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Sights and Tips for San Francisco First Timers

San Francisco is an eclectic city to visit recognized for its tradition, clam chowder, the Golden Gate Bridge, hippies, the tech business, cable automobiles and steep hills.

I used to be super excited to visit ‘the easiest city to love and the hardest city to leave’. Precisely 20 years earlier than our go to, (sure, I know, we’re getting previous) my husband Sebastiaan referred to as this city house when he was on a year-long change scholar program attending school in Hayward (on the other aspect of the bay). This time, again for work, it was a trip down reminiscence lane. For me as a first- timer I can tell this city has stole my heart as the European vibe spoke to me quite a bit.

The town is pretty small compared to different major cities around the US and I felt really at straightforward discovering the widespread sights and points of interest alone (while Sebastiaan was working). Climbing up one of the steep hills, you all the time have a picturesque view all through the town with its outspoken landmarks and I might easily find my approach.

I made this listing of sight and things to do for first-timers in San Francisco, including the popular sights. A few of them you’ll be able to keep away from as I offer you my trustworthy opinion.

Hop on the Cable Automobiles

Must do, each go to

A superb and fun option to experience the town is by cable automotive. Discover neighborhoods as Nob Hill, North Seashore, China Town, Union Sq. and Fisherman’s Wharf. With a Visitors Passport might be bought for 1, three or 7 consecutive days and you’ll be able to hop on any of the cable automobiles as you would like and have unlimited rides on Muni, Muni metro, historic Metro and historic streetcars. Tip: as an alternative of ready in line at Market Road, you’ll be able to catch one of many cable automobiles along Powell Road. We principally used the cable automotive in the evening after an extended metropolis stroll. It’s great transportation, while taking in some additional recent air.

Store at Union Sq.

– Should do, every visit

Our lodge was situated on Union Square and we liked to be within the middle of town. It is straightforward to catch transportation from there and you’re near lots of outlets, restaurants, and bars. As I mentioned earlier than, we visited after Thanksgiving and most outlets stored their black Friday deals, which made my day! One of the best half, nevertheless, was that each one the Christmas ornament was up, together with an ice rink! Take a look at the Cheesecake Manufacturing unit as it lets you dine outdoors with an incredible view of the square.

Stroll the Golden Gate Bridge

Walk the Golden State Bridge

– Should do, each visit

As San Francisco’s most well-known landmarks in addition to a bit of engineering artwork, you possibly can’t miss this. You possibly can both walk or journey your bike throughout the bridge. We walked in awe and additionally stared on the surfers under the bridge who journey the waves with an beautiful backdrop. Take a silly quantity of images as everyone does and in case you are fortunate, you can also make lovely footage with the fog.

Stroll via Chinatown

– Fun for first timers

San Francisco’s Chinatown is the most important and most famous in the US. There are a number of cheesy souvenir shops filled with crap you actually don’t need, but still, I enjoyed window buying. I found many parks the place the group comes collectively and perform Tai Chi with hand followers. Very fascinating to observe. We stopped to eat at one of the better restaurants, The Nice Japanese Restaurant (Obama’s takeout place in San Francisco) however we weren’t excited at all. We ordered quite a lot of dim sum but for my part, this wasn’t the most effective place to go to, sorry Obama!

Vertigo at Crooked Lombard Road

– Must do for first timers

The well-known road situated in the Russian Hill neighborhood stated to be “the crookedest street in the world”. Nicely, I’m not so positive if the declare is true. I know Tortola in the BVI has some very steep hills with some arduous hairpin turns, but I need to admit they aren’t as pretty to see as Lombard Road is. Pretty neighborhood and you cross right by Lombard road with the Cable automotive (it stops at the prime). There’s a walkway on the aspect and you’ll be able to comply with the street all the best way to Coit Tower. When you’ve got a automotive or a motorcycle out there, go to once more and drive down the street your self.

Climb Coit Tower

Panoramic city view on top of the Cost Tower

– Must do for first timers

One other major landmark, which you see from anyplace in the city and is perched atop of Telegraph Hill. From the highest, you will have a panoramic view of the town and we made tons of pictures from here.

Photograph The Palace of Fantastic Arts

– Fun for first timers

Probably the most photographed sights of San Francisco. And I positive perceive why! It’s a phenomenal place to leisurely stroll round and loosen up. It’s a reasonably website, but don’t plan too long here. We took a number of footage (nothing value publishing, though) and hopped back on one of the many buses you possibly can take to downtown.

Food hopping on the Ferry Constructing Market Place

– Must do, every go to

My prime suggestion to eat in this city. I am no fan of the food within the US, but there are a number of surprisingly good spots to be discovered including these vendors and eating places in The Ferry Building! As I like all things associated to meals, I might spend the day right here. Beloved to take a seat near the dock within the solar or stroll around the markets inside the constructing.

Bask in Tiki cocktails

Tonga Room interior in San Francisco

- Must do, every visit

As my husband was within the cocktail enterprise, we visited many bars. The tiki bars, are so much enjoyable! Tiki signifies that you escape each day life and enter a Caribbean/ Polynesian make-belief world with superior and fun cocktails and (typically Chinese language) meals.

First standout: Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar. Large place with occasional rain showers and some thunderstorms whereas the stay band entertains you from their barge within the lagoon. Sure, seems inconceivable however it’s an experience to not miss! The decor could be very properly executed. Please take observe that in case you are seated you have to pay additional if the band starts enjoying. We had a little bit of hassle reserving a desk as this can be a extremely popular place to guide for weddings and events. A lot of the week we have been in SF it was pre-booked. Make certain to examine prematurely and attempt to reserve a table. The lengthy wait for a table made us drink extra cocktails than we first anticipated (which was truly a plus).

The second standout is Trader Vic, which is situated simply outdoors town in Emeryville, but very much well worth the drive. We have been on a mission to seek out the perfect tiki cocktails and this tiki bar completely is the most effective of them all. Trader Vics is residence of the original Mai Tai, and man, they are good! I beloved all their totally different variations. The restaurant can also be the most effective in the Bay Space. To hold down the cocktails we had a couple of bites from their menu and they have been nice too.

Chew down arduous at Boudin Bakery

– Fun, should you occur to stroll by

The bakery was mentioned in our Lonely Planet and on-line it appeared like the place to go for their well-known sourdough bread. I really like bread and the bakery appeared like a Wonka’s Chocolate manufacturing unit, but with bread as an alternative. The odor of recent bread lured me in. I was at their Fishermans Wharf location and it was extremely busy, so I assumed this have to be really good. I didn’t order their famous clam chowder as I simply needed a small en fast chew. To be trustworthy, I just didn’t prefer it. The bread was too arduous to chew on. It could be simply my order (which I hope) however personally, I wouldn’t go back to verify. Be a decide for yourself, because it’s a powerful bakery you’ll be able to’t walk previous with out wanting inside.

Tourist plenty at Fisherman’s Wharf & Pier 39

– Fun for first timers

It’s one of the touristy issues to do within the metropolis and for my part not value loads of time. If you do not wish to see the mass crowds go early mornings. Outlets start to open up and the overpriced restaurants are just establishing for one other busy day. I do like to watch the ocean lions sunbathing and arguing, they are so funny.

Tour Alcatraz Island

Laundry room in Alcatraz

– Must do for first timers

It’s creepy and fascinating to go to at this former federal prison, that housed a number of the worst criminals within the US. Ensure to do the Alcatraz Audio Tour, which provides you an concept of what occurred inside from a prisoner perspective, in addition to former employees.

I was frightened concerning the long wait and even getting tickets as I read in all places to ebook early. I acquired very lucky with the timing, finish of November, just after Thanksgiving weekend and it wasn’t crowded at all, I might hop on board the ferry instantly! Greatest, if this is in your to-do listing, to not do the same as me but make certain to ebook early.

Greatest burger in town at Peals Deluxe Burgers

– Must do, each visit

We discovered this burger place that claims to serve the most effective burgers (TripAdvisor provides us pleasure 9 out of 10 occasions). The place seems like some other burger joint out there, however don’t let that idiot you. So not expecting anything at all, we ordered some burgers with garlic fries. Yummy! It was mouthwatering good, liked each chew. For a joint that basically has one of the best burgers, it wasn’t busy in any respect. Different clients informed me to keep it quiet that these burgers are superb, because the locals do not like to end up consistent with a bunch of vacationers. Regardless that I promised, I feel it’s value mentioning!

Prime of the Mark Rooftop Drinks

Top of the Mark San Francisco rooftop drinks

– Must do, each visit

Nicely, I can’t imagine who wouldn’t wish to take pleasure in a 360 view of the town whereas sipping a cocktail in this iconic high-end bar. Go up to the 19th flooring of the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Lodge (it’s a must to pay a payment in case you are not staying within the lodge) and gaze on the panoramic skyline of the town. Definite should do.

Concert at The Fillmore

– Must do, every visit, relying on who’s enjoying

Dwelling on an island signifies that you miss out on lots of stuff, like cool live shows. So each time we go to a metropolis, we all the time verify which artists are performing. We ended up within the Fillmore singing alongside to all the well-known Stereophonics songs. The previous venue itself is value a go to. All of the partitions are full of the hand-drawn posters of all the bands who carried out there. And the previous footage of the artists make you are feeling like you stepped into a spot which has been part of music history.

Visit a Basketball recreation (or some other major US sport)

– Should do, every go to

I have a husband that follows the NBA and has been a long-time Warriors fan. It made plenty of sense that we might go see one in every of their video games. I’m not a lot a fan nor do I do know a lot about sports activities. But Sebastiaan convinced me that attending a recreation is rather more than simply basketball, it’s an expertise. We had seats quite high up but had a great view over the courtroom. The present, with numerous fireworks initially, was superb! The Warriors didn’t play their greatest recreation, they actually lost, ouch.. however have been entertained throughout the whole night time and left completely happy because of the very constructive vibes. The one downside is that a night time like this is very costly. Food and drinks are overpriced, for my part.

Tip: you can too attempt attending a baseball recreation, which is often quite a bit cheaper.

Ultimate Thoughts

Landmarks of San Francisco

San Francisco just isn’t an undiscovered city, by any means. Although I had a sense how it might be, it did exceed my expectations. There are so many distinctive things to do and see, which makes this city unforgettable.

Just some quick ideas:

  • Make sure that to wear snug (flat) footwear to stroll up and down the hills.
  • Watch out for pickpockets round Union Sq. . Individuals standing subsequent to us ready on the visitors lights obtained robbed. Ensure to all the time watch your belongings and your surroundings

When you have any enjoyable suggestions so as to add please share them in the comments, I hope we will probably be back sometime!