Don’t fret if you only have a weekend to spend in San Francisco. There are so many things to do in San Francisco, and you can pack a lot of activities into just two or three days. On my most recent trip to San Francisco, I was only there for 3 few days, but staying in a hotel that was in close proximity to most of the activities I wanted to do saved me a lot of time.
I stayed at the Raddison Hotel right in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf. Not only did I have a great view, but also easy access to the cable car, restaurants, and top tourist spots. While the hotel could use a little updating, my room was comfortable and clean. At first I dreaded learning there was no room service available. I’m such a sucker for room service. I quickly learned that many fantastic restaurants, including Fisherman’s Wharf favorites, were within easy walking distance.
I’m so glad I was forced outside of my hotel room to grab my morning coffee or a late night snack. I otherwise might have missed out on great dining available around Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf, like Boudin Bakery Café and Lou’s Fish Shack.
Things to do in San Francisco if you have limited time.
Take the cable car to China Town. Chinatown is the most densely populated portion of San Francisco and offers an abundance of shopping, food and unique architecture found outside of Asia. It’s a great place to buy souvenirs to take home to friends and family. During my afternoon in Chinatown, I had a fabulous massage, did some shopping and even squeezed in some time for a much needed massage.
Go shopping around Union Square. The cable car will take you right to Union Square where you will find an extensive collection of boutique and luxury retail shops, along with find dining restaurants, art galleries and more.
Take in the sights, sounds and tastes of Fisherman’s Wharf. Your options for shopping and dining at Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 are endless. Be sure to visit the resident Sea Lions while you are there.
Go on a bay cruise. While visiting Alcatraz can easily suck up a lot of your time, taking a bay cruise will get you close enough to snap some great pics of the notorious prison and once home to Al Capone. This was such a relaxing way to spend the evening and enjoy the sunset.
Visit historic Ghiradelli Square. The chocolate lover in you will want to visit Ghiradelli Square which is an easy walk from the Fisherman’s Wharf district. The landmark public square is filled with restaurants and shops, including the Original Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop.
See the Golden Gate Bridge up close. The Golden Gate Bridge is not just a feat of engineering. The 1.7 mile span offers incredible views of The City, the bay and the Pacific ocean. Looking for an amazing photo opportunity? Be sure to visit Ft. Point under the bridge for a different view of this San Francisco Icon. If you have enough time, I recommend exploring Golden Gate Park, and take in the Japanese Tea Gardens. You can also visit the California Academy of Science, the DeYoung Art Muesum, the Arboretum, and Bison Paddock. If the weather is right, the Paddle boats can be fun. Stay and watch the sun go down over the Pacific over dinner at the Beach Chalet.
There are so many fun things to do in San Francisco, even if you don’t have a lot of time. This makes San Francisco a great destination for a weekend getaway.