What to Do For a Weekend in San Francisco

San Francisco - wow.

It doesn’t even feel like it’s part of America. With the rolling hills, tons of European tourists and picturesque views, if you would have fed me gelato, I would have put money down that I was in Italy.

There’s so much more to San Fran outside of Fisherman’s Wharf and the Full House house.

I have two disclaimers:

1) I will say walking isn’t the most feasible option. We probably easily spent $500 in Ubers. One thing I wish we would have gotten around to was figuring out the cable cars. But, for the sake of cramming everything into a weekend, it is what it is. Everything we wanted to do was so far spread out, so I’m just giving you a head’s up that a 3 mile Uber is almost $20 with tip. Traffic is also heinous. But, it was run driving up and down major inclines.

2) It was freezing. I did not pack appropriately. I had been in Anaheim earlier in the week, and man, San Francisco is FREEZING with the wind off of the ocean. I was literally sitting with my hands over a candle at dinner thawing out. I thought it was comical that people were in their winter coats at first. Then, I was envious. Don’t let my photos fool you - it got into the 40s at night.

Golden Gate Bridge

This sounds like a no brainer, but I wanted to give some tips because it’s actually really far away from the city. I would recommend Ubering here. We went on a run across the bridge and back in the morning, and it’s not that I don’t recommend it, but it was so foggy that we couldn’t see what we were doing. It was also packed with bikers. It was 1.5 miles one way, so 3 miles total. When we went, it was slippery because of the moisture from the fog. Wear tennis shoes. You will get hit by a biker - do not stop and take photos. Take them once you get to the other side.

Muir Woods

I highly recommend doing this. I felt like I was in a movie. The tree trunks were HUGE and the hike was not for the faint. Inclines were steep and it was muddy - so keep in mind with packing your dirty tennis shoes back in your suitcase.

*Pro tip* tour companies charge $81 for a shuttle to get there and parking fees. Brandon and I went on a day where it was free because of Earth Day, and the tour company wouldn’t budge for that on the price. So, we took an Uber. HOWEVER, there is 100% NO cell service there. Not even a tinsy bit. You can kiss your GPS, texting, all forms of human communication, goodbye. And we decided to preschedule a Lyft to pick us up a few hours later and just pray that it would work. We wouldn’t receive a notification that they were on there way; we wouldn’t know what type of vehicle it was; we wouldn’t know if they canceled. Maybe we were just lucky, but our driver was there waiting for us when we were done. The Uber ride was 30 minutes away and it was about $37 one way with a grand saving of almost $90 had we paid for a tour.

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The Palace of Fine Arts

We saw the architecture on the way to the bridge and it looks fresh out of Game of Thrones, so naturally, we had to check it out.

It is breath-taking. Seriously. Pictures do not do it justice. The neighborhood around this area is so clean and peaceful. I would live there in a heart beat if I won the lottery.

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Letterman Digital Campus

Who knew that Lucasfilms was based out of a little park in San Francisco? I had no clue. But their entrance has a Yoda zen fountain and I just find that down-right adorable.

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Painted Ladies

So, if you love Full House, you’ve gotta check out the painted ladies. These homes are so cute and just across the street is Alamo Park. Head’s up - bring a jacket because it is windy up there.

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Firepit Beach

The sand is so coarse and the water is so blue! I love the ocean and this beach was tame, for the most part. There were some sand volley ball competitions going on. They have firepits lined up. If I lived in San Fran, you’d probably find me here every morning. We walked slightly north to some beautiful lookouts. I was in heels - it was torturous. Brandon said there were multiple times he thought I was going to snap an ankle, but, it was so beautiful I just wanted to keep going! I mean - look at those views. Not pictured - we walked in a cave. 10/10 recommend.

Chinatown

Chinatown was hands down one of my favorite parts of town. I’ve been to New York City’s Chinatown before, and it doesn’t hold a candle to San Francisco’s. It is HUGE. Blocks on blocks on blocks. Golden Gate Bakery looked adorable, but the line was forever. There’s lanterns and intricate street lights. The ambiance made me so happy.

Food:

La Mar

My mouth is drooling just thinking about it. It’s Peruvian and it is great. We let the waiter guide our choices and it did NOT disappointment. The ceviche was so fresh. I don’t know what else we ate, but it was a fusion between Peruvian and Thai food and ugh, just all around great. Great service, too. Wish I would have taken some photos so you guys could see it, but we ate it so fast!

China Live

Again, wow. I can’t recommend this place enough. It’s very modern and Americanized so we didn’t know what to expect. But, that Peking Duck hanging by the fire made us know we were in good hands. You have to go here - non negotiable. You have to get the soup dumplings. One of the best things I’ve ate in my life.

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Presidio Social Club

We brunched - hard. Order the house roasted pork belly as an app. It’s huge. It’s fatty. It’s amazing. It’s reasonably priced. Also, get the deviled eggs and add crab. They’re not dressed up - just simple and perfected. I ordered the eggs Benedict and the ham was from a local farm.

We went to so many other places and ate all of the things - but these were a few of my favorites. We also did some touristy stuff too like sourdough bread at Boudin Bakery, beers at Anchor Brewing, walking down Lomard Crooked Street and ate the world’s best burrito at La Taqueria.

There ya have it, folks! We were so overwhelmed with all of the options of things to see and places to eat that we couldn’t possibly fit it in a weekend and have to go back. Next time I go, I’d like to stay in a different neighborhood. My hotel, however, was a mile walk from the pier where my work conference was, so it came in clutch. I’m sure there’s so much we missed. Let me know where your favorite places are!

Happy traveling!

sarah adellComment