San Francisco Travel Guide

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San Francisco is one of my all-time favorite places to visit. I’ve done quite a bit of traveling, so that’s REALLY saying something! And that’s why I’m super excited to bring you my San Francisco Travel Guide. This guide is filled with all of the best places to eat, cool sights to see and fun things to do. If you happen to be planning a trip to SF, my San Francisco Travel Guide will definitely come in handy!

golden gate bridge with ocean view

San Francisco Travel Guide

In my opinion, San Francisco is one of the best places to visit. In San Francisco, you will find the most delicious food and so many fun places to see and interesting things to do. If you’re thinking about visiting SF, I promise, this beautiful city will not disappoint. Without further ado, enjoy my San Francisco Travel Guide.

Where To Stay In San Francisco

Hotel Nikko  $$$

I’ve only been to San Francisco one time, so I don’t have too much information about where to stay. However, I will say that when I travel back to SF, I’ll be back at Hotel Nikko. I would highly recommend this Forbes Four-Star hotel for your stay in San Francisco. We stayed in a deluxe room with Japanese-inspired decor and pampering amenities. It was clean, fairly spacious and very elegant. The morning before we left SF, we opted to enjoy our breakfast at the hotel breakfast buffet. It was out of this world delicious. I’m still dreaming of the pancakes! They offered traditional Japenese foods and many American breakfast foods as well. As an added plus, there is a Starbucks inside Hotel Nikko. My mom and I definitely appreciated this!

Best Food In San Francisco

Crab House At Pier 39  $$$

Upon arriving in San Francisco, we headed straight to Pier 39. We were starving and looking for a delicious meal to get our vacay started right! Crab House caught our eye right away. There is a beautiful view from the restaurant and they offered a ton of different fresh seafood choices. They don’t call this a crab house for nothing, there were so many crab dishes to choose from and the food was so astonishingly good. I would recommend the Crab Chowder, Crab Alfredo, and the Salmon Picatta. All of the seafood was high-quality, fresh and flavorful.

A bowl of clam chowder with a fruity drink

Home Plate $$ 

This family-owned brunch spot came highly recommended by some friends. And we couldn’t have enjoyed it more! Right when you walk through the doors, you’re greeted by a cool farmhouse vibe. We loved the atmosphere and the complimentary baked-from-scratch homemade scones were irresistible. The food was colorful and tasty and I cannot say enough great things about the customer service.

white plate with egg, toast, and fries

White plates with a variety of breakfast foods

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse $$

Mr. Holmes Backhouse is a small bakery, with a great aesthetic, that is known for their must-have cruffins (a croissant-muffin). Mr. Holmes also sells a wide variety of other types of pastries. They sell out quickly, so I would advise getting there early and before they open. As a side note, it’s in a bit of a shady neighborhood and the walk there was a little sketchy.

4 pastries sitting on a counter with a white box.

man holding white box in front of a neon sign.

Lou’s Fish Shack $$

My mom and I agree – you should not visit San Francisco without getting some type of bread bowl. We LOVED the bread bowl that we shared as an appetizer at Lou’s. It was amazing! The menu at Lou’s features a variety of fresh seafood appetizers and entrees. They use fresh ingredients from local markets and it definitely shows. For dinner, I got the fish and chips and you would think, “how basic”, but this dish tasted nothing like the fish and chips in my home state, Texas. The fish was juicy with tons of flavor. My mom ordered the fish tacos with black beans and told me it was the best fish tacos she’s ever had.

Bread bowl with lobster bisque

Doughp $

Snack time! Doughp takes cookie dough to the next level. They were recently featured on Shark Tank and make cookie dough that is both safe and ridiculously fun to eat. It’s located in the Fisherman’s Wharf area and was the perfect little treat. But I wouldn’t recommend eating it in one sitting. Get this on your last day and take any leftover for an extra treat on the plane.

Man holding a cup of cookie dough

What To Do In San Francisco 

Alcatraz $$

Alcatraz is must to visit. My mom and I originally wanted to do the night tour after hearing that Alcatraz was super cool at night. We ended up doing the day tour because the night tour tickets were sold out. We found out later that the night tour tickets sell out around a year in advance. The day tour was still really fun and interesting. We both thoroughly enjoyed our time on the island. After buying the tickets, you line up and board a ferry to be dropped off on the island. You’re able to walk around as you want and can also grab headphones for a guided tour, which gave you tons of information about what went on when Alcatraz was an actual prison.

Lady standing looking at Alcatraz

Golden Gate

If you don’t get a picture in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, did you really go to SF? It’s not really necessary to walk on the bridge because you can get really good pics from the bottom by the beach or up on the hills.

Guy standing looking at the Golden Gate Bridge.Union Square 

Union Square is a lively plaza that has shopping, hotels, and is in the theater district. This is a fun area to visit with lots of great shops and restaurants

Trolly going down a steep hill

Pier 39

Definitely put Pier 39 on your list of your things to do in San Francisco. You’ll get a closeup view of the sea lions, have lots of choices of waterfront seafood restaurants, top shopping, attractions and bay views. I loved this area!

Seals laying down on a dock

Fisherman’s Warf

Fisherman’s Warf is such a fun place. It has a great atmosphere with live music and lots of places to eat and even fresh fish markets.

A sign that says Fishermans Wharf

Full House

If you were one of the many to watch Full House over and over as a kid, you will really enjoying the old Full House photo opp. It’s located at 1709 Broderick Street.

Man standing on stairs of the house on full house

Painted Ladies

The Painted Ladies is another super cool photo opp. There is even a great park nearby to take a stroll. You may also remembering seeing the Painted Ladies in the credits of Full House.

3 houses painted different colors called the painted ladies.

Lombard Street

Lombard Street is an east–west street in San Francisco, California that is famous for a steep, one-block section with eight hairpin turns. Stretching from The Presidio east to The Embarcadero, most of the street’s western segment is a major thoroughfare designated as part of U.S. Route 101. The greenery and plants are absolutley beautiful along this area. It was quite a hilly walk for us, but well worth it for a unique photo opp.

Lombard Street With green bushes

Best Time To Visit San Francisco

The best time to visit San Francisco is from September to November. Believe it or not, fall offers some of the city’s warmest temperatures year-round, not to mention fewer crowds than summer. Spring is another good time to visit thanks to its mild temperatures and lack of rain (compared to other parts of California). My mom and I went in June and although there were crowds, the weather was quite beautiful.

What To Pack For San Francisco

What to pack for a trip to San Francisco is greatly going to depend on the time of year that you visit. San Francisco gets about 70 rainy days per year on average, mostly between November and March, so a rain jacket would be smart to bring. I would also suggest a sweater or hoodie and then some t-shirts. Again, we visited in June and there were times, especially near the water, that we were chilly. However, during the middle of the day, it would heat up at times. Layers are your best bet. You will also want to make sure to bring comfy walking shoes. There are lots of hills to go up and down. Be prepared to get a good workout, going up and down those hills, getting from place to place.

Hopefully you’re all planning trips to San Francisco and my San Francisco Travel Guide will be super helpful!

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