Weekending in San Francisco

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Advisor - Marius Josanu
Curated By

Marius Josanu

  • San Francisco

  • Food & Wine

  • City Travel

  • Coast

  • Downtown

  • Relaxation

City skyline with buildings and sea in the background.
Curator’s statement

Enjoy this vibrant and eclectic city all in just the span of a weekend. Start with strolling through the colorful and vibrant streets of China Town, Haight Ashbury and the Mission District. Venture out into iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island offering spectacular views of the city. Indulge yourself by trying renowned street food and explore the numerous Michelin starred restaurants and their wide array of cuisine masterpieces. Stroll through the Embarcadero and the bustling Fisherman Wharf while trying freshly caught oysters with truffled mushrooms outside the pier buildings. Finish off your weekend by riding the iconic SF cable car and enchant yourself in the never ending streets of Victorian homes. San Francisco has a unique blend of bustling downtown activity with skyscrapers and local hotspots brimming with culture.

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Day 1: First Day in San Francisco

City buildings

On your first day in the city, you should stick to exploring Downtown San Francisco and Chinatown. I recommend staying hungry for this day! For breakfast, I encourage you to try Tastebuds, which has a chicken and waffle dish to die for. Farm:Table is also fantastic and is conveniently located next to Union Square and Financial District.

Start in Union Square and walk through the store laden streets until you get to the Financial district. Stop at Joe and The Juice for a "pick me up" smoothie and continue until you get to Mendocino farms or Wayfare Tavern for a late lunch.

Explore Chinatown next, walk into all the stores and immerse yourself in this bustling ecosystem full of great Dim Sum and cool trinkets. When you're ready to leave, check out either Coit Tower or SF museum of modern art for a peaceful display of fantastic art and views. For dinner in Downtown San Francisco, definitely check out Aliment SF, an inventive American eatery serving craft beers and traditional soul food.

Day 2: Exploring the City

Alcatraz Island off the coast of San Francisco.

Start your second day at the Ferry Building and explore all the building has to offer. Inside you can find everything ranging from homemade bread, exotic mushrooms, funky license plate covers, craft ice cream and more. I recommend grabbing a breakfast bite at El Porteno Empanadas, they are delicious. If you're still hungry after that, grab a mini cheesecake from CheeseQuakes.

After exploring the Embarcadero, head over to the docking area for Alcatraz Island and pay for a ticket to explore the island and learn all about the history of the prison that used to house El Capone. When you get back from your tour, check out the Fishermen's Wharf for some awesome seafood. Find any place for lunch that serves crab and clam chowder, I promise they will all be amazing.

After lunch, take the iconic cable car to the west side of the city and walk around Golden Gate Park and visit the de young museum if you have time. If you rented your own vehicle, check out Point Lobos and the Golden Gate Overlook for some striking views at Sunset. Head across the bridge after sunset to an idyllic city named Sausalito and go to Scoma's. This is hands down my favorite restaurant here and has some of the freshest seafood in the bay.

Day 3: Last Day in the City

Mission District hill in the San Francisco city.

To wrap up your weekend trip in San Francisco, start your morning off at Tartine Bakery or Arizmendi Bakery for some tasty eats and coffee.

Then take some time to explore the mission district which is rather vast. The Mission District is notorious for being packed with boutiques, hole in the wall restaurants, street murals and small cute parks.

Stop at Alamo Square Park and toss a frisbee around while getting a view of the city and then pop over to Emporium to play some pinball and old school arcade games. I would recommend The Little Chihuahua as a late lunch for some gourmet tacos and burritos. Explore some of the bars offered in the area and rent a moped or a scooter as you zoom down the streets.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Phoebe Pierce’s guide 5-Day Adventure Itinerary in San Francisco

Advisor - Marius Josanu

Travel Advisor

Marius Josanu

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on Travel to San Francisco.