San Francisco has something for everyone, from its eclectic mix neighborhoods to its rich history, to its diverse restaurants and rugged coastline. If you’re like me, a first-time visitor, in the city for a conference and have only a few hours – what are your options?
Read on for my ultimate guide to San Francisco on a time crunch!
1) Mission District Murals
This neighborhood is packed full of colorful murals portraying themes ranging from cultural heritage to social-political statements. Treat yourself to the Mission District Art Tour! Below are some pictures I took while strolling down Clarion Alley.
2) Chestnut Street
This bustling street is in one of the more affluent areas of San Francisco and is comprised of a diverse mix of shops, restaurants, coffee houses and services. If you lived in this area you’d find that you probably never have to leave this street to do your shopping as it has everything you need and more! If you need a caffeine fix – pop into Pete’s Tea & Coffee, I’d describe the décor as refined rustic, it’s very well lit, with a laid-back vibe and a ‘living wall’. Their Gold Chai Tea Latte is delish! There are many popular dining and drinking options here, so make an evening of it!
3) China Town
Authentic and large is how I’d describe San Francisco’s China Town. Outside of Asia, it’s the largest, and in North America, it’s the oldest. Here, you will find plenty of shops selling both souvenirs as well as beautiful decorations, sculptures and more. There is no shortage of restaurants – by way of a local recommendation, I found myself at Eastern Gate Restaurant – the food was great as was the service! Keep an eye for the street art – there are some beautiful works of art hidden throughout this area!
4) North Vista Point/Golden Gate Bridge
Your trip wouldn’t be complete without some shots of the most iconic bridge in the world – The Golden Gate Bridge. This suspension bridge links the northern tip of San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County. There are many locations that provide a great view of the Golden Gate bridge and North Vista Point is one of them!
5) Fisherman’s Wharf
Named for the generations of fishermen who sold their catches at the harbor, the Wharf is now a tourist attraction. Located on the northern waterfront, this busy area is full of souvenir shops, crab and clam chowder stalls, a colony of sea lions and historic ships. At Ghirardelli Square, boutiques and eateries reside in the framed former chocolate factory.
I recommend using the Big Bus Tour (hop on/hop off) to get around – it was well organized; the tour guides and information were on point and the buses came every 15-20 min. The Mission District Murals aren’t included in the bus tour and if you do go, it’s best to take a cab or Uber as you do have to go through some rougher areas to get to it and it’s best to go during the day.
Well, there you have it – San Francisco on a time crunch! I already have my must do list ready for the next time I go back!
I’ll be posting the rest of my San Fran pics on Twitter – so follow me @kkgtadesign