How to prepare and what to do while in San Francisco.
San Francisco is one of the 50 cities that everyone should see in their lifetime. We have summarized a few tips to help you prepare plus our recommendations of things to do, see and eat while you’re here.
Three tips to plan your trip to San Francisco
If you’re wanting a sunny California vacation, plan to visit in the spring or fall. San Francisco winters are typically rainy and summer can be foggy and cold.
To make the most of your time, plan ahead. Book the popular tours of landmarks when you make your travel arrangements because there is no off season.
Dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes. The city is very walkable if you’re dressed for the microclimates of the different neighborhoods and prepared to walk the hills and stairs.
Five things to do while visiting San Francisco
Our recommendations will give you some ideas of how to make the most of your time and experience some of the things we do as locals.
1/ Meet the Locals
Roll out of bed in the morning and go for a coffee. Enjoy your coffee at the shop or take it go so that you can stroll the neighborhood or walk by the Bay. It might seem like an odd thing to do but you’ll be in good company. No need to worry about your hair and/or makeup.
2/ Explore Neighborhoods
Do a city walk and experience the different neighborhoods. For instance you might want to start with a little shopping in Union Square and lunch at the Neiman Marcus Rotunda. After lunch, you could walk through Chinatown and stop for an afternoon tea tasting and then end the day in North Beach for dinner and drinks. You’ll probably find some live music, dancing or whatever else your heart desires.
3/ Hike up to Coit Tower
If you take the stairs from Sansome Street to the tower, you’ll likely see the Parrots of Telegraph Hill. The lower level of the Coit tower has some amazing murals painted during the depression and the top has incredible views. It is worth the effort to see it and to take in the views.
4/ Adventure out of the City
Rent a car for the day and head North of the city into Marin for a day hike. Take the coastal trail starting from Tennessee Valley and hike into Muir Beach. Walk out to the road for lunch at the Pelican Inn and then hike back to your car and head over to Sausalito to relax and enjoy the beautiful views of the city.
If that sounds a little too strenuous go further North to Tiburon for lunch at Sam’s on the water and then take the ferry from Tiburon to Angel Island for a hike. You’ll most likely get some sun even if the city is socked in with fog.
5/ Enjoy the Food Scene
Go to the farmer’s market at the Ferry Building on Saturday and either enjoy a meal there or buy some ingredients to prepare a meal at your vacation home. Either way you will experience some of the delicious fresh food produced by the local organic farmers.
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