The 7-by-7 mile peninsula of San Francisco will enchant you for its uniqueness structure: the entire city is built upon hills. When there is a hill there is a struggle… but hey, THAT VIEW is just so priceless that makes you forget the struggle. Also below an itinerary of what not to miss out whilst in SF.
Super Duper – absolutely delicious. This goes into my top 3 burgers I have ever had.The meat was just supreme cut. You could taste the tenderness. Great flavouring too.
Elephant Sushi – If you’re into sushi indulge yourself in this cozy, yet friendly and intimate sushi restaurant in the Russian Hill district.
Between pier 39 (where the famous sea lions are) and pier 41 you have several restaurants to enjoy seafood by the port/sea side.
TRY BOUDIN BREAD
Most famous one being BOUDIN, known for their bread soup of clams. That SOUP is amazing. We went to a seafood place by Fisherman Grotto, called: – ‘Cafe 8’ recommend the lobster sandwich (even to share) and the bread soup of clams (the bread is also from boudin).
JUMP ON A CABLE CAR
More than 150 years old: a ride on these fashionable cable cars is a guaranteed unforgettable experience. The cables are ran beneath the street so you will often hear ‘odd’ noises when walking around: this is the beauty of this city!
I personally recommend this route: Hyde – Powell as the most complete (stopping at the famous Lombard street). More detail here. Average journey: 30-40mins pricing around $7 one-way. Day pass for $22.
PICNIC in the park
For a glorious view of the city whilst chilling on the park with a picnic, Mission Dolores Park is your call!
You might focus on visiting the famous pier 39 populated by sea lions. However there are other piers visited by locals which offer spectacular views of the city skyline, such as Pier 14. Don’t miss out on this!
Cycle the city
Cycling around was probably the best way to optimise your time in SF. You might think: why would I do that with all those hills? – Well… SF is not just made of hills, along the coast, it is actually pretty flat. Here I strongly recommend the following route:
Pick up your bike around Pier 39-42
Cycle all along the coast to Golden Gate bridge
Cross the bridge by bike (left hand side of the bridge as right hand side is for pedestrians)
Reach the town of Sausalito
Get the ferry back ($12.50 USD one way)
Return your bike
You can do the above in one afternoon. I had lunch at one of the piers, then rented a bike with friends, stopped every now and then for pictures and took an ice-cream in Sausalito before taking the ferry. We still managed to experience an AMAZING sunset over Golden Gate bridge during cruising time.
Where to rent a bike
Alcatraz Bikes and Tours – very close to Fisherman grotto and to pier 42. Use discount code ‘wherethelocalsgo’ to get a day-pass for $22 USD. Other places usually charge you $35.
GO BACK IN TIME
Another cool place by the pier 39-41 is the musee mechanique (http://www.museemechanique.org) if you are into old video games/coin operated machines from back in the days. Very cool collection and you can actually play those: it is good fun! Also make sure you visit Castro neighbourhood: cool houses and a bit of a character/history of lgbt community and completely different from other areas of SF. If you go there try best noodle/ramen place in SF: “slurp”. Panoramic views: twin peaks and telegraph hill near the italian neighbourhood.
Every major western multi-ethnic city I have visited had their China Town/Asian area. But nothing compares to China Town in San Francisco: ever so picturesque and authentic. I happened to discover it by mistake and was so extended that at some point I felt I was visiting a different country.
Souvenir wise: get them in China town at the ‘World of magnets’ shop as the cheapest one in town and most assorted. Other places would have the exact same stuff but A LOT more expensive.
GO on a pub crawl
2 Day Itinerary
Market Street – Powell
Jump of a cable car Powell – Hyde
Pier 39-42 (see Sea Lions and explore markets)
Eat Boudin break with seafood soup and/or lobster sandwich.
Late afternoon / sunset
Rent a bike and cycle to Sausalito crossing Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Park (visit the Japanese Garden)
Head to CASTRO neighborhood
Late afternoon / sunset
Watch the sunset at Mission Dolores Park