From its poised technological realm to its scenic landscapes to everything in between, San Francisco is easy to fall in love with. There’s a welcoming warmth in the air that invites you to explore and feel at ease.
I gallivanted across the city and compiled the ten best things to do in San Francisco to make it easier for you to plan your own trip.
We arrived at ORD bright and early to board our 6am flight. To make the most of our time in San Francisco, we knew we would want an early start. When we arrived at SFO, we took a taxi to our hostel.
A taxi cost us about $75, which we think we probably got ripped off. It was early and we didn’t have the energy to argue. We were simply happy to begin our trip.
Other transportation options include Uber, Lyft, or taking the BART. We took the BART on the way home, which was a great way to save money. Depending on how many people you are traveling with and where you are going in the city, you can choose what option will work best for you.
Since San Francisco is arguably one of the most expensive cities in the US, we decided to stay at our cheapest option– the reputable Green Tortoise Hostel. We were very happy with our stay.
The room and shared bathrooms were clean. Since we were out and about all day, we simply needed a nice, comfortable bed to rest in.
Since we were two females traveling alone, I would be lying if I said we weren’t slightly nervous about staying in a hostel with male roommates. However, they were as sweet and respectful as can be, which eased all of our concerns immediately.
I prefer walking as my main mode of transportation. That being said, we walked our way all around San Francisco to the point of exhaustion. Yet, it was worth it! We feel like we got to see a good chunk of the city.
From the moment we put our bags down at the hostel, we walked nonstop. The Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood was our first site. The area is fun to explore with so much activity and numerous restaurants/shops to check out.
We walked to Pier 39 to see the famous sea lions. I can see why people rave about Pier 39. The sea lions are so entertaining to watch as they interact with one another.
We kept our walking streak going as we moseyed on over to the Buena Vista for an Irish Coffee. This was a recommendation from one of my friends who said this was a must!
Seeing the fast-paced action in the Buena Vista was amusement enough.
Top it off with the famous Irish Coffee replicated from the Shannon Airport in Ireland, and well-ah: a lovely experience. Perhaps it was a little too early to drink an Irish Coffee, but hey anything goes on vacation, right?
With some rejuvenating energy, we hiked up the hilly San Francisco roads and found ourselves at the scenic Lombard Street. This road is so twisty with swerves and curves; I can only imagine how stressful it might be to actually drive down it. Watching the adventurous drivers try their hand at weaving through the turns was definitely a spectacle.
This was a great sight to see on our walk. With lots of tourists, we didn't spend too much time here. We took a few photos, and then headed on our way to the next tourist destination.
After wandering the whole city by foot, we had worked up an appetite.
I had been dreaming of dumplings for days. Obviously, it was a must we ended our evening at Chinatown. We knew we couldn’t go wrong with whichever restaurant we chose, and we stumbled upon award-winning Hunan Home.
All restaurants love to advertise their “award-winning” food, so we weren’t sure if it was all a hoax to get people in the door.
It was not a hoax. Let me tell ya. We had so many dishes–dumplings, fried rice, chow mein– and every single one was delicious.
Our feet needed a break, so we figured out the bus system. Muni is San Francisco’s way to get around. I highly recommend downloading the green “Transit” app on your phone. You can plug in your destination, and it will tell you what bus you should take and when it is coming.
We bussed our way to the Painted Ladies, or what I like to call the “Full House Houses,” since they appear in the intro of Full House. I suggest walking around the neighborhood and seeing all of the different architecture.
Pro Tip: Pretend you are on TLC’s House Hunters looking to buy one of these residences. The price tag ain’t cheap though, that’s for sure!
What’s even better is that the Painted Ladies are situated across from a beautiful and spacious park. My friend Carly and I sat, cartwheeled, and hung out in the grass taking in all of the scenery. This would be the perfect place to have a picnic!
It's also the most perfect place to do some yoga or meditate. You can do one of my yoga classes or meditations while you enjoy the scenery here!