5 Things To Do When Visiting San Francisco
There are tons of amazing things to do in San Francisco, but when friends are visiting for the first time, they always ask me what they should see or do while here. I have come up with a short list of guidelines for visiting for the first time.
1. Get Out of Union Square:
I live not far from Union Square and it is a mecca for shopping and tourism. The only thing is, most people visiting are afraid to branch out or try public transportation to get to other neighborhoods. My advice is to get yourself a Clipper Card which is your pass in the city for any Muni (San Francisco bus system), Bart (Bay Area train), or CalTrain line. Pick 3 neighborhoods that you want to see and go there! I suggest the Mission for food, the Castro for fun, and Hayes Valley for boutique shopping.
2. Explore Lands End:
Even though the ocean isn't really the best for swimming because it's so cold, it's still worth going to beautiful places on the beach. Lands End is an amazing place to do some light hiking and see the Golden Gate Bridge from another angle. If you don't want to do something like Lands End, you could always check out Baker Beach.
3. Attend a Street Fair:
In San Francisco, there is no shortage of street fairs. It seems like almost every weekend starting with Bay to Breakers in May going through New Years there is something every weekend, actually. Whether you're into the Jazz Music Festival, SF Pride, Carnival, or any number of other of niche gatherings, there is surely something that will interest you. Check out what is happening during the time of year you want to come and plan your trip around that, it's totally worth checking into. If you are looking for more information on what is happening on particular days, you can check HERE for free/almost free things to do while you're visiting.
4. Go on an Art Walk:
Places like the Mission are great places to see local art, especially street art and murals. There are also events like the Polk Street Art Walk that happen every Thursday. The great thing about exploring the art scene in San Francisco, is you get to support local artists as well as getting to know the surrounding area better. You also get to take in the local beauty that is San Francisco.
5. Explore the East Bay:
Just outside of San Francisco there are so many amazing places you can visit while you're in town like Berkeley and Oakland just to name a few just on the other side of the Bay Bridge. These cities have a rich history and are worth exploring if you have time. It's also great to get out of the hustle and bustle of the downtown scene to give you a bigger picture of what it's like to live in the Bay Area. You can also take a casual ferry ride to Sausalito where there are amazing views from the bay of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate bridge, and The Bay bridge, as well as an amazing view of the skyline! Check ferry times HERE:
What are your favorite "secret" spots in San Francisco?! Leave your suggestions in the comments below!
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