We love traveling and seeing family and were so excited to visit San Francisco to do both. My brother Kevin has lived in the area for seven years and was our host. I love having a local on my side, especially when he introduces you to the best breakfast sandwich of your life!
It was a quick trip but we managed to pack everything into three days. We booked a late flight there, a red eye back, took one day off work and were set. In general, February and March are cool and foggy months in San Fran but we lucked out with blue skies and just enough fog to make the water seem mystical.
The thing I loved most about this trip was the diverse cityscape; beautiful architecture, the ocean, the bay, lush parks and a thriving financial district. Not too shabby, San Fran.
Thanks to the gorgeous weather we spent 80% of the trip outdoors. We walked just about everywhere so this schedule functions as a walking tour with a couple Muni rides here and there. Check it out:
- Breakfast: Devil's Teeth Bakery. We each got a breakfast sandwich and shared a couple of pastries. Sooo delicious. If we'd been there any longer than three days a return trip would have been in order!
- Ocean Beach. This is just a couple blocks away from the bakery and is a really nice walk. It's definitely not a swimming beach but it's great for people watching (dog watching, too!) and enjoying a cool breeze.
- Golden Gate Park. Definitely one of my favorite SF sites. We loved seeing Bison Paddock and the Japanese Tea Garden. I could get lost here for a long time!
- Shops on 9th Avenue. This was a nice add on to our stroll through the park. Check out some of the boutiques and restaurants.
- Haight/ Ashbury. The walking continues. Enjoy the old Victorian homes and peek into Amoeba Music.
- Dinner: Patxi's. This was my first deep dish pizza, or cheese pie as my brother calls it. I thought it would be too heavy/ rich to have more than one piece but boy, was I wrong.
- Breakfast: Uncle Benny's in Sunset. Try the maple bacon donut and a cream cheese avocado bagel. This might go without saying but the freshness of avocados in CA is unmatched.
- Golden Gate Bridge. We didn't actually get out and walk across the bridge but were happy to enjoy the view from the bus.
- Fisherman's Wharf. There's a lot to see here but my favorite was definitely Pier 39 where the sea lions sunbathe.
- Lunch: Boudin Bakery. Famous for their sourdough. Try a bread bowl with clam chowder!
- Ferry to Alcatraz. We spent about 2 hours on the island. There's a great audio tour once you walk to the top. Fascinating information/ stories and an awesome view of the city.
- Telegraph Hill. Unofficial walking tour back from Fisherman's Wharf. This neighborhood boasts great access to Coit Tower and views of classic San Francisco streets. We loved seeing Lombard Street winding back and forth from a distance.
- Mission District. (We took a taxi from Telegraph). Probably our favorite spot for food.
- Dinner: La Taquiera (or Taquiera Cancun). We each ordered a carne asada burrito and horchata. I don't know how they manage to make it taste so good with so few ingredients but they do.
- Dessert: Mission Pie. Right across the street. My brother and his wife not only recommended this place but even ordered us a full apple pie as a birthday surprise. We might have eaten the entire thing in two sittings. Oops.
- Breakfast: Mama's. It's all yummy and quite filling.
- AT&T Park. We were there off- season so we just saw the stadium from the outside. Walk along the water for some really nice views.
- Ferry Building Marketplace. If you're looking for souvenirs this is your place. Lots of local artisans sell their work here.
- Lunch: Mijita. Try the chilaquiles or chorizo con juevos. If you've got a sweet tooth finish off with a visit to Sidekick Cafe & Milk Bar.
- Exploratorium. On the expensive side but a great option for bad weather (unlikely in SF) or science lovers.
- Walk along Embarcadero. If it's nice prepare for the bike path, which is an old railroad track, to get busy. It was really crowded but a lot of fun to see so many people out enjoying themselves.
- Chinatown. Walk through the main street and enjoy your share of fish smells. If you're looking to grab a bite try Yank Sing.
- Dinner: Yum Yum Fish. Looks like a hole in the wall but has fresh fish and talented chefs. We went out with a bang and ordered the sushi platter, which more than fed four people. Every piece was delicious.
Isn't my brother handsome?? (Just ignore the fact that my eyes are closed... somehow this was the only picture of us.)
What did I miss? What do you love most about San Francisco??