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A Local’s Guide to San Francisco: Top 20 Must do Things in SF

written by ParoChak December 24, 2015

A Local’s Guide to San Francisco

Fog City. City by the Bay. Yerba Buena. No matter what name you call it by, the 49 miles of San Francisco remains as alluring now as it was during the gold rush in the late 1800s. Whether you are squeezed for time or on an epic vacation, this pint sized city has plenty of things to keep you busy. There are several ways to enjoy the city and though there is no right or wrong one, if you want to experience San Francisco like a local, then look no further than my local’s guide to San Francisco, which is essentially a list of the top 20 things to do in the city to make your stay outlandishly memorable! As a San Francisco resident of nearly 8 years, this list of must have San Francisco experiences goes well beyond what is suggested on Trip Advisor and gives you a taste of a little bit of everything that the city has to offer, from outdoorsy activities to popular attractions to arts and culture. Scroll down this list for some well known and some not so touristy San Francisco attractions, shopping ideas and lots of information via post links on different aspects of exploring San Francisco like a local! 

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Know before you go: helpful tips from a resident

a) San Francisco is tiny compared to other American cities, but definitely has a lot to offer. A good 4-5 days is needed to do all the touristy things plus what is on this local’s guide to SF list.

b) San Francisco also happens to be one of the most expensive cities in the world, and is currently ranked #1 in terms of real estate in USA, i.e. rental prices are the highest in the nation and have shot through the stratosphere. Everything from gas to dining out can be super expensive, so if you are on a tight budget then better read my budget guide to San Francisco, aka fun free and cheap things to do in the city!

c) San Francisco has weird weather and microclimates. Our weather kind of hovers between 65-70 F (18-21 deg C) and so summers are cool whereas a few weeks of Fall are hot as hell and winters are mild. Dress in layers like locals do and always carry a jacket because you never know how the weather will change! Also, wear sturdy shoes since this city is hilly AF and you will need to do a lot of walking to explore the city.

d) San Francisco is filled with weird, wonderful things and hidden secrets that you will never find elsewhere. Do read this fun blog post on all the weird, quirky attractions that are uniquely SF!

e) I have left out a lot of popular attractions like Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli square and Chinatown from this guide since you can find them practically everywhere. This is a local’s guide to San Francisco and so I have tried to keep it evenly keeled with popular and lesser known things to do in SF. For a bumper mega guide to San Francisco, read my guest post on DESTINATION SAN FRANCISCO on Female Travel Bloggers.

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Only in San Francisco #1 Cable Car ride

Starting this San Francisco local’s guide with something on top of every visitors list. Hypocrisy much? I think not. Riding a cable car is a must do for everyone setting foot in the city because its unadulterated fun and very iconic San Francisco. You will have a true appreciation of the city as you chug up Powell street to Fisherman’s Wharf via the quintessential neighborhoods of Nob Hill, Russian Hill and Chinatown plus the ringing of the cable car bell and the mechanics of maneuvering the vehicle are a real treat, not discounting the jolly conductor and driver. There are three cable car routes and more information can be found on their website. I highly recommend having the exact change on you or small bills for the $7.00 fare one way (seniors/disabled pay $3.00).

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Experience San Francisco like a local #2: Coit Tower

For those of you who do not mind a good hike, climbing to Coit Tower looming over North Beach, via the steps on Filbert Street, are an ideal exercise. Once you huff and puff your way up to the base of the tower, be prepared to be greeted by beautiful murals depicting the city life from decades ago, and inspired by famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera when he visited San Francisco in the 1930s. The murals are free and a small fee is needed to go the very top of the tower (via elevator), from where you can get sweeping views of the city. For more information, visit the Coit tower website.

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San Francisco like a local #3: Golden Gate bridge

This one tops every to do list for San Francisco, and thus had to be included here as well. No trip to San Francisco can be complete without a glimpse of the iconic orange bridge that connects us to Marin county. Although chock full of tourists, there are several vantage points in and outside the city to get unobstructed views of the Golden Gate bridge. Don’t spend your time walking across the bridge or simply standing at the terminal lookout/viewing points for a photo of the bridge with a million other people in it. Read my guide to four amazing spots where you can get the best view of the Golden Gate bridge for a lovely sunrise or sunset with this iconic Californian engineering marvel as the backdrop!

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San Francisco must see attraction #4: Murals of Mission Street

The neighborhood of Mission is the largest, most diverse and the most happening in the city and legend has it that even if you dine out every single night in a year, you will still not be able to exhaust yourself of options. A neighborhood in the eye of the storm due to rapid gentrification, a neighborhood which is ephemeral and a neighborhood which is the hotbed of a changing city, Mission is dotted with old-school mom and pop taquerias, hipster cafes, small businesses and tons of good places to eat ranging from hole in the walls to upscale dining. But if you truly want to experience San Francisco like a local, then the one thing that you must set eyes on is the famous mural alley of Mission which is a political and social canvas for artists in the city and is plastered with some fantastic street art. Although almost all neighborhoods of San Francisco have their fair share of guerrilla street art, the Mission takes the cake, unquestionably! More information on Clarion aka mural alley here.

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San Francisco local’s guide #5: Palace of Fine Arts

Built during the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915, to showcase the burgeoning economic power of the city recovering from 1906′s devastating earthquake and to celebrate the completion of the Panama canal, the Palace of Fine Arts is an architectural beauty and a sight to behold. The central mezzanine is gorgeous and hosts cultural events and the fountains and greenery form a beautiful place for respite from the city’s hum drum. Although another tourist favorite, this one should not be missed either. The POFA also nests a small exhibit on the exposition. More information on the palace here. Arrive early because this is a very popular tourist spot.

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Local’s guide to San Francisco #6: Japan Town

San Francisco’s Japantown is one of the only three remaining in California (the other two being in San Jose and Los Angeles) and is not to be missed. Spread along a few blocks on Webster and Buchanan street (in the neighborhood of Western Addition), the “town” comprises of a peace plaza, a neat mall selling everything Japanese via its different vendors (food, cafes, boutiques, famous Kinokuniya bookstore and other businesses), a nearby Japanese grocery store (Nijiya Market) and many other cafes, gift shops and restaurants around the mall. It is a great place to pick up some of your Nippon favorites, get your Origami, Anime or Manga fill and stop by to sample a sweet potato latte (YakiniQ cafe) or the mouthwatering, belly satisfying Geisha Float (green tea slush with sweet red bean and ice-cream from Cafe Hana) or mouthwatering sweet crepes from Belly Good Cafe & Crepes. Better still, get a table for two for afternoon tea at the charming tea shop at the eclectic store that is New People.

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San Francisco sightseeing attraction #7: Alcatraz

Again, one more touristy thing but admit it, you will be hard pressed to find a penitentiary as cool as this and that too right in the middle of the ocean. Tickets sell out early, so please book online and line up for a memorable visit to one of the most notorious federal correction centers ever, now no longer functional and hosts a beautiful botanical garden full of native shrubbery. Also, no eating or drinking on the island beyond the landing.

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San Francisco sightseeing attraction #8: Golden Gate Park

Our very own Shangri-La in the city, the Golden Gate Park is a greenery abound as well as home to the California Academy of Sciences, the Shakespeare garden, the Arboretum, the Hagiwara tea garden and the beautiful de Young Museum. All of these are must visits, but you can skip all of these and simply stroll, jog or run through the park, take a boat ride on the tucked away Stowe lake or simply have a day out with a picnic basket to attain a blissful state of Nirvana, a far cry away from the city’s humdrum. More information on the Golden Gate Park can be found on its website.

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Experience San Francisco like a local #9: iconic neighborhoods

Haight

The neighborhood of Haight is the last hippie bastion in California and perhaps one of its kind in North America. A very quirky neighborhood filled with even more colorful characters and beautiful murals, it is definitely not to be missed. Stroll along Haight street and stop by many of its local boutiques for unique offerings,  the world famous Rasputin and Amoeba Music stores and of course the legendary rock band Grateful Dead’s communal home (a Queen Anne style Victorian on 710 Ashbury street).Once here, do some shopping, grab a bite or drink (Alembic on Haight is one of my favorite bars), see the lovely murals and of course spend some time at the Golden Gate park.Do not forget to snap that obligatory photo beneath the hugh fishnet stocking dangling legs above the Piedmont boutique!

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Russian Hill

Russian Hill, one of my favorite neighborhoods, is sandwiched between North Beach and Telegraph hill and is quintessentially San Francisco, so much so that I had to include it in my local’s guide to San Francisco. It is a quiet neighborhood at an elevation and thus provides beautiful vantage points of the bay and has gorgeous homes with secret lanes, stairs winding up, zen gardens tucked away in tiny lanes and some of the best restaurants in the city. A must visit for fantastic views and for some quiet moments of solitude, away from the urban chaos.

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Marina

SF Marina is our northernmost neighborhood with fantastic views of the bay, the orange bridge, wisps of white clouds above and dove tailed white boats sailing below on the azure blue water. Nothing beats this view, plus the green lawn flanked by candy colored, slightly slanted homes on one side and a walkway on the other is great for pooches and some kite flying. To experience San Francisco like a local, walk, rest, jog-take your pick, but do visit the marina. The adjacent fort Mason is home to Greens, a vegetarian restaurants, Sunday farmers’ market and many exhibit halls hosting arts & crafts fairs as well as SF library book sales. Its biggest draw lies in the food truck fiesta (boasting of dozens of trucks, live music and a beer garden)  every year from Spring-October end.

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Castro

No matter what your religious beliefs may be, borrow yourself some open minded progressiveness and visit Castro, one of the friendliest neighborhoods of the city, which is iconic San Francisco for the being the hub of the Gay Rights movement. The Harvey Milk museum (HM was the first openly gay mayor of San Francisco) aside, this place is also full of great eateries and the Castro theater, one of the very remaining single screen theaters in the city. The theater showcases awesome film festivals of different genres (Noir, silent etc) and there is also an organ player who rises to the stage from below and entertains you for sometime before the show starts.

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San Francisco art scene #10: Museums

Starting off with SF MOMA with the largest collection of modern art in North America and also an amazing restaurant In-situ that you totally need to check out. There two awesome fine arts museums as well, aka Legion of Honor and Asian Arts Museum, the former being a tad bit more favored owing to its breath taking location. Both museums are must visits for the art lover in you and have a very impressive collection of art, namely renaissance and baroque period at LOH (plus the largest collection of Auguste Rodin’s works outside of Paris)  and South Asian art at the Asian Art Museum. Plus as is customary with any museum worth its salt, there are special exhibits as well. Those curious at heart and with a scientific bend of mind will love the California Academy of Sciences and the The Exploratorium, a must visit for folks of all ages! If you feel that both are overcrowded with kids sapping you off your sanity, you would be better off attending these at night when they open their gates for adults only hours, termed “museum nightlife”.

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San Francisco Markets #11: Ferry Building

The Ferry Building or Pier 1 was the erstwhile port of San Francisco and at present is the home to many local merchants, shops and restaurants. In addition, there is a humongous farmers’ market (the larger open air market in North America) year round that is not to be missed, especially on Saturdays. A must, must, must visit for a bite to eat or a gift to buy or for strolling through the din and bustle of the market to take in all of California’s rich bounty. Also, spectacular view of the Bay Bridge that is hard to pass up.

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San Francisco culture #12: Performing arts

Catch a jazz performance at the swanly San Francisco Jazz center in Hayes Valley, another trendy neighborhood with cute boutiques and lots of great restaurants. Watch a play at the A.C.T or SF Playhouse in San Francisco’s theatre district in downtown. If you arrive in summer, make a beeline for a free music concert (Stern Grove Music festival) at the Stern Grove Park. A list of other notable music festivals in San Francisco can be found here, including the super famous Outside Lands music festival in Golden gate park.

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San Francisco sightseeing #13: Land’s end

The bathhouse ruins, are at the northwestern most point of the city, right next to the Cliff House (a fantastic spot for brunch) and in the Land’s End area which marks the end of Continental USA landmass. Developed by Adolph Sutro in 1894 as a swimming and recreational facility that did not translate into commercial success, the ruins are accessed via steep decent of stairs and rocky trail, but are totally worth the hike. Dress warmly (cause it gets really chilly and windy) and get a pair of sturdy boots/shoes and you are golden! More information available here, and do not forget to peep into the museum next door for history of the batch and other fun stuff. There is also an adjacent cafe should you feel the need to grab a bite. The coastal trail at Land’s end leads to the magical land’s end labyrinth (read this post on how to get there) as well as a secret beach!

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San Francisco architecture #14: Painted Ladies, Alamo Square

The Painted ladies are a set of pretty Victorian style houses lined flanking one end of Alamo Square Park. Grab a basket and pick a sunny spot for picnic at the park, all the while marveling at another San Francisco icon, featured in several movies. Another must see, plus the park is majorly dog friendly! Since these houses are actually residential (i.e. people do inhabit them), several measures have been taken to respect their privacy including restricting access of tourist buses in that area. Your best bet is take public transportation and you can get all the relevant information here. Besides these painted Victorians, San Francisco is crammed with other breathtaking beautiful architectural styles such as Queen Annes and Edwardians and Haciendas standing in different pastel or multi colored hues. The neighborhoods of outer Sunset, outer Richmond, Mission, Russian Hill and NOPA have several of these architectural treasures waiting to be admired!

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San Francisco’s urban hikes #15: The Presidio/Mount Sutro

The Presidio of San Francisco, once a military outpostfor three nations over 218 years, is now simply acres of green space abound with natural beauty and erstwhile army residences, the prestigious Presidio clubhouse, the Walt Disney Museum and a few restaurants such as a Commissary and Arguello, by famous SF chef Traci Des Jardins.The main attractions are the views, including a splendid one of the Golden Gate Bridge, summer night outdoor movie events and Picnic on the Presidio with food trucks. It has lots of hiking trails leading to the ocean such as the famous Batteries to Bluffs trail , is home to Inspiration point, the famous look out spot and has the Lyon street steps near one of its entrances. For more information on this must visit part of the city, see here.  Besides the Presidio, Mount Sutro open space reserve and Land’s end coastal trail are some of the other urban hiking trails in the city. You can read all about San Francisco Bay Area’s hiking trails and spots in my previous roundup post below.

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San Francisco sightseeing attraction #16: Beaches

You cannot come to San Francisco and skip Baker Beach or Marshall’s beach, the locals favorite beach with sweeping views of the Golden Gate bridge! Located in the San Francisco Presidio, they are lesser known than the extremely popular Ocean beach, which is on the westernmost fringe of the city. Do not venture far out into the rocky parts, cause you may find nudists enjoying their share of the sun. Beaches in San Francisco are notoriously windy with chilly, cold water so it’s best to dress in layers and go. For witnessing a gorgeous sunset at a relatively secluded beach minus the crowds, read my guide to two secret, lesser known beaches in San Francisco!

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San Francisco sightseeing attraction #17: Look out points

I have compiled a list of San Francisco spots that offer spectacular views of the city and you can read all about them in this post here.  These are all local favorites and will not appear in your run of the mill tourist guides or TripAdvisor forums. The hikes and climbs are great for your limbs, but even if you are not a health nut but simply want to soak all of the city in or need a resting place,far away from the maddening crowd of the tourists, with a great view or are a photography junkie or are simply trying to make social media envious with your shots, a few of these look out points (all free of cost) should be on your list, especially Tank Hill Park and Kite Hill Open Space Reserve. Our other favorites are Mt. Davidson Park (with gorgeous views of the city), Corona Heights and Bernal Heights Park/Bernal Hill (if you can climb all the way up the hill). The other safer option is near Twin Peaks (which is what most people go to and what was our quick photo shoot spot during our wedding) but these parks and open reserves are a better way of marveling at our beautiful city, from afar. All parks  mentioned here are dog friendly.

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Shopping in San Francisco #18: Shopping/Books/Art

Skip the two cookie cutter malls (Westfield in downtown and Stonestown Galleria near Daly City), the chaos and glitz of Union Square (a poor replica of NYC and the least un-San Franciscan sight to behold) and shop in local boutiques and support small businesses that thrive in this city which is a huge patron of all things local. Visit the bustling strees of Union, Chestnut (Cow Hollow, Marina )and Fillmore (Pacific Heights) for shop till your drop beyond Market Street, the corridor of Valencia between 24-13th steet (Mission neighborhood) with local boutiques, he neighborhood of Haight for all things very funky and very San Francisco and very hippie-dippy, the trendy spots of Dogpatch for all things SFMade, a San Francisco based coalition of merchants making things in the city and many other small businesses and gift stores scattered all over.

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Albert Einstein quipped once “The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library”.Amen to that! Bibliophiles, if you are in search for a quiet spot to read or check out some SF based literature, Dog Eared books in the Mission or City Lights Books in North Beach or Browser books on Fillmore are small businesses doing great with the written word. Books, Inc. with its vast selection boasts to be the West Coats’s oldest independent book seller and is a treat for book lovers. Finally, you always have the public libraries in San Francisco to slake your thirst for knowledge, the complete list being here.

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San Francisco is for art lovers and renegade artists, mavericks and those with adventures in their soul. The city is a muralist’s paradise but also caters to the status quo of art via museums and through several small,independent galleries showcasing local artists. My favorite are the galleries in Mission and SOMA, namely the City Art Gallery (co-op owned by artists) and SOMArts Cultural Center respectively. For a full list of SF art galleries, see here and here. If you are a visiting art lover when the SF open studio events happen (Oct-Nov), do not give the event a miss. In its 40th year, the SF open studio events show case hundreds of local artists and the studios are thrown open to general public for direct purchase from the artists. A great initiative to support local talent and artists, more information here on how to keep the art community thriving in this tech city of ours.

Explore San Francisco like a local #19: Public parks

So many parks, so little time! San Francisco has many patches of green scattered throughout the city and most of them are dog friendly with panoramic views of the city. Parks such as Mission Dolores separating the Mission and Castro neighborhoods is one of the city’s favorite hangouts. A great spot to witness SF yuppie/hipster life, Dolores Park is again very quintessentially San Francisco. Get an ice-cream from the world famous Bi-Rite creamery nearby and don’t forget your picnic baskets to the park!

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Other beautiful parks where you can rest as well as get a great view are Yerba Buena Park, Sutro Heights Park, Kite Hill Park, Corona Heights Park and Bernal Heights Park. Fay Garden in Russian Hill is a quiet spot where you can have a picnic amidst the blooming roses while Grand view park not only provides stunning views but has a cool entryway to it via the mosaic tiled steps of 16th avenue (on Moraga street between 15 and 16th Aves) which are a must visit!

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Picnic San Francisco #20: Crissy Fields/Fay Garden

San Francisco is crowded and touristy in many parts, but a quiet retreat with a picnic basket in Russian Hill’s Fay Garden or a bright morning with a picnic basket at Crissy Fields overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge are two great outdoor options to explore in the city. Do try at least one! Crissy fields also doubles up as a great spot (and the only one in the city) where you can watch surfers up, close and in action as well as stray paddle boaters.

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local's guide to San Francisco, experience San Francisco like a local, San Francisco local's guide, San Francisco sightseeing, must do things in San Francisco, must see in San Francisco

 

Hopefully this local’s guide to San Francisco has given you enough fodder to spice up your itinerary and include some never before venues in the traditional to-do list. Have fun visiting San Francisco and let me know of your favorite SF memories!

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sightseeing guide san Francisco travel top twenty things to do

Top twenty Things to do in San Francisco, California, USA is the only and the ultimate San Francisco guide that you will EVER need to travel and explore fog city. As someone who has been living in San Francisco for over 7 years, this is the best compilation of top attractions such as golden gate bridge to Coit tower to Trolley cars to Alcatraz to secret beaches and murals that you cannot miss. Photo by Robert Trombetta on Unsplash.

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37 comments

Wanderlustandlife June 12, 2017 at 8:13 pm

Awesome tips! We are heading there in October so will keep this in mind

Reply
Lola Mendez August 5, 2017 at 3:23 am

I’ve always wanted to go to SF! I was born in Cali but never made it up North. All of these amazing shots are really inspiring me to get there soon.

Reply
Caroline August 5, 2017 at 4:47 am

These are all great suggestions! I’ve lived in SF for 8 years and these are some of my favorite things to check out in the city as well! Always something to do here

Reply
Roxanne Reid August 5, 2017 at 7:37 am

If I ever get to San Fran I’d love to go on one of those old trams and see the street art.

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Kavey Favelle August 5, 2017 at 7:38 am

Great to see a mix of sights that I have visited and a few ideas that I would not have thought about, such as Japan Town. Next time I go to SF I’ll have some new ideas!

Reply
Rachel Silverwood August 5, 2017 at 9:03 am

Man I love this city!! Didn’t get to see half these sights when I visited so can’t wait to return!! The Golden Gate Bridge is just so impressive, also suggest delores park which is a great place for a picnic and to take in the city 🙂

Reply
Lolo August 5, 2017 at 9:11 am

Boy you managed to see and do a lot!! #blogpostsaturday

Reply
ParoChak August 5, 2017 at 9:22 am

I live here:-)

Reply
Stephanie Fox August 5, 2017 at 9:24 am

This guide is perfect I’m hoping to visit San Francisco next year. I’ll definitely be taking up your tip for the ice cream place, I’m just disappointed I’ll miss the colour Museum there this month!

Reply
Lucy August 5, 2017 at 10:10 am

This San Francisco guide is fantastic! I didn’t know there was a Japan Town, I want to go there! Going to check some of these places next time I’m in San Fran!

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Lisa August 5, 2017 at 10:20 am

Great list. I’ve visited some but have definitely missed some also.

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Bernadette Jackson August 5, 2017 at 11:11 am

So many thing to add to the list for our next trip. And the farmers’ market looks wonderful! Really valuing the insider knowledge – thanks.

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Harmony, Momma To Go August 5, 2017 at 1:04 pm

heading back to san fran this summer with my kids! pinned this list, i have never been to baker beach i think that would be perfect for us!

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Patricia August 5, 2017 at 1:11 pm

I’ve only been in SF for about 36 hours, and most of that was spent in a convention hall. We’ve been talking about going up and really seeing the city. This is a great guide! I’d love to see Coit, take a ride on a cable car and get a really good look at the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. But I’d also love to explore those lookout points, visit the Haight and investigate all the art museums and galleries — there seem to be so many options. Pinning!

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Kristine Li August 5, 2017 at 2:02 pm

Nothing like a local’s recommendations! So many places to go in SF in your list! Super love that rainbow crossing, I’ll keep crossing it and taking pictures if I go, lollll. Oh yes I saw via IG that one more exciting thing happened in San Fran which I wished I could be there to see – ColorFactory!

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C-Ludik August 5, 2017 at 4:08 pm

I love SF ! I had only 3 days to visit the city and I would like to travel back again to explore more… There are so many places to see in SF 🙂 I didn’t get to see half these sights when I visited the first time.

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Tracy August 5, 2017 at 4:32 pm

Saving your list to add for my next trip to San Fran, one of my most favorite cities in the US!

Love the in-depth list and detail!

Reply
Fran Norero August 5, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Really love it, the japan town, the cable cars, want to go right now! Hope can do it soon. Thanks for sharing!

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Maegan August 5, 2017 at 6:55 pm

Golly I love the old feel of the street cars and the vibrancy of the murals! Japan town looks fun, didn’t know it was there. San Fran is a place I’ve always wanted to visit!

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Anna August 5, 2017 at 7:09 pm

This is a great list! Seems like there’s so much more to do beyond the usual tourist list 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!

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Jessica Carpenter August 5, 2017 at 9:06 pm

Wow! That is a comprehensive list! I can’t believe I’ve never been to San Fran. I’ve always wanted to! The little neighborhood of Haight looks right up my alley! Great suggestions. Pinned for future use!

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Jordan August 5, 2017 at 10:13 pm

What a great list you’ve outlined! I wish I had this when I was previously in San Francisco!

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Julie August 5, 2017 at 11:24 pm

I agree with all of these things! I use to live in the bay area so this is making miss SF all over again! So many great places to go! Loved all the suggestions

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Rachel August 5, 2017 at 11:39 pm

This is a fab post, I’m visiting for the first time in November and can’t wait to explore the city! xo

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Anisa August 6, 2017 at 12:56 am

So much to do in San Francisco! Lots of great stuff on your list, so pinning for future reference. I also really loved the Walt Disney Family Museum.

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jin August 6, 2017 at 2:05 am

Oh Paroma, what a great list! I’ve been to San Fran many times and agree that these are must see places! Also love how easy to read and well-organized the list is – great job!

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Andrea mayfield August 6, 2017 at 2:41 am

What an amazing guide for SF! Love your photos too! I will keep this guide in mind when I visit 🙂

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Kathleen August 6, 2017 at 2:45 am

I’ve done a few of these things, but now I have more things to see the next time I visit San Francisco. It’s nice that your list didn’t have the Trip Advisor top 4. So many people at those places.

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Lucy - Travel Textbook August 6, 2017 at 3:21 am

San Francisco looks incredibly beautiful, your photos really capture the city 🙂 I can’t wait to visit there one day!

Lucy x

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Luda Berdnyk August 6, 2017 at 5:34 am

Love this post! You covered a ton of great sightseeing activities – I’ll be sure to send this post to friends visiting SF 🙂
I love the 16th Ave Tiled Steps / Grand View park for a lovely photo opp (as mentioned in your Best SF Views post!), and Goat Hill Park in the Castro (when they hopefully have the swing up) 😉

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Steph August 6, 2017 at 10:19 am

This is a great list. I wish SF wasn’t on the other side of the world from me! Definitely saving these tips for when I do make it there, these are exactly the kinds of things I like to do in a new city (rather than the Tripadvisor top 10).

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Lenise Calleja August 6, 2017 at 11:00 am

San Francisco seems such a multicultural city. I have never been to anywhere in the United States, there seem to be a lot of things to do!

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Megan August 7, 2017 at 3:11 am

What a comprehensive list! I used to go to SF all the time when I lived in LA but mostly just hung out around Haight and the park. I’m going back in a few weeks and I’ll definitely be using this list!

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Valerie - Trusted Travel Girl August 7, 2017 at 8:58 pm

Your photos are stunning! Even though I live in California, I’ve only been to SF for a quick stop. Now I know what to add to my list when I get the chance to fully explore!

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Christie August 7, 2017 at 10:21 pm

I will be visiting San Francisco for the first time next month, and I’m so excited! I am planning to do everything on this list while I’m there, and also take a day trip to Napa! I had no idea SF has a Japan Town, so now I can’t wait to go there. I love all things Japanese 🙂 I will definitely be consulting this list several times while I plan for my trip!

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ketki Sharangpani August 11, 2017 at 9:45 pm

Such a great post. Last time I was in San Fran I did the touristy circuit, golden gate, fisherman’s wharf, the sourdough bread and clam chowder, Alcatraz n so on. Really love your suggestions, will use them when I’m next in the city. Never knew about Japan town, n the hippie block. Sounds cool!

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Siarra | Wander.Focus.Love August 12, 2017 at 1:33 pm

OMG! I’m planning San Francisco in 2018 and every time I see a new post about it I get more and more excited. Your guide was great and has me wanting to plan to spend longer than just a weekend in the city. 🙂

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