Three days in San Francisco
Map of San Francisco • Introduction • Hotels • Restaurants • Drinks • Districts • About San Francisco’s Cable Car • Union Square • Facts about San Francisco
Map of San Fransisco
We flew to San Francisco from Hawaii and stayed three nights there which was perfect. I think that January is a great month to visit San Fransisco; the weather is nice and there are much less tourists as during the summer months.
Here’s what you should not miss while a few days in San Fransisco according to Resor och äventyr:
2. to take the cable car,
3. to have clam chowder in Fisherman’s Wharf,
4. Lombard Street,
5. shopping and skating by Union Square.
Choose a district of your liking (pls see below) and just stroll around. If you have time you might as well rent a bike and bycycle over the Golden Gate Bridge.
We were a big party staying at the Holiday Inn and everyone thought the hotel was fine, I think. Nothing fancy but if you travel with kids the Holiday Inn San Fransisco Fisherman’s Wharf is a good alternative. It is clean and close to the harbour, restaurants and cable car.
Walking distance to the ferry to Alcatraz.
A former Kimpton hotel Sir Francis Drake. For those loving that lavishing luxorious style. The lobby is fabulous with it’s chandeliers and the walls in Italian marble.
Lovely rooms, welcoming interior; top notch restaurant, bar, and – the fanciest roof top bar in the whole San Francisco. When the interior designer Kelly Wearstler has given free reign it is no wonder that San Francisco Proper is considered of many as the hippest hotel in San Francisco.
Great interior design in the theatre district.
Diva is a relly popular hotel, the rates are great and the location is spot on.
- Sorella Very popular restaurant serving good food.
- Zuni Café even though it was a few years back Zuni Café was given a James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding restaurant” and “Outstanding service” it really is still going strong. Recommend!
- Greens Restaurant Vegetarian restaurant with a great view over the Golden Gate Bridge.
- Quince Italian fine dining with top on the notch wine list. Quince has three stars in Guide Michelin.
- Spruce Fine dining in Pacific Heights. Great food, great ambiance, great bar.
- Nari Great Thai restaurant in Japantown
- Gracias Madre Vegan Mexican, what’s not to like
- Buena Vista A traditional bar in Fisherman’s Wharf serving world famous Irish Coffee. Buena Vista is mentioned in every travel guide to San Francisco, but – in my opinion, you might want to pop in if you are passing by, don’t bother otherwise. Personally, I am no fan of Irish pubs.
A fantastic roof top bar in Sna Francisco Proper hotel.
Districts in San Francisco and places to visit
One of the most photographed venues in San Francisco due to the beautiful, Victorian houses painted in pastellic colors that are called “Painted Ladies”.
San Francisco’s gay district with lots of good restaurants and cafés. You will see a whole lot of interesting characters here as well. Harvey Milk’s head quarters were located here and the movie Milk was made here.
Between Bush Street and Broadway, take the entrance by Dragon’s Gate on Grant Avenue. San Francisco’s Chinatown has the largest Chinese community outside China and even the oldest in North America.
Head for the Embarcadero if you are looking for a nice walk along the water between Fisherman’s Wharf and South Beach Harbor. The ferry terminal Port of San Francisco is here.
Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39
The tourist favorite but don’t be discouraded. You will find a lots of nice fish restaurants in this area serving super fresh fish and clam chowder. Try Chowders or Sabella & La Torre, the latter being one of the oldest restaurants in San Francisco. Casual and cosy.
Pier 39 is a popular market place by the water. You do not come here for the shopping (yikes) but the great athmesphere; there are street performers, live music and sea lions.
Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge should be the most photographed bridge on earth. It was inaugurated in 1937, it is 2 737 meters long, has a span of 1 280 meters and is 67 meters high. Approximately 120 000 cars cross the Golden Gate Bridge every day.
Rent a bike and cyckle over the bridge to the other side; if you have time (and energy) continue to the village of Sausalito (favorite among the IT millionairs) and take a seat in one of the nice restaurants along the waterline.
Hayes Street (Hayes Valley)
Alternative shops, bars and design shops. Breakfast at Stacks.
Think flower power, peace & love. More recently, more exclusive and trendy stores have emerged in Haight and Ashbury, as well as vintage stores like Wasteland and Decades of Fashion.
Day and night, drug dealers hang around in Haight/Ashbury.
You will find the best sushi in Japan Town, obviously. The whole Japan Town is built in classical Japanese style.
Mission attracts creative people and has overwhelmingly Mexican population. if you long for a delicious burrito, cool graffiti and street art you head for Mission.
There is a lot of illegal drug trade going on in Mission so avoid any shady alleys.
North Beach/Little Italy
Popular district among tourists and locals alike. Great restaurants, terraces, night clubs and bars.
Russian Hill och Lombard Street
Russian Hill is a charming residential area located in the hills of San Francisco. Lombard Street – known to be the crookiest and curviest street in the world. You have seen Lombard Street in many films and the recommended driving speed on this street is 8 kilometers (!) per hour.
You get the best work out, of course, if you walk Lombard Street up. Start by Leavenworth Street. Otherwise, take the cable car – Powell-Hyde line – from Ghirardelli Square or Union Square and get off by Lombard Street.
Twin Peaks has a spectacular view over San Francisco. Just imagine the sun coming down while you have the sparkling city in front of you.
Tenderloin, Market Street (further down, not by the Union Square) and certain streets in the Mission District because of the drug dealers, drug addicts and homeless.
On San Francisco’s Cable Car System
There are three cable car lines in San Francisco:
- Powell-Mason starts at Powell and Market Streets and continues over the Victorian area Nob Hill and down the Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39.
- Powell-Hyde Line starts by Powell and Market Streets and ends by Victorian Park close to the Maritime Museum in Wisherman’s Wharf.
- California Street Line goes from California and Market Streets to Van Ness Avenue.
Look at the sign on the back of the car and you will see where the cable car is going. You can buy a ticket onboard the cable car.
Big department stores and exclusive design stores, such as Tiffany & Co, Hermes, Gant and Prada. Westfield San Francisco Shopping Centre has the biggest Bloomingdales outside New York and the secong largest Nordstrom store in the whole USA. För second hand-shopping and more alternative stile head for Mission, Hayes Valley or Fillmore Street.
Rent a pair of skates and make piruettes on the skating rink at Union Square.
Facts about San Francisco
- Population: 884 363 (2017)
- Temperature: Mild year round. The average temperature in June-October is c. 18 degrees. December-January are the coldest months with an average temperature of 13-14 degrees.
- Credit cards are better than debit cards in the USA.
- Tip: The wages of the service staff are really low and tipping might actually constitute 80 % of their income.
-Restaurants: 15–20 % (before tax). NB. service is sometimes included in the bill. Minimum one dollar per drink at the bar.
-Hotel: 2–3 dollars a day to the maid. 1–2 dollars to the bell boy.
-Taxi: 15–20 %.