If you were following along on Facebook or Instagram last week then you know I was out west in San Francisco. I have to say that I love the west coast nearly as much as I love the east coast. New York will always have my heart but there are so many great things out west that I love. Like San Francisco. Have you had the chance to travel to this great city? Below I am going to share some tips and tricks with you so that you can make your next trip to San Francisco memorable! I also wanted to give a special ‘thanks’ to San Francisco Travel for helping me put together an amazing trip. They have a great website packed with activities, dining and shopping that can help you plan your trip.
Depending on your overall plans for your time in the city, I would highly recommend getting a CityPASS. One of the biggest benefits of the CityPASS is that you can use city transportation absolutely free on your trip, including the cable cars which cost $7 per trip. The pass also includes access to one of two aquariums inside of the city, a bay cruise adventure, access to their science museum and much more! It’s a great option for a family or even just a couple interested in exploring all that San Francisco hast to offer.
WHERE TO STAY: There are a lot of really great and unique neighborhoods in San Francisco including the Marina District and Union Square. I would say that both of these neighborhoods provide a great location within the city, close to transportation, restaurants and shopping. On this particular trip I stayed at The Axiom Hotel in Union Square. After viewing the website I was really excited to stayed at the hotel. It looked like a fun and modern hotel and I was not disappointed upon my arrival.
The Axiom Hotel is a stylish boutique hotel in the center of Union Square with a cable car stop right outside of the front door. Our room was beyond comfortable, with plush sheets and pillows, a large bathroom with walk-in shower and free WiFi! Free coffee and tea was available in the morning on their second floor which also featured numerous televisions, old-school video games and foosball. They also have a cafe on the first floor serving up lattes in the morning and cocktails in the evening! The hotel is fun and modern and I would recommend checking it out if you’re coming to town.
WHAT TO DO: Honestly, there are so many fun things to do in San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, North Beach and cable car rides just to name a few things. If you only have a few days in San Francisco, here are some of my recommendations on how to fill your time:
Alcatraz: This is probably one of the most iconic sites in San Francisco. The prison itself is located on Alcatraz Island and you have to take a short ferry ride to get there. I’ll be the first to admit that a tour of the prison is slightly creepy, but it’s such an amazing experience to be inside of the facility and learn about the history. Standing inside of the prison walls and thinking about the notorious criminals such as Al Capone that spent time at Alcatraz really makes for a surreal experience.
Bike Across the Golden Gate Bridge: I have done this twice now and it is honestly one of the most enjoyable, scenic experiences in San Francisco. There are a few bike rental locations in the Fisherman’s Wharf area that offer an inexpensive way to tour the city. There is a beautiful park that you bike through on your way to the bridge which is rather flat as compared to the rest of the city. The only hill to be found is the one right before to get to the entrance of the bridge. The entire ride from Fisherman’s Wharf to Sausalito is around 8 miles. When you get over to Sausalito you can head down a hill to their quaint little town for lunch before you make the trek back.
Enjoy a Food Tour in North Beach: The North Beach area is a section of town crawling with Italian restaurants, coffee shops and gelato. It’s a great area to grab a bit to eat or a salami for the road! I signed up for a tour with Local Tastes of the City on this trip and enjoyed everything from pizza to espresso. Get more details on my experience here.
Embark on a Dinner Cruise: One of the most beautiful ways to spend an evening in the bay would be to head out on a dinner cruise with Hornblower. They offer a variety of cruise options for brunch, sightseeing and dinner. You can enjoy a live band over a 5-course meal, or a buffet with a DJ to dance the night away.
Some of the other favorite and notable sights include:
- Pier 39 – The perfect spot to watch sea lions sun themselves on the docks.
- Ride a cable car up one of the many hills in the city.
- Check out Lombard Street, one of the most crooked streets in America.
- Take a day trip to wine country. I recommend Green Dream Tours!
I will be sharing more from my trip this week including details of the North Beach Food Tour, our Green Dream tour of wine country, a delicious brunch from Belga, and an amazing dinner that we enjoyed at One Market.
Have you been to San Francisco? What are some of your favorite things to do in the city?