San Francisco is an absolutely beautiful city! With tons of things to do, this city built on nothing but hills, welcomes visitors from all over the globe. It’s perfect for a road trip or a great place to stay for a few weeks. It is one of the few cities that I would love to live in (and that is saying a lot because I am not even close to being a city girl). If you only have 24 hours in the city, and are extremely committed to seeing everything, here is a list of things that you can check off your bucket list.
The Golden Gate Bridge (Baker Beach)
You can stop and see the Golden Gate Bridge from many different locations (if you have the time you can even take a stroll across it). If you want an ocean view, head to Baker Beach. If you are driving there is free parking less than a mile down the road. (The Baker Beach parking lot: Battery Chamberlin Rd.)
The Pacific Ocean
If you have yet to step foot in the Pacific Ocean, this is your chance! If you are still at Baker Beach, take off your shoes and wade on in. Fair warning, there will be people there, rain or shine, and some will most likely be sunbathing naked. Just avoid eye contact and it will be OK.
Take a short hike
Around the Baker Beach area there are some cool hiking spots to check out. Climb along the rocks or head back toward the road to explore a few trails and pathways.
Full House House
Anyone a fan of Full House? I don’t know about you but I grew up watching that show. In San Fran you can see the front of the house that belonged to the Tanners, which was in the opening credits. Keep in mind, this is NOT one of the painted ladies. It is also not the TV show set. The real set is somewhere in LA. You should also know that this house is owned by an actual person who most likely lives there, so please don’t go knocking on the door because it will not be a Tanner that answers. (Address: 1709 Broderick Street.)
The Painted Ladies
The painted ladies are probably one of the most iconic San Fran scenes. Once again, I would not recommend knocking on the doors, considering people own them. You can walk along the side walk for an up close and personal view or head across to street to the large grassy area to get the full picture.
If it is souvenirs, food, crazy artwork or just downtown in general that you are looking for, head to the corner of Haight and Ashbury. The district is most famous for its hippie culture and most of the things on this list are in the general area.
The Grateful Dead House
I’m not a diehard fan of the Grateful Dead, but one of my friends who road tripped with us is. Thus, I was taken to the Grateful Dead house. So, if you are a fan, stop by the house where the band got started… and possibly lived? I’m not 100% sure on that one. But it’s a good stop for fans. (Address: 710 Ashbury Street)
If you drove a car, take it down Lombard Street. If you do not have a car, just walk! It’s known for being the “crookedest street in the world”. Its a super tight snake-like road surrounded but plants and flowers. It may not be super high on your bucket list, but it’s a fun, quick drive.
There is a doughnut shop in San Fran where you can order a doughnut bigger than your head! (Well, depending on how big your head is.) If you rather eat a normal doughnut they have miniature ones as well that are delicious. If you are going to get the big one, you need to call and order in advance!
Head over to Fishermans Wharf, right along the water.
At the Wharf you can relax by the harbor, grab something to eat or explore museums and shops all around you.
Right next to Fishermans Wharf is Pier 39.Just like the Wharf it is right along the water and chalk full of shops, food and sites to see.
When you are on the pier, try and catch a show! The acrobats are impressive and hilarious. They are free to watch, though they do ask for tips at the end of the show. If you had a good time toss a few dollars their way.
If you have the time and money, hop on a boat and go take a tour of Alcatraz. Alcatraz is an old penitentiary stationed on a small island off the coast. It once held some of America’s most famous criminals, keeping them locked away in a prison that was very difficult to escape from. It is empty now, but the walls and cells still stand strong to this day, helping to illustrate the historic stories passed on to every tour group.
If you do not have the time, you can still see a view of Alcatraz from the pier.
This city is also known for its China Town. The oldest one in North America to be exact. It’s on Grant Avenue and Stockton Street. Head on over and grab some lunch, or dinner depending on where you are in your day. If you are driving prepare for some heavily congested traffic!
If you are dedicated you can fit all of these things into your day trip to San Francisco. If you have more time then you can relax and explore at your leisure. You will always find something to do in San Fran. But beware, you may never want to leave.