The sparkling jewel of northern California, SF has wine, food, beautiful architecture and world-class parks. While there is much to do in the city itself, we highly recommend tacking on a day or two to visit the surrounding areas.
Depending on time of day and traffic, take a cab or Uber from the Airport to the city, or the local BART train (30 minutes).
Akiko's Sushi (Bush St.) Unassuming from the outside, this small Japanese restaurant serves excellent, fresh sushi sourced daily from local purveyors or directly from Japan.
Bar Bocce Great food, wine and outdoor seating with a fire-pit on the waterside in Sausalito.
Brenda`s French Soul Food hearty brunch spot near the Tenderloin. Unpredictable wait times so plan accordingly.
Ferry Building Marketplace Stalls, gourmet food stuffs and a farmers market are all inside this historic building.
Good Mong Kok Cantonese bakery and dim sum in Chinatown.
Leo’s Oyster Bar Old school vibes, cool cocktails and oysters. Recommended by a friend.
Murray Circle Restaurant Admire the view from across the Golden Gate Bridge at this restaurant on Cavallo Point. Go for brunch, sit on the deck and order the pastry basket (a friend’s brother is the pastry chef!)
Taqueria El Buen Sabor An unassuming taqueria in the Mission District.
Mikkeller Bar industrial craft beer bar in the Tenderloin district.
Napa Valley and Sonoma Just an hour north of the city, it is worth exploring California’s most famous wine regions. We love Patz & Hall and Three Sticks in Sonoma.
The Pour House Wine bar and tasting room in Nob Hill.
Vertigo Bar Cash-only dive with dancing on Polk Street.
Alcatraz Island Tour the island’s old military and federal prison. Book tickets in advance!
Big Basin Redwoods State Park Make a day trip to visit these gentle giants two hours south of the city.
Golden Gate Park This urban park offers stunning views of the world’s most famous bridge.
Fisherman’s Wharf While touristy, it does offer a great vantage of the bridge and Alcatraz. Pick up a few homegrown chocolates from Ghirardelli Square.
Mission District “The Mission” is a vibrant, eclectic neighborhood with Latino roots, street art and no short supply of tacos and hipsters. Spend an hour people watching in Mission Dolores Park or take a stroll down Valencia Street.
The Painted Ladies For children of the 80s and 90s, these Victorian houses were made famous by the Full House sitcom.
Presidio This former military post is a large park at the tip top of the peninsula with beautiful views of the bay and bridge.
Sausalito This cute, artsy town overlooking the water lies directly across the bay. Bikee from Golden Gate Park and take the ferry back, or take the ferry both directions from the Ferry Terminal in the Embarcadero.
If you are just in town for a long weekend, choose an AirBnb in Pacific Heights or Russian Hill to be near the sights, restaurants and nightlife.