The Weekender's Guide to San Francisco


HIGHLIGHTS

01 SF MOMA
02 P. GREEN'S IN HAYES VALLEY
03 CHINATOWN
04 PAINTED LADIES

05 PIER 39 / FISHERMAN'S WHARF
06 MISSION DISTRICT
07 PAXTON GATE
08 GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

09 JUST WALK AROUND
10 LITTLE GEM
11 BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE
12 SMITTEN ICE CREAM

13 LEO'S OYSTER BAR
14 SIGHTGLASS COFFEE
15 MR. HOLMES BAKEHOUSE
16 MEDIA NOCHE


San Francisco. Where does one even start when it comes to this renowned American city? It can be a little overwhelming when it comes to planning a weekend trip since there's so much to see, do, and eat. Luckily I've narrowed down my favorite things to do when you only have two days to explore. Keep on reading to find out more.


San Francisco

WHEN TO VISIT

The best time to visit is during the fall months of September to November. You wouldn't expect it but the temperature is actually warmer during this time of year making it perfect for walking around and exploring the city. Also, there should be less tourists since summer is over.

I've been to SF a couple times now and my last visit was this past July. I can confirm that it is definitely busier in the summer so if there are certain things you want to experience, make sure to make reservations ahead of time.

Painted Ladies in San Francisco, California

WHERE TO STAY

There are a lot of great options when it comes to staying in San Francisco. On this past trip, my boyfriend and I stayed at Hotel VIA. This hotel is literally right across the street from the AT&T Park making it a great option if you want to catch a Giants game.  


THINGS TO SEE & DO

01 SF MOMA

If you're a fan of modern art and beautiful architecture, then a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a must.

SF MOMA
SF MOMA
SF MOMA
SF MOMA
SF MOMA
SF MOMA
SF MOMA
SF MOMA
SF
SF

02 PATRICIA'S GREEN IN HAYES VALLEY

A small park in the middle of Hayes Valley with cool art installations. Make sure to check out Hayes Street as well for some cool boutique shops, bars, and eats.

Patricia's Green in Hayes Valley

03 CHINATOWN

The oldest Chinatown in North America and home to the first known Chinese-American restaurant. Most people start at the iconic Dragon's Gate and explore along Grant Avenue. This is where you'll find most of the touristy shops. Wander through some of the side streets for a more authentic experience.

San Francisco Chinatown
San Francisco Chinatown

04 PAINTED LADIES

The iconic row of multi-colored, beautiful Victorian / Edwardian houses. The best way to view them is from Alamo Square Park. If you have extra time, walk around the neighborhood to see even more of these beauties. 

Painted Ladies in San Francisco

05 FISHERMAN'S WHARF // PIER 39

Another must-do if you've never been to San Fran before but be forewarned, it's a tourist trap. Walking along Pier 39 feels like walking into a fair with it's bright lights, shops, and carnival food sold randomly throughout the way. There's even a two-story carousel towards the end. This is a great place to visit during the day and/or night time plus it's kid friendly.

Fisherman's Wharf & Pier 39 in San Francisco
Fisherman's Wharf & Pier 39 in San Francisco
Fisherman's Wharf & Pier 39 in San Francisco
Fisherman's Wharf & Pier 39 in San Francisco

06 MISSION DISTRICT

This was one of my favorite neighborhoods to explore. Mission District has it's roots in Latin culture and is evolving to be quite eclectic. Walk around to find some really cool murals, shops, and bars. You'll also find Media Noche (mentioned below) and the famous Tartine Bakery here.

I Love My Butt Mural in Mission, San Francisco, CA
Mission District in San Francisco
Little Paper Planes Shop in Mission District, San Francisco, California

07 PAXTON GATE

Technically this shop is in Mission District but, I felt it deserved it's own section because it was that amazing. Don't be put off by all the taxidermy (trust me, I saw a preserved rabbit and was still in awe of this shop). There are so many other things to be discovered including (but not limited to) stones, gems, analytical posters & maps, glass bottles & vials in all shapes and sizes, intricate jewelry, and a green house in the back of the store. This is a great place to pick up an out-of-the ordinary souvenir.

Paxton Gate in Mission District, San Francisco, California
Paxton Gate in Mission District, San Francisco, California
Paxton Gate in Mission District, San Francisco, California

08 GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

No visit to San Francisco would be complete without a stop at this iconic landmark. Some great spots to view and photograph the Golden Gate Bridge are at Fort Point, Battery Spencer, Vista Point, Battery Cranston, and Marshall's Beach. The below photo is an older one that I took from another trip but I believe it was taken at Battery Cranston.

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California

09 just walk around

You never know what you'll find. Here's what I randomly discovered...

SF-Street-1-1920x1280.jpg
SF-TheBeehive-1-1920x1280.jpg
SF-VictorianHouses-1-1920x1280.jpg
SF-TransamericaPyramid-2-1920x1280.jpg
Architecture in San Francisco

WHERE TO EAT & DRINK

San Francisco has some serious eats & drinks, hands down. Seriously... I probably gained five pounds in the two days I spent eating my way through this city. Whether you're down for some indulgent, gourmet food or something healthy and wholesome, San Fran has something for everyone.

10 LITTLE GEM

If you're like me and seek out places that have BOTH aesthetically pleasing interiors and healthy, amazing food, then Little Gem is a must visit. I'm very guilty of choosing this place based off of pictures alone (thanks Yelp), but was pleasantly surprised by how effortless the entire dining process was.

Similar to a fast food joint, first you order and pay then you're seated and served your food. This definitely speeds up the entire dining process making it a great option if you want something quick and healthy. Unlike other up and coming eateries, Little Gem is very spacious and even offers seating for larger parties.

Little Gem in San Francisco

11 BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE

Damn good coffee. The best latte I've ever had was at this small coffee shop.

Blue Bottle Coffee in San Francisco

12 SMITTEN ICE CREAM

Churned-to-order ice cream made with liquid nitrogen. Yup, you read that right. You can even see your ice cream being made in one of Smitten's own, unique ice cream machines. Not only is it a fun experience but the ice cream is so deliciously creamy. 

Smitten Ice Cream in San Francisco

13 LEO'S OYSTER BAR

If you're a fan of tropical / art deco interiors, seafood, and fun cocktails then add Leo's Oyster Bar to your itinerary. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. 

This place was definitely on the pricey side so we considered this our splurge meal of the trip / anniversary dinner. 

Leo's Oyster Bar in San Francisco
Leo's Oyster Bar in San Francisco
Leo's Oyster Bar in San Francisco
Leo's Oyster Bar in San Francisco
Leo's Oyster Bar in San Francisco
Leo's Oyster Bar in San Francisco
Leo's Oyster Bar in San Francisco

14 SIGHTGLASS COFFEE

Sexy, mid-century modern interior and pretty good coffee. It was pretty full inside so we ended up getting our coffee to go. There are multiple locations throughout the city but we ended up going to the 3014 20th Street one.

Sightglass Coffee in San Francisco
Sightglass Coffee in San Francisco

15 MR. HOLMES BAKEHOUSE

I came here for the cruffin and left with a butter croissant. You definitely have to get there early in order to snag one of their signature pastries, the cruffin: a beautiful mix of croissant and muffin. 

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in San Francisco
Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in San Francisco
Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in San Francisco

16 MEDIA NOCHE

Located in Mission District is a super cute eatery known as Media Noche. If you want a mean cuban sandwich, this is your place. Also, come hungry.

Media Noche in Mission, San Francisco, California
Media Noche in Mission, San Francisco, California
Media Noche in Mission, San Francisco, California

Thanks for reading and I hope this helps narrow down your search for things to do in a weekend in San Francisco. For those of you who have been here before, what were some of your favorite things to do? Let me know in the comment section below!

 

XO,

Tina


PIN IT FOR LATER

The Weekender's Guide to San Francisco.
The Weekender's Guide to San Francisco.
The Weekender's Guide to San Francisco.