I knew 3.5 days weren’t going to be enough for my list of Things to do in San Francisco, but I figured we could get a head start. San Francisco is a great USA weekend getaway or perfect for a week.
San Francisco is the 4th populated city in California and 13th in the United States. While in San Francisco, tourists may feel it is bigger than the 13th most populous city in San Francisco, but that is because it is the 5th most densely populated city in the United States.
Due to being packed within 46 square miles ‘Things to do in San Francisco’ is not hard to come by.
San Francisco is known for their countless number of districts and highly cultured vibes. Chinatown, the biggest and oldest outside of Asia, is well known, and a must see ‘Things to do in San Francisco’. The Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic landmark in San Francisco and one of the top ‘Things to do in San Francisco’. But don’t miss the less popular Coit Tower or Painted ladies as these are also great ‘Things to do in San Francisco’.
San Francisco has so many unique districts with their own character and popular landmarks that even with a week in San Francisco, there will never be enough time to do all ‘Things to do in San Francisco’.
We stayed at Hotel Diva, near Union Square- this was the perfect place to stay to get easy access to all public transit and popular landmarks.
Lets get started on the comprehensive list of Things to do in San Francisco.
Things to do in San Francisco
Marina and wonderful restaurants all in one area. Fisherman’s Wharf is a great place to get that much needed seafood while in San Francisco.
Golden Gate Bridge
This iconic landmark is a landmark you can’t miss. Literally you probably can’t miss it, it is huge. People can walk or ride bikes across this beautiful structure. I would suggest riding a bike, we loved it!
Golden Gate Park
Over 1,000 acres in size, Golden Gate Park has a lot to offer; playgrounds, gardens, lakes, dog areas, rails, monuments and so much more. People won’t have a hard time to find things to do.
Union square is right in the middle of a ton of great shopping. Art events in the middle and deli’s on the edges, Union Square is a great place to relax after a full day of shopping.
Big Bus Tours
Big Bus Tours are one of the best things to do in a big city. San Francisco has so many sites spread out throughout the city, being able to hop on and hop off a bus to each site is beneficial.
Once known as the “hippie” district, Haight-Ashbury is full of colorful buildings and diverse crowds. Vintage clothing boutiques, record shops, bookstores, eclectic restaurants are just a few things tourists will find.
Famous structure on a rock, tourists won’t regret it. Alcatraz tours are a great thing to do in San Francisco, history buff or not!
Largest and Oldest Chinatown in the World (outside of Asia), trust me walking through here will give you the sense of culture. So many super markets, restaurants and shops that will keep you busy for hours.
Cable Car System
Isn’t this what San Francisco is all about? So, obviously, it isn’t what it is all about, but it’s another iconic landmark tourists have to partake in.
If sports are your thing, there are many options for all seasons. Football, Rugby, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey and Soccer are just a few to keep you busy.
922 feet high, this summit gets you the best view of San Francisco. Plenty of trails to get a workout in and great views.
Located in the Mission District, Delores park is a great alternative if unable to get to Twins Peak. Once on top of the hill, be wow’d by the San Francisco sky line and calm vibes.
Located in the Telegraph district of San Francisco, Coit Tower is 210 feet tall building that can allow you to over look the Fisherman Wharf area once up on the observation level. Many stairs involved.
The Palace of Fine Arts
Constructed in 1915 for the Panama-Pacific Exposition, this beautiful and unique area is one to see on your way towards the Golden Gate Bridge.
There are 18 piers along the street of Embarcadero. Each Pier is known for something particular and while riding a bike or scooter, this is something that you will need to check out while in San Francisco.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
If outdoors is more your taste the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a great place to wonder. North of San Francisco by 45 minutes or so, ar the towering redwood trees. Just being able to walk through the trees will give you goosebumps.
Japanese Tea Gardens
Japanese Tea Gardens, located in the Golden Gate Park, is the oldest public Japanese Garden in the United States. The garden is beautiful and the ponds add to the aesthetics.
Ferry Building Marketplace
It is the Ferry building for the bay area, but it is unique within itself. It has great food, cute boutiques, ice cream, spices and so much more you can enjoy.
Angel Island State Park
Angel Island is located off of San Francisco and gives you some of the best 360 degree views of the San Francisco skyline.
The biggest beach in the San Francisco area. Not common for everyday swimmers, but popular spot fo surfers and bonfires.
Who doesn’t love chocolate? Especially Ghirardelli Chocolates! This cute, brick square is a wonderful place to hang out for dinner, a snack or a present to bring home.
Yerba Buena Gardens
Two blocks of parks in the middle of downtown San Francisco. A lot of art work pieces are shown off, as well as Memorial Waterfall.
Secret Food Tours
Secret Food Tours San Francisco is a great way to explore a new destination or district while trying foods you usually wouldn’t try. Delicious ‘Things to do in San Francisco’ while in the Mission District.
San Francisco Theater
Broadways, musicals, plays and concerts are present at all times. Catch a show any time while in San Francisco.
Pier 39 has a ton of things going on. Amusement park feel with plenty of places to eat. One attraction that gather all tourists is the sea lions in the marina. They smell, they talk to each other, they fight, but it is fascinating.
Bikes & Scooters
No matter where you’re going or what you’re doing, biking or scootering from place to place is the best way to get around San Francisco. Please note: avoid the hills.
Full House fans anyone? Or maybe a dog fan? Or how about a San Francisco fan? Alamo park has a lot of features to enjoy. The Painted Laides, as seen in the Full House opening credits, are the row of victorian houses along the park. Dogs are off the leash, but well behaved throughout the park. San Francisco sky line is nicely seen, as well. Go check it out for yourself.
Looking for something to laugh about at night? San Francisco has a handful of comedy clubs with great shows to make you belly laugh.
Adding to your walking, there are many areas to hike (harder walks) while in San Francisco. Crissy Field walk, Telegraph Hill, Gate Bridge, Hyde Street Climb, Angel Island, Glen Canyon Par
A town north, across the Golden Gate Bridge, on the water with chill vibes. By ferry or bikes, Sausalito is a popular place for lively restaurants and fun activities.
Why not float around the night lights? Seeing night lights in any city, but on the water makes the sunset and bright lights even better.
Whew, what a great list of ‘Things to do in San Francisco’. Fortunately, no matter the type of traveler or how much money you’re willing to spend there are so many ‘Things to do in San Francisco’, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for.
What ‘Things to do in San Francisco’ would you add to this comprehensive list?