Explore San Francisco, California
San Francisco is the main hub of Northern California and one of tourists heaven. When I was in college in Atlanta, I always wanted to move to SF and work there but now that I have 5 years of professional experience, I love to be close to nature instead of big cities. One my short trip to San Francisco, I liked the vibes of the city but I don’t see myself moving there full time. I will share my experience of my short 2 days trip to San Francisco and what places I have visited.
I flew to San Jose from Tucson on a Thursday afternoon and rented a car. I spent my first night in San Jose and did a high way 1 trip till Bixby Creek Bridge but I will share that experience in a different post. It is very expensive and hard to find parking in San Francisco. For my trip, I would park my car in one stop and explore most of the places walking. I would highly recommend using public transportation while exploring San Francisco.
Activities / Attractions
Golden Gate Bridge:
Without a doubt my first stop on San Francisco trip was the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. I drove from SF side and parked on the opposite side. From the parking lot I started walking towards the bridge. There is pedestrian walkways on each side of the bridge to enjoy and capture the views. Alcatraz Island can be seen in front of you from the bridge. I can be very windy on the bridge, so always dress appropriately and keep hold of your belongings. I highly recommend walking on the bridge.
Famous for beautiful Bay area views, Twin Peaks offer hiking trails. This place is also famous among tourists and locals and can get very busy and hard to find parking. It can also get very windy. I made a quick stop at the top and was lucky to find a good parking spot. I enjoyed the views from the top and walked around to take pictures.
Pier 39 / Fisherman’s Wharf:
Fisherman’s Wharf/Pier 39 is a waterfront area offering souvenir shops and restaurants. There is also a colony of sea lions to enjoy and walk on the strip to visit huge ships.
16th Avenue Tiled Steps:
16th Avenue Tiled Steps is a quick and beautiful stop to enjoy the artistic side of San Francisco. From the top of the stairs, you can see Pacific in the background and recommended picture spot for your social media. When you walk down the stairs and look back at the stairs, they present a beautiful mosaic featuring sea and star design. It will also help you to burn the extra calories consumed on your trip to San Francisco.
Lombard Street is the famous crookedest street of San Fransisco and a famous landmark for tourists visiting this city. It is one way street for cars and pedestrians can walk on sideways. This is another opportunity to walk up and down on this landmark to burn any extra calories or make room for another snack.
Union Square is the central district surrounded by shops and malls. You can drive around to have a feel. You can also walk around if you are in the mood for some shopping or grabbing a bite. Not my favorite part of the trip to SF but a definite landmark to scratch off your SF list.
China Town in San Francisco is considered the oldest and most established. It is very hard to find parking here and I would highly recommend to park elsewhere and walk here. This place is crowded. I highly recommend trying the restaurants here for one your meal and grab boba tea if you are a fan. Walk the streets of Chinatown to feel the vibes here. In comparison to New York Chinatown, this is at another level and very authentic in my view.