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Top 50 Things to Do in San Francisco

Top 50 Things to Do in San Francisco

I visited San Francisco for the first time in September this year and I was overwhelmed by the number of things to do. San Francisco is a sprawling city with a huge variety of things to do for every sort of traveller. Whether you’re into museums, art, food or adventure, there’s something for everyone in San Fran. Here are just 50 of the best things to do in San Francisco that you need to add to your West Coast bucket list! 

Bike across Golden Gate Bridge

This is probably the most touristy thing you could do in San Francisco but it’s a must for your first trip to San Francisco. A popular option is to bike across the bay, enjoy some time in Sausalito (more on this later!) and then take the ferry back to San Francisco so you can see the Golden Gate Bridge from the water. This self-guided bike tour from Get Your Guide offers both and you can keep the bike for 24 hours for even more exploring.

Go on a Whale Watching Cruise

A cruise of San Francisco bay is a top thing to do whilst in the city but to make the cruise even more special, why not go whale watching? As well as Pier 39’s sea lions there are plenty of opportunities for whale spotting in San Francisco Bay. Of course you never know what you might see on one of these adventures so it could be a fin poking out of the water or a whole school of humpback whales and dolphins! 

Find out more from San Francisco Whale Tours.

Roller Blade in a Church

A visit to the Church of 8 Wheels in XYZ is definitely on of the most fun things to do in San Francisco. They hold regular roller skating events for children, families and adults through the week. On Friday and Saturday nights they hold a roller disco for over 18s from 7pm – 11pm where you can get your skate on with funky music and bright lights. Tickets cost $10 and it’s a further $5 for skate rental. 

Find out more about Church of 8 Wheels on their website here.  

Try Clam Chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf

There are many great eateries at Fisherman’s Wharf but the number one thing you must try here is clam chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl. You can get this to go from a street vendor or sit down and have this at a restaurant. Even in the summer months the wharf can be pretty damn chilly with high winds so personally I’d recommend a visit to Boudin Bakery where you can have a cheap dinner with a view. 

Address: Boudin Bakery, 160 Jefferson Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
Opening Hours: 8am – 9pm every day

Eat a Burrito from La Taqueria

You’ll quickly realise on your trip to California that Mexican food is just as prevalent as classic American burgers and pizzas. If you want a good burrito, head to La Taqueria in the Mission District. There’ll probably be a line (there’ll definitely be one) but these are known for being the best burritos in San Francisco so you won’t be disappointed. The burritos are fully customisable so pick how much meat and filling you want and eat in or take away. The service is quick and the prices are reasonable making La Taqueria one of the best cheap eats in San Francisco. 

Address: 2889 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
Opening Hours: 11am – 8:45pm Wednesday to Sunday (closed Mondays and Tuesdays!)

Snack on pastry from Mr Holmes Bakehouse

I discovered Mr Holmes Bakehouse through Instagram because of the iconic neon sign “I Got Baked in San Francisco”. There’s always a risk with instagram finds that the aesthetic beats the taste but not here – I tried an assortment of sweet and savoury pastries here, each more delicious than the last. My personal recommendations are: the infamous cruffin, the elote savoury pastry and a donut. The flavours change every day so it’s luck of the draw really!

Beware of the queues – reportedly they can go all the way around the block on a busy day. 

Address: 1042 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 7am – 2:30pm; Sat – Sun: 8am – 3:30pm 

Try a morning bun at Tartine Bakery

Expect long queues at Tartine Bakery before you even get to glimpse the broad selection of pastries they have on offer. This place is perfect for breakfast, lunch or an afternoon pick me up with its range of sweet and savoury treats and hot drinks. I visited in the morning and got the sugared morning bun they are known for and it did not disappoint!

Address: 600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Opening Hours: 8am – 7pm most days

Grab a scoop of Bi-Rite ice cream

Right around the corner from Tartine Bakery is Bi-Rite ice cream. By this point I’d already eaten a pizza for lunch and a pastry from Tartine so I was dubious about whether I could fit any more food into my stomach. Of course, I got a small ice cream anyway and I do not regret it one bit.

At Bi-Rite they make homemade organic ice cream in all the classic flavours you’d expect and then some. I opted for the black sesame and salted caramel, which were both i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e!

Address: 3692 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm every day

Grab a Mojito coffee from Philz

Ordinarily I try to steer clear of chains when travelling but the mint mojito iced coffee from Philz was recommended to me numerous times so I figured I’d give it a whirl. And I loved it. I don’t even like coffee – but I loved this. There isn’t actually any alcohol in it so you can grab one of these on your way into work in the summer months for some minty freshness. This is one of the most unique coffees on the block so give it a try if you pass by Philz! 

Find your nearest Philz in San Francisco here.

Dine on pizza at Golden Boy Pizza

This is the best place to go in San Fran if you’re looking for a cheap but tasty meal as these large squares of pizza will definitely hit the spot. There are even queues outside Golden Boy Pizza at all hours of the day – that’s how you know it’s the good stuff. Eat in or take away, you need to make a pit stop here when you’re in San Francisco. With the cheapest square at only $2.75 a slice, it would be rude not to! It’s often open until 2:30am in the morning also making it the perfect place to go after a night of drinking. 

Address: 542 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 12:30/2:30am 

Try dim sum at Good Mong Kok Bakery

San Francisco’s China Town is the oldest in the USA and there are bustling streets filled with Chinese eateries. One of the best for dim sum is the no frills Good Mong Kok Bakery, which is a tiny take away joint that always has a queue outside. There isn’t much time to decide what you want once you get inside as the menu is extensive for such a small establishment and they’re trying to move people along quickly.

I’d recommend the BBQ pork buns and siu mai if you’re just popping by for a taster! The portions are large, the prices are low – what more could you want? 

Address: 1039 Stockton Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
Opening Hours: 7am – 6pm every day

Enjoy an egg tart from Golden Gate Bakery

It’s rumoured that the egg tarts from Golden Gate Bakery are some of the best ever and definitely the best egg tarts in San Francisco. It has such a cult following that there’s an entire website dedicated to tracking the bakery’s opening times so people know when to go and are never disappointed.

They’re soft and fluffy on the inside, super flaky on the outside, exactly as an egg tart should be. To guarantee you’ll get one I suggest going as early as possible in the day as I once visited at 6pm and the egg tarts were long gone (the queue, however, was still going strong!). 

Expect long queues but it’s worth it for one of the best cheap eats in San Fran. Cash only.

Address: 1029 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133
Opening hours: Supposedly 8am – 8pm but known to be sporadic. Check this website for daily info.

Visit the Original Fortune Cookie Factory

Fortune Cookies were actually invented in San Francisco, not in Asia, and you can visit the very first Fortune Cookie Factory in the city. Here’ll you can see the entire fortune cookie making process from batter to sealed product which is very cool. If you want to take pictures, you’ll have to pay $1, but I’d recommend simply buying a couple of bags instead. It’s around $5 for a very large bag of fortune cookies and they are even more delicious when they’re fresh. 

Address: 56 Ross Alley, San Francisco, CA 94108
Opening hours: 9am – 6:30pm

Take a night tour of Alcatraz

A night-time visit to Alcatraz is one of the most unique things to do in San Francisco and not something you should miss out on. This island used to be home to America’s worst criminals and you can learn all about their lives on Alcatraz and explore their cells. Visiting in the dark makes the experience all the more spooky and it’s crazy to think this used to be a real, working prison.

You’ll need to book tickets a couple of weeks in advance to guarantee your time slot and that you get the cheapest deal. If the tickets are sold out on the official Alcatraz website, you’ll need to go through third parties, which sell package deals at much higher prices.

Read more: 15 Things to Know Before Visiting Alcatraz

Go on a night tour to Treasure Island

If you’re wondering where to get the best views of San Francisco at night, the answer is Treasure Island. Treasure Island was pretty low down on my list of things to see in San Francisco but my friend persuaded me to go and I’m so glad I did. These views of the San Francisco skyline are simply insane and with the pitch black sky above you all you see is beautiful twinkling lights. The night tour was included with my two day bus ticket from Big Bus San Francisco but you can also book a panoramic night tour package on its own here

NB Bring lots and lots and LOTS of warm layers with you on this tour. The package I booked was an open bus tour and you’re driving across the water so it is freezing. When you get to Treasure Island, the driver will pull up near to the water’s edge for you to all get out and take pictures and you can expect it to be very, very windy by the waterfront. 

Book a night tour to Treasure Island via Get Your Guide here.

See the views from Coit Tower

Coit Tower in the Telegraph Hill neighbourhood stands at 210 feet tall (there’s a lift don’t worry!) and is one of the best places to get a 360 view of San Francisco. There are arched windows all the way round the top of tower and if you stick your head into each one you’ll get a slightly different view of the city. As Coit Tower is fairly close to the bay, you can look out to sea, look at the towering skyscrapers of San Francisco or catch a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge (provided it’s not too foggy!). 

Tip: Get an uber up to Coit Tower, it’s on a very large hill and the walk won’t be pleasant. 

Address: 1 Telegraph Hill Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94133
Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm every day

Go even higher at Twin Peaks

If Coit Tower doesn’t satisfy your need for heights, then head to Twin Peaks, which is over four times as tall. These two hills offer 360 sweeping views over San Francisco, the bay and beyond. On a clear day you’ll be able to see Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Market Street, the Transamerica building and more. There are lots of hiking trails around Twin Peaks too so you can combine these views with a nice bit of exercise. Wrap up warm though – even in the summer months it can be windy and chilly up here!

Address: 501 Twin Peaks Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94114

Explore the streets of the Mission District

The Mission District is now seen as the “hipster” area of San Francisco and it’s one of the most popular neighbours in the city. Exploring the Mission District is one of the less touristy things to do in San Francisco as it’s a favourite area according to locals as well. You’ll find lots of cute independent coffee shops, bookshops, delis and loads of colourful graffiti around. It’s well worth leaving a couple of hours to just wander around this trendy neighbourhood so you can dip in and out of thrift stores and sample lots of food! Alternatively, you could book yourself a 2 hour guided tour of the Mission District from Get Your Guide, where you will be shown to some of the best eateries and pieces of wall art in the district. 

Arm wrestle in Musée Mecanique

You know that scene in the Princess Diaries when Mia takes her grandmother out so she can experience the humble corn dog? They have lots of fun exploring arcades, taking snaps in photo booths and… wrestling with a machine. The very same arm wrestling machine that is used in the films is located in the Musee Mecanique at Pier 45, Fisherman’s Wharf.

The museum is free to enter but you’ll need lots of dimes on you to play the games. This arm wrestling machine costs only one quarter. Right next to this machine, you’ll also find a sorting hat from Harry Potter, which will sort you and tell you your fortune! 

Address: Pier 45, Fishermans Wharf, San Francisco, CA 94133
Opening hours: 10am – 8pm every day

Try Ghiradelli chocolate

Ghiradelli Chocolate Company is the third oldest chocolate company in the USA and it began right here in San Francisco! You can tack on a visit to Ghiradelli Square after a visit to Fisherman’s Wharf as the two are in close proximity to each other. In Ghiradelli Square you’ll find a large chocolate shop and cafe where the original Ghiradelli chocolate factory once stood. Today there are lots of other brands and restaurants in this small square but the only thing worth stopping by for is a taste of Ghiradelli. You can buy a small square just so you can say you tried this or you can sit in the cafe an enjoy a Ghiradelli chocolate sundae. I wouldn’t buy any gifts in this shop though, it’s a tourist trap and most of the chocolate packages are overpriced! 

Address: 900 North Point Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm every day

Visit the Museum of Ice Cream

The Museum of Ice Cream is one of the most unique things you can do in San Francisco at the moment. It’s an immersive experience where they say “anything is possible”. You’ll need to reserve tickets in advance and they don’t come cheap: it’s $38 per person. 

However, you can expect unicorns, cookie carousels, swimming pools filled with sprinkles and more. There’s plenty of opportunity for you to taste ice cream and sweets along the way and play fun games with the other visitors. For me, that definitely seems worth a visit. 

Find a time slot and buy your Museum of Ice Cream tickets here.

Address: Savings Union Bank 1 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94108

Explore the Castro District

The Castro District is the gay neighbourhood of San Francisco and one of the most famous gay neighbourhoods in the world. There are lots of restaurants, bars and shops to explore in this vibrant neighbourhood including Bi-Rite Ice Cream and Tartine Bakery mentioned above. Make sure you also stop at Books, Inc too, a lovely independent bookstore in San Francisco that is known as “The West’s Oldest Independent Bookseller”. 

Go shopping in Union Square

Union Square is consistently named one of the top places to visit in San Francisco but unless if you want to go shopping there’s not a lot to see here. If you’re in the area, it’s worth passing through just to admire the enormous Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Westfield, Tiffany & Co and more around the square. You can also visit the Cheesecake Factory here, which is something you must do when in the USA!

Address: 333 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

See the Sea Lions

There’s plenty to do at Pier 39 including eat, shop, play and more. The main attraction for me however, was the colony of seas lions resting at the end of Pier 39. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw how many there were! There’s row upon row of sea lions lying in the sun at the end of Pier 39 and there’s a viewing platform where you can sit and admire them. You probably don’t want to sit there for too long though because the smell coming from the sea lions is… questionable. 

Address: Pier 39, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94133

Party with cocktails at California Academy of Science

Every Thursday evening between 6pm and 10pm, California Academy of Science holds an over 21 Nightlife event where you can enjoy the exhibits after hours. The Academy is located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park so this is the perfect way to end a leisurely day of sightseeing. There’s a new theme each week and you can enjoy cocktails and music whilst observing the creatures and exhibits here. Tickets cost $15 for non-members and for just $3 you can also book a showing at the Planetarium! 

Find out more and buy your Nightlife tickets here.

Address: 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118

Swim in the Bay

You may think me mad but one of the things I regret not doing is taking a dip in San Francisco Bay! The water is supposed to be absolutely freezing but I saw a couple of brave souls having a morning swim in these waters. The best place to go is the Aquatic Cove, sheltered by the Aquatic Park Pier.

Ride a Cable Car

A close second to biking over the Golden Gate Bridge is riding a cable car. The cable car system in San Francisco is actually the world’s last manually operated cable car system! It’ll definitely be one of the most memorable journeys of your life as you can choose to stand the whole way and hang out the side of the cable car as it takes you to your destination. 

It costs $7 to ride just one way so it’s best to ride this once for the novelty and then ride alternate ways to get around the city. If you’re going to want to use this more than once in a day then you might consider the $17 day pass. 

Find out more about the cable car routes here.

Walk along Crissy Field

Crissy Field was once completely paved over as part of the US Army’s Presidio but it is one of the most scenic places to chill in San Francisco today. Walk all the way from Crissy Field to Fort Point (it’s around 1 mile) to clear your mind and admire the beautiful views. You can enjoy some time at the beach here, get great views of the Golden Gate Bridge and, if you’re feeling a bit chilly, grab a hot chocolate from the Warming Hut Cafe. 

Sip on literary cocktails at Novela

There are many bars worth checking out in San Francisco but Novela, with the colourful bookshelves lining its walls, is a notch above the rest. The drinks are inspired by book characters so this is the perfectly bar for bookworms. Sip on the Jay Gatsyby, Leopold Bloom, Tom Ripley, Miss Moneypenny, Mr Fickelgruber and more! Each cocktail is around $12-13. 

Address: 662 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105
Opening Hours: 4pm to 1am every day

For more literary bars, check out Library Bar LA and The Blind Pig in London.

Walk up 16th Avenue Mosaic Steps

Located in the residential Golden Gate Heights district of San Francisco, you’ll find an amazing display of community artistry at the 16th Avenue Mosaic Steps. This project was part of a neighbourhood wide effort to beautify these steps and the result is a magnificent display of coloured mosaic tiles. There are 163 in total so it’s a bit of a climb but you’ll be treated to beautiful views of San Francisco at the top!

Address: 16th Avenue Tiled Steps, Moraga Street, San Francisco

Visit the Japanese Tea Garden

The Japanese Tea Garden is the oldest public Japanese Garden in the USA and upon entering you will feel as if you have been transported to Kyoto, Japan. There’s a cafe where you can enjoy Japanese tea, miniature pagodas and koi ponds. There’s a unique arched drum bridge which is a strange sight and quite difficult to get down! 

Price: $9 for non-residents and $6 for residents. Concessions available. 
Address: 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Opening Hours: 9am – 6pm every day in summer; 9am – 4:45pm every day in Winter

Visit the de Young Museum

The de Young Museum is a fine arts museum in Golden Gate Park and is one of the top museums to visit in San Francisco. It focuses on American art from the 17th to the 21st century, which is fascinating for those that are used to exploring the European museums and artists in the Louvre or British Museum. You can also get 360 views of San Francisco and the ocean from the ninth floor Observation Level. 

Address: 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118
Opening Hours: 9:30am-5:15pm every day (Closed Mondays)

Go on a free tour of City Hall

San Francisco City Guides offer free guided tours of City Hall and Civic Centre, one of the most beautiful buildings in San Francisco. Marriages are very common here and you’ll almost certainly see one taking place whenever you visit. This is actually where Marilyn Monroe married Joe DiMaggio!

Find out when the next free tour is happening here.

Address: 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102
Opening Hours: 8am-8pm every weekday (closed weekends)

Admire the Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts seems very out of place architecturally in San Francisco and that’s because its design is inspired by the classical architecture found in Europe. It’s a magnificent structure in the Marina District and a wonderful place to walk around and explore. It was initially built to exhibit artwork but today there’s nothing to do here except admire the architecture. It’s a popular wedding location as well as a filming location and was seen in the Hitchcock film Vertigo. 

Address: 3301 Lyon Street, San Francisco, CA 94123

Explore the Legion of Honor

Another building inspired by European architecture is the Legion of Honor. This is a fine arts museum in San Francisco housed in a beautiful French neoclassical building, which is well worth visiting even if you’re not going to head inside. They have permanent collections of European paintings here from the 14th to the 20th centuries as well as ancient art and modern photography. One of the most famous pieces here is The Thinker by Auguste Rodin.

Tickets cost $15 for adults (concessions available) but your Legion of Honor tickets include same-day admission to the de Young museum. Find out more about visiting here.

Address: 100 34th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94121
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 5:15pm Tuesday – Sunday

Visit the Asian Art Museum

The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco has one of the largest Asian art collections in the world. Here they hold over a whopping 18000 works of art in the permanent collection, with many more in their temporary exhibitions! Many of these works date back millenia, even up to six thousand years. You can learn lots about Chinese, Korean, Japanese, South Asian, South East Asian, Tibetan and Persian art here so it really is a wonderful place to explore.  

Address: Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm Tuesday to Sunday

Explore the Presidio

The Presidio once belonged to the US Army but it is now a national park near Golden Gate Bridge. You could spend a whole afternoon here wandering through the many trails this 1500 acre park has to offer whilst taking in some of the best views of Golden Gate Bridge this city has to offer. If you’re on a budget in San Francisco then this a great place to add to your list of things to do because most of the activities here are free. You can catch a ride to the Presidio National Park using the free shuttle from downtown San Francisco

Address: Presidio of San Francisco, 103 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94129

Visit the Aquarium of the Bay

A visit to the Aquarium is a great family-friendly activity in San Francisco. It’s located at Pier 39 so after seeing the sea lions out in the wild, go inside and learn more about them and their friends at Aquarium of the Bay. There are over 20,000 marine animals here including sharks, jellyfish, rays and… otters!

Buy your tickets online here.

Address: Pier 39, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94133
Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm Monday to Sunday

Grab some food at Ferry Building Marketplace

The Ferry Building has a rich history and is one of the most iconic buildings in San Francisco. And Ferry Building Marketplace inside is a top attraction for foodies in San Francisco. There’s everything you could want here from take away vendors, fine dining restaurants, coffeeshops and farm produce. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday there’s a farmers market in the morning where they receive tens of thousands of visitors each week. Check out this post for most info on where to eat inside.

Take a Day Trip to Sausalito

Sausalito is town just across the Golden Gate Bridge that is well worth a visit on a sunny day in the Bay. It’s often compared to the French Riviera because of the multitude of boats and its very European feel. It’s the perfect day trip from San Francisco to escape the towering buildings and swap steep, busy roads for calm waters and quaint restaurants.

Combine this with a trip to the infamous Muir Woods (more below) with this Big Bus Muir Woods and Sausalito Tour.

Visit Muir Woods

Muir Woods, named after John Muir, founder of the first national park, is one of the few remaining Redwood Groves in San Francisco. It’s part of California’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area and contains some trees that are 1200 years old! If you don’t have time to fit in a trip to Yosemite National Park during your time in California, then Muir Woods is the closest you’ll get to it from San Francisco. 

Combine this with a day trip to Sausalito, as mentioned above, with this Big Bus Muir Woods and Sausalito Tour from Get Your Guide.

Take a boat to Angel Island

When purchasing your Alcatraz tickets, you can also choose to purchase an Alcatraz and Angel Island Combo Tour. The island is supposed to be a hidden gem in San Francisco and there’s a lot more to do there than you’d expect: hiking, biking, cafes, tours and more. It’s a great day trip from San Francisco and worth visiting if you’re spending a long time in the Bay area. Fun fact: it’s also known as the “Ellis Island of the West” as it was originally a place for holding immigrants coming into the USA.

Find out more about the Alcatraz and Angel Island Combo Tour here.

Visit the Walt Disney Family Museum

If you’re a Disney fan then a trip to the Walt Disney Family Museum should be on the cards. The galleries take you through the life of Walt Disney and his creative process as he set up a business that transformed the entertainment industry. There are usually lots of temporary exhibitions going on too which might explore specific Disney films, animators or dig further into the lives of Walt Disney and his family. 

Address: 104 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94129
Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm every day (Closed Tuesdays)

Go Book Shopping at City Lights Bookstore

City Lights Bookstore is the best bookshop in San Francisco and it has literary connections to the Beat Generation mentioned above. City Lights Publishing was responsible for releasing Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg out into the world and the trial that followed the this collection’s release propelled the bookstore to the centre of literary San Francisco. Today it still acts as both bookstore and publisher, releasing around a dozen new titles a year. 

They stock both fiction and non-fiction, classics and new releases but you’ll want to browse their extensive stock of works by Beat Generation writers and poets. They still hold several events a week here so it’s an absolute must-visit for bookworms in San Francisco. If you’re feeling peckish after book browsing, you should head next door to Vesuvio Cafe which was frequented by the Beat Generation. 

Address: 4519, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133
Opening hours: 10am – 12am every day  

Learn about the Beat Generation at The Beat Museum

The Beat Generation were a group of artists who promoted free self-expression in the 1950s and early 1960s and they encouraged experimentation with sexuality, drugs, and challenged social norms. Many notable American authors from this period were considered part of it including Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg! Some influential musicians such as Bob Dylan and The Beatles are also considered to have been part of the Beat Generation. 

Today, you can visit The Beat Museum to find out more about the Beat Generation and their works. Most of the items found here have been donated by family members, friends and fans. There are permanent collections as well as temporary exhibitions so it’s worth checking the website in advance to see what’s on. They also regularly hold book signings and events there so if you’re staying in San Francisco for longer period of time then you could attend one of their many events. 

Address: 540 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133
Opening Hours: 10am – 7pm every day

Drive down the hairpin turns of Lombard Street

Lombard Street is one of the most unusual sights in San Francisco and one of the crookedest street in the world. There are eight hairpin turns on less than a 200m stretch of road on one of the steepest roads in San Francisco. Yikes! 

If you’re not bold enough to drive down it yourself then I’d highly recommend getting an uber driver to take you down here on a journey because it’s quite an experience! 

If the thought of going down here in a car at all frightens you, then there are plenty of photo opportunities at both the top and bottom of this road. The bends are surrounded by beautiful flower beds and its a beautifully strange sight to behold. 

Lombard Street is incredibly long but you’ll be looking for the short section between Jones Street and Hyde Street.

See the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park 

If you’re a big sports fan then you’ll want to see if you can get tickets to see the San Francisco Giants play a baseball game at AT&T Park! Check the Giant’s play schedule to see if you’re in luck. 

If you’re not fortunate enough to get tickets to a game then you can join one of their daily behind-the-scenes tours which take you onto the field, into the Clubhouse and into a new museum. Find out more about these tours here

Address: 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94107

Visit the Painted Ladies

Sort of like the Notting Hill of San Francisco, the Painted Ladies are colourful homes located in the very affluent area of Haight-Ashbury. “Painted Ladies” refers generally to Victorian and Edwardian style houses built in America, but in San Francisco, it’s usually a reference to a particular set of houses on Steiner Street and Hayes Street.

This particular row of houses attract hoards of tourists each day because they were used as the backdrop in the opening sequence of Full House. There’s a lovely grassy area just in front of these homes where you can sit and enjoy the view of these beautiful houses and the streets beyond. However, expect it to be very busy as lots of other tourists will have the same idea. 

Address: Steiner Street and Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 94117 

Sip on Tiki cocktails at Tonga Room

Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar is one of the most unique bars in San Francisco and is a must for those looking for cocktails in town. It’s both a restaurant and bar with a tiki theme inside the Fairmont San Francisco hotel and one of the most popular places to grab a drink in the city. It’s a little kitsch but people still love it and it’s a great place to dance on a Saturday night. 

Cocktails are expensive at $16-18 each but if there’s happy hour from 5pm-7pm every Wednesday to Friday when drinks prices are slashed by half. Much more reasonable. 

Address: Fairmont San Francisco, 950 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94108
Opening Hours: 5pm – 11:30pm Wednesday to Sunday (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays) 

Figure out Land’s End Labyrinth

Land’s End is a lovely coastal trail in North West San Francisco where you can get some of the best views of Golden Gate Bridge. At the end of the trail is a local curiosity: a stone labyrinth. It looks like something that aliens may have left behind but it was actually designed by Eduardo Aguilera in 2004 and remained there ever since. It’s definitely one of the most unusual things to see in San Francisco! 

*This post contains affiliate links which means that qualifying purchases made via my links will earn me a tiny amount of commission at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. 

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