8 Best Things to do in San Francisco
Updated: Jul 14, 2022
With stunning coastal scenery, great weather, a top-notch food scene, and plenty of attractions, it’s no wonder why San Francisco is such a popular tourist destination. If you are planning a trip to this incredible city, look no further! Keep reading to discover the eight best things to do in San Francisco.
We had a wonderful time on our trip to San Francisco. Theres nothing I enjoy more than to plan trips the whole family can enjoy. I had been wanting to take my boys to San Francisco for a long time being that my oldest son talked about the Golden Gate Bridge and wanting to visit every time he came across a photo or video. We just had to make it happen for him, plus it’s literally a 6 hour drive from where we live so it was a no brainer.
There is so much to do in San Francisco but because we decided to go for one night and two days we didn't get to do everything we had intended to do. Here is everything we did get to squeeze in on our little trip and I will also be sharing other fun things we wanted to do but didn’t get a chance to.
Visit the Golden State Bridge
We visited the Golden Gate Bridge. Built in 1937, this bridge is the longest and tallest suspension bridge in the world! Recognized as a San Francisco landmark, taking a picture near this incredible bridge should be on everyone's travel bucket list. We were able to experience the view from two different locations but there are so many spots to get a good view and picture of the bridge. We also wanted to drive thought it so we took the drive to the other side of the bridge to experience the view from the opposite end.
Note: If you plan to drive through the bridge note there is a toll fee charge.
Visit the Painted Ladies
Another fun thing to do is visit the Painted Ladies. As one of the most photographed sites in the city, the Painted Ladies are a must-see while visiting San Francisco. Nestled on the East side of Alamo Square Park, these pastel-colored houses stand side by side amidst the backdrop of the San Francisco skyline. You’ll want to bring your camera for this one! We were able to get a great view from the Alamo Square Park. The boys were able to run around the park while enjoying the view.
Note: Restrooms are available at the Alamo Square Park along with free parking.
After the park, we made our way to Fisherman’s Wharf for a quick dinner. It’s the perfect place to bring the whole family. This neighborhood has an abundance of souvenir shops, crab shacks, and incredible views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay. If you’re a chocolate lover like myself, make sure to stop by Ghirardelli Square, an iconic chocolate factory. We also had to stop by Boudin Sourdough Bakery & Cafe to try out their Clam Chowder bowls. I had the Corn with Crab chowder and it was fantastic.
After Dinner we made our way to our hotel. We chose to stay at the beautiful San Francisco Marriott Marquis because it is conveniently located in downtown and it was closed to everything we had in mind to do during our trip. Their rooms are spacious and clean. Inside, you can relax and recharge in contemporary rooms and suites with plush bedding and 300-thread count sheets while you enjoy impressive views of the city. Every room features plush bedding, Smart TVs, mini-refrigerators, ample workstations and Wi-Fi access.
The following morning we went on a little adventure to Alcatraz. A little over a mile off of San Francisco’s shore, theres the Alcatraz Island. This island used to be the home of an infamous prison, but it is now a fascinating museum and tourist attraction.
Tip; If your are wanting to check out Alcatraz, try booking the experience ahead of time by visiting Get Your Guide. Plan your trip and get great deals.
With Get Your Guide you can also find tickets for the following:
Walt Disney Museum
If you’re a Disney enthusiast, check out the Walt Disney Museum! Educating visitors on the life and legacy of Walt Disney, the kids are sure to love this museum. Even thought this was on our list and we didn't get to do it, it is still something I am looking forward to doing on our next visit. If you're planning to go longer than a weekend, you should totally add this to your itinerary.
This neighborhood is not only the oldest Chinatown in North America, but it is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. Here, you can wander the vibrant and winding streets leading to incredible Asian restaurants, bakeries, temples, and museums. If we had an additional day, this is where I'd spend it.
Aquarium of the Bay
The whole family is guaranteed to enjoy the Aquarium of the Bay! Located at Pier 39, this aquarium is home to over 20,000 local sea animals, including the Sevengill shark, moon jellies, and river otters. We almost walked into the aquarium after our Alcatraz trip, but we had limited amount of time so we were only able to squeeze in dinner. We had dinner next to the Aquarium at Hard Rock Cafe.
San Francisco's trolley is the last manually operated cable system in the United States. With tickets only costing a few dollars, this is one of the cheapest and most iconic ways to explore the streets of San Francisco. My kiddos were really looking forward to doing this but unfortunately we didn't have enough time. Definitely something fun for the kids to do.
Taking a road trip to San Francisco with the family is so ideal. Theres lots to do and see during the drive. We wanted to travel in comfort and also enjoy the scenic route through the beautiful pacific coast. We were fortunate enough to have Chevrolet loan us a car, the new 2022 Chevrolet Equinox and it was an amazing and comfortable car for our long trip. If there was an automobile that describes my style this would totally be it. Sleek, sophisticated and sporty. Here’s a vehicle that definitely met all of our needs offering purposeful technology to help keep us safe and entertained on our drive to San Francisco. Keeping my family safe and comfortable is always top priority during our road trips and the amazing Chevy Equinox did just that with their safety technologies and adaptive crash-avoidance features definitely provided ease and peace of mind during our drive. We definitely felt like we were the center of attention driving the new 2022 Chevy Equinox to San Francisco.
San Francisco was such an amazing family adventure and I can’t wait to be back and enjoy other attractions and places we didn’t get to do on this trip. If you plan to take a fun short trip to San Francisco hope you find this blog useful and I am here to help with any questions you may have.
Hope I have encouraged you to take that family trip. I’m always sharing our fun family adventures so if you liked this post, be sure to Subscribe to my blog so you can follow along. If you’d like to save this post be sure to like, share and pin to your Pinterest board. Find me at @thesweetertasteoflife.
Hope you have a SWEET day!