San Francisco makes the perfect place to spend a weekend. This compact city makes it easy to see a lot in a short amount of time. Only have one day, but want to see it all? I have the itinerary so you won’t miss a thing!
My husband and I spent our anniversary in Napa Valley, check out all that we did with my Napa Valley day trip itinerary. After two days of drinking wine, we decided we’d had enough wine and took an impromptu day trip to San Francisco. San Francisco is an easy day trip from Napa or vise versa (about a 2 hour drive each way), also the drive is GORGEOUS! Not having any plans, we spent much of the day asking local Lyft drivers for recommendations and I totally think we ended up with the perfect one day trip. I don’t think we could’ve had more fun if we had planned it.
Golden Gate Bridge
Nothing is more iconic than the Golden Gate Bridge, so make it your first destination. Driving across gives you a perspective of how big this bridge really is. We headed towards Fisherman’s Wharf, where we found some day parking and parked the car for the day. You will definitely waste your time and money if you try to drive around San Francisco to each place. Instead park the car and walk, take public transit, or grab a Lyft. You will have a much more enjoyable experience. The hills are a killer if you are not use to them.
Blue Mermaid & The Cannery
We got in around lunch, so we had an early lunch at the Blue Mermaid Restaurant. They have awesome chowder and they even have their own craft beer. Make sure to try the California clam chowder, it was so good. Right next to the Blue Mermaid, is The Cannery. It is a cute old cannery that they converted into a shopping area.
Fisherman’s Wharf & Boudin Bakery
After lunch, we walked down the street to Fisherman’s Wharf. You will probably smell it before you see it, but make sure to stop by Boudin Bakery. They are famous for their sourdough bread, you can watch them making it through the windows, and see their skills in their bread displays of bread made into different animals.
The next stop is a short walk away at Pier 39. Here you will find tons of restaurants and shopping, but that is not the best part. The best part is the sea lions laying on the docks sunning themselves. Seriously they are hilarious! This is also a great spot to see Alcatraz Island way off in the distance (if you are wanting to visit Alcatraz make sure to book in advance because they were all filled up when we did our day trip).
A few blocks away is Lombard Street, the famous curvy street. Even though it is only a few blocks from Pier 39, I would highly suggest getting a Lyft to take you to the top because it is straight uphill! We had our Lyft drop us at the top so we could take pictures and walk down it. Once you are at the bottom, make sure to look back and watch people navigate down this curvy street.
Chinatown was our next stop. This is a great spot to take pictures, there is tons of really cool buildings, decorations, and statues. It is also a really fun place to go shopping, so make sure to pop in the shops as you walk around. If you are hungry, there are tons of great restaurants in this area.
“Life is waiting to carry you home… everywhere you look.” Yes those are the Painted Ladies townhouses from the intro to Full House and now Fuller House. There is a park right across the street from the Painted Ladies called Alamos Square that makes a great place to stop and take a picture. Also if you had a little time this would be a great place to have a picnic lunch or enjoy some sunshine.
The next stop was recommended by our amazing Lyft driver. Twin Peaks is at the the top of a very steep hill, so you definitely want someone to take you there. The view from the top is absolutely incredible and you can see everything on a clear day.
Castro District & Haight Street
Multiple people recommended the Castro District & Haight Street for a great dinner and drinks stop. After some walking around we decided to grab a cup of coffee while deciding on a place to eat dinner. There are tons of options in this area, I don’t think you could go wrong. Reveille Coffee Company was a great stop, they also have outdoor seating, which was great way to enjoy the nice day we had. We decided we wanted a quick dinner, so we could have more time to walk around. So we went to dinner at Super Duper Burgers, which is a local burger chain. Make sure to try the three dipping sauces with your fries, they were all quite tasty. While there, try to walk by the Castro Theater for a really cool picture.
Alright, I saved the best for last. The Lyft driver that recommended Twin Peaks recommended this place and man was he on point. Cliff House is an amazing restaurant and bar that sits on the cliffs and has amazing views of the Pacific Ocean and Ocean Beach. If you can time it for a sunset, do it, it is absolutely beautiful. You can walk around and get amazing pictures without having to go into Cliff House, but I would definitely recommend going to the bar if you have time, they had great cocktails and killer views. It was a perfectly romantic way to finish out an amazing anniversary weekend!
If you can, try to drive over the Bay Bridge on the way home, it is absolutely beautiful all lit up at night.