San Francisco is such an amazing experience to explore, from its amazing history, its beautiful parklands and of course, its delicious food. That being said, it can be hard to whittle down a list of what to do in San Francisco when there are so many epic spots to see and free things to explore.
This is exactly why I wanted to pop over a fair few suggestions of what to do in San Francisco when you head to the city.
Anyway, enough rambling, take a look at what to do in San Francisco when you visit. It really is an epic place.
What to do in San Francisco
There are so many places that every visitor must see in San Francisco, from the awesome Golden Gate Bridge that you should definitely stroll across (and maybe Uber back, like me), to the infamous prison island of Alcatraz, which can now be visited without having to commit a get banged up!
Just like Ellis Island in New York City, Angel Island near San Francisco became an immigrants port of entry for many east Asian populations migrating to the United States.
With this mix of cultures has become one of the biggest China Towns in the world. Honestly, if you’re looking for what to do in San Francisco whilst looking for a bite to eat, this is a neighbourhood to explore.
It’s a great place to experience some traditional cuisine and even enjoy fusion food that is now mixed with locally produced Californian products.
If you’re looking to burn off some of those calories from your delicious Asian cuisine, take a wander across Golden Gate Park and stroll towards the culturally diverse Haight Street and Lands End at the ocean side.
It’s a great area of the city to explore the multiculturalism, diversity and charm that San Francisco has for you to explore. This is especially true in some of the best neighbourhoods like Castro which all has a distinct identity.
It’s well worth spending an afternoon exploring the neighbourhoods as it really has lots of history in the city.
Plus, you can visit Harvey Milk’s camera shop, too.
It’s such a special area.
Also, don’t forget to visit places like the Twin Peaks for some stunning views across San Francisco. If you’re struggling on what to do in San Francisco on a sunny day, then this is the spot. We went here by car but you can also hop in an Uber, too.
Oh yeah, and make sure to see Lombard Street, the painted sisters and Lombard Street, too. You can easily see all of these over about 4-hours and they’re totally stunning.
Finally, if you fancy a trip to Alcatraz, make sure to book your tickets before you visit.
Weekends tend to be the busiest and tickets sell out fast. Oh, and if you fancy a little escape from San Francisco, pop over to Muir Woods, too.
It’s only a stone’s throw from the city itself and really easy to visit.
What to do in San Francisco: eat and drink
My favourite parts of the city are at The Mission which is predominately influenced by Mexican heritage and culture.
Cool bars, delicious restaurants and the calorically good street food is a must for a ‘hungry hippo’ like me. As the weekends and the weekend begins the city relaxes and really embraces its laid-back image.
On Saturdays when the weather allows, try some of the cities artisan alcoholic treats such as BigDaddy IPA´s from Speakeasy, or the deliciously Moorish Hell or High Watermelon beer from 21st Amendment Brewery that will blow your mind! Who’d have thought you could make beer with watermelon.
No visit to The Mission would be complete without a super-sized burrito, from Pancho Villa Taqueria. This gives you the opportunity to test your spiciness threshold and a walk through Dolores Park. Just be prepared to sweat!
If your venturing across Broadway (in San Francisco, not New York City), don’t forget to check out Sam´s (618 Broadway).
Conjure up a strong appetite and try one of the world’s best burgers! What I loved most about Sam’s is its ability to offer really delicious burgers that are created just for you.
Choose what you like from the thousands of combinations and eat in one of the cities local eating points that has been feeding the city since the 1960s.
I had the amazing opportunity to stay with one of my closest friends in Richmond. He moved all the way from Denver, Colorado to follow his dream career of working in fine dining, landing himself an amazing opportunity at a double Michelin Star restaurant, Quince in downtown San Francisco.
If you are heading to Richmond, don’t forget to try some local spots like; Hot Sauce and Panko (1545 Clement Street), Halu (312 8th Avenue) and Burma Superstar (309 Clement Street). All are totally delicious and inexpensive eateries that will leave you stuffed for days.
Oh yes, don’t forget to try some delicious Clam chowder from the waterfront. Plus, there are a few epic seafood restaurants like; Hog Island Oyster and Anchor Oyster Bar & Seafood Market. They’re both delicious.
I’m in love with San Francisco
I fell in love with San Francisco and it was great to see so much of the city from a locals perspective. I think that’s one of the benefits of living like a local and figuring out what to do in San Francisco.
As you’ve probably guessed, my greatest pleasure is eating and exploring.
Put both of those together and it’s also a winner! Eating out, eating in… just plain eating and San Francisco has so many opportunities to make your taste buds tingle.