- only about 6 square miles
- 14th largest city in U.S.(San Jose is 10th largest)
Golden Gate Bridge
Walk or bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, and be sure to visit Fort Point under the bridge.
- Presidio of San Francisco
- Pier 39 (Fishermen's Wharf): shops, food, and sea lions.
- Hyde st. Pier historic ships: https://www.nps.gov/safr/index.htm
- Musee Mechanique: a private collection of coin-operated antique arcade machines—is right on Fisherman’s Wharf.
- City Lights Booksellers & Publishers: writer Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s bookshop; and grab a cocktail at Tosca (across the street and owned by Francis Ford Coppola).
From the Ferry Building to Castro Street, one of the first gay neighborhoods in the United States
Ferry Building: the end of the Market Street.
The Embarcadero: the double-decker freeway was removed in 1991 (used to be I-480, that is why there's you can find I-280, 380, 580, 680, 780, 880, 980 but no 480)
SoMa: South of Market, home to many museums and tech companies, including the highest building, the Salesforce Tower (https://salesforcetower.com/). Roof garden on top of Salesforce Transit Center.
Powell Street: terminal of 2 Cable Car lines; shopping center: Westfield San Francisco Center, Union Square.
- Statue of Simón Bolívar at the United Nations Plaza. (There are three casts, the other 2 are at the Plaza Bolívar in Lima and the Plaza Bolívar in Caracas)
- a culture center: Orpheum Theatre, Asian Art Museum, SF Public Library, Opera House, Symphony Hall
Golden Gate Park
- 1,000 square feet urban oasis.
- Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, which is free before 10 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
- Whitney De Young art museum
- a small herd of bison
- famed independent record store Amoeba Music.
- California Academy of Sciences
Coit Tower to see the historic murals in the lobby (going up the tower costs extra).
by blue and Golden Fleet
Best City Views
From the south / southwest:
- Twin Peaks: aligned with Market Street.
- Buena Vista Park / Corona Heights Park: Lower than Twin Peaks but closer to downtown; no clear view of Market Street.
- Bernal Heights Park
- Alamo Square Park
From the northwest:
- Golden Gate Bridge north end vista point
- Headlands Lookout, Hawk Hill
From the east:
- take the ferry to Ferry Building.
Within the city:
- climb up the Coit Tower
Golden Gate Viewpoints
- Golden Gate Overlook
- Lands End Park
Show / Performance
Many around the City Hall.
DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL
201 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102
War Memorial Opera House
Sydney Goldstein Theater
Both owned by BroadwaySF.
- ORPHEUM THEATRE http://orpheum.theatre-sanfrancisco.org/
- Golden Gate Theatre http://www.goldengatetheatresf.com/
Museums / Zoos / Aquarium
- S.F. Cable Car Museum, free anytime.
- S.F. Railway Museum, free anytime.
- De Young Museum
- Randall Museum: https://www.randallmuseum.org/
- Aquarium of the Bay
- San Francisco Zoo
- Exploratorium (Piers 15 and 17)
Breweries and Wineries, Food Factories
- Anchor Brewing and get some free beer samples in Potrero Hill
- Visit the original Ghirardelli location at Ghirardelli Square for free chocolate samples.
Catch a Game
AT&T Park: Giant
Free shuttle: from downtown and within presidio. https://www.presidio.gov/transportation/presidigo
- S.F. marathon
- Bay to Breakers
- Stern Grove festival, every Sunday during the summer
- Easter in alternative fashion at the Bring Your Own Big Wheel race on Vermont Street.
- the Hunky Jesus competition in Dolores Park.
- when September rolls around, watch some free opera with the AT&T Park simulcast.
- 'Lindy in the Park,' free swing dance lessons at Golden Gate Park's East End.
- Watch free Shakespeare at the Presidio or McLaren Park.
- free show at Amoeba in the Haight.
Ferry Building to Sausalito
San Francisco Lombard street
San Francisco Saints Peter and Paul Church
San Francisco North Beach Italian food
San Francisco 16th Avenue Tiled Steps
Crissy Field or the waterfront to catch the sailboats
Enjoy the scenery and variety of the 49-mile scenic drive.
Bay Lights installation on the Bay Bridge. after dark
the Presidio Pet Cemetery on McDowell Avenue.
Listen to the Wave Organ sculpture, at the end of the jetty that houses the St. Francis and Golden Gate yacht clubs.
Take a walk through the City Hall rotunda.
Have a laugh with Laffing Sal from the old Playland at the Beach, on display at Musee Mecanique on Pier 45.
murals in the Mission's Clarion Alley.
Mission Dolores, a spot Alfred Hitchcock made famous in Vertigo
Valencia corridor, filled with taquerias, cafes, and cool resale stores like Paxton Gate, which specializes in “curiosities,” i.e. natural sciences and taxidermy (like earrings made from animal teeth). They also have a kid section, with interesting craft supplies, vintage and plush toys and learning kits.
Mission Cheese or Tacolicious across the street (locals rave about the fresh fruit margaritas). For sweets, you’ve got Dandelion Chocolate Factory/cafe, right next door to the decadent pastries at Craftsman and Wolves—try the Rebel Within and the cube cakes.
Fort Funston. It’s a steep, fun spot on the water that’s ideal for hang-gliding and hiking.
Bill Graham Civic for a concert
grab a nightcap at Bar Agricole, famed for its inventive cocktail list, like the absinthe-based Monkey’s Gland.
- Pier 39(Fishermen's Warf): restaurants at Pier 39 can validate the parking ticket, 1hr free.
- St. Mary's Square Parking Garage: $4/hr