It’s come to the end of my San Francisco adventures. Before I move on to the next city, I’m wrapping up this series with the rest of my list of best things to do in San Francisco.
Walking the streets of a city is always the best way to see its beautiful architecture, unique neighborhoods, and enjoy its amazing food scene. San Francisco is known for its steep hills, so come prepared and get some good walking shoes on! If you’re in San Francisco for a quick weekend, here is a list of the best things to do in San Francisco. If you missed the first half, you can find that here!
Best Things to Do in San Francisco
- Explore San Francisco by Foot
- Visit the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood
- Try a Unique Restaurant
- Walk the iconic San Francisco Bridge
Explore San Francisco by Foot
If you explore San Francisco by foot, you will get to see a lot of architecturally beautiful homes, grand skyscrapers, and funky neighborhoods. It’s expansive, so be prepared and narrow down your must-see neighborhoods or attractions. Walking around the city allowed me to embrace and appreciate the detailed architecture you find in a lot of San Francisco’s homes. I suggest you take a walk around, get lost, and you’ll never know what you may see!
One morning, after a HUGE breakfast at Mama’s, we decided to walk the surrounding neighborhood. St. Peter & Paul’s church just happened to be right around the corner from Mama’s restaurant. It was nice to take a quick walk and stumble into this. We were also able to see all the locals going about their morning routine. Right across this church was a cute little park filled with people walking their dogs, little old ladies doing some sort of morning yoga dance, and other’s enjoying a morning jog.
“The Painted Ladies” is one of the most photographed locations in San Francisco. It’s a row of colorful Victorian style houses. I didn’t add this to the list, because to be honest there’s not much to do besides admire them. But if you have some time, you can stop by here on the way to the famous Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.
Visit the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood
If you visit one neighborhood, I would recommend Haight and Ashbury. This neighborhood is iconic and known as the birthplace of Amerca’s counter-culture that exploded in the 1960’s. At one point in time Haight and Ashbury was the epicenter of all things “hippie”, “peace, love, and flower power”. During what was known as the “Summer of Love” people from all over came to meet up in Haight and Ashbury. I know that it’s changed a lot since the era of “free love” in the 60’s, but there are still some slilght remnants of that counter-culture. You can walk around and enjoy yourself, browse the boutiques, drink a cup of coffee and people watch.
Since it was my birthday weekend, I had to do some birthday shopping! I loved getting to walk in and out of all the great little boutiques here. Even if shopping isn’t your thing, it’s just nice to take a walk down and soak in this ellectic neighborhood.
If you plan on coming here, the Height-Ashbury neighborhood can be further from the city enter. For us, Height-Ashbury was further from where we were staying in Japan Town. My feet were too tired that day, so we ended up taking a taxi. I’m sure public transportation is an option too. But taxi fare was around $15.00 from the city center to Haight-Ashbury. If have already been walking around all day, trust me, your feet will thank you later for that taxi ride!
Try a Unique Restaurant: Candybar
San Francisco is known for it’s food scene. There were so many restaurants and shops to eat at. One unique experience I do want to share was a specialty restaurant called Candybar. Candybar is a dessert and drinks only restaurant. It’s located in a local neighborhood, away from the tourist areas. They had a great atmosphere here; dimly lit, modern, and hipster. There were a lot of groups and young couples here just enjoying themselves. The one thing I absolutely loved about this place were the classic board games they provided. Almost every table had a game in progress. I happen to have a sweet tooth, and I also enjoy winning at Connect Four! This specialty restaurant was the perfect way to celebrate my birthday.
Walk the Iconic San Francisco Bridge
How can you go to San Francisco and not see this bridge?! This is a must. My first tip is to be careful if you are driving there yourself. The exit to the parking lot can be easily missed. If you’re not paying attention you can end up driving across the bridge instead. The bridge is tolled, so it will take a picture of your license plate and you’ll end up getting a bill in the mail. That parking I mentioned is a “pay by the hour” lot, It is quite small, but if you get there early enough you’ll miss the crowds. Once you’ve parked your car, you can start your walk across that iconic bridge! Take in the views and that never-ending San Francisco fog.
So that’s my wonderful ending to a great vacation and birthday weekend in San Francisco. So until I get to post my next adventure, I’ll be eating, traveling, and living my way through life.