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Things to do in San Francisco, if you have limited time.

Things to do in San Francisco, if you have limited time.

Things to do in San Francisco if you have limited time. Visit Fisherman's Wharf.

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.

Things to do in San Francisco if you have limited time. Visit Fisherman's Wharf.

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.

Things to do in San Francisco if you have limited time. Take the cable car to China Town.

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.

Things to do in San Francisco if you have limited time. Sea Lions at Fisherman's Wharf.

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.

Things to do in San Francisco if you have limited time. Go on a bay cruise to watch the sunset and see Alcatraz.

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.

Things to do in San Francisco if you have limited time. Visit historic Ghiradelli Square.

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.

Things to do in San Francisco if you have limited time. Golden Gate Bridge.

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.

View Comments (43)
  • It has been many years since I have been in San Fran but agree with you about the wharf and china town, and when in San Fran I think it is a requirement to take a cable car

  • I want to go to see the sea lions. I don’t think hubby would be overly zealous about them (he’d think they were cool for a second or two) so I’d have to take my daughter down to see ’em (she’d freak!! and want to stay awhile…like her mama). 😉

  • I’d love to see chinatown. My MIL just spent the last two years working at the embassy in Beijing and she loved it – the kids loved the stuff they would eat or send back, going to a big chinatown would be the next best thing.

  • I really would love to visit San Francisco someday. Hubby haven’t been there either. He only saw the Golden Gate bridge from the plane. 🙂

  • I lived in Southern California but never made my way higher than Yosmite! If I ever go “back home”, I’ll have to take the time to make a quick trip to San Francisco!

  • Visiting San Francisco is on my list of places to see, and explore. I would especially like to check out Golden Gate Park, but I know I probably need more than a day to do that. I would love to go to the Wharf and snag a pic of the sea lions!

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