3 DAYS IN SAN FRANCISCO
THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN SAN FRANCISCOThere’s a lot to see in California’s northern city. Read our San Francisco travel guide for the ultimate 3-day itinerary. We dare you to try and fit everything in!
DAY 1: PLAY THE HITS
Rise and shine; you’ve got a date with the Golden Gate. Pop in to one of Richmond’s many bakeries for breakfast—we’re privy to Arsicault Bakery’s flaky croissants, but you could also stock up at Cinderella Bakery.
Head north to the Presidio, a sprawling national park crossed by trails. The park’s northern tip or nearby Crissy Field promises the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Active types can even walk across it!
Follow the coast to lively Fisherman’s Wharf. Say hello to the famous sea lions and seek out some seafood lunch. Eat at the waterfront Scoma’s Restaurant or grab some clam chowder in a bread bowl from Boudin Bakery.
Need a pick-me-up? Nearby Buena Vista Café makes a mean Irish coffee. Or be good and go whisky-free at Caffe Trieste, where Beat writers once hung out and Francis Ford Coppola supposedly wrote The Godfather.
Finish your afternoon over at Pier 33, where tours to Alcatraz Island leave. Cruise along the bay and learn all about the fascinating history of this former island prison.
An iconic day should end in an iconic way. Dine in the oldest Chinatown in the United States—choose from the Michelin-starred Mister Jiu’s or classics like Sam Wo Restaurant and Far East Café.
Pro-tip: Other San Francisco must-sees like the City Lights Bookstore and Coit Tower are located between Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown if you’ve got energy for more things to do!
DAY 2: ALL GOOD IN THE HOODSan Francisco is an incredibly walkable city defined by unique neighbourhoods and today, we’re getting our steps in. Start at the Ferry Building Marketplace in Embarcadero, where you can eat your way through food stalls and stock up for the day.
From there, you can hop on one of the city’s streetcars to San Francisco City Hall and walk over to The Painted Ladies, a popular row of colourful houses. Wander through historic Haight-Ashbury, once a hippie haven, right over to the spectacular Golden Gate Park for a stroll.
Hungry? Let’s munch in Mission. This artsy district is known for its massive burritos—snag one from Taqueria El Farolito or La Taqueria and picnic in Dolores Park. Walk it off across the many streets and alleyways lined by the giant Mission Murals.
It’s time for Happy Hour! And there’s no happier place than Castro, San Francisco’s LGBTQ+ neighbourhood. Order up at essential bars, like Twin Peaks Tavern or Midnight Sun. If you’re here in June, don’t miss the many Pride parties.
End your day dining at one of San Francisco’s culinary institutions: the Zuni Café or the House of Prime Rib.
DAY 3: DAY TRIPWhile there’s still so much to do in San Francisco, you’d be remiss leaving without taking a day trip to nearby California attractions.
An hour away from San Francisco lies California wine country: Napa Valley. Choose from over 400 wineries and visit Yountville, the heart of Napa Valley, for countless lunch options along the main street.
Continue on to Sonoma Valley for more wine time with a more laid-back feel. Beyond wineries, you can also visit Prohibition Spirits, a distillery with a California twist.
Head back to the city and finish your 3-day trip to San Francisco with a stellar meal. Try the Burmese flavours found at Mandalay Restaurant or Burma Superstar, or just enjoy a burger by the bay at Red’s Java House.
Nightcaps are welcomed at the historic Vesuvio Café (where Jack Kerouac once hung out) or the Smuggler’s Cove, a flamboyant tiki bar.
Pro-tip: If wine tasting isn’t your thing, you could day trip to Berkeley for university culture and book-shopping, or venture to Muir Woods for outdoor adventure.