This was our fourth trip to San Francisco over the last few years. It is definitely one of our favorite places to visit. There is no shortage of incredible restaurants, fun neighborhoods, and outdoor activities. I couldn’t possibly cover all the amazing things SF has to offer but here’s a list of some of our favorite things to do, restaurants and places to see. If you’re planning a trip I also recommend checking out Victoria’s recommendations here. She lives in SF too! Don’t miss our San Francisco travel vlog on my Youtube channel and Craig’s photo journal here.
San Francisco has an almost absurd number of neighborhoods. I think it’s bigger than it seems, but still for the most part fairly easy to get around. This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the neighborhoods in SF, but the places we have visited and/or spend the most time in when we are there. I wish I had found this website before our trip. It has a ton of really useful information about the different neighborhoods of San Francisco.
We rented an Airbnb in Pac Heights for this trip. We’ve stayed in Ocean Beach and North Beach in the past so wanted to try something new. Pac Heights was really convenient and felt very centrally located. Lots of beautiful homes and streets in this area.
One of my brothers lives in the Richmond/Sea Cliff area so we spend a lot of time here. Sea Cliff is absolutely beautiful and if you want to see some spectacular (and insanely expensive) homes, take a walk around. This neighborhood also includes Land’s End, China Beach, and the Legion of Honor which are all great spots to see while you’re in SF.
Very cool street art and murals to see in the Mission and a lot of good Mexican food. Check out Dolores Park.
Lots of popular bars, restaurants and shopping in the Marina. It can get crowded so walking or biking is a nice way to get around.
We spend a lot of time in Richmond and some of our favorite spots are in this neighborhood including Burma Superstar, Green Apple Books and Toy Boat. It’s surrounded by parks and the ocean so I can see why my brother loves it.
My best friend used to live in North Beach so the first time Craig and I visited San Francisco we stayed here. We had dinner at Park Tavern SF located in this neighborhood and had one of the best meals of our lives. Also a lot of good Italian eateries here.
What to Do/See
When we travel, Craig and I try to explore places that aren’t crowded. Sometimes much easier said than done but we get creative about when and where we go. Big crowds are basically our kryptonite, so avoiding them makes for a much more enjoyable time. If we want to go to a place that is a major tourist attraction, we always go early.
Sausalito – A very short drive over the bridge Sausalito is a quaint little seaside town with cute shops and restaurants.
China Beach – A great place to enjoy sunset with gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Golden Gate Park – Golden Gate Park is absolutely massive and there are tons of different areas within the park to see. If you’re short on time just take a drive through.
Alamo Square – Alamo Square overlooks the famous Painted Ladies.
Sutro Baths – Another great sunset viewing spot but beautiful anytime of day. More photos of Sutro from our last trip.
Ocean Beach – It can be pretty windy and chilly at Ocean Beach but it’s a great spot to take a walk or watch the surf. I love going to watch all the dogs run around and play.
16th Avenue Tiled Steps – My brother took us here and it offers an incredible view of San Francisco. You can drive and park at the top if you don’t want to walk all the way up.
Where to Eat
Marla Bakery – I always end up coming here in between lunch and dinner service but I’ve ordered the bagel twice and the cream cheese they use is the best I’ve ever had. Yummy chai lattes too.
Craftsman and Wolves – Order the coign amain and the salami sandwich. You will not regret it. They’re also famous for the baked goods and pastries.
Blue Danube – Great spot for coffee and smoothies
Ashley’s Cafe – I love sitting outside and getting a coffee and a fresh squeed OJ. Craig loves their chocolate chip cookies.
Fred’s Place – We had such a good breakfast/brunch here in Sausalito. Get the millionaire bacon.
Toy Boat Dessert Cafe – Always a must for ice cream after dinner at Burma.
Happy Moose Juice – Popped in here after a breakfast at Craftsman and Wolves. Great juice selection and they let you try before you buy.
Judahlicious – Always go here for an acai bowl, a great vegan selection.
Burma Superstar – Of all the amazing restaurants in SF, this is always my number one pick. The food is absolutely insane. Go for lunch or dinner but they don’t take reservations and there is almost ALWAYS a wait. Best time to go is right when they open.
Park Tavern – We had an incredible dinner here. You can make reservations here so I definitely recommend it. Great drink menu. For diner, order the Poulet Rouge (good for sharing).
Mezcalito – Sort of a Mexican fusion menu here and absolutely delicious. We ordered a little bit of everything and it was so good. Great cocktail menu and friendly service.
Pizzeta – One of our favorite spots for pizza. Small cozy interior and also great for takeout.
Chomp N Swig – Stopped in here on a Sunday afternoon for beers and snacks. Yummy fries and a delicious fried chicken sandwich.