3 Days in San Francisco
We spent 3 days walking all over San Francisco this fall and put together this guide with all of our recommendations for your next visit to the bay area.
On this trip, Chloe and I booked a sweet AirBnB on Market Street in Castro. After dropping off our stuff, we walked to downtown Castro. There’s a big transport hub there where you can get a trolley or bus pass that’ll last you the length of your trip. We opted to walk for most of our trip so we didn’t grab passes this time.
Tartine is a must on any trip to San Francisco. You may have seen their cookbooks in stores near you.
Expect a line out the door for this one. I’ve waited for as long as 45 minutes to get in the door but it’s well worth it, especially if you haven’t been before.
Once you get to the front, grab a couple of baked goods and a coffee. Here’s a few of my personal favorites.
- Pain au Jambon
- Frangipane Tart
- Croque Monsieur
Exploring Mission District
After breakfast, we walked around Mission District. There are tons of parks and beautiful buildings to see. We stopped in at Misión San Francisco de Asís and went on a walkthrough tour.
If you’re looking for dessert, I cannot recommend Bi-Rite Creamery enough. All of their flavors are made in small batches and contain fresh ingredients. Make sure you taste their seasonal flavors while you’re there!
The Painted Ladies
Whatever happened to predictability?
Okay, so these beautiful buildings don’t include the famous Full House house, but they are a must-see in SF.
On our way to find some lunch, we came across a new Boba Guys location!
Now, if you’re not from the Bay Area, you probably haven’t heard of Boba Guys but let me tell you, it’s the best boba I have ever had. (Plus they have a super cool logo).
Sunset by the Bay
After lunch, we walked down by the waterfront. There are tons of trails down there that will take you through huge parks and offer amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the bay, and Alcatraz.
Our final stop of the day was at Ghirardelli Square. This hub of chocolate has a really interesting layout that spans something like 5 stories laid out in an Escherian fashion. They’ve got multiple shops that sell Ghirardelli products throughout and they’ll give you a free square of chocolate at most of them.
The most photogenic stop in the square is the Ghirardelli arch. It’s on the East side of the complex, halfway up the hill. You’ll probably see a line of people waiting to take photos there.
There are a bunch of other cool shops that you can check out throughout the square as well. Take your time and enjoy some delicious chocolate!
We started out day 2 with a trip to one of my personal favorites, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse (massive recommendation for this one). Get there early if you want a shot at getting a cruffin. All of their stuff is amazing though so even if you miss the cruffins, it’s worth a stop.
Next, we stopped for some food with protein at a local breakfast joint with a huge line out the door. Not amazing so I’m not linking to it here. Feel free to use the contact page if you want more info.
Next, we walked through Union Square. When you go there, check out the heart statue! There was a Korean Culture celebration of some sort going on at the time, but we were on our way to Blue Bottle Coffee so we didn’t stay long.
Blue Bottle Coffee
At Blue Bottle, we got macchiatos and enjoyed our cruffins from Mr. Holmes. Mint Plaza (where one Blue Bottle Cafe is located) is pretty neat so we spent a bit of time exploring it and taking pictures with the aesthetic building numbers.
For the rest of the morning and early afternoon, we walked by the Museum of Ice Cream, Dragon’s Gate (a must see), and the Finance District. Eventually, we found ourselves at the Walt Disney Family Museum (which was awesome).
Walt Disney Family Museum
If you’re at all a fan of Disney, you have to go to the Walt Disney Family Museum. You essentially walk through Walt’s life, from his childhood to his death. Towards the end, you get to see the original model of Disneyland and it is so cool.
Once outside the museum, we realized how close we were to the Golden Gate Bridge and decided to walk over.
Golden Gate Park
The walk took us all around the bay and offered spectacular views of massive parks, the waterfront, interesting buildings, and, of course, the Golden Gate Bridge itself.
When we finally made it to the bridge (longer walk than we expected) the sun was just beginning to set. Luckily, it was pretty clear and the golden hour did not disappoint.
We stayed at the bridge until the sun had fully set, then we called it a day.
Our final day in SF started off with a decent breakfast in Castro. From there, we decided to hop on a trolley that would take us down to Fisherman’s Wharf.
We didn’t stay too long at the Wharf (unfortunately we were stuck with our luggage for the day). We did make a point of heading to the original Boudin and we picked up some really great sourdough.
After walking all the way down the waterfront, we found ourselves at the home of the (American) Irish Coffee. We grabbed a drink and hopped on the Cable Car. I definitely recommend riding on the outside of the Cable Car. It’s slightly terrifying, but loads of fun!
For our final stop of the trip, we went to Japantown for taiyaki (so good). If you don’t know what taiyaki is, you’ve probably seen pictures. It’s soft serve ice cream that comes in a fish waffle cone. Not only is this dessert really tasty, but it’s also extremely photogenic.
That wraps up our trip to San Fransisco. We’re looking forward to visiting again soon. If you’re interested in taking a trip to SF, leave us a comment and let us know what you’re most excited about! Happy travels!