It’s no wonder that San Francisco has stolen the hearts of so many travellers over the years. Between the charming architecture, local colour and beautiful views, this eclectic city has something tremendous for everyone. Our San Francisco travel guide is perfect for anyone stepping into the city for the first time. See our list below for some inspiration, and let the wonders of the city guide you! With something to see at every corner, your schedule will always be a Full House.
Eat Like a Local
When travelling to a location with such a rich culinary scene, dining at locals’ favourite spots is the best way to secure an authentic meal. For breakfast, the Tartine Inner Sunset is a very popular option. They serve freshly made pastries on a daily basis, in addition to a variety of sandwiches and light meals. Next up, a lunch break requires a stop at the famous La Taqueria—it is easy to distinguish by the row of hungry customers lined outside the door. This restaurant makes authentic burritos and tacos that have been named the best in the city. We recommend the El Dorado-style burrito and homemade horchata. Lastly, for dinner, we recommend indulging at the Lazy Bear restaurant. An evening here includes a fifteen-course tasting menu assembled by David Barzelay. The ambiance of the restaurant has been described as a 1950s-era supper club.
A trip to San Francisco would not be complete without seeing The Painted Ladies. We’ve seen these iconic houses on postcards and in TV shows, but to see the pastel-coloured Victorian and Edwardian houses firsthand is worth the walk. The Lands End Lookout is another iconic vista you won’t want to miss. Its rugged shoreline and vibrant blue waters are accessible from a variety of hiking trails, although the Coastal Trail is the most frequently traveled choice. Views of the Golden Gate Bridge are plentiful here, and at low tide, this trail includes views of numerous shipwrecks. Lastly, can anyone truly say they’ve visited San Fran without walking across the Golden Gate? To be fully appreciated, this bridge needs to be admired from every angle!
Connect with Nature
For those looking to enjoy the abundance of natural beauty that this city has to offer, a trip to the Marin Headlands is a must. This hilly peninsula offers views that cannot be matched, especially at golden hour. Marshall’s Beach, Rodeo Beach, Buena Vista Park, Lake Merced Park and Kirby Cove are also beautiful locations to reconvene with nature. Hawk Hill is also a great spot for anyone that has an affinity for raptors. Lastly, Angel Island State Park, the largest natural island in the San Francisco Bay, is a wonderful option for those that enjoy camping!
Activities Bucket List
The first essential stop is The Palace of Fine Arts. Located in the Marina District, this monument was first built in 1915 to exhibit works of art. After being completely rebuilt from 1964-1974, it is the only structure that still stands from the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Additionally, the Wave Organ, San Francisco Botanical Gardens, Japanese Tea Garden and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, are also highly recommended.
Lastly, the San Francisco Cable Car Museum is another must! This unique tribute to San Francisco’s historical cable car system contains a variety of informative and creative exhibits that further encapsulate the city’s charm!
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By: Briahna McTigue