San Francisco Vacations
San Francisco Vacation Itineraries – Day Agenda When Staying Near Union Square
Here’s an excellent day to enjoy San Francisco’s major sites and Attractions starting from Powell Street Station. Cable Cars are the city’s historic icon and a charming mode to travel and take in the beauty of the city. Catch the Powell-Hyde Cable Car line. The end of the line will leave you at the bustling sea front area of Fisherman’s Wharf, one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations.
Upon arrival to the Wharf, stunning views of the Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz Island makes for a great photo opportunity.
The crowd at the Wharf is made up mostly of tourists and street performers, yet it’s charm beckons many locals to swing by for the fresh curbside Dungeness crab and Clam Chowder served up in Sourdough bread bowls. Fisherman’s wharf is also home to Pier 39, which is dappled with restaurants, arcades, shops, and an aquarium. There are many unique attractions around Pier 39 such as ferry tours to Alcatraz Island, live music, art galleries, museums, the Boudin Bread factory, and Ghirardelli Square. For a memorable meal, visit Scoma’s for some of the best seafood the City has to offer.
Adjacent to the Wharf sits the charming Italian neighborhood known as North Beach. Head west by foot a couple of blocks until you reach historic Columbus Avenue. Dappled with sidewalk cafés, bistros, bars, pizzerias, North Beach was once the epicenter of intellectual activity of San Francisco. Serving as the home of the Beatnik movement, and a bustling Italian-American community, you will find such curiosities as bookstores, live blues and jazz, Gentlemen’s clubs and unique shops. The food, music, and nightlife are amongst the best the City has to offer. Visit Puccini’s Café, grab the city’s best Latte, and have a seat out front and take in the dynamic activity of the most urbane neighborhood the West Coast has to offer.
Once you’ve had enough of the hustle and bustle of North Beach, catch the MUNI 39 Coit bus on the corner of Columbus and Stockton and head up to Coit Tower. A panoramic view of San Francisco’s waterfront will prove to you why San Francisco is one of the most scenic and picturesque cities in the world. After you get your fill of photo opps, catch the Coit 39 back to the Wharf.
Just South of the Wharf lays the quant five-mile promenade constructed atop a seawall that stretches along the banks of San Francisco Bay. Catch the Muni E-Line and head south to the Ferry Building or if you have the time, head there by foot and take in the breathtaking scenery. The historic Ferry Building is the home to many specialty gourmet eateries, an open market place (jewelry, local arts and crafts), and San Francisco’s most well known Farmers Market (Tues, Thursdays, and Saturdays). If you would like to cap the day off with a fabulous dinner, The Slanted Door (Nouveau Vietnamese) is one of the most popular restaurants in the city.
If Art is your pleasure, catch BART at embarcadero station and get off at Montgomery Station. SFMOMA and Yerba Buena Art Center will satisfy you craving to end the day with a truly cultural experience.
San Francisco Vacation Itineraries – Day Agenda for Seeing SF Coast, Golden Gate Park & More
The western portion of San Francisco is a great option to explore one of the world’s greatest urban parks, not to mention the rugged beauty of the Pacific coast. From Powell Street station take the outbound MUNI N-Judah line. Disembark within the Inner Sunset neighborhood at 9th Ave and Judah. This quaint neighborhood buzzes with action around the clock. An Eclectic mix of students, families, and tourists alike rub elbows amongst a sea of great restaurants, pubs, café’s and local shops. It also sits adjacent to Golden Gate Park and serves as a natural gateway to access the park and its many attractions.
Take advantage of the local eateries and grab a custom sandwich to go at Pluto’s (7th and Irving). Head one more block North and enter the Park at Martin Luther King Way. Rectangular in shape, the park is three miles in length and ends on the sandy dunes of Ocean Beach. Start off by picnicking in colorful Shakespeare Garden. Just a stone’s throw away is the Music Concourse Area, home to the DeYoung Art Museum, Academy of Sciences, and the Japanese Tea Garden. Each is well worth the price of admission depending on your mood. After a stroll in one of the museums, follow Martin Luther King Way west towards the beach. Along the way marvel at the various meadows, lakes and the botanical beauty the park has to offer.
Once you reach the beach, pay a visit to the world famous Cliff House for a feel of old time San Francisco. Enjoy a beverage and take in the fabulous ocean view within the cozy confines of the bar and feel the magic of the coast. If you’re feeling really adventurous, the nearby Sutro Bath ruins make for an interesting seaside stroll. Head back towards the foot of the Park and visit the Beach Chalet Restaurant for some live music and more breathtaking views of Ocean Beach. Once you have had your fill, venture one block south back to Judah Street and pick up a coffee at one of the city’s most charming local Cafes, the Java Beach. If you catch it at the right time you may be lucky enough to catch an improvised Jam session as many local musicians gather here to play music, it’s a great way to end the day. Conveniently, the N-Judah in bound is accessible here and will take you back to Powell Street within a half an hour.
San Francisco Vacation Itineraries – Under the Radar, SF Mission District
Ah, the Misison. Origin of killer burritos, amazing art murals, Dolores Park, hipster bars/restaurants and way too many homeless people. Few places offer a better snapshot into the city than the Mission. Home to many of the city’s 20 and 30somethings, the Mission is a vibrant place to spend a day. Besides offering dozens of authentic taquerias, the Mission is home to some of the finest dining experiences the city offers. Whether it’s the two-star Michelin rated Sai’son or some of the other nationally recognized restaurants such as Mission Chinese or Foreign Cinema, your senses will be on overload from the food choices. National retailers have not been allowed into the Mission so you find many local boutiques along Valencia are filled with local and not-so-ordinary offerings. The 24th street corridor is one of the few streets that has stayed true to it’s Latino heritage.
When it comes to transit, the Mission is one of the most accessible neighborhoods. Besides offering two BART stops 16th and 24th Street, there are also plenty of buses. It’s about 30 minutes from the 24th Street station to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Oakland. The 16th Street station is not as user-friendly as 24th Street due to the large number of homeless people that frequent the area.
The art scene is very reflective of the culture and influence of its roots. Spanning an 8-block radius, there are more than 80+ mural installations that make for some great photo ops. Go by the Precita Mural Arts & Visitor center to catch a walking tour or explore areas like Balmy Alley and Clarion Alley on your own.
The Mission is often warmer and sunnier than other parts of San Francisco. The microclimates of San Francisco create a system where virtually each neighborhood may have totally different weather at any given time. Dolores Park, one of the most popular parks in the city, allows you to take advantage of this warmer, fog-free zone. Grab sandwiches from one of the more popular places: Ike’s, Rhea’s or Bi-Rite market and head over to people watch and bask in the sun. No weekend is complete without this experience!