San Francisco has been deemed the “Cleaner, Healthier” New York City by its locals, and for good reason. The small city running 7x7 miles is home to some of the most fabulous restaurants, museums, and expensive rent in the country. With an energy geared toward the freedom to love who you choose and healthy hipster culture, San Francisco has a bit of something in it for everyone.
We’ve assembled our top 20 list of San Francisco Must See’s, perfect for a long stay or a quick weekend visit.
- The Golden Gate Bridge
The infamous red bridge (no it’s not gold) has long stood as the iconic image of San Francisco and Full house. Rent a bicycle or choose to stroll across the bridge, but keep in mind the bridges high altitudes results in some serious winds so bring earmuffs and a good windbreaker.
- Fisherman's Warf (Pier 39)
Source: Maps of World
Touristy it may be, but the Fishermans Warf is pretty reliable for an afternoon of fun and souvenier shopping. Eat at one of the many restaurants, play in the vintage arcade, or go for a ride on the old school carousel.
- Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
Source: Arch Daily
Quite possibly one of the better MOMA’s in the country, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has an impressive collection of contemporary art and a collection of photography dating as far back as 1935.
Source: Huffington Post
Explore the darker history of San Francisco with a tour through the country’s most famous prison. The islands audio tours allow you to hear first-hand accounts from prisoners while standing in their cells. Learn about the infamous prison break that remains a mystery to this day.
Source: Pantheon Photos Wordpress
Channel your inner hippy with a stroll through Haight-Ashbury. The neighborhood is the perfect place to pick up vintage vinyls, cannabis clothing, and give money to people who will probably use it on pot and art supplies.
- Golden Gate Park
The “Central Park” of San Francisco, Golden Gate park is filled with adventures including the famous Golden Gate Zoo. Explore the park via Segway or Horseback.
- Pier Market Seafood Restaurant
Source: Art and Entertain Me Blogspot
It doesn’t get fresher than this. Enjoy freshly caught seafood by the pound directly on the pier, the restaurant carries everything from shrimp to crab the size of your head (depending upon the season).
If you're traveling with children (or you’re just a fun loving adult) this museum is the perfect way to learn in an interactive way. The museums open layout is filled with hands-on science experiments that clearly explain scientific laws and ideas while keeping it fun.
- The Japanese Tea Garden
Feel as though you have been instantly transported to the botanical gardens of Japan at the San Francisco Japanese Tea Garden. The Garden is home to thousands of plant varieties and Japanese architecture.
- Fillmore Street
Source: All Streets Blog
The entire energy of San Francisco can easily be summed up on this one street. Fillmore street is the perfect place to find locally owned restaurants, shops, and yoga studios. The street even has a variety of pubs and an International Films theatre.
- Beach Chalet
Source: Nana Wall
While we don’t suggest swimming at San Francisco’s beaches (unless you’re into not feeling your toes), they make for one hell of a view. The Beach Chalet restaurant and brewery is the perfect place to take in ocean sites and enjoy some crab cakes and a cold beer.
Source: Sai Conference
Every major city has it’s own bustling china town, and San Francisco is no different. A walk through china town is like entering a different world and there’s virtually no cooking ingredient or novelty product that you won’t be able to find for sale there.
- Lombard Street
Source: LA Times
Known as the windiest street in the world, Lombard street is not the windiest street in the world. Still, it’s pretty cool and worth the visit while you’re driving the cities rollercoaster streets. Just be sure to visit very early or very late in the day, or you will be stuck in Lombard traffic. Not fun.
- The Ferry Building
Source: Sek Photo Wordpress
All of the fun, excitement and energy of an outdoor market crammed into an old ferry station. The ferry building has locals favorites like “Gotts Burger” (home of the best ahi tuna burger you will ever have in your life) and Cowgirl Creamery. You can also pick up simple (but overpriced) items like fresh seafood, deli meats, or flowers.
- The Stinking Rose
Source: San Francisco Cuisine
Garlic lovers unite and vampires beware! The Stinking Rose is found in the “Little Italy” district of San Francisco and is a pure garlic restaurant. Every item on the menu has garlic incorporated, even your pre-meal bread comes with a head of roasted garlic.
- Brunch at the Palace
Source: SF Palace
As glamorous as it is delicious, brunch at the Palace is a must. The dining room is fit for royalty and the spread has something for everyone. Visit for special occasions like Easter or Mothers Day for a real brunch experience.
- Pride Parade
San Francisco is bursting with pride, and their annual parade is not to be missed. Celebrate love, equality, and glitter with the city’s pride parade, occurring the last weekend in June.
- Cable Car Ride
Source: Fun Cheap
You have to get around the city somehow, might as well do it in San Francisco style.Channel your inner Mr.Rogers and ride a cable car to almost any location throughout the city.
- Off the Grid
Street foodies will fall head over heels for this food truck gathering featuring a wide variety of trucks serving everything from sushi cones to pure bacon. The food truck gathering occurs in different areas throughout the city, download the app for updates on where to get your food truck fix.
- Palace of Fine Arts Theatre
Source: Wandering Steph
The perfect spot in San Francisco to enjoy a full-on symphony concert or just a sweet picnic in the grass. Films and television shows have made this destination famous thanks to its unforgettable architecture and wide open space.
If you're looking to the home of Karl the Fog, you have plenty of things to do and sights to see to keep you well entertained. It's truly a beautiful city and definitely worth the popularity it has accrued throughout the years.