasure Island