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3 days in San Francisco

3 days in San Francisco

My husband and I went on a long weekend trip to San Francisco, California for our anniversary. We had so much fun. 3 days in San Francisco might not be enough so be sure to plan accordingly. Although I had read a lot of different things, hoping to prepare myself for the experience, we still learned a lot along the way. I want to share our favorite things we did as well as tips on transportation, accommodations, dining, etc. I hope this guide helps you plan your trip to San Francisco with confidence and that you can have fun while you are there too! 

TRANSPORTATION TIPS

If you are flying into SFO (San Francisco International Airport) you will have a couple of options for getting into the city. You can hire a driver (LYFT, Uber, etc). You can possibly get a shuttle from your hotel. Or you can ride the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). We chose to ride the BART. When we went it was about $9 and change one way, per person, into downtown. From there we got onto a bus and rode it most of the way to our hotel. 

For the BART you will need a Clipper card. If you don’t have one, they are $3 to buy, and then you have to add money to them. Just scan the card when you go to board the train, and then scan it again when you leave, and it will take off the amount owed depending on how far you rode. You can also use this on the buses, etc. We opted for a MUNI pass. 

ACCOMMODATION TIPS

There are so many places to stay in San Francisco. We chose our hotel because of the location and closeness to public transportation since we knew that is what we would be riding. We stayed at the Comfort Inn by the Bay. The rooms are clean, and there is free breakfast as well. When deciding where you want to stay, plan your favorite spots that want to visit as well as how you will be getting to them, and then start looking in that area. I also used Google Maps to look at “street view” to get an idea of the area and to make sure it would be what we wanted. 

DINING TIPS

We wanted to try some of the local eats so we searched for what was around us and read reviews. We rode the bus and walked sometimes to get there, but we weren’t disappointed. There are a lot of different places to eat in San Francisco. Some that I recommend are Tacko, Bob’s Donuts, and Boudin Bakery and Cafe.

3 days in San Francisco

Overall, my best advice is to make a list of all the places you want to visit and try to group them together by where they are located. We did Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown in one day. Then we did The Presidio and Golden Gate Bridge another day, and then Golden Gate Park, the Painted Ladies, and Japan Town another day. We had some extra time so we were able to see a few more things and spend more time doing things.

DAY 1 – Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown

Places you don’t want to miss here:

  • Bay Cruise
  • Powell-Hyde Cable Car Ride
  • Pier 39 (look for the Sea Lions)
  • Picture from piers 1, 7 & 14 (turn towards San Fran for amazing views)
  • Ferry Terminal Building (great place for eats)
  • Chamber of Secrets door right near Lombard Street
  • Lombard Street (view from bottom)
  • Picture of the Transamerica Pyramid from Columbus Ave
  • Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory (Chinatown)
  • Bruce Lee Mural (Chinatown)
  • Dragon Gate (Chinatown)
  • Night tour of Alcatraz
  • Ghirardelli (great place for dessert)
  • Musée Mécanique (antique arcade)
  • Exploratorium
  • Pictures of Coit Tower

3 days in San Francisco

DAY 2 – Presidio and Golden Gate Bridge

Places you don’t want to miss here:

View from Torpedo Wharf – San Francisco

DAY 3 – Golden Gate Park, the Painted Ladies, and Japantown

Places you don’t want to miss here:

3 days in San Francisco
Dutch Windmill at Golden Gate Park San Francisco

There really are so many amazing things to do in San Francisco! I hope you are able to fit everything in that you are wanting to do. 3 days in San Francisco will be busy and filled with a lot of walking and public transportation, but you will have an amazing time and see so many beautiful sites!

How would you spend 3 days in San Francisco?

3 days in San Francisco - San Francisco Travel Guide

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