Since we live close, we tend to be the tour guides for friends and family from out of town that want to see the city. People can say what they want about their desire to see the “true” San Francisco, but when it comes down to it, the first time usually involves all the tourist attraction, the things that make the city famous.
The below was a day we put together for some family visiting for the first time from Minnesota. A couple circumstances that made this plan work were that the visiting family were in physically good shape (willing and able to do A LOT of walking) and the weather was nice,
The day started at the golden gate bridge, where we parked and walked across it. A free, family friendly activity that is an iconic must do. Quick Note: If you are driving across the bridge to park going North, you will have to pay bridge toll and this is all electronic now, go here to prepare for your trip in advance ).
After the bridge we parked off of a side street near the fisherman’s wharf and had lunch at Luigi’s Pizzeria down Pier 39. I would typically recommend seafood, but the family was feeling pizza and this was convenient.
After lunch we walked up to Ghirardelli square for hot fudge sundaes at the Ghirardelli chocolate company. Afterward we headed up the street to Lombard street, to walk up and down that, before catching the cable car at Hyde & Lombard.
We rode that over to China town where we found a little tea shop and did some free tea tasting. I can’t remember where this was exactly but a lot of places do this.
We walked down into Union Square. Rode the glass elevator(which you can no longer due unless your a guest at the hotel) and then took pictures with all the hearts in the square.
We then headed back into China Town for dinner. (Looking back I would suggest eating in Union square. Cheesecake factory has a great view.)
After dinner we over to the Coit Tower, which took us right past Peter & Paul church which is always beautiful, and accessed the steps up to the tower through Greenwich st.
Finally we walked back down toward the pier, where our day had started and where our car waited.
Did I mention this was ALOT of walking! :) But it did make it a bit easier not having to fuss with parking and traffic in between every event. I’m not sure we would have been able to do as much if we had been driving.
A couple of apps that might prove beneficial: