If You Only Have Three Days in San Francisco
Collected by AFAR Traveler, AFAR Contributor
It's easy to spend weeks in San Francisco without running out of things to do, so if you only have three days in the city you'll want to make the most of your stay. If you plan right, however, you'll have time to squeeze the most essential San Francisco experiences into three action-packed days. From the Golden Gate to Alcatraz, museums to must-eats, here is how to best spend three days in the City by the Bay.
San Francisco, CA, USA
There are so many fabulous places in the city that you can go to see and photograph San Francisco and the entire bay area. Some of these are open for the public while others may only be available to guests staying at that particular hotel. So if...
525 Laguna St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
8 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
In true San Franciscan fashion, the Vitale’s petite top-floor spa exudes boutique comfort with warm hospitality—with a focus on natural experiences. Come in the evening, sink into a bath on the terrace, and enjoy a massage with a view of the Bay...
601 Vallejo St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Caffe Trieste, in the heart of North Beach just off Columbus, is an authentic San Francisco experience where little has changed since Kerouac's day. The North Beach location, which opened in 1956, is a great place to sit down, enjoy a coffee, and...
1529 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
Nicole Krasinski describes the novel concept of her restaurant State Bird Provisions as “dim sum and a great hors d’oeuvre party morphed into one experience.” She and her husband, chef Stuart Brioza, prepare beautifully executed...
San Francisco, CA, USA
Even if you live here, exploring San Francisco's eclectic neighborhoods makes a fun day out, and with City Guides, it's also free. Founded in 1978, the nonprofit organization has more than 200 trained volunteers who lead history and...
1170 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA
Casey's Pizza serves New York-style, locally-sourced, and mostly organic pizzas from a truck. The owner, a East Coaster, spent a lot of time trying to replicate the pizza of his youth and has added the West Coast mandates of local and organic...
57 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94104, USA
It doesn't matter how well you think you know a place—there's always somewhere new worth exploring. San Francisco is packed with secret hideouts. One of my all-time favorites has to be the Mechanics Institute Library and Chess Room—and the rather...
375 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
A key player in the "third wave" coffee movement is Four Barrel Coffee, founded by Jeremy Tooker—who has a particular love for light roasts and the bright, acidic flavors that come with this method. Don’t let that description deter you, though;...
355 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
If their New American–style brunch and dinner menus don’t tempt you to Bar Agricole, in SOMA, maybe their recent James Beard Award nomination for Outstanding Bar Program will. Cocktails run at $11 across the board, and head bartenders Thad Vogler...
Presidio, San Francisco, CA, USA
A few blocks east of Goldsworthy's more prominent Spire is this installation of fallen trees snaking through the still standing ones. Wood Line is located within the cypress grove near the intersection of Presidio Boulevard and West Pacific...
Twin Peaks, San Francisco, CA, USA
The best views of San Francisco are from the top of Twin Peaks, the two hills that are located in the geographic center of the city. Only from Twin Peaks can you get a 360-degree view of the entire city. If you are lucky, on a clear day you can...
100 John F Kennedy Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
The Victorian-era glass and wood structure, which looks like a sugar-coated castle atop a grassy slope, is Golden Gate Park's oldest building. It's also one of San Francisco's most splendid historic sites. Wander through five different galleries...
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
The de Young Museum, with its perforated copper facade and spiraling tower in the center of Golden Gate Park, is as dramatic outside as it is inside. Follow the widening crack in the sidewalk into the atrium. It's an Andy Goldsworthy–created...
Lover's Ln, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
If you are looking for a great walk in San Francisco, try the Presidio National Park. Lover's Lane is a nice one to start with. If you drive, just after entering the southeastern gate (Presidio Blvd. Gate), you can make a left and park your car in...
1199 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
San Francisco is a great city for many reasons, one of which is all of the green space. It's easy to feel connected to nature here. When we planned to visit the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park, we didn't expect it to be such an oasis. It was...
1519 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
This hip North Beach boutique is the spot to shop to if you're looking to dress like a San Franciscan. Started by Howard Gee more than two decades ago with a mission to "bring people better denim and do so with a personal touch," the shop has...
2821 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
You'll have a hard time ever leaving B. Patisserie, and you'll know why it's been an over night sensation in lower Pac Heights. The open, modern space feels like something you'd find in the Marais in Paris, and the fact that you can view the...
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