If it’s your first time visiting San Francisco, you’re in for an amazing trip. San Francisco is filled with vibrant street corners, quirky cafes and so much more to offer. I had no idea what to expect while heading to San Francisco for the first time, but I was pleasantly surprised with this city!
One thing that I wish I knew before visiting was about the weather. For some reason, I had this idea that San Francisco would be scorching hot but I couldn’t have been more wrong. San Francisco is in Northern California, and throughout most of the year it can be quite windy and chilly. Make sure you bring a jacket while you explore all that San Francisco has to offer. Here is my complete guide to visiting San Francisco.
SEE THE PAINTED LADIES
Get ready for a trip down nostalgia road at Alamo Square where you’ll find the famous Painted Ladies. If you grew up watching TV in the 90’s, you’ll recognize this iconic street from the opening credits of Full House. Admittedly, I never actually watched Full House but I still recognized this colorful, Victorian inspired street. It’s definitely worth seeing in person!
SATISFY YOUR SWEET TOOTH
If you’re looking for a cute bakery with an instagrammable charm and delicious sweets, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse is the place for you! Mr. Holmes Bakehouse has the tastiest (and prettiest) pastries I’ve seen, not to mention the cute neon pink sign for all of you bloggers out there.
CHECK OUT SAN FRANCISCO’S VIEWS & HEAD SHOPPING
Dolores Park is one of the most popular and iconic parks in San Francisco, and for good reason! It’s a vibrant, busy but relaxing spot to people watch and take in the beautiful views of the city. From here you can head to Union Square to take in the hustle of the city, and do a bit of well deserved shopping.
STROLL THROUGH CHINA TOWN
I have to say that San Francisco’s China Town is one of the most pleasant surprises I’ve experienced while traveling. This is North America’s oldest China towns and it definitely doesn’t disappoint. The street is decorated with traditional red lanterns and banners and is filled with plenty of unique and authentic shops to explore (Pokemon fans like myself will love this part of town!)
HAVE LUNCH AT FISHERMAN’S WHARF
Grab some delicious, fresh seafood for lunch while watching California Sea Lions perch up on the docks of Pier 39. When I first caught glimpse of this iconic Pier, I couldn’t believe how many of them there were! Although touristy, it wouldn’t be a San Francisco trip without checking out this famous part of the city.
HIKE THROUGH THE FAMOUS REDWOODS
Muir Woods was a must do on my trip itinerary since I love all things nature and exploring National Parks across the globe. Located about 40 minutes North of San Francisco, this national park is home to some of the world’s oldest Red Wood trees, some aging from 500 to 800 years old! There are 6 miles of trails to choose from as well as the valley floor trail for those looking for a more relaxing stroll.
VISIT THE ICONIC GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
I saved this one for last, but it definitely lived up to it’s expectations! The Golden Gate bridge is a must see as it’s one of San Francisco’s most famous landmarks. Parking at the viewpoints can be tricky, so I would recommend heading out early if you can. When you’ve soaked up the beauty of the Golden Gate bridge, drive down to Sausalito. Sausalito is referred to as California’s Almafi Coast for it’s seaside town vibe and shoreline views.
There are so many things to do in San Francisco that you most definitely won’t run out of places to explore. Have you ever been to San Francisco? I’d love to hear about your favourites!