Spending a weekend in San Francisco sounds pretty idyllic. It really is a great place to visit as a couple, single, or a family. My teens loved the mix of activities, architecture, nature and foods and it is such a fun place to explore, that I know I haven’t even begun to enjoy all it has to offer.
We stayed near Fisherman’s Wharf and though usually we avoid the obviously touristy places, Fisherman’s Wharf is the exception. Sea lions during the day, fun lights at night and good restaurants all the time, we were glad to spend a little time here. Our favorite was the Boudin Bistro where we got the classic sourdough bread bowls of clam chowder. Yes it is that good! Ghirardelli Square was an easy walk from here. It’s a pretty cool, former chocolate factory that’s converted into shops and restaurants and of course we had to get some chocolate!
We enjoyed the waterfront park and then caught the Powell-Hyde Cable Car Turntable and rode the cable car up Hyde Street. We just had to see Lombard Street (the most famous crooked street, with crazy hairpin turns)! We ended up downtown and enjoyed people watching in Union Square, a little shopping in the area and then walked over to Chinatown. I didn’t want our family to miss this since it is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia and the oldest in the US. This area was so fun to explore with the beautiful Chinese architecture and the picturesque Dragon's Gate. We had a great meal at the Hang Ah Dim Sum Tea House but skipped the Fortune Cookie Factory tour.
Riding more cable cars (such a fun way to get around) got us to within a good walking distance of Alamo Park and the classic row of painted ladies on Steiner Street that my daughter wanted to see (opening credits of Full House anyone?). We loved the architecture as we walked the neighborhoods and continued on to the Haight-Ashbury area with it’s funky boutiques. The nearby Golden Gate Park with it’s labyrinth of trails was a beautiful oasis in the middle of the city.
There are so many natural areas and parks to explore, we could have spent so much more time hiking and taking in the views. The Presidio is a huge park area that is at the tip of the peninsula and along the west side of this is Baker Beach where we hiked and enjoyed classic views of the Golden Gate bridge. We drove further south along the coast and stopped at China Beach and checked out all the beautiful homes in this area. Further south was Lands End and the Sutra Bath Ruins. We would love to go back here and spend more time exploring and dinner at the nearby Cliff House.
We also wanted to ride bikes across the Golden Gate, but this time we drove across to Vista Point Overlook, for great bridge views and eerie ruins of the old Fort Baker Battery. We spent a delightful morning in the cute town of Sausalito before going on to Muir Woods and the beautiful redwoods!
We left footsore and well fed, full of photos and memories, and plans to go back to explore even more!